Sunday, December 07, 2008

 

shades of grey

One of my favourite writers, Truman Capote, once said "The world IS black and white. The only people who see a grey area are the ones who have allowed the black to rub off on them". I always thought it was a fantastic line, but, try as I might, could never believe it. So interesting then to read, today, this story from John Patrick Shanley, who wrote the play 'Doubt', which he's also adapted as a film starring Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman:

"When I was a kid, I had a guy who championed me and got me through in school and gave me a good education. He was a predator but he did not prey on me."

A few years ago he received a letter from the man.

"He was dying and wanted me to come see him and I didn't go."

Because?

"Because I had found out for certain that he had preyed on children since that time. I could still value what he did for me, but I could not honor him. It was one of those things where I never regretted, but it was bittersweet".


Addendum: Have you ever seen a film that didn't have Philip Seymour Hoffman in it? I haven't.

Further addendum: John Patrick Shanley also wrote 'Moonstruck', which contains a line I enjoy shouting (I'd be Nicolas Cage and make my best friend be Cher.)

"WE ARE PUT ON THIS EARTH TO RUIN OURSELVES AND BREAK OUR HEARTS AND LOVE THE WRONG PEOPLE AND DIE!"

(What can become of a girl who wanted to play the Nicolas Cage role?)

Comments:
Well...Nic's line is pretty cut and dry...and true.

Though it sounds a bit sad, it really is a part of life. To me, his line can refer to what I said today on my blog (though it was only about marriage). Life, as a whole, has it’s ups and downs,...we make mistakes and fuck up, hence the ‘ruin ourselves.’ Breaks our hearts? Who hasn’t had heartache before on this earth and loved the wrong person?! My hand is raised high in the air for heartache and fuck ups. And after life's journey...our time on earth ends. True words that only touch on the down parts but we must also remember there are the "ups"...the good things in life.

Also, I wouldn't have gone to see someone from my past who preyed on kids! I don't blame him for having made the choice to stay away.
 
Emma
You're not going to believe this but John Patrick Shanley has a cousin in Ireland, a woman called Rosemary Muldoon. (She used to be Rosemary Shanley). She's my mum's best friend. So, we're all John Patrick Shanley fans in Westmeath.
 
"WE ARE PUT ON THIS EARTH TO RUIN OURSELVES AND BREAK OUR HEARTS AND LOVE THE WRONG PEOPLE AND DIE!"

Yeah too right, but doesn't that sound exciting I rather live life and have my heart broken.

Ruin yourself, maybe not ruin but I've seen the faces of old red indians with lines, like those drawn with black felt tip pens but my God they have faces of character. They look like they have lived everyday as if it were their last. Thats the way I want to live.

LOVE THE WRONG PEOPLE AND DIE!

Who hasn't done this. I went out with the cool biker dude in school, I was the nice top of the class girl he was the mitching, smoking, drinker type. Sort of like Grease but without the cars and with nuns (Sr Pious making sure we didn't have any fun).

Anyway, he cheated on me broke my heart but I have to say we still have a soft spot for each other. Do I regret it? No way, he was brill. Not the marrying kind but great fun.
 
Cleo! How funny. I find (and appreciate) that once you open your life to coincidence, it is everywhere.
 
Ruin your fucking self... before they do. x
 
The black/white/grey statement is a good one to ponder on, but I find flaws in it. You can reject the idea that there is grey, but then you still have to figure out who has the authority to classify what black and white are. Someone who preys on children is obviously in the black area, but in my eyes this is an obvious example that's easy to classify.

There are plenty of people who would put "homosexuality" in the black area, still, and also plenty of people who put it in the white area, so in that case if you dismiss the grey you leave no room for changing one's mind or broadening one's vision.

In my opinion, believing there is only black and white is constituted by the idea that you have it all figured out, and I sure don't have that so I can't accept it as a personal opinion in any way. Also someone who preys on children is bad, very very bad, should be imprisoned. But does it dismiss the positive influence they've had on some people? If you dismiss the good in people because they have a majority of bad in them, doesn't that make the world a whole lot darker? I still think the predator is an extreme example.
 
Talking about loving the wrong man. I lived and breathed him (I was only 21) and boy did I ruin myself by sticking around for so many years. Years full of physical, and emotional abuse plus he cheated with 10 girls that I know about. But I got the two best things from him, my two beautiful daughters! And I learned to love myself first. In the end I wouldn't change it not for a second. It is because of Fucked up situations like this that we become who we are, stronger women...
 
"...that we become who we are, stronger women..." ~Erica

Very good point Erica. Glad to hear you got out of that situation.
 
People do what's right for them I suppose...I don't know what I would have done in Shanley's place. If the man had really been a friend, regardless of what else he'd done, I think I would have visited him. What would have been the harm in that? If on the other hand I only felt revulsion, I would not go, because I would be afraid my revulsion would be obvious.
 
I think I would have gone. And told him that I was sorry that life had made him the way he was, a pedophile, because I saw that he had goodness in him, but the goodness was overshadowed by what he'd done.

I never excuse people who prey on children, I find them revulsive, but I do acknowledge the fact that we are born with the sexuality we are born with. It doesn't excuse how you handle it... not at all... but I do think it's sad for them. They're captives in their own horrible sexual needs.

I don't think it's black and white. I think the children should be protected first and the children are the victims... but I find it difficult to hate someone for being born sick. Just like psychopaths. They should be locked up... but I do feel sorry that that's what they were born to be.
 
***Have you ever seen a film that didn't have Philip Seymour Hoffman in it? I haven't.***

YUP, LOADS :-)


***Cleo! How funny. I find (and appreciate) that once you open your life to coincidence, it is everywhere.***

There is no such thing as *coincidence*, Emma :-) -especially when it comes to Cleo ahem...:-)
I believe that things converge in this universe and that your anticipations do materialize at some point (good and bad)...and I say this from a purely scientific standpoint...thoughts can actually alter test results! Quantum physics is all I'M sayin'


*Grease with nuns* LMAO Cleo!!
 
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