WEGG Question #29 ~ Relating to the Story

by Peter Hedges

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Mon Apr 30, 2007 6:52 pm

I agree SamIam. I think the Grape family could be moved to any of our areas and fit right in.
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 -
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nebraska
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Unread postby nebraska » Mon Apr 30, 2007 10:04 pm

"We all come from very strange places." That is a wonderful observation, and I have to say I find it brilliant considering the age and experience Johnny had when (I think) he made this statement. I would expect something this profound after Lily Rose's recent medical crisis.....

We all start with some unique DNA and our life experiences continue to shape us into separate individuals. I am sure we can relate strongly to bits and pieces of each other's stories, there are places where we can really touch and understand each other........but it all still combines with our own unique life to make something strange and different.

My childhood was not a dream situation (I think I am having my childhood now, with movie star photos on my office walls :cloud9: ) and my life went on down a twisting and difficult pathl I can identify with the death of a child.......my daughter died when she was 25, and it was the single most life-altering life-defining event of my life. It changed absolutely everything -- my vision of myself, my life purpose, my dream of the future, everything! And it certainly changed how I looked at many things. To put it in a nutshell, let me quote a rubber stamp I have: Life is uncertain, eat dessert first.

When I was growing up in the 50's, you didn't talk about these things. The "perfect" image was always held out to public view. Now we drag all our deepest traumas out for display on the internet. I don't know if that is good or not. Surely, we all are learning about "real" life and how to cope.....but it is hard to hold an ideal to strive for. Do we have something left to believe in? to work toward? Or do we accept that everyone has a messed up life and that is how it is.......has it become a contest to see who is the most dysfunctional.

I am not sure if we all identify with WEGG or not. I had a mother who was sick, and I was careful who I invited to my home. But it was a totally different experience from Gilbert's. Maybe we identify with the emotions........

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Unread postby Lady Jill » Mon Apr 30, 2007 10:54 pm

I think Johnny is saying here that many. many people have skeltons in their closets, and its' OK that they are there, whether or not one wants to address them, let them out or let them go.
Depending on how and when you grew up is exactly what you were taught about those upsetting things being held in or let out. I love the way Johnny takes on characters that have meaning, growing throughout the movie experience. I see him very much that same way.

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Unread postby Red Shoes » Tue May 01, 2007 5:58 am

I agree with what everyone's been saying. :cool:

I think another way it's so comfortable to relate to is Gilbert's sheer honesty. I'm thinking of times when he complains about Arnie and talks about how annoying he is, calls him names etc. That's very honest and I would guess that everyone who spends time looking after an intellectually disabled person would feel that way some of the time. It's not the "correct" thing to complain about it, so people don't, but it must get hard when you're never able to have a good ol whine about how hard it is. Gilbert does whine and even get nasty sometimes, but we don't mind because it's honest.

Another example is when he admits to wanting to say to Mr Lamson "I never missed having a father because of you" (I'm misquoting I'm sure). That is a very honest admission from a young man and people can relate to feeling that way but being too embarrassed or too "tough" to say it.

All connected, as well, to what a couple of you were saying about the "perfect" TV families of the past - all those shows were fun entertainment but they weren't hinest - people watched them to have fun, not to experience something they could relate to.
"It's good to be different."

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue May 01, 2007 8:30 am

All connected, as well, to what a couple of you were saying about the "perfect" TV families of the past - all those shows were fun entertainment but they weren't hinest - people watched them to have fun, not to experience something they could relate to.


They were definitely entertainment but I think a lot of people watched them and wanted their families to be like that and realized reality was very different. As nebraska said, you didn't talk about things that were "different" back in the 50's and early 60's, everyone just pretended to be like those families on tv. Society has definitely changed since then and as Johnny says, "It's good to be different."

Lady Jill, I agree with you take on Johnny's movie characters. There is always so much going on, even if you only see it on his face.
: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 May 01, 2007 11:31 am

I agree with Lady Jill about what Johnny is saying. I think it is best that we can get things out in the open now. It’s a way of letting it go, letting it fall off of our shoulders.
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Unread postby Linda Lee » Tue May 01, 2007 11:34 am

Just a comment on growing up in the 50's - 60's, it was very different from today. Remember if you were a child of that time, the ideal for a girl was to get married and have a family. Women had jobs not careers, you were supposed to stay home and "take care" of your husband and children. The TV shows of the time, if they showed a bedroom at all had twin beds for husband and wife. The public was even more naieve, and there was a culture that said Ozzie & Harriet, The Cleavers, or The Donna Reed Show were "ideal" families, so if your life wasn't like theirs you kept quiet about it. ( I don't believe anyone's life was that way - now - but as a child I did). The 60's brought a lot of changes and more honesty but also cost us our innocence in many ways.
Serenity is not freedom from the storm but peace within the storm. ~ Unknown

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Unread postby Liz » Tue May 01, 2007 11:55 am

I'm glad I lost my innocence. I nor my family could ever have lived up to those ideal families on TV. But ideal families in the media have been replaced by other equally difficult models to emmulate....and that would be fashion models. It's always something.
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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Unread postby Lady Jill » Tue May 01, 2007 1:23 pm

Hey, Linda Lee: The 'ol Ozzie and Harriet world - like every episode ended sweet, with everyone smiling and cute! What I liked was Ricky singing: The Garden Party ! " You know, you can't please everyone, so you got to please yourself". It was my mantra as I galloped into the '60's! But alas, my mother hated the words. She finally came around to Elvis, singing Blue Christmas!

Lady Jill
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Unread postby fansmom » Tue May 01, 2007 2:27 pm

Linda Lee wrote:Just a comment on growing up in the 50's - 60's, it was very different from today. Remember if you were a child of that time, the ideal for a girl was to get married and have a family. Women had jobs not careers, you were supposed to stay home and "take care" of your husband and children. The TV shows of the time, if they showed a bedroom at all had twin beds for husband and wife. The public was even more naieve, and there was a culture that said Ozzie & Harriet, The Cleavers, or The Donna Reed Show were "ideal" families, so if your life wasn't like theirs you kept quiet about it. ( I don't believe anyone's life was that way - now - but as a child I did). The 60's brought a lot of changes and more honesty but also cost us our innocence in many ways.
Way off on a tangent--
I have read a theory that those TV shows of the 1950's and early 1960's were political indoctrination. Women had become more independent during WWII and had learned that they could hold full-time jobs and do things formerly thought of as men's work. Strong. Capable. Independent. Then the war ended, and the soldiers and sailors came home. They needed/wanted their jobs back, but women had to be convinced to relinquish their freedom, and so a propaganda campaign began. Fashions changed--no more Rosie the Riveter work shirts with the sleeves rolled up. We must wear pearls and heels and a girdle to vacuum. Lucy Ricardo must be a ditzy redhead incapable of holding a job for more than a day. Mothers must sacrifice their happiness for the happiness of their children, and Father (who hadn't been around during the war) always Knows Best.

And on another tangent, every generation must lose its innocence in its own way, whether it's by a war, the sinking of the Titanic, a stock market crash, or whatever.

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Unread postby Linda Lee » Tue May 01, 2007 2:52 pm

fansmom wrote:
Linda Lee wrote:Just a comment on growing up in the 50's - 60's, it was very different from today. Remember if you were a child of that time, the ideal for a girl was to get married and have a family. Women had jobs not careers, you were supposed to stay home and "take care" of your husband and children. The TV shows of the time, if they showed a bedroom at all had twin beds for husband and wife. The public was even more naieve, and there was a culture that said Ozzie & Harriet, The Cleavers, or The Donna Reed Show were "ideal" families, so if your life wasn't like theirs you kept quiet about it. ( I don't believe anyone's life was that way - now - but as a child I did). The 60's brought a lot of changes and more honesty but also cost us our innocence in many ways.
Way off on a tangent--
I have read a theory that those TV shows of the 1950's and early 1960's were political indoctrination. Women had become more independent during WWII and had learned that they could hold full-time jobs and do things formerly thought of as men's work. Strong. Capable. Independent. Then the war ended, and the soldiers and sailors came home. They needed/wanted their jobs back, but women had to be convinced to relinquish their freedom, and so a propaganda campaign began. Fashions changed--no more Rosie the Riveter work shirts with the sleeves rolled up. We must wear pearls and heels and a girdle to vacuum. Lucy Ricardo must be a ditzy redhead incapable of holding a job for more than a day. Mothers must sacrifice their happiness for the happiness of their children, and Father (who hadn't been around during the war) always Knows Best.

And on another tangent, every generation must lose its innocence in its own way, whether it's by a war, the sinking of the Titanic, a stock market crash, or whatever.


That's an interesting theory and rings true from a logical standpoint. The 60's did see a return of the strong, independent woman, capable of making up her own mind on what was important.
Lady Jill - I loved the song at the end of most episodes.
Serenity is not freedom from the storm but peace within the storm. ~ Unknown

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Unread postby SamIam » Tue May 01, 2007 4:00 pm

Liz wrote:I'm glad I lost my innocence. I nor my family could ever have lived up to those ideal families on TV. But ideal families in the media have been replaced by other equally difficult models to emmulate....and that would be fashion models. It's always something.


I agree with you Liz. It is always something. Why can't people just learn to accept themselves? :cool:
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the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. -Eleanor Roosevelt

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue May 01, 2007 6:12 pm

fansmom, that is an interesting theory, and a plausible one too. I'm glad we woke up and saw the light.
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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