Friday, September 18, 2009

Alexander Supertramp, My Left Foot

I think that there is a lot of nonsense dressed up as 'nobility' and 'morality' which actually, when you get down to the dirt of it, is nothing more than Ego on a grand tour.
Ego, as in egregious. Ego, as in look at how wonderful I am. (God looks at the heart.)
I just finished (if that is the word) watching "Into The Wild", a movie by Sean Penn starring Emile Hirsh as Chris McCandless, a young man who dropped out of 'Civilization' and died alone in the Alaskan wilderness.
McCandless was all of 24 years old when he died, and I am in no way disparaging him, his life, or death.
I would say that he didn’t seem to be comfortable in his own skin, something which usually takes more than 24 years to accomplish.
That he was an idealist is evidenced by his giving away or burning all of his money before heading to Alaska. He was an idealist, fine. God love him.
But I think that McCandless would be troubled that millions of dollars have been made off of his story. The ego which is *Sean Penn* made “Into The Wild” a noble and moral tribute...a memorial making good bank for Penn. You won’t see him burning all of his money (as a capitalist, that would offend me).
But Penn’s money is safe from becoming tinder instead of legal tender (please forgive).
I’m reminded of Leo Durocher who, in his autobiography gushed on and on about what an honest and noble soul Leo Durocher is. Handsome, too! Why, he had no idea(!) why that darned old Baseball Commissioner would kick him out of the league for a few seasons. Everybody gambles and lifts drinks in the company of underworld mobster gentlemen, don’t they?
Durocher (how can I say this?) kinda sorta fibricated a bit in his book.
Penn does the same in his movie, making McCandless into an angel bound on earth, one disgusted with the world he wanted so much to leave behind him.
Well, eventually he did.
I have a feeling that, had McCandless lived a few more years, he would have matured into a different human being. In the movie (and in life?) his parents, especially his father, are monsters-hateful, cold, members of a greedy older generation.
One of the steps to adulthood is when we stop blaming our parents for everything, accept them as they are, and rid ourselves of resentment.
A 24 year old McCandless might not yet have arrived at that step. So Penn made the parents hateful caricatures. His younger sister, played by Jena Malone, is a saint angel loving giving angel saint. Of course.
Some of the Alaskan scenery was magnificent. But my intolerance for saints being saintly (noble, moral...) kept my finger on the fast forward button. I missed the hippie stuff entirely. well, maybe missed isn’t the right word, but it will do.
Right at the end is a picture of the real Chris McCandless, smiling into eternity. Looked like a nice guy.
Tell you what-listen to Sigur Ros, and thank me later.