Family Guy (not the cartoon)

I got the huge delivery of food yesterday, so I feel good about life (for the moment.) I don’t know why having cabinets and the fridge full of food makes me feel complacent about life, but it does. I’m eating boca burgers with cheddar cheese and real hamburger-type buns, and I have enough soft drinks and juice to last me the rest of the year, so that’s good. Even though it’s cold and rainy outside, it feels good to sit in the overheated apartment and relax. If there was anything good on TV on Monday night, I’d be 100% happy.

Last night, for whatever reason, I watched this movie The Family Guy, with Nick Cage. He is a super high-power Wall Street executive type that is emotionally bankrupt, and through some unexplained magic, he wakes up in a life in which he married a college girlfriend he dumped 13 years ago. They had kids and moved to Jersey and he became a tire salesman at his father-in-law’s place, and he goes through all of the initial “where am I” confusion and eventually determines that he loves the wife and the kids and even though life is hard, he has all of these good things to show for it.

Okay, I’ll admit that if I was given a choice between my current life and his – including Tea Leone as wifey – okay, I’d give up tech writing in a second to sell tires and get a shot at her. Even in the dumpy housewife role, she was something else, and probably the reason I kept watching for so long. But really, the movie pissed me off on a couple of levels, some obvious, some a bit closer to the bone.

First, as you may have guessed, I was pretty pissed off at the whole assumption that kids and family are immediate validation in life, and the magic miracle of not pulling out is somehow more esteemed than any other action a person in our society could do. Because having some child actor/future cokehead say “pusghetti” instead of “spaghetti” is so damn cute, that we can ignore the fact that this film is pretty much propaganda for people to breed and be happy and shut up, even if they’ve been downsized into working double shifts at Burger King to pay the mortgage on a shitty house in a shitty suburb of New Jersey. I hate when Hollywood does a “feel good” film like this or Pay it Forward in which a director or producer can say “I’m doing this film as a message that people should be good to each other” and then market the piece of shit like any other product that’s meant to be consumed by the sheep, meanwhile being just as evil of a person as the guys that installed the damn death chambers in Germany or something.

The other thing that pisses me off is that, in a sense, this movie is true. I mean, I’m not driving a Ferrari and wearing a $2500 suit like Cage is in this flick, but I feel about as emotionally bankrupt as I possibly could these days. I mean, I have not dated anyone in almost five years now, I haven’t cultured any new or lasting friendships, and I’ve watched almost everyone else in my life slowly fade away. I’m sure a lot of that is that I don’t put enough effort into things, but even when I do, it doesn’t change the fact that this isn’t college anymore, and people are too busy with their own lives to hand-hold me through my personal depression or whatever. I’ve spent years saying I don’t want kids or want a family or anything else, but sometimes the whole holiday thing has a way of sneaking up on me and awakening that 1% of me that wished I did find a soulmate back in college and get on the house and kids life plan back in like 1992.

There’s also the part of me that wonders who I dated and broke up with in college that would evoke a similar movie moment for me, if I had the whole magical wormhole power that Nick Cage had in this movie. The movie made me spend time thinking who I dated who might actually still be single and still be someone I would go back to. But that’s a stupid thing to fantasize about, especially since pretty much everybody I dated back then ran in horror after our breakup and made sure every bridge was thoroughly burned.

I also had a very weird and vivid dream last night that I had MS, and that all of the tiredness I’ve had lately was due to degenerative nerve damage. It was one of those episodes where I woke up at four in the morning and was completely awake and was absolutely certain that I had MS, until I went and got a drink of water and got back in bed and thought, “what the fuck am I doing?”

Okay, I am going to go write now.


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