There’s the whir of air escaping into an abyss in my bedroom. The vent normally blows in cool air this time of summer, but right now air seems to be leaving out through it into nowhere. It’s about the same sound you hear when you listen into the deep hole of a composting toilet, which I also think is a portal to the Abyss. As my best good friend P and I know from watching As Above, So Below, there are some unconventional ways to get to the underworld if you only look hard enough. Or listen hard enough.
I think a lot about the legacy we leave when we die. This has probably been amplified by several important family members dying in the past couple years. In my pocket notebook I once wrote, “I always think, if I die, someone has to deal with my Speedy Rewards card.” This blog would probably never be updated again if the person known as “Matt Lauer” were to die. Even trivial things like my about.me website or my unused Wikipedia accounts are digital refuse that live on long after the animate maters of me is gone. Digital ghosts. Facebook offers some feature for others to suggest deletion of the accounts of the deceased. That has to be strange to perform. I don’t even tell most people I have four Twitter accounts. How will anyone know to delete those? Or will they just pile up like in the dark memory dump of Riley’s mind? I was reading about Frances Cobain tonight, about how former Nirvana members see her dad living on through her, while others idolize him even though neither she nor they really knew him. That’s the only form of afterlife that makes sense to me, and it’s pretty Absurd.
Sometimes dead relationships also suffer a digital haunting. Two of my friends from Dallas liked each other very much and eventually got engaged. They made a wedding website through a service called The Knot that told their story and details about their wedding ceremony and reception in fabulous San Francisco. I visited that site tonight and read “11 days to go!” there. Except this couple is no longer together. I was one of the last of our friend group to know. One day I noticed one of the people in this relationship was no longer Facebook friends with most of our old Dallas crew (previously our “Mutual Friends” on FB). I remember seeing the wedding site years ago but never got a formal invite. I asked this person what was happening. They ended the engagement. I got more of the story when I visited Dallas this past spring (post coming soon I swear!), and I understood why the old crew detached. How strange that in some digital parallel universe the clock is still ticking for this couple to be wed and I’m probably stressing out about dry cleaning my suit.
Speaking of San Francisco, you should see Inside Out if you haven’t already. I can’t remember the last new movie I watched that had had me tearing up at multiple moments for multiple viewings of the movie (and it is worth multiple viewings). P changed his shirt that said, “Bring back Bernie Mac” to “Bring back Bing Bong”. You’ll understand that after watching the movie. Go tomorrow! I used to like WALL•E and Up the most of the Pixar crop, but I’m now more aware that I really just love the beginnings of those movies (and their remainders I think are just fine, but not moving). (Somewhere (where?!) I read that the dividing line between mere entertainment and art is in its ability to help us understand the human condition.) I think the beginnings of WALL•E and Up should be their own short films, both pretty tragic. Inside Out, on the other hand, is just as affecting (moving) as the beginnings of WALL•E and Up while still being genuinely funny, smart, relatable, and intriguing for the entire runtime. There are other Pixar films that hold up for the whole movie, but I don’t think they have the same poesy as a film entirely about emotions, family, coping, and loss. While other Pixar films primarily focus on the things that bring us joy (a good thing for whole-family movies), Inside Out (literally) turns the spotlight to sadness as an important and neglected emotion that must be felt to be truly human. It helps us connect with the people we love when we need to be loved. I’m going to say this so that it’s somewhere on the Internet for those whose search for these kinds of opinions: Inside Out is my favorite Pixar movie.
Blue or Kind Of Blue has a Sunny Border Blue,