Saturday, January 28, 2006

The Real You, The Real Me

I will try my best not to be long-winded and annoyingly vague, but I apologize in advance if I am. It cannot be helped.

I have been mulling over a topic for the last couple of weeks that I will have to chew over and over again until I reach some point of closure. So much for my New Year's resolution. But hey, I made that without the benefit of full disclosure and knowledge of my world (to the extent that one can have full disclosure and knowledge of their world).

As an aside, I've made some adjustments here as I continually try to make this page more interesting and as I continually try to distract myself. Quite frankly, I can't work these days and verbally vomiting on here is cathartic, so enjoy!

I begin by being the millionth person to give mad props to Oprah. Say what you will about her, but she is Oprah because of things like what happened Thursday. That overly-dramatic, poorly written book was enthusiastically recommended to me by various people, and I can't help but be smug in an annoying, pat-myself-on-the-back sort of way for refusing to read it. I picked it up at the bookstore and read the first couple of pages. I was, however, unimpressed by the overdramatic, purposefully difficult prose and the recycled cheesiness of the story. I don't give a shit about some guy on a plane bleeding all over himself. The whole thing seemed, well, staged for dramatic effect, and in literature, as in life, authenticity is too big a turn-off. Addiction?! How many times has this been done? Go watch Requiem for A Dream for a story about addiction that will resonate with you for years. As for redemption and hope against hope, try Lorenzo's Oil.

In any event, I was pleased when the Smoking Gun unveiled the story, and watched with glee as this deceitful, two-faced phony was repeatedly lambasted by the media and finally silenced by Oprah on her show. I'm only disappointed I missed it when it was live. Yeah, yeah, yeah, she did it for dramatic effect and because she had no choice lest she be deemed a fool. But ultimately, she followed through with that choice and no one could have accomplished it with more verve and authentic power than the mighty Oprah.

It is easier to discuss James Frey than a recent duplicity with which I have been confronted. I will just say this. My initial reaction was similar to that of Frey's audience: anger, feelings of betrayal, and loss for having been so grievously deceived by someone I love -- and trusted. But though I am still quite angry and feel betrayed and disappointed, those initial feelings have faded somewhat. What has kept me going through the shock and discomfort and pain is the knowledge that here the motivation for the deceit (harsh as that sounds, there is really no other word for that thing) was pure, and good, and human. This I know.

Aside from the death of my father, which I choose not to talk about, few things in my life have forced me to cope in self-defense and search so deep within and question the very core of who I am, or who I thought I was, and for the future, who I want to be. What am I about? From what reserve do I draw my strength? Why do I so easily trust those around me? Where does being trusting cross the line to naivete and self-destruction? This is even more significant to me because it is the first time in awhile that I have had to do so without the convenient crutch of religion. As much as I embrace cynicism, I hate to see myself as a person who does not inherently trust others. That is neither who I am, nor who I want to be. True -- trust has to be earned, but at some point, you have to make that step yourself, no matter what has happened to you in the past.

I am not sure what will come of all of this, but ultimately, pending some information I am anxiously awaiting, I have hope that it will be good for all of those involved. Perhaps love, in whatever form, will indeed conquer all.


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