Thursday, August 14, 2014

Oh Captain, My Captain

I've been spending the past few days re-watching choice scenes from Dead Poet Society.

I've never been a person who spends much time dwelling on celebrity deaths, and for the most part, I'm not really dwelling on Robin Williams.  I liked a lot of his work, though there was some I really couldn't stand.  He always struck me as the kind of performer who never phoned it in, though, even if the movie he was in was a hot mess.

Oh, but, Dead Poets Society.  That was my movie.  Which should surprise no one: a movie about embracing the power of words and breaking out of conformity, and teaching that to teenagers who are desperate for that message.  And it came out the summer I was 16.

Yeah, I might as well have had "TARGET AUDIENCE" tattooed on my chest, like Charlie with his lightning bolt.

("Damn it, Neal.  It's Nuwanda.")

Now, at the time I was quite fortunate that I didn't have parents like Neal's.  At all.  Mine were pretty indulgent of my various artistic ambitions, including going to college to study film.  So that aspect of the film-- of a voice being stifled-- didn't apply to me.

But that my voice could matter... that the powerful play goes on, and I might contribute a verse... 

Yeah, that hit home. 

So I've spent a bit of time revisiting that.  Oh me, oh life.  A powerful sentiment that Williams delivers with such quiet confidence, such honesty... that the soundbite itself lends weight to a commercial telling you that iPads will make you more creative.

I've already gotten started on my verse, but there's still plenty to do.  So off to work.

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