I started watching the Snyder cut of Justice League yesterday. It was…probably better than the Whedon version? I dunno, I walked out of the Whedon version, it was so bad. And I’ve sat through multiple Avengers movies! Walking out of movies is good. It feels like you’re really sticking it to the film. I also walked out of Manchester By The Sea and The Favorite (the latter might’ve just been a mood thing, because I hear it’s a good film). The Snyder cut is really humorless and kind of impersonal, with a lot of quick transitions, not of big, epic sweeping stuff. But epics need to also have the small-scale and the intimate. This is why Titanic worked so well, for instance. It’s why Lord of the Rings focused on the hobbits, instead of on Aragorn. It’s why these movies always have fellowships and bands and leagues–so people can form relationships while they’re saving the world. But I’m only an hour into Justice League and might never revisit it, so I can’t say whether it ever gets more human.
My life is great. I have absolutely no troubles. The other day I was feeling sad because I hadn’t used this first year of my baby’s life to make other mom friends, and then I was like, hold it, this is an invented, made-up problem! I cannot be sad about this! I am just holding onto this because I don’t have better things to worry about. So I let it go.
The point is I am very happy. Everything is excellent. I experience rejection and artistic frustration, obviously. Sometimes my back hurts. Sometimes my knees hurt. The other day I ate an entire bag of M&Ms and then an entire bag of cookies and felt sick and ashamed, but these are not big problems. I am happy to live in this beautiful city, with my wonderful wife and baby and cat and dog, and to have work that I love doing and find (reasonably) meaningful.
Lately I’ve been feeling a little old. You know how the sociologists are all like there are five markers that signal a youth’s transition to adulthood: leaving the house, getting a job, marriage, having a baby, and a fifth one that I can’t remember and don’t want to look up? Well there must be something to that, because now that I have a baby I’m officially like, wow, I am an adult! I am old! My passions are extinguished! I was reading a poem earlier by…James Dickey? (Link is in the post) Anyway part of it was about how farm-boys get really horny and want to have sex with livestock, but don’t, because of their fear of creating human-animal hybrids, and I was like, wow, I remember I used to get that horny, back when I was a youth, but no longer, because I am not a youth anymore.
I’m so old that I’m starting to understand Proust, and the way you can recapture lost time. It’s only once a door is closed that you can open it again. Because childhood is so fully gone, I’m finally able to be transported back to it, and to experience it anew.
But I am not unhappy with the use I’ve made of those years. I mean, everything turned out much better than I deserved! Like…how did I write and sell these books? That’s absurd! Did twenty-five and twenty-six year old me really write entire novels? And how did I find someone and marry them? Was I really once alone? And how did we make a baby? The process seems so uncertain and long! It’s astonishing how you take tiny steps each day, and somehow it comes to something. Like…three years ago we had just gotten a cat. Now there’s a one year old baby! WTF. Looking back on the past, it seems incredible that anyone should do anything, considering how uncertain the reward and how large the effort. But you just don’t know. You have no idea.