(imagine it in screenplay format)
EXT. ACTIONS DAY TO – DAY
Rarely indicate our true motivation, the actual story of a life. Even though that’s all anyone else can know about us. Even though it’s sometimes all we can know about ourselves.
INT. THOUGHTS IGNORED EXCEPT IN THE STILL OF THE – NIGHT
Even if we are aware of them, we have no way to get them across to anyone else, not completely, not precisely, we have only the thin gruel of language to mediate meanings between us, and it does a shitty job, between you and I. Between you and I words hit targets buckshot approximate, center-mass but never eliminating all the red ink to win that shiny kewpie doll of unambiguous communication.
What is going through your head to believe readers still remember carnivals where you shot at paper targets to win kewpie dolls?
And think about your audience before you commit words to paper. Have you ever seen that happen in real life? No, you idiot, you only ever watched it in old movies.
INT. RECRIMINATIONS FOLLOW US EVEN ONTO THE PAGE ITSELF
You haven’t written in this format in a decade, now you try to resurrect it to breathe life back into your poetry, your lazily unstructured blank-ass verse.
You must think you’re the cleverest boy on Earth. Code-switching between your failed native tongue and your approximate prose poetics, you must think yourself so very deconstructionist and meta. Go ahead and.
Yourself off a little harder, why doncha? Your psychic onanism knows no bounds, man.
EXT. REALITY AND GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR ASS – BEFORE
You thought life was scripted out and if you played your part that Muppet Movie Standard Rich and Famous Contract would be dropped into your waiting lap.
How many times did you watch that Saturday afternoons on your grandma’s green shagged carpet on Syracuse 5? How warped was your.
To believe it. You knew they were puppets, you knew it was just some old hippie with his hand up Kermit’s ass and yet you still believed in a literal truth behind the artifice.
MILLIONS OF PEOPLE HAPPY
You really thought it worked like that. You probably still think Biden’s gonna cancel your student loans too. Fool.
Once, maybe they’re just running a good con. Fool me twice or five or seventeen, brother, I’m just a fool.
Just a fool.
EXT. MOTIVATIONS ASIDE I THOUGHT I’D HEADLINE THE - EVENING
News as the local boy made good just putting all my dreams into an arbitrary format like the screenplay, simple, true, in clean and pure Courier New. But no matter the format we will always struggle and fail to get a complete picture of our meaning across to anyone else. That won’t change with prose, let alone your, my shoddy post-modern attempts at.
Shuffling the deck chairs will not save a single soul on a cruise-ship too big than to not fail. You’re never going to get the whole of what you mean across because, in the end, words fail.
Or screenplay continued or song or story, any of these things will continue to fail at blowing away your meanings precisely.
You can blather out your ideas in circles and eliminate the target by cutting around it instead.
That works or maybe that’s just something they made up for Saturday matinees too.
EXT. VALIDATION IS A SUCKER BET – TODAY
Ten years ago, twenty thousand years in the future, it will always be a sucker’s bet. If someone reads this, if somehow this sells somewhere, it won’t change the value of this odd thing you wrote. It just means someone read it, just means someone bought it. If it transmitted across the gulf of two minds more or less what you were trying to say then it was successful and that’s all. That’s the only rubric.
You’re a character in your own story and that is the very best that anyone can do.
As you might at the notion, writing itself is at best one half what you put forth and half what an audience brings to the table.
Only knows this is as true for failures and for millionaires, for geniuses and schlock-opportunists, for the brilliant and the lucky and for everyone else as well. It’s not just you. It’s everyone.
(beat yourself up too much)
The fault lay in language itself.
EXT. APPEARANCES ASIDE, EVERY – DAY
Is a struggle when you want to accomplish the impossible, want to use these little glyphs to get ideas from one soul to another in near-perfect resolution. From billionaires on Twitter to indigent scribbles on receipts with matchsticks.
Screenplays are hard. Novels, damned hard. Talking is hard. Breathing is hard. Being alive is hard. Being human for a lifetime is the hardest thing that.
Ever invented. You just gotta keep doing it, keep looking for the format or angle that gets you closer to the legible. You get up and write. You have to keep doing it until time catches up and you finally.
Last updated November 06, 2021