Friday, September 25, 2015

“You Gotta Fuck ‘Em Right in the Heart!”

“You gotta fuck ‘em right in the heart!”
I once heard a Hollywood executive say.

We were in a story meeting
At a big animation studio
In the 1990s.
About two dozen of us,
Artists and Management,
And even bigger Management
Who called themselves Executives.

You could tell the executives.
They wore suits and arrived in chauffeur driven limousines.
We artists,
As you can imagine,
Arrived by other means 
And were dressed a little more casually.

The executive was referring,
When he suggested this cardiac fornication,
To a story point in the cartoon
We were working on.

A very big,
Expensive cartoon.
With lots of executives
Putting their two cents in.

Oh boy!
As you can imagine,
That didn't make it any easier.

“Huh?” I answered. “What do you mean?”
Because I figured, however evil this executive’s Hollywood reputation,
(Which indeed was mighty evil)
That he didn’t mean it literally when he said
To fuck someone in the heart.

“Don’t be a moron,” was his answer.
“You know what I mean.”
He stared at me
Through horn-rimmed spectacles
And sipped his Diet Pepsi.

It was seven-thirty in the morning.

In this manner the big executive
Made sure he got his point across.
The point that he was important.
And that you were not so.
I and the other artists
Thereafter pretty much kept our traps shut.

We might just be stupid artists,
But we weren't that stupid.
Besides, like almost everything the Executives did
To improve the movie,
We’d have to fix it up later anyway.

But we knew what the executive meant.
He meant that he wanted the story to be more emotional during the scene,
So that you the audience might involve yourselves more deeply
In our movie and the plight of its hero.

“The suspension of disbelief” this audience involvement is called.
And we rely upon it tremendously in the movie business.
The idea that you will sit back
And enjoy the experience,
Rather than think too hard about what you are seeing.

Zen, on the contrary,
Wants you to think deeply and fully
About what you are experiencing
As you live your life.
To become aware of your emotions
And what causes you to feel the way you do.
And to attempt the controlling 
Of these thoughts and emotions,
As difficult as that may be,
Thereby increasing the chances
Of your Happiness.

Please love and respect yourself enough
To face life squarely as you find it.
A life you cannot control but must not fear!
And don't fall for every song
That someone sweetly sings.
(For there is much insincerity
In this world in spite of what the liars say.)
Try to protect your heart
From the bloodsucking vampires
(Sometimes called executives,
Sometimes called other things)
Who would merely dally with it
For their own amusement or personal gain.

Or of course,
To profit the shareholders.

So keep your suspension of disbelief
For the movies!
And maybe, if you'd care to, for these zen moments.
But not for real life.

Now, who's got the popcorn?

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