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My Life In Pictures

Andrew Feltoe



I want my life to be more like the movies. We live vicariously through them anyway, why not remove that thin line of fantasy altogether? Think of the children.
Naturally you’d be asking what the hell? And it’s only right I tell you that it’s all about the sex. Specifically me, I’d be getting it on big-time. Everyone looks hot in the movies, and ergo I too would be on fire and ditto my friends. The only fuglies in Hollywood are deadbeats: the officer on the take, the bum on skid row. Ignore the uglies and get used to the high life. It’s a world without acne, psoriasis, or STDs. It’s Nirvana.
You’d be excused thinking that it’s a superficial decision. My life in the movies after all means it ought to be surrounded in decadence. Not only would I be attractive but so would everyone I decided to befriend. I’d live in perpetual beauty. It makes it easy to construct a social life, since only hot people are in.
It may sound bigoted, but it’s a world in harmony. Colour doesn’t matter, you can even believe in God if you want. As long as you dress well, live like a Westerner, and don’t get too religious on us you’re part of the good guys. Naturally you’d speak English, but that goes without saying. Just to show we’re not discriminating, everyone’s entitled to learn another language, since it’s common knowledge that accents are hot.
And since we’ve destroyed anything else that gives us meaning, the highlight of our existence becomes copulation, and thank god (in our non-religious sense) we’d have it by the harem-load. Of course biologically sex is about babies, but that sort of thinking’s old-fashioned. Far more convenient to make it about getting your groove on.
Every movie reminds us that the best we can aim for is a steamy night in bed, and sex in movies is the easiest, best sex you’ll ever have. Every girl is consenting, every guy a stud. You’d suffer none of those hitches that drag you under. He won’t be a bastard, she won’t get overbearing. He won’t be domineering, she wouldn’t get PMS. You wouldn’t have to worry about the pill or rubbers because there is no risk in Hollywood of that little sperm wiggling its way into those ovaries. Fantasy overtakes nature and you can have fornication without risk, without consequence.
He wouldn’t fall out of love, she’d never doubt. He’d never get her pregnant, she’d never watch her body turn to fat beneath her. They’d never scream at each other, cry, and hurt each other because relationships work themselves out in celluloid.
And you when finally decide to settle and have kids, they’ll be angels, virgin youths who believe that society exists to nurture them into successful career choices. None of that waking up four times a night for feeding, wiping vomit and shit from his body, and none of those hospital visits when your bundle of joy catches an infection.
Your little Jonny will grow into a handsome man. You’ll never have to worry about him leaving school, hanging with the wrong crowd, smoking dope and jacking cars. He’ll be a good boy. Your teenage son will be a first fifteen rugby star, will wear an All-American smile with his steely blue eyes,. You’ll never scream at him or spend your nights awake, redeyed and wondering how best to teach your kid right decisions.
By all means in my movie-life, you won’t ever have to face scores of counselling sessions to persuade your boy that he’s taking a bad path, of finally making the most painful decision of your life by calling the cops to charge your own son with theft. Of a last-ditch toughlove attempt to shake sense into him by putting him through the justice system to show him the consequence of his choices.
And when it comes to the Hollywood climax, where the beautiful heroes flex their steel and save the day, you won’t expect the phone call from the Inspector to tell you your kid was cuffed in the back of a police van with a con serving a rap for murder. Your face won’t drain, your world won’t spin as the policeman continues, to explain that your child was beaten by this man to bloody death while in their custody.
Movies aren’t life because life is tragedy. There are no happy endings, no easy decisions. No-one has the right to judge the Ashley family for the decisions they made because there is no script that tells them how the ending will be.
But even though we know this, we’re still addicted with the unreality of movies, the affluence, morality and beauty. We watch Brad and Angelina and perhaps in them we see a reflection of our hidden desire. Hollywood has picked up the sceptre previously held by countless prophets, teachers, revolutionaries and philosophers through the ages. They may have used different words, but they all preached the same message: despite a reality of a pain, we still dare to hope.