Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Gone Girl

Everything has already been said that needs saying, I'm aware, about Gillian Flynn's bestselling Gone Girl. I'd read it hot off the press, but CA and I needed an audio book for our return drive from the beach. I discovered that you can get bargain prices on audio books through Amazon/Audible, if you've previously purchased the e-book. Therefore, soon CA was hooked into the story and just enough time passed
since my reading it, that I could enjoy a retelling.
These words got to me. The audible words stopped me in my tracks. Then when I referenced back to the ebook I read many months ago, I found I'd previously highlighted these same words.
For several years, I had been bored. Not a whining, restless child's boredom (although I was not above that) but a dense, blanketing malaise. It seemed to me that there was nothing new to be discovered ever again. Our society was utterly, ruinously derivative (although the word derivative as a criticism is itself derivative). We were the first human beings who would never see anything for the first time. We stare at the wonders of the world dull-eyed, underwhelmed. The Mona Lisa, the Pyramids, the Empire State Building. Jungle animals on attack, giant icebergs collapsing, volcanoes erupting. I can't recall an amazing thing I've seen firsthand that I didn't immediately reference to a movie or a TV show. A f___ing commercial. You know the awful singsong of the blasé: Seeeen it. I've literally seen it all. And the worst thing, the thing that makes me want to blow my brains out, is: The secondhand experience is always better. The image is crisper, the view is keener. The camera angle and the soundtrack manipulate my emotions in a way reality can't anymore. I don't know that we are actually human at this point, those of us who are like most of us, who grew up with TV and movies and now the Internet. If we are betrayed, we know the words to say; when a loved-one dies, we know the words to say. If we want to play the stud or the smart-ass or the fool, we know the words to say. We are all working from the same dog-eared script.

It's a very difficult era in which to be a person, just a real, actual person instead of a collection of personality traits selected from an endless Automat of characters.
And if all of us are playacting, there can be no such thing as a soulmate, because we don't have genuine souls. It had gotten to the point where it seemed like nothing matters, because I am not a real person and neither is anyone else.

I would have done anything to feel real again.
Nick Dunne's words
One Day Gone

Tears. I felt actual tears forming as I copied this section. Such despair and raw poignancy. There's truth here, but also a hopelessness that isn't truth.

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