There’s very little action in life. Sure, we’re in constant motion–physically and mentally–but there’s very little action that actually takes place. However, I had a little bit over the last few days. In this case, “action” is a very literal term. Working for and alongside my favorite non-profit organization, I participated in an event protesting the continually unacceptable business practices of a major American company. Pretty vague, huh? They don’t even train me in this shit. I just point the camera. And that’s exactly what I did.
While three brave activists chained themselves to the main gates of one of the company’s manufacturing facilities, I wielded two cameras, live and still, to immortalize and publicize the event. All said and done, it was a tremendous, exhausting, sweaty, and incarcerating experience. (The latter doesn’t directly relate to me, but yes, people ended up in the pokey.) Aside from that, though, I’d like to return to my original thesis. Involving myself in such a proactive environment really made me take a hard look at the rest of my life. For the most part, I don’t accomplish much. I work a little, I write, I spend time with my girlfriend (which is pretty active, if you know what I mean! High five, anyone. . . anyone?) The point being, I wish my everyday life were more action-centered. If I could maintain a perpetual state of motivated engagements, I think I’d sleep more soundly.
I’ve been thinking about the last lines of David O. Russell’s I Heart Huckabees. Essentially, it goes something like this: Jason Schwartzman and Mark Walberg sit on a lone rock, having just established their existential path (something else I’m working on). Schwartzman, an environmental activist in the film, is asked by Walberg, a part-time fireman, “What are you doing tomorrow?”, to which he replies, “I was thinking about chaining myself to a bulldozer. Wanna come?”
“About four o’clock.”
Then Walberg hits Schwartzman in the face with a large, rubber exercise ball.
That moment, that conversation, is one that I’d love to have on a regular basis. When asked what I’m doing tomorrow, my answer is generally somewhere between the fabulously interesting ends of I don’t know and Not much. I don’t mean to say I think it’s entirely necessary to steer my life towards hardcore activism, but still, it would be incredibly fulfilling to have something that reflects that quality. Be it community outreach, social activism, or masked crime-fighting, it’s becoming increasingly important to me to find that motivator, whatever it may be. Fortunately, I should have plenty of time to think about it tomorrow. What am I doing? Not much.