Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pretend Crushed

by Mystery Girl

Living for the imagined opinions of others, let alone complete strangers, isn't living. It's turning fool and spy. I just wrote a paper on how the Fool in King Lear employs all the tactics of nonfiction authors. To be a fool or a spy is to be intelligent, witty, and always (always!) alone. As mythic rocker Jim Morrison wrote:

That's what real love amounts to—letting a person be what he really is. Most people love you for who you pretend to be. To keep their love, you keep pretending—performing. You get to love your pretence. It's true; we're locked in an image, an act.
Katherine Hepburn took this self-sacrifice to another level when she said, "Acting is a nice childish profession—pretending you're someone else and, at the same time, selling yourself."

It's one thing to act on a stage, but in life, to sell this falseness in reality? The theory undermines self entirely. To pretend one is lovable is to admit one is not, maybe never can be. Pretend and Reverse Pretend Crushes are the ultimate insult. In a preemptive strike, the theorist rejects himself above and beyond the capacity of the outside world. He breaks something whole in order to avoid the chance of it falling apart unexpectedly. It is a fear-based thought process meant to procrastinate genuine human interaction. As we learn from "the immortal words of The Doors, 'The time to hesitate is through'" (Lucas, Empire Records). Real love exists beyond reason. It isn't subject to cosmological compatibility or moments in dark music halls. Real love is downtime, the "I'm so not attracted to you right now, but, man alive, I love you" time. Otherwise it is only as real as stage production, as infatuation, as Romeo and Juliet—a gross misrepresentation of the best stuff.

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