If I have to watch The Graduate for my Film Studies course, it’s not my fault. A 60’s “rom-com” that reads more like a horror movie to me in 2022. I was on the elliptical for the last 40 minutes of the movie and I swear I didn’t even feel the resistance was turned up because I was too hyper-focused on Dustin Hoffman’s legitimate stalking.
“DON’T MARRY BEN, HE IS A PSYCHO! HE DOESN’T EVEN GO TO THAT COLLEGE!”
I think they both understood the implications of their decision during that last moment of affect, though. Don’t get me started on Mrs. Robinson because no matter how many explanations of hypothetical scenarios I rattle off, no one ever takes my side when I say she’s basically a pedo.
I know there is a proper term for this specific type of pedo… I forget what it is. I just call her a grownuppedo. It doesn’t matter. She is a predator.
I’m like, what if the genders were reversed? Your pre-frontal cortex isn’t fully developed until you’re like 24. You can still be manipulated by a predator at any age. Saying that someone is of “legal age” discredits victims of grooming. And so on.
As a Childhood and Youth Studies major, I want to get people to stop thinking so literally about numbers being a defining factor for their sexual relationships with adults. No, you don’t necessarily know better because you are in your 20s. You aren’t a child, you don’t feel like a child, but that doesn’t mean adults should be taking advantage of that interim period of actual maturity.
Okay. Rant over. Now I can focus on the film’s actual plot, right? I am practicing not speaking too much during class, after all.
BUT THAT’S NOT ALL
Did you think my mental anguish about human depravity was limited to The Graduate? Oh no. I had impeccable timing apparently because I just finished reading Out of Darkness (so horrific and tragic) and for some reason picked Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye as my next book.
No wonder I was in such a state the last few weeks. I’ve been filling my head with nothing but haunting, troublesome, visceral, and oftentimes violent media.
I finished possibly one of the worst scenes I’d ever read in my life right before bed, willing my teary eyes to stay open for long enough to get past the shock. But no, it doesn’t get better. I slept with it that night and completed the book last night. The same mistake twice.
Sometimes you finish a book and it sits with you. The Bluest Eye is a book that lurks under the bed while you sleep like the Boogeyman. Literally like Cholly watching you when you’re unaware. It is that disturbing.
I’m moving on to an addiction/recovery memoir, which are always the most fascinating stories to me. Not because I’ve been writing about my longing for some transcendental experience that will catapult me into fame (most likely substance related, if I thought it would work.) I am just stunned by how junkies write books and compose music and perform award-winning roles in films while they are fucked up on actual opiates and I can’t even make myself consistently update my blog.
I guess that’s the nature of my disease, which sometimes feels unreal even to me. Everyone else has a job, why not me? Everyone is more “accepting” of mental illnesses, but everyone still side-eyes the scars on my wrist with judgement.
I don’t know why I am taking this so personally, but the unhoused persons crisis here in NYC has been a major cause of my personal stress. It’s not just worrying about these vulnerable humans, or my honest confusion about when I should be cautious or afraid. I am genuinely just sickened by how frequently people comment on the homeless as dirty, degenerate, superfluous, disposable, expendable.
I don’t know how to help this situation, I don’t have a solution because I don’t know enough about this epidemic to think of one. I’m trying to educate myself more about it as a start.
But if there was one thing I could actually change, it would be the inhuman commentary. It lingers in my head for days. It makes me so sad or angry. I want to help, but I want people to stop saying such evil things more. I could probably do more learning and donating and volunteering for homeless people, but I can’t change the crassness of NYC residents and their lack of empathy.
I’ve never felt more powerless against something before.
Overall, between school and traveling and health and mood and performance and style… Today was a bust.
Tomorrow is another day to be better.
From what I’ve read, a large percentage of the homeless population is made up of drug addicts and the mentally ill. In years past, a lot of the mentally I’ll were confined in mental institutions, but some law was passed that they couldn’t be held against their will if they didn’t pose a threat to themselves or others, so a lot were turned out on the streets to fend for themselves. I don’t think that was such a good idea. And we all know how the drug epidemic has exploded in recent years. I don’t have an answer on how to fix the problem, but you are right—more compassion should be shown to these people. Some are there by informed choice, take for instance, hobos (I use the outdated term here because I don’t know what this group is now referred to), who have no desire to have a family, hold a job, and own a home. There have always been perfectly sane people like this and always will be. But how to help the mentally ill and drug addicted beyond institutionalizing them, I don’t know how it can be done.