July252014
July162014
I thought of that old joke, y’know, the, this… this guy goes to a psychiatrist and says, “Doc, my brother’s crazy; he thinks he’s a chicken.” And the doctor says, “Well, why don’t you turn him in?” The guy says, “I would, but I need the eggs.” 
Well, I guess that’s pretty much now how I feel about relationships; y’know, they’re totally irrational, and crazy, and absurd, and… but, uh, I guess we keep goin’ through it because most of us… need the eggs.
-Alvy Singer

I thought of that old joke, y’know, the, this… this guy goes to a psychiatrist and says, “Doc, my brother’s crazy; he thinks he’s a chicken.” And the doctor says, “Well, why don’t you turn him in?” The guy says, “I would, but I need the eggs.”

Well, I guess that’s pretty much now how I feel about relationships; y’know, they’re totally irrational, and crazy, and absurd, and… but, uh, I guess we keep goin’ through it because most of us… need the eggs.

-Alvy Singer

July152014

A Night

Sleep pushed into my mind. Then out. Then in.

"If I had a shotgun right now I would probably end it. Wow, I haven’t felt this way in awhile."

I woke up to his loud thought, ill-equipped for what they brought. He teared.

"Well, uh." 

Being unable to see a solution or grasp the concept made me feel like a child. He walked off. I stayed. 

The mood swings of his personality were closer to bi-polar than moody. I was just a friend. A friend with no clue how to help. 

He came back. I talked about the future and the infinite wonders that it could bring. He talked about the lack of meaning of life as a whole. And as much as I believe in everything being an opportunity to grow, I also hold the belief that we are less than a blink in all existence, and that if we are less than a blink and time is relative, we may as well be dead. Paradoxically, I believe there is no reason to not live out the life we’ve been given. Why not strive to bend the rules of life in your favor and see if the game of existence is as steadfast and rigid as the bitter men of the past convince themselves it to be? Or if it is as whimsical, ever-growing, and romantic as the dreamers of the future conceive?

"I don’t know. I can’t relate to your optimism."

"I can’t make you see the way I see things. I’m sorry I can’t be of more help. But if someone doesn’t see the value in life, how am I supposed to change that?"

The silence hung over us like stars in the sky. He was boxed in a cage of self-negating bubbles. My mind searched for sleep. It found none. 

July142014
“The worst is short men. Women can be short, but for men it is impossible. It is something that they will not forgive in life - to be born short. I have never been friends with a short man in my life. Don’t trust them; they are mean, and they want to kill you.”  Karl Lagerfeld, 2003

quotes 

12AM
"It’s as if Perry and I grew up in the same house. And one day he stood up and went out the back door, while I went out the front."
 

"It’s as if Perry and I grew up in the same house. And one day he stood up and went out the back door, while I went out the front."

 

12AM
12AM
June92014
“Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone; for the heroes of all time have gone before us; the labyrinth is thoroughly known; we have only to follow the thread of the hero-path. And where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence; where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.” Joseph Campbell
6PM
February182014

broncobooks said: I've recently studied your story circle and by extension Joseph Campbell's Monomyth. I found it interesting that your story circle seems to incorporate Campbell's steps perfectly until you hit steps 6 (Take) and 7 (Return). Based on your Channel 101 tutorials, you state that step 7 includes both Campbell's "Rescue from Without" and "the Magic Flight" and occur after the return threshold. This seems out of sync with Campbell's stages, which occur before the return threshold. Thoughts?

danharmon:

By my interpretation, which could be flawed, I didn’t think Campbell was implying that every story includes a “magic flight” and a “rescue from without” followed by a crossing of the return threshold. I think he was suggesting that stories, in general, follow a path of descent and return, and that along that circular path, which [when complete] includes a return, the phenomena we see recurring from culture to culture include heroes being chased, being whisked away, etc. I assume he described those phenomena before describing the return threshold in depth because the return threshold is the more fundamental concept. As if to say, “be it by magic flight, which we see in these examples, or rescue from without, which we see in these examples, one way or another, the hero tends to return, so let’s discuss the examples and significance of returning.” I’m sure I was only trying to make the same point in my tutorials and if I confused you at all I’m sorry.

Campbell talked often about the futility of what he characterized as opacity in mythology. To brutally paraphrase him, a functioning religion (or story) is a window to something invisible, something all around us that we fail to “see” before a crafted frame says “look here.” It’s one thing to stain a window’s glass, to help us experience light, but when we paint the glass solid, by standing too much on ceremony, or by interpreting myth too literally, our story or religion will separate us from the unknown and each other rather than connecting us.

The ironic thing, or I guess the least ironic thing ever, is that Campbell’s wisdom makes a pretty great window, and his step-by-step analysis of mythology has come to be used as a “how to write” handbook or a “what all stories have to be” doctrine. But he never intended that, and he certainly wouldn’t have wanted some fat drunk college dropout boiling his monomyth down to a paint by numbers kit on the internet. The people that created and passed down our timeless stories didn’t do that. They followed their instincts, their fears and desires. They opened their flawed souls and let their gods shine through them. In the modern world, where writing is a recourse to revenue, we are pressured to short-cut the shamanism, like an aspirin company synthesizing tree bark. We attempt to bottle and sell simulated stories and religions, myths that may or may not be connections to the unknown but first and foremost make their deadlines and get our readers or viewers through the day. This is not a bad thing, I’d rather live in a world where a story can make me a provider for my family than a world where I’m just the slowest dishwasher.

But in these moments when we’re blocked, or in the moments we are staring at a board full of diagrams, moving characters and motivations around like chess pieces, trying to “solve” a story as if it were math homework, paralyzed by the academia, it helps to remember that any act of creation, whether folding a paper airplane, baking a cake or writing an episode of SVU, is, by definition, a religious act and a subversive one. We reach out with ape-like hands and filthy minds and we mock and challenge all that came before us by making something be there that was not there. We change the history of the world, we change who we are and we change everything that touches what we make, so we may as well also always change the rules by which we make them.

by now you’ve probably realized I’m not really just answering your question but am using it to deal with insomnia. But to try to bring this around to you, now that you’ve studied Campbell, you’ve got what’s important about it. Heroes go Somewhere Else and Heroes Come Back Different. Everything else is yours to interpret.

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