Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Bloggers never say die!

[DISCLAIMER: I know you're not supposed to apologize for your work, but, erm, anyway...I do apologize if this post makes absolutely NO sense WHATSOEVER. It very well may not. If it doesn't, I hope you get SOMETHING out of it, at least! But y'all know it was really just a way for me to plug The Goonies. Hehe.]

I have been wondering, lately, why it is that I feel this need to write everything down. What is it about writing that alleviates stress or furthers understanding about things? What is it about writing that intensifies joy?

I think part of it is this ability, especially on a blog versus a private diary, to share these experiences with others. To share a bad day, to share a joyous occasion - it sort of takes it out of you and plasters it onto a blog where it is both removed from you and in a place where you can always return to it.

Another part of it, as I realized while taking a midterm today, is to search for deeper understandings. Whenever I have an idea in my head, the more I write about it, the more I come to understand it. Things begin to come together when I write them down. I seem to think in a more organized way while writing and I always end up understanding something about myself or about the world (or about literature, or anything, really) on a much deeper and more complex level than when I first had the idea.

But there is yet another quality of writing that I enjoy - writing as an adventure. It really is an adventure, if you think about it, even according to the monomyth. Joseph Campbell's monomyth is a tradition of a certain circular shape to stories. A monomyth starts off with katabasis or a call to adventure. This can be anything from the White Rabbit running past Alice to Hagrid paying a visit to Harry and the Dursleys. Then the hero goes on a series of trials and tests with various helpers, ending in the restoration of order to a disordered world by either defeating a dragon or defeating some other thing, and then there's usually at onement with the father or mother figure and then the return journey.

Writing is very similar. The call to adventure is when you get an idea. The trials and tests are the actual story writing process, writer's block, etc. Finally the story is finished and that is the return.

But anyway, this was sort of a tangent. The point of this post was never to compare writing to a monomyth. I think that happened because I am trying to show that there are different reasons for feeling this need to write everything down. Either to alleviate one's self, to search for meaning in an issue, or thousands of other reasons.

As many of you ALSO know, I am in love with the movie, The Goonies. There is a particular scene (though it is broken up a bit by another scene) in this movie which has three moments where I feel inspired by them to write about something.

The story so far has been that Mikey and his friends Mouth, Data, and Chunk, and his brother Brand and his friends Andy and Steph have gone on an adventure to find hidden treasure. They need this treasure because their homes on the goon docks are going to be foreclosed later that day if their families don't come up with some fast money so that a country club can be built on the land. Meanwhile, there is this family of outlaws called the Fertellis and they happen to be based in an abandoned restaurant where the kids start looking for the treasure. All of the kids get away to the caves underneath to go on the treasure hunt, except for Chunk, who has been caught by the Fertellis. The Fertellis at this point don't know why the kids were in the restaurant snooping around and they question Chunk about it. When he says they all went down into the fireplace to look for buried treasure, the Fertellis don't believe him and make him tell the whole story. Instead of the story they WANT to hear, he starts confessing to every crime he's ever done (these crimes being cheating on a test, stealing his uncle's toupee, etc.). Meanwhile, the Goonies are underground in caves searching for the buried treasure. The one catch is that there was this expert explorer guy, Chester Copperpot, who once went looking for the treasure and he never came out. This makes the treasure hunt even more frightening. The Goonies think Chunk has gotten away and gone to the police, but they aren't really sure. This particular clip begins right in the middle of a booby trap set long ago by One Eyed Willy, whose treasure they are seeking. Chunk is also in the middle of his "confession." And so we start.

The three moments I'm talking about are:

1. When mouth takes the coin and says, "this one was my dream, my wish, but it didn't come true. So I'm taking it back. I'm taking them all back."

I think that feelings like that - feelings of despair, of darkness, of glumness, really inspire people to write. Bad days, if someone said something mean or rude, even just dreary days where nothing particularly bad happened but the whole mood of the day has been pretty much a downer. That is something people need to get off their chest. I know I feel so much better after writing about it. If I were Mouth, I'd have gone home that day and written a blog entry about being in the well and taking the coins back.

2. When Mikey says, "Don't say that, never say that - Goonies never say die!" This is so important. This is about not giving up, about perseverance. This may not be a cause for writing, but it has so much to do with writing. Writing is all about perseverance. It's about seeing the story or the idea through 'til the very end. It is about hope and the belief that there is a light up ahead, even if we can't see it now. And even that, now that I'm thinking about it, could cause one to write. If I was struggling to find the light in a seemingly dark situation, I think writing about it would help a lot. A whole lot. It could help me to see things clearly, to reassess, to view the situation with a more objective eye.

3. Mikey's speech from, "Chester Copperpot - don't you guys realize? He was a pro! He never made it this far." until, "It's our time down here!" This is similar to the other moment, moment #2, in that it's about perseverance and not giving up. It's about believing in yourself and in your abilities and not underestimating your strengths, even if you feel insignificant. It is about striving for clarity about the world and your own role in it, which is something I think I try to do a lot when I write blog posts. It is also about having a voice - a real voice that other people will listen to. A lot of times, normal people feel so insignificant because they're not the ones calling the shots in this world. People wonder, how can I, little me, make a difference? It's about "our time." It's our time here in blogland, guys.

It is also just an awesome, awesome speech and I love it. I love this whole scene down in the well.

While they might not match perfectly with everyone's view of writing and of stories, I think they match with mine - most of the time, anyway. If this post confused anyone, I'm really sorry! It's me trying to clarify ideas for myself and exploring new angles to my own thoughts. If you get anything out of this post at all, I do hope it's that you want to watch the whole Goonies movie!

But seriously, guys, Goonies never say die...and neither do Bloggers!


Scraps said...

I actually never saw The Goonies [ducks away from the flying tomato], but it sounds like you've found some really good messages in it. I also like to write to clarify my thoughts and get them out where I can see them and try to make some sense of them, and a blog is better than a diary cuz on a blog you get feedback. :)

Anonymous said...

mmmm.... interesting