I’m not a fan of weirdness for the sake of attention seeking or as an affectation to make a public distinction from others. It takes an otherwise beautiful idea (revealing a truth) and turns it self-conscious. The results are rarely good
Weirdness is highly subjective, of course. In our obsessive quest for conformity and by extension, acceptability, we lose portions of ourselves. Sublimated to the expediency of getting along, allowing others to continue thinking of us in the least challenging way.
The version of weirdness I like is when one can no longer continue with life as it has been presented. Something shifts, and it’s time to let the artifice go. We step forward as we are and allow people to reassemble themselves around us. I have cancer. I want to be a woman. I want a different life.
We are forced inside out.
This is the premise behind my latest binge-watch. Transparent
is the unfolding story of a the family patriarch in his endeavor to become the matriarch. The story ends up focusing on the entire family and extended clan. Judith Light’s masterful performance as the wife who gives and gives to get the love she needs is a revelation.
“The only way things will change will be when we’re all wilder, louder, riskier, sillier, unexpectedly overflowing with surprise.” Jill Soloway, creator of Transparent
There’s sex with gender fluidity, mastectomies, aging bodies, kink, and transgressive relationships full of love and harm. It’s all so deliciously murky. No matter how hard we try to keep life clear and simple, it stubbornly resists. We love and fuck people we ought not, have enormous blindspots, and are often self-absorbed. Sex is an extension of ourselves, and like it or not, reveals a lot.
No one is spared the light of day scrutiny, nor judged harshly. The consequences of their shortcomings do that neatly already. The genius of the show is that invites you to simply bear witness. We are all antagonists and protagonists over a lifetime.
It’s a joy to be in the hands of such a gifted storyteller. Jill Soloway is so fearless and skilled, it’s breathtaking. I occasionally had to stop watching to take a little time to think about I had just seen. It’s dense material, and like great literature or rich ideas, it forced me to stop and consider what I had consumed.
My advice is to set down your ideas about how people should be (they’ll be there when you get back) and absorb the deep truths that elegantly seep out.
We are all flawed, love matters. Life is full of suffering, mistakes, squandered opportunity.