“If there were only one truth, you couldn’t paint a hundred canvases on the same theme.”
– Pablo Picasso
There was a piece of scrap metal lying on the side of the road. It intrigued me so I went to pick it up.
“What are you gonna do with that?” my bandmate asked.
I didn’t know yet, so I just said half smiling: “Take it to its rightful place.”
It ended up in our rehearsal room. Whenever he’d be setting up the gear I’d stare at that piece of junk and play some riff.
I figured it must be some kind of heat guard from a car but I was never quite sure.
It inspired quite a lot of songs throughout those years. Somehow it reminded me of that mask you see on the cover of Quiet Riot’s “Metal Health”.
The tradition continued and it became “a thing”. Whenever I’d pick something up my friends joked “You gonna take it to its rightful place?”
I didn’t mind, I even felt proud to have that association.
After watching “Chappie” a while back one of my friends talked about how Neill Blomkamp’s other movies also dealt with what it’s like being an outsider.
I quickly replayed scenes from “District 9” & “Elysium” and agreed.
“But it isn’t just that.” I said, “It feels like there’s an underlying question of how we define ‘life’. It’s like he’s inviting us to reflect on what it is and what makes life worth living.”
Now, this might be complete bullshit but it’s the best explanation I could come up with for what I felt when looking at the 3 movies as a whole.
It’s the same kind of things I look for in whatever I enjoy.
Like with “Borderlands”, I’m sure they didn’t release the first game thinking: “Hey, let’s make the player think they’re the hero and then make them question that in the next one, alright peeps?”
But that’s exactly the theme I’ve come to see in the series. The quote from “The Dark Knight” sums it up pretty well:
“You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”
Also, they’re making a “Borderlands” movie so I’m super excited! Here’s hoping they get Ben Hibon (“Codehunters”) involved too!
Whether these interpretations are right or wrong doesn’t really matter. What matters is that they tell us something about ourselves.
We humans are pattern recognition machines. We actively search for and create meaning where there isn’t any.
As isolated pieces they might not matter that much but if we look at them as whole an overarching theme emerges.
When I was 15 my guidance counselor told me: “You should be a teacher.”
I don’t remember it but my mom told me that I came home that day pissed off. She asked me what was wrong and I just said: “I’m never gonna be a fucking teacher. Never!”
See, I didn’t exactly have the best teachers in the world. A couple of them were good, but most of them were dicks. So I took it as her saying: “You should make a living being a dick, you’d be great at it!”
Several years later I was taking a course, apparently I knew my shit and at times the teacher would have me take over the class.
I didn’t think much about it then, but I slowly realized I enjoyed that. It’s weird how those things you said you’d never do come back to bite you in the ass years later.
All this time I’d been running away from something that was so apparent to someone else almost two decades ago.
Now I’m doing the same for others.
Making sure they get to their rightful place.
Look back at your life.
What kind of themes can you find? Do they propel you forward or do they act more like cautionary tales?
Let me know in the comments and hit me up on Twitter.
Have a kick-ass ₢eative day!