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Athens, Ohio, United States
"Art and love are the same thing. It's the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you."

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My Happy Place

Apparently the key to writing on a semi-consistent basis is writing before the newest Lost episode. As my most recent post indicates, I am in a very specific and shall we say....suicidal? mood directly a new episode of Lost. Absolute crushing depression is essential to all good art...and make no mistake, what you are reading is art, damn it, art!

So while I wait, for the other crushing existential depression factory that is Lost, let's talk about something else. Something happy. More specifically, let's talk about my happy place.

When I was a "kid" (as far as I can tell, 95% of everything that ever happened to everyone happened to them when they were a "kid"), I had occasional trouble breathing. I wasn't an asthmatic but I was fat, and I believe my poor lungs had a difficult time keeping up. Instead of just throwing an inhaler at my fatass and calling it a day, my lovely mother decided to take me to the Cleveland Clinic to pursue complicated psychological biofeedback nonsense to fix my beleaguered body.

The nice woman at the Clinic taught me many a strategy to find my breath, including placing a weight from my stomach to breathe from the chest, blowing softly into a pinwheel and practicing complicated stretches. But my favorite strategy was the cliche, yet effective, process of "finding my happy place."

"Find an image in your mind, Alec, in which you can be completely and utterly calm. It can be a memory you have or simply an image in your mind. Just find it and occupy yourself with it...concentrate on nothing else but your happy place and your breathe will come."

So I found my happy place. It was Cooperstown Dreams Park, Field Number 6...the first place I ever hit a homerun and the only place I would ever end up hitting a homerun.

I never ended up breathing better.

But I don't blame the happy place. The happy place is a concept that I found myself embracing more and more as I slowly realized just how lacking the world was in happy places. Pop culture provided me more happy places than "real life" ever did. Cooperstown had home runs. So what, Hogwarts had Charms class, The Bluth household had the cornballer, and Serenity had a fucking kitchen in outer space!

I bring all this up in such a roundabout way (do I know how to write in any other way?) all so I can say that I've found my newest happy place. Ladies, gentlemen, misogynists and Black bellhops, I present to you: Sterling-Cooper.

I have pretty much devoured two seasons of Mad Men as fast as I could. There is much to appreciate about the artistic superiority of Matthew Weiner's creation: the complex and changing social mores of the '60s, the obsession of identiy, appearance and the lacks thereof and the subtle, yet phenomenal acting performances. But above all that for me is the ability to turn an advertising company consisting of mostly chain-smoking white men that operates thirty years before my birth feel like home.

Well done, Weiner, I hope that one day I can wear sexy suits and chug whiskey like fruit punch on Madison Avenue. Until then, I'll just find Season 3 online.

12:01...I think Lost will show up online soon. So long for now, Internet!

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