TL Question #8 - Urgent Nows or Why Should I's?

by Stephen Jeffreys

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Mon Dec 12, 2005 10:33 pm

Raven wrote:One of the reasons I haven't been weighing in with my 2 cents is because I feel that the Earl was an alcoholic and in my mind that changes so much of who you are. So much of what he said was I feel the alcohol talking. I feel that when you are in an altered state (is that PC??) your senses are not as keen. I think he was brilliant in alot of ways, but his own life seemed more important then the lives of his family and wife. And let me add that his sickness from VD and the mercury poisoning would not help in the slightest. I am not saying that if you are an alcoholic you are a bad person. Just that you may react differently to a situation then if you did not drink. Of course this is my own experience talking......

thanks so much DITHOT and Liz for all the information, it is incredible!

Raven


I agree, Raven and he seems to know that at this point in his life, doesn't he? Not that he tries to change it and I think that is EM's frustration and EB as well, and maybe even Charles. They see what he could have been.
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Unread postby Theresa » Mon Dec 12, 2005 10:37 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:His line you reference that "here in this theatre we can pretend that our lives have meaning. But the pretence only holds if we are given the truth", seems to speak to his disillusionment with his life and perhaps he sees life as the "endless trickle of why nots" because at this point he feels nothing he ever did in life really mattered. Stream of conciousness thinking going on here...


I'm just going to slip in here, not to answer the question, but to say that I think that DITHOT's comment here about Wilmot is probably the most profoundly sad statement I've ever read. To believe that nothing you ever did in life mattered...how tragic.

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Mon Dec 12, 2005 10:41 pm

theresa wrote:
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:His line you reference that "here in this theatre we can pretend that our lives have meaning. But the pretence only holds if we are given the truth", seems to speak to his disillusionment with his life and perhaps he sees life as the "endless trickle of why nots" because at this point he feels nothing he ever did in life really mattered. Stream of conciousness thinking going on here...


I'm just going to slip in here, not to answer the question, but to say that I think that DITHOT's comment here about Wilmot is probably the most profoundly sad statement I've ever read. To believe that nothing you ever did in life mattered...how tragic.


theresa, I think that is part of the empathy/sympathy I have for him. I want him to snap out of it and realize he is wasting what he could have been. And maybe he did, but too late.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby karla » Mon Dec 12, 2005 11:19 pm

Johnny sees acting as just a job, a weird job, but a job none the less. He distiguishes reality from the falseness of acting. He is not John Wilmot, he is Johnny Depp portraying John Wilmot and when he goes home to his kiddies he is Johnny Depp.

I think in all our lives we act to a certain extent. I know that when I am at work I am a business professional and I act and behave as a business professional. When I come home at nite I am just myself. My son once summed it up when he was much younger by commenting " Mommy, you are using your work voice - I don't like your work voice".

I think Johnny might still feel that "life is a listless trickle of why should I's". He gets asked to do so many different things, go here, go there, say this, say that, look this way , look that way , I am sure he asks himself that question daily.

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Unread postby dharma_bum » Tue Dec 13, 2005 3:58 am

DITHOT… I like scripted fiction vs. unscripted reality.

I have a much less bleak take on the passage. I think that it was delivered to Barry by JW as a cautionary tale about the path she had chosen. In JW's mind direction, ambition and discipline in life (yes, DITHOT a script) were sure ways to avoid true discovery. “Why should I?” can be a question, a challenge, or a reason to take a detour as much as a statement of resignation. One of my favorite quotes is Socrates: “an unexamined life is not worth living.” Staying on script might lead us to a safe and secure life, but it’s the listless trickle of “why should Is” that lead us down the path to a more authentic one.

I have no idea how Johnny intrepreted the line, but he certianly has a fearless devotion to roads less traveled.
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Unread postby Gypsylee » Tue Dec 13, 2005 6:09 am

dharma_bum wrote:DITHOT… I like scripted fiction vs. unscripted reality.

I have a much less bleak take on the passage. I think that it was delivered to Barry by JW as a cautionary tale about the path she had chosen. In JW's mind direction, ambition and discipline in life (yes, DITHOT a script) were sure ways to avoid true discovery. “Why should I?” can be a question, a challenge, or a reason to take a detour as much as a statement of resignation. One of my favorite quotes is Socrates: “an unexamined life is not worth living.” Staying on script might lead us to a safe and secure life, but it’s the listless trickle of “why should Is” that lead us down the path to a more authentic one.

I have no idea how Johnny intrepreted the line, but he certianly has a fearless devotion to roads less traveled.


Dharma, you always say something that seems to hit the proverbial nail on the head for me.

I think Wilmot was talking about how the decisions in theater seem so important, and in real life should mean nothing, yet people in life tend to make these same kinds of decisions and think they are so important. Reality check........WHO CARES?

Being married for 19 years (now divorced) and having lived in a "Better Homes and Garden" neighborhood for years where there seemed to be rules set up for every aspect of your life that were so incredibly important, I finally started thinking WHY SHOULD I? That question hit me hard after trying to fit in and be like what everyone thought I should be and I have been asking myself why about everything ever since.

I have been having one heck of an adventure just by asking myself "WHY SHOULDN'T I?" when I tell myself NO, get a grin on my face and say "YEAH, WHY NOT!"
"In the time of your life, live....so that in that wondrous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite delight and mystery of it." Saroyan

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Dec 13, 2005 10:38 am

You guys always make this so interesting! I love all the slightly different and completely different takes on this passage! :cool: :bounce:

db and gypsylee, I meant to add that I enjoyed reading your more positive take on this passage. I had not seen it that way at all and it gives me even more to think about. :cool:
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby Liz » Tue Dec 13, 2005 11:32 am

dharma_bum wrote:Staying on script might lead us to a safe and secure life, but it’s the listless trickle of “why should Is” that lead us down the path to a more authentic one.

I have no idea how Johnny intrepreted the line, but he certianly has a fearless devotion to roads less traveled.


I love what you are saying here, Dharma. As I am really not sure just how to interpret that line, I would like to look at it your way. And I'm thinking it is possible that Johnny looked at it that way, too.
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Re: TL Question #8 - Urgent Nows or Why Should I's?

Unread postby fansmom » Tue Dec 13, 2005 2:15 pm

Liz wrote:...it’s a listless trickle of ‘Why should I’s?’
I've never been clinically depressed, but isn't that pretty close to the definition of it?

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Re: TL Question #8 - Urgent Nows or Why Should I's?

Unread postby Liz » Tue Dec 13, 2005 2:21 pm

fansmom wrote:
Liz wrote:...it’s a listless trickle of ‘Why should I’s?’
I've never been clinically depressed, but isn't that pretty close to the definition of it?


Looking at it from that point of view, I guess you are right, Fansmom--like why should I do anything--even get up in the morning--it's pointless. It's like giving up on life.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Re: TL Question #8 - Urgent Nows or Why Should I's?

Unread postby Gypsylee » Tue Dec 13, 2005 2:25 pm

Liz wrote:
fansmom wrote:
Liz wrote:...it’s a listless trickle of ‘Why should I’s?’
I've never been clinically depressed, but isn't that pretty close to the definition of it?


Looking at it from that point of view, I guess you are right, Fansmom--like why should I do anything--even get up in the morning--it's pointless. It's like giving up on life.


It's all in how you take it. To me it's always questioning why. So many things we do are out of habit.......to constantly question why seems logical to get out of that habit. It snaps me out of depression.
"In the time of your life, live....so that in that wondrous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite delight and mystery of it." Saroyan

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Unread postby Boo-Radley » Wed Dec 14, 2005 4:41 pm

Well I've had quite a bit of time to think about this (other tasks and computer issues has kept me off the boards) and I find I can't agree with the Earl here. In my own life, especially when my daughter was small, I might have given a day's pay for one day of "Why should I?", but then again those were some of the happiest days of my life...so maybe not. I came to the conclusion that for most people, being engaged in life means you can't afford to feel as Wilmot does. Wilmot was living life selfishly and from the sidelines, so for him every action was an elective. As for Johnny he certainly doesn't appear to live his life in the "Why should I?" mode, quite the contrary, if there ever was man who understands "carpe diem" it's JD. On the other hand when it comes to his work, I imagine he asks himself that question often when his looking over scripts that come his way. :lol:

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"With this hand I will cup your.... Oh goodness no!"~~Victor Van Dort

"The theater is my drug, and my illness is so far advanced that my physic must be of the highest quality."~~John Wilmot

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Unread postby gilly » Wed Dec 14, 2005 10:53 pm

To me ,there are 2 things going on in this statement..On the one hand Rochester is saying he loves the stage,where anything can happen,where anything can be turned into stage reality,where dreams are possible....He admires this immediacy,but on the other hand recognises that this is just air,with no substance behind it....Life is more complex, so that's why he says it's about the 'Why should I's'..This implies that you have to think about life and what it means and when you do that,there are instantly barriers..'the why shoud I's'..You start to doubt whether you should/shouldn't do something,which must have been in Rochester's mind all the time...Basically this is a question of freedom versus constraint :cool:
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