Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The sky looks sweet and wears a pretty blue dress...

People who work in extremely dangerous fields (such as Clark Gable's dashing, dumb risk-taker in the excellent film Test Pilot) inhabit another hyper-enhanced reality. It's a powerful drug for them and those around them.

Every hour of life is a bittersweet victory punctuated by the adrenaline rush of cheating death, infused with the agony of knowing that if death visits not today, then maybe tomorrow. Once you're in this zone there's no leaving it - "normal" life can not compare. ("He gets you -- there's no fun being with anyone else," says Spencer Tracy of Gable's character in the film.)

In this erotically charged quagmire you will accept a perpetual dance with death ("Put on the red shoes Vicky!"). It is a dynamic that can be applied to several fields, namely the ones that empower desirable individuals by binding them to a sacrificial alter: actors, politicians, and rock stars come to mind.

Of course, in being born, we're all engaged in a dance with death. Our lives are no less precious. We just don't confront death on a daily basis. Most of us don't live as gods or rock stars or test pilots. We buffer our mortality with the hypnotic drone of "lesser" tasks, and we experience a blissfully false sense of immortality. Good trick!


Post a Comment

<< Home