For the Record

“…I’ve committed to nothing…and that’s just suicide…by tiny, tiny increments.” – Nick Hornby, (High Fidelity)

High Fidelity, the movie based on the book by Nick Hornby, was a bit of a disappointment when I watched it in my early twenties.  The main character, Robert, the owner of a record shop, didn’t seem to have any redeeming qualities.  Despite his witty observations of life, he gave little to deserve any compassion or love shown to him.  Watching movies about people dealing with the stumbles of their thirties while being in your optimistic twenties can be a remote experience.  When I encountered my thirties I found myself revisiting this movie again, really out of a cosmic recognition that it was time to give it another go.  Robert was still a selfish arsehole but I now understood he didn’t know how not to be one.  The small incremental shifts he made; which really frustrated me when I first watched the movie, now were the same changes I hoped for.  I empathised with the pathetic ways in which he held onto his convictions and came to terms with the knowledge that I, and perhaps we, are often selfish arseholes.

Growing older may not make everything clearer but at least it can broaden the movies we connect with, however, I  now struggle to listen to listen to “wisdom” from musicians younger than me.  With the absence of sages and gurus in our lives, it is fortunate that we have writers, movie makers and entertainers marking out our life stages.

“I’m very good at the past. It’s the present I can’t understand.” – Nick Hornby, (High Fidelity)

Note: This post could easily be written in relation with the movie Clerks II but I wouldn’t know which scenes I’d dare compare myself with.

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