Monday, December 17, 2012

Déjà vu

"We were the first human beings who would never see anything for the first time. We stare at the wonders of the world, dull-eyed, underwhelmed. Mona Lisa, the Pyramids, the Empire State Building....I can't recall a single amazing thing I have seen firsthand that I didn't immediately reference to a movie or TV show. A f*****commercial. You know the awful singsong of the blasé: Seeeeeen it. I've literally seen it all, and the worst thing is: The secondhand experience is always better. The image is crisper, the view is keener, the camera angle and the soundtrack manipulate my emotions in a way reality can't anymore. I don't know that we are actually human at this point, those of us who are like most of us, who grew up with TV and movies and now the Internet. If we are betrayed, we know the words to say; when a loved one dies we know the words to say. If we want to play the stud or the smart-ass or the fool, we know the words to say. We are all working from the same dog-eared script.
   It's a very difficult era in which to be a person, just a real, actual person, instead of a collection of personality traits selected from an endless Automat of characters.
   And if all of us are play-acting, there can be no such thing as a soul mate, because we don't have genuine souls....." (Flynn, pp. 72-3)

This is an excerpt from the best selling murder/mystery, psychological thriller "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn.  The author's insight into the souls of her characters (and their dysfunctional marriage in our arguably dysfunctional society) makes a terrific read.  It is somehow light and dark at the same time. A witty, absorbing journey through the minds of a husband and wife who move from New York City to Missouri.

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