Tag Archive: manhattan


“Love is an ugly, terrible business practiced by fools. It’ll trample your heart and leave you bleeding on the floor. And what does it really get you in the end? Nothing but a few incredible memories that you can’t ever shake. The truth is, there’s gonna be other girls out there. I mean, I hope. But I’m never gonna get another first love. That one is always gonna be her.” (Little Manhattan)

I used not to feel that much for the quote above, because I used to be a hopelessly romantic cheeseball, who would think everything is possible with enough love. Is love about going extra miles even if it hurts? Maybe it is. But is it worth it? I don’t know. Something happened lately, and it made me think again, about many things. Reality checks in, because we are all travelling through time together, in the real world. Is love about finding the courage you didn’t know it was there? Yes I guess, but well, kinda pointless at the same time, no? Well, somewhere a million miles away, a girl I like is going down her road, and I am stuck on mine. We are on different roads, she and me, two ships that passed the Sheep Meadow. Well, it’s a pain with no name.

Anyway, it’s new year, happy new year to everyone, and I don’t mean to spread the negativity. But yea, it’s a new year, new me! Positive atmosphere is needed! As I mentioned before, all of us are travelling through time together, all we can do is to do our best to relish, this remarkable ride (About Time). We need to make everyday count, and we just have to try to live everyday as if we’ve deliberately come back to this one day to enjoy it, as if it was the full final day of our extraordinary, ordinary life.

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I was looking for movies that I wanted to watch, and ‘Up in the air’ caught my attention, probably because of George Clooney. I thought it would be a light movie, but I believed that movies with George Clooney could not be that shallow, so I gave it a go. Indeed, it was a lot deeper than I thought.

The movie is about George Clooney doing a job telling people on behalf of their companies that they are fired. It is probably one of the hardest jobs ever, telling people that they lost their job. Rhetorical techniques are definitely required for this. If you are looking for a movie with good speeches, this is it.

The ‘Backpack’ speech about commitment is the centre of the movie, and it is somehow inspiring. I will put the full speech at the end of this entry, but there are a few lines that caught my attention. He said ‘Relationships are the heaviest components in our lives‘, and that human should be alone, should try to avoid commitments as the more commitment we have, the less we can  do, and ‘the slower we move (meaning the less we do), the faster we die’. Well, everyone is born with commitment, we can hardly eliminate every commitment we have. Family is likely to be the first commitment we have, then as we grow, we have friends, schoolmates, and when we leave school, we have the commitment of work, then when you meet your Mr./ Mrs./ Right, you will have commitment as a boyfriend/ girlfriend, then the commitment of marriage, followed by commitment as parents…… Although as Gabe in ‘Little Manhattan’ (2005) said, ‘We come to the world alone, and we die in the exact same way’, those commitments come with our lives, the only way to avoid them is to die. George Clooney is right in the speech, commitments and relationships are the heavies components in our lives, as commitments come with responsibility, like a buy-one-get-one-free deal. The more commitments you have, the more you have to do. What do you get in return? It gives you consistency in your relationships, so you would not be like being so popular one day, and being ignored completely the other day, just like what happened in ‘500 days of Summer’. I think it is necessary to have some commitments in life, especially for family, and for your future family. If you do not commit yourself into a relationship, you probably end up regretting, as you will just live in your own world, and be so independent, while sometimes we are better together with some people. That’s the afterthought of the movie, and here is the inspiring ‘backpack speech’, enjoy it:

‘How much does your life weigh? Imagine for a second that you’re carrying a backpack. I want you to feel the straps on your shoulders. Feel ‘em? Now I want you to pack it with all the stuff that you have in your life. You start with the little things. The things on shelves and in drawers, the knick-knacks, the collectibles. Feel the weight as that adds up. Then you start adding larger stuff, clothes, table-top appliances, lamps, linens, your TV.
The backpack should be getting pretty heavy now. And you go bigger. Your couch, bed, your kitchen table. Stuff it all in there. Your car, get it in there. Your home, whether it’s a studio apartment or a two bedroom house. I want you to stuff it all into that backpack. Now try to walk. It’s kind of hard, isn’t it? This is what we do to ourselves on a daily basis. We weigh ourselves down until we can’t even move. And make no mistake, moving is living.
Now, I’m gonna set that backpack on fire. What do you want to take out of it? What do you want to take out of it? Photos? Photos are for people who can’t remember. Drink some ginkgo and let the photos burn. In fact, let everything burn and imagine waking up tomorrow with nothing. It’s kind of exhilarating, isn’t it?
Now, this is gonna be a little difficult, so stay with me. You have a new backpack. Only this time, I want you to fill it with people. Start with casual acquaintances, friends of friends, folks around the office, and then you move into the people that you trust with your most intimate secrets. Your cousins, your aunts, your uncles, your brothers, your sisters, your parents and finally your husband, your wife, your boyfriend or your girlfriend.
You get them into that backpack. And don’t worry. I’m not gonna ask you to light it on fire. Feel the weight of that bag. Make no mistake – your relationships are the heaviest components in your life. Do you feel the straps cutting into your shoulders?
All those negotiations and arguments, and secrets and compromises. You don’t need to carry all that weight. Why don’t you set that bag down? Some animals were meant to carry each other, to live symbiotically for a lifetime – star crossed lovers, monogamous swans. We are not those animals. The slower we move, the faster we die. We are not swans. We’re sharks.’

(Up in the Air 2009)

So…. are we swans, or sharks? Try to think about it 🙂