March 19, 2009

melancholy, escapism

The work I've been balancing this semester has been isolating and stressful (not an emotion I often feel); the result is a deep, surreal melancholy. Further into my shell I retract, my energy fading, my expressions lost. This is pure intellect. I have lost connection with the world.

Nostalgic longing arises. I am impulsively drawn to Love Me Tonight, to Under the Roofs of Paris, to Manhattan -- my definition of comfort movies. But why? With which bittersweet moods do we cathartically align? What is this harmony of joy and sorrow in which our identities sing?

This is undoubtedly escapism. The intellect dies where the spirit is born. The bond I forge with these films is irrational, insane, almost immoral. But necessary. Nostalgia is redemptive. I awoke last night to find Top Hat playing on TCM -- Astaire's voice, arriving 70 years passed, violently stirred the spirit in me. However severe the intellect's alienation, I find it combated by this boundless, nostalgic spirit.

Escapism. The intellect suppressed by pure emotion. Critics are wrong to dismiss it. We are not animals of intellect, but of emotive cycles. Emotive spirals. Our moods change, our spirits seek changing nourishment. Even within ourselves we demand diversity.

Watching Ginger and Fred dancing, my intellect is dumbstruck; thought-paralysis -- painfully, poetically liberating. No critical study of this moment would be worth it. The intellect can only survive with intermissions of the wonderfully, gleefully, irresponsibly irrational.

I am on my way to escapism. I hope this bout of awesome melancholy lasts.

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