6/12/2007

Collective, Unconscious: The Rise of the Idiot Savant, pt.2

It was really quite gratifying to find this post about she's-so-adorable-I'm-going-to-tear-my-hair-out Zooey Deschanel in my Google Reader the other morning. Especially comforting and validating was the first quip in the comments section: i'm beginning to think she and Miranda July are the same person. I was beginning to think that maybe I was the only one with the perma-smirk about the whole cutesy quirky thing. To be sure, I know I'm in the minority about Miranda July. Just about everyone I know loves Me and You and Everyone We Know. And just about everyone I know warned me that I would probably hate it. And sure enough ... blech. MD and I don't talk about Miranda July because it would only make me angry, and I'm feeling that, at 33, I'm already turning into something of a curmudgeon. Not too long ago, ASD couldn't help but wax rhapsodic about seeing Ms. July perform at some event and blah blah blah had I seen her website blah blah blah, which prompted me to go to her website and dear god make it all go away. Oh Miranda July. You’re just so fun and quirky and smart and edgy! That movie of yours was so gosh darn precious and made so many of my friends believe in the complicated goofiness of relationships. We, too, could have ironic moustaches and sell shoes and fall in love! It’s not necessary to actually, you know, speak in complete sentences; we're all so emotionally damaged that it's ok to revert back to an infantile state of unknowing that is somehow simultaneously un-infantile, because we know that we're unknowing. Why? WHY is this happening? It’s insulting, really. Quirk stands in for actual emotional depth, wide-eyed naivete somehow means that one has transcended this earthly plane of complexity and entered into a state of post-maturity. Christ. Really? Don't get me wrong. I'm all for vulnerability. I just don't think we should be valorizing vulnerability as something cute. And, to be sure, I recognize that Miranda July isn't the first person to be hawking this pisspoor identity. Nope. We've got that ridiculous Amelie movie to blame for that.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

i love both HT and MD, and i for one loved M&Y&EWK, not really so much for the "central" characters and their "relationship" but because i felt that the film did not put quotation marks around everything else in the film -- in the way that just about any other film would have, had just about any other film chosen to showcase those peripheral characters and situations.

by which i mean to say: to me, the best line in that move from miranda july wasn't any of her incomplete sentences or crazytalk, it was: "We have a whole life to live together you fucker, but it can't start until you call."

pretty sure amelie would never have said *that*.

i say this with love!

xoxoxoxoxoxo!

Asad said...

vulnerability? grrrrrrrrrrrrr!

post-maturity. hahahahaha!

more mad said...

b/c i don't like to watch movies anymore; i think 1985 was about my cut-off, i thought for a long time that miranda july and carmen miranda were one and the same. i kinda dig drawing on fridges and stoves though...

Carson said...

Well, I'm a fan. Not because of her faun-like, sweet vulnerability, but because of her unwitting perversity. In her precious world-view, blow job contests are fun and cute.

Of course, there are dangers: Her mind is a warped engine that reduces everything into sweet anecdotes. Wholesale acceptance of everything as a representation of beauty and innocence (including internet hustling, scatophilia etc) requires a distant position from reality. After all, Mussolini, orchestrating battle and bloodshed from afar, declared: "War is beautiful."

ht said...

oh, carson. i miss you. thanks for encapsulating everything my quirk-addled brain failed to properly coalesce and articulate.

Michael said...

i agree with you about july and Y&M&EWK. we have a whole cinema of self-conscious, emotionally barren and contrived quirk these days, the egregious "little miss sunshine" being only the most obvious example. it all begins i think with that abomination "garden state". is zach braff the male equivalent? which is not to say that the slightly zany cannot be portrayed with real depth and sympathy (cf. the lovely "squid and the whale").

the problem, of course, with disliking a zooey deschanel is that she's such a cutie pie!

md said...

Just to "out" her, HT loves "little miss sunshine" which I loathed... I however LOVED Y&M&EWK. I hate to use this word but I think Y&M&EWK had an "authenticity" that "little miss" lacked.

ht said...

hey! i wasn't looking for authenticity with little miss sunshine. in fact, i saw it as a bizarro universe of caricatures that deeply amused me. and i laughed. a lot. that's not nothing. i feel like you/me/everyone was trying to portray 'the real' in a way that was neither amusing nor real. and if it was trying to represent some sort of ideal universe of communication and hope, then it's a universe i'd rather not be a part of.