Do You Feel Lucky?

(and feel free to comment! My older posts are certainly no less relevant to the burning concerns of the day.)

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Open Letter to Zooey Deschanel: Your Eyes Are Pretty

Dear Zooey Deschanel,

I've noticed that you, more than any other actress, have been typecast as the girl who gets fallen in love with. That's got to be kind of fun and weird! In a story-book kind of way, wouldn't that have to be almost the most wondrous archetype-sculptural mold into which the molten wax of one's heated professional persona could be poured to cool? Of course, sometimes the stories themselves don't live up to the part you could play in them. And even when they do, many artists find the idea of being cast in a certain mold, or as a certain type, to be itself limiting. Disappointing. Less than they signed on for, maybe. I get that. But I suspect what type you get cast as has got to count for something! Also, whether you created and blazed your path to it yourself, or were stuffed and forced into it.

I don't recall Clint Eastwood complaining much about the kinds of roles he was expected to play, for example. You seem to have a pretty good sense of wonder and humor, and gratitude for the opportunities you've made magic of, and - at the risk of missing your ass entirely with such poorly-aimed kisses as these - it seems to me you bring that wonder afresh every time and are, in some way, maybe a diametrically diagonal female Clint Eastwood, of sorts.

You're not even my favorite actress! Just one of those people you wish endlessly well, you can't help but wish them well, you know? I'm sure you know people like that.

I'm not really sure who I would even cite as my favorite actress, to be honest. To rate and rank a work, a performance, that seems only fitting! Seems weird to rank human beings.

Okay. We now come to the difficult, and perhaps awkward, point of this open letter: its purpose, arguably. At very least, its pretext.

I don't know if you got my previous Open Letter to you?

If not, please disregard. It was primarily a lambasting of the media, over their insensitive and ham-handed handling of coverage in previous life events of yours, which frankly were not then nor ever would be the media's or the public's business. And which frankly I was like "butt out!"

Yet now I eat crow for some reason. I feel as though I must be a hypocrite, and I need to ask you - am I off-base on this? Or would you back me up, here? Because let me tell you, I was just dumbstruck happy-as to hear the news of your recent, love-based conversion experience. Not because such a leap is necessary to love, but because - well, especially coming after the tasteless and tawdry coverage a couple years back, when things were not so storybook, this news just washed over in a glow of welcome, breathtaking waves of restored faith in humanity, in life, restored faith in love and the possibility of love, renewed trust in what futures can be when shared fully, and a celebration of covenant. I'm a sucker for romance in general, but ritual forms of woo are a special weakness. I love love sealed and stamped, perhaps ceremoniously. Some say all that stuff doesn't matter - and they're right. Which is their loss.

I don't say it's super-important, obviously! What's between two is everything, and some folks don't happen find that stuff congenial, is all. Most people, it seems, don't. So it's just that unexpected extra bit cool, and hushed and sacred when some do. It adds something that is much more than ambience - for me it does, anyway. I always love seeing it, when someone takes a leap for love - unless of course you know both people and they're totally wrong for each other, and the whole thing's fucked up already before it even gets out of the gate - ugh. Not cool. But most of the time, if you're not privy to that level of detail, why assume the worst? Why not assume one can walk into the storybook tale. Such tales we tell ourselves, they so often fail and people so usually give up. Which makes it forever for them a lie. To assume one has entered the storybook, and to act in good faith as if, is the only way it ever comes true. So when people take some extra-devotional leap into togetherness, it just makes me step back and realize. Be reminded of what can be, and where you can land, given the occasional blind leap: breath caught, footing found. The horizon expands in glows of gold and rose, a love that will dawn forever. Or feels like!

Plus, if I may say so, in broader, cultural terms - this is a huge coup for Jews.

I digress, though. The point is: what am I, a hypocrite? Good news gets trumpeted and rings throughout the world, and everyone is happy to be part of it or hear it, no one curses the media. But then bad news comes.

Can I be right to blast the media for considering themselves entitled to the good and the bad?

Anyway, it's something to think about. It kind of just struck me.


dogimo said...

One could argue that the Girl Who Gets Fallen In Love With is a weak role, not a powerful or "almost most wondrous" storybook archetype, as I posit. They may call instead for a gun-totin' or sword slicin' or club bludgeonin' swashbucklerina.

These people have read the wrong storybooks, or watched the wrong 80s and 90s and 00s reimaginings of them, or both.

Don't give me revisionist glib cynical cowardly Prince Charming. I know Prince Charming. I don't know if he was a coward or not, but he's clearly a good guy, an honorable man, rich as all fuck and cuts a damn dashing figure. He is also someone who is capable of true love, as witnessed in broken spells. But I don't know if he was or wasn't courageous, in the hero-of-violence sense, because as far as I can recall Prince Charming never even unsheathed his sword! Not in the stories I've read. Certainly he wasn't lopping heads off with it. They just throw all that trash in there to pump up the junk-candy adrenaline rush, and fill out a cinematic amount of time.

Storybooks are for children, some say. But the power they have is witnessed in the dreams they instill, that endure far beyond childhood as some of the greatest and biggest most wished-for and important things adulthood wants. Things the rest of life needs for the "happily" to feel right and fit. The power of these stories isn't based on some laughable idea of early indoctrination or brainwashing. The themes put into these tales are the most powerful needs and wants and themes their storytellers knew. These stories were not written by children, but by grown men and women who knew what magic was possible to life. Powerful, powerful stuff. The love of these stories is a True thing, not a false, not a lie - but never is it promised. Never deserved. One could only hope for luck and fate to open a crack, and when the chance comes, it must be dared! You must seize that chance with pluck and audacious good graces. Earned, not deserved. These storytellers put in all of the highest magic of real life that they could. The most powerful adult roles are not soldiers, but lovers.

And as in fiction, so in truth. The most magical and beautiful and amazing of roles is to be the one who gets to fall in love. You who believe that is a weak role: you only think you grew up.

In actual fact, you don't even know which way.

dogimo said...

Fuck! The comment was better than the post.

Anyway: CONGRATULATIONS, ZOOEY and best wishes for joy and plenty and all that other good stuff.