On Sunday, while chilling out after lunch over a nice cup of coffee, with my family, we watched a romantic comedy called “Holiday”. I must admit, the film, among other of its genre I have watched not so long ago, had a unique sense of humour and a great character creation. One of my favourite characters from the “Holiday” film, Arthur Abbott (a.k.a one of the screenplay writers of the golden age of Hollywood) said the following words – in each movie there is the star and the friend. You are the star, yet you act like the friend. Every character in this film is the star and this is what got me to like it so much, I think.
Here, I am ending my digression, that absolutely shouldn’t be here, but is, because I can write whatever the hell I want. Although partly, it was the “Holiday” film that made me start to think of what I want to write today. Then there was Alfred Hitchcock. Then there was the pragmatism punching me in the face again. And then I started thinking there must be a connection between those. So let’s begin.
I’m very normal…
Then I’m very sorry to hear that
The whole story told in “Holiday” had its roots in the popular way of spending vacation nowadays, meaning: house exchange. Two ladies, Amanda and Iris, both feeling heartbroken and lonely, are looking for a perfect get away from their daily life. Amanda is a successful producer living in Los Angeles, who had just broke up with her boyfriend after finding out he cheated on her, and Iris is a journalist living in a small town close to London, whose lover got engaged with her co-worker. Amanda, making a decision to leave L.A. for two weeks, chooses England as her destination. Fate gets her to choose Iris’ town and Iris’ house as the great escape. The two ladies get in touch with each other through online chat and decide to switch houses, cars, everything – for two weeks.
Iris, when introducing herself to Amanda through the chat, decides to type the following words: “I’m very normal”. The sentence is the first thing she thought of after her own name. Now, what does being “very normal” actually mean? To me – boring. Politically correct. Conventional. Commercial. And then, why is being “normal” supposed to define us in any way? Why was it supposed to be the condition under which Iris would get her deal cut? This is what caught my attention.
In Social Studies classes, we had this lesson about the social code that everyone needs to know and obey. The rules by which we must live to get the society to accept us. Being “very normal” isn’t one of them, yet when you are not, don’t you get rejected? And what happens when you’re the absolute opposite of normal?
The definition of normal
Being normal, basically, means not crossing the line of what is well-known, accepted and socially comfortable, but also not catching attention in any way, neither good or bad (a.k.a being average) as the line crossing can be for the positive or for the negative aspect. For example, a person dyeing her hair a crazy colour is crossing some borderline of normal, but it isn’t in any way negative for the society around.
The definition of normal, as well as categorizing it as either positive or negative is relative, subjective. The borderline is different for everyone, depends on their own consciousness, tolerance and outlook. As well as the consideration of normal. For some people it’s a goal, for others it’s a necessity, for me it’s a failure. Being normal, or more: being perceived as normal is like… losing all the paint life’s given us and becoming invisible. Like letting your personality, as well as your Freud genes vanish.
A good example of this are businessmen. They are not perceived as normal, they’re often criticized for their actions, but in my opinion, they’ve just decided to drop the normality concept and make use of what’s in their heads. Despite me not being in favour of every company’s policy, I do respect the idea of “making lemonade” truly.
Alfred Hitchcock and The Girl
“All great men have obsessions, don’t they?” – as pointed out by my mom after we’ve gone deep into a discussion over Alfred Hitchcock’s works as well as personal life and behaviour. To make it clear, it is a well-known fact, that Hitchcock was absolutely obsessed about his actresses, especially Tippy Hedren. She was like the Muse of the Master, but it wasn’t in favour of both of them. As known from the story, Hitchcock was supposed to use his Master influence to mistreat his Muse and convince her it’s her duty to love him physically, as well as meta-physically. This behaviour, known to us as the clear definition of harassment, is what made Tippy quit acting in his works. The last film of Hitchock’s in which she played the main role – “Marnie” is known as the last of his greatest masterpieces. As it turned out, it’s more the Muse that helped the Master, not the other way around, as it was perceived by Mr. Hitchcock.
Straight to the point, Alfred Hitchcock is just an example, but you might as well use any other person considered as a genius or at least a great artist by society. Brilliant, but twisted. Brilliant, but has a flaw that gets people to be torn between giving him praise and despising him. So is it a genius thing? To have an obsession?
Geniuses, then, would’ve been the people that exceed the line of normality in both a positive and negative way. Working on the example of Hitch, on one hand – he made an enormous artistic influence on cinematography, on the other hand – he mistreated, was obsessed with his inspirations – Muses. So he did have a Freud gene, but also something that can be called an Anti-Freud gene – obsession. A negative obsession.
What I want to say is that, people above average, or rather people who have the guts to use what they have – are filled with some kind of energy, that has two sides. And it’s their choice and the matter of their consciousness which side will win. The Freud gene or the Anti-Freud gene? And which one defines them truly? We can’t deny the tyrants of the XXth century or even from the previous ages were brilliant, then why didn’t they use their genius for doing good? Or at least doing good and letting the bad have a word, just like Hitchcock? Isn’t it the matter of the energy and the control over it that I just came up with?
Again, making us believe it is good to be normal, because being average means being able to ignore our Anti-Freud genes or at least hide them from others, simply out of fear of rejection. But we cannot forget it’s also what makes our Freud genes vanish. Being pragmatic, being average, believing in nothing except the lowest state of consciousness is the easy way out but is also what gets us to lose our real characters. Only people with guts will say no to this pragmatic shit and will start a war with their Anti-Freud genes, even if there is a 50% chance of failure. That’s why there was only one Alfred Hitchcock, and such person will never appear again. Because he used what we are all afraid to use. And that makes him special and brilliant. And that’s what each one of us could become.