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Sunday, January 01, 2006

How To Deny Yourself

It's the new year, and already I've broken my vow not to smoke. I can't deny myself what I want and I can't help wondering if this is my weakness, or if I'm just principled.

Last night I saw Brokeback Mountain, a film about the cruelest denial there is; the denial of true love. One character, Jack, is principled enough to get what he wants as often as he can get it. For this, he's killed. The other character, Ennis, denies himself and winds up alone, in a windy trailer, with only his memories of those few moments of paradise he allowed himself to have.

Doomed love. It's been portrayed in many films and novels, often so sentimentally that doomed love doesn't touch me. Last night, though, I left Brokeback Mountain shaken, embarrassed to be weeping hot tears. That's when I bought the smokes.

48 Comments:

Blogger ginab said...

Puff away and release. I've heard even a stone would cry they see Brokeback.

I'm crying imagining a stone crying. The seep of a tear through a crack in the shell around crystal. Yes, the denial.

People.

2:10 PM

 
Blogger josh williams said...

Good movie eh? I'll watch it when it hits HBO I don't like blubbering in public. I answered you question about Roscoe on my fish post but you will find a big surprise in my latest post. Happy New Year and I think you write real good.

2:24 PM

 
Blogger matty said...

I agree with ginab --- enjoy those cigs.

...there are worse things a girl could do! (cue the karoke music)

I quit smoking in 1987 and I STILL miss my smokes! But I tend to crave them when I am stressed or really bored.

Brokeback is so very sad. I had the same thought about the Texas character being "punished" but I pushed that concept out of my head because I was already annoyed enough by the repression and life choices of the other character --- and, really, all of the characters excepting the one played by Michelle Williams. For me, the two women in the story were as heartbreaking as the men. That look in William's face when she realizes just stabs the heart.

I wish I knew how to cry. I did cry last once last week, but is so very rare.

I never cry (cue another karoke track)

This cold medicine is taking its toll!

2:28 PM

 
Blogger jungle jane said...

i think the dead guy who got what he wanted sounds hot. i bet he was a smoker, too...

2:40 PM

 
Blogger ing said...

gina:

Wow, good image of sadness. People.

Josh:

I looked, and yes, I was surprised. I imagine it's standing room only on Sundays.

Matt:

Michelle Williams was great, and yes, I was struck by her expression at her moment of revelation.

And despite the frustrating aspects of the character he played, I was most impressed by Heath Ledger, who didn't say much during the film but nevertheless managed to embody a terrible conflict. The character of Ennis was an old stoic because he'd been deeply scarred by what his father showed him. Or at least that's how I was able to excuse his repression. . .

I don't usually cry at movies, but I cry sometimes, sure. Last year I think I cried enough to last me the rest of my life. This year will be different.

2:50 PM

 
Blogger ing said...

Jane:

They were both cigarette smokers, which made it even worse.

Jake Gyllenhal, who played Jack Twist in the movie, is super hot.

2:55 PM

 
Blogger wallycrawler said...

I quit 10yrs. ago . I don't miss it at all . Kiss'n a smoker is lick'a fat chick's arse . But I gotta admit I got laid more when I was less disconcerting and I didn't care what I licked . Maybe I should start smoke'n again ?

6:00 PM

 
Blogger ginab said...

Nice to see Jake G grown up.

6:13 PM

 
Blogger ing said...

I'll say, ginab.

6:28 PM

 
Blogger jungle jane said...

brokeback's not out here yet. we are so uncool.

just as well i guess - i quit smoking 5 months ago and really don't want to start again. try reading Alan Carr's Easy Way to Quit Smoking Ing. No cravings at all. You read the book (you must carry on smoking while you are reading it) and then you simply stop. it's that easy and simple...

6:42 PM

 
Blogger ing said...

I've heard about that Alan Carr book -- I'll check it out. Ooh, and Jane, do you like reading short stories? Because if you get a chance, I bet you'd like Because They Wanted To, by Mary Gaitskill. Did you see The Secretary? She wrote the story that movie was loosely based on.

Cheers!

8:04 PM

 
Blogger jungle jane said...

I love reading and i love short stories - i will get it. i did see The Secretary - 4 times in fact. it made my blood go cold...

do try Alan Carr...that book changed my life....

8:38 PM

 
Blogger JackJumpedOverTheMoon said...

ing,

Vows are meant to be broken. If you didn't need to break them, you wouldn't have to make them.

Ick, that sounds kind of... TERRIBLY cliche. That's what I mean, though.

Jack

12:09 AM

 
Blogger lryicsgrl said...

Hi Ing,
Happy rest of the New Year to you.

12:25 PM

 
Blogger Labbie said...

One of the doc's at the hospital said, "Hey, I could keep smoking, and die of lung cancer in 40 years. Or I could stop smoking, and die of stress in 10."

1:13 PM

 
Blogger josh williams said...

I quit smoking half a dozen times and then always would sneak one then that monkey would gleefully hop on my back. I finally quit about 15 years ago and after about 3 years the urges went away. The only bad thing was I seemed to talk about monkeys alot, I'm not sure if this is a side affect but its saved me bundles of cash which will come in handy with my project. I was lost in a realigious cult recently but never really lost site of my project. God Bless JW

1:33 PM

 
Blogger E.L. Wisty said...

I'll agree with Gina and Matt et all, not a thing to feel to hard about.

Doomed love? My expectation of films about doomed love are the same as yours, but this does sound like an exception.

All the best for 2006

3:11 PM

 
Blogger matty said...

ing -- sorry you had such a rough 2005. I did, too. Actually, the last 3 years just sucked. I have big hopes for 2006, tho!!!!

I have a pretty strong will, but have a very addictive personality. I gave up drugs, drink and ciggies all at the same time. It was pure hell! But, the secret for me regarding cigs were to always have either a pencil/pen/straw in my hand with a soda or ice tea (I was in Texas) For some reason that kind of grounded me as I watched my friends smoke and get wasted while I was the designated driver. It worked for me.

I took a similar approach about 8 months ago when I decided I needed to get back in shape. I've lost over 50 pounds since Feb! Whoo-hoo!

Anyway, the key to all of it is to not really care so that if you need a cig you can have one without feeling "gulity" about it.

Cig smoking or not -- You rock. Own it, baby!

4:48 PM

 
Blogger lryicsgrl said...

Oh here it comes, self-deprecation.
I have two sides. I only show you my better one.
Thanks for the compliment, from one "babe" to another, it does my ego good!

I missed the "talking heads" while I was gone. You all know WHO you are!!

Yeah, I am with The Who. How did you guess??? he he he

7:25 PM

 
Blogger ing said...

Jane:

I didn't come across that book today, but I'm going to wait for it to slide across the used books counter. Thanks for the rec. I forgot to tell you, if you buy the Mary Gaitskill, skip the first story ("Tiny, Smiling Daddy"). I don't know why she began the collection with that one -- it's nicht so gut.

Jack:

You're right that we wouldn't make them if it wasn't likely that otherwise, we'd break them. But I guess I'm a dreamy dream-on kind of girl. I wish with all my heart that vows were meant to be kept forever and happily ever after. And when I was a little girl, my favorite color was absolutely pink. Can you tell?

Lzy:

We all show our good sides, but in your case, I don't think there's a bad side. You're cute, hon, face it.

Labbie:

For an athletic-type, you're awfully, awfully cool about the smoking thing. I might have to start running, o motivated one.

Josh:

God bless you, too. And do you have a ha'penny, my good man? A ha'penny would do. And please, Josh, be careful out there in central Indiana. Those churches and cults and so forth look pretty rowdy.

Wisty:

Happy 2006 to you, too. Say hi to Will Oldham for me. He owes me twenty bucks (as does my friend Dirty Sanchez).

Matt:

Will you be my man-bride? I love you! (But I'm afraid I can't give up red wine. Cigs, sure. The extremely rare hit of strictly medical M? It's medical, mind you. . .).

Let's open a movie theater.

7:58 PM

 
Blogger matty said...

LOL! That is too funny! I just professed my love for you in my comments section! Wow -- wouldn't it be cool to own/run a movie theatre and just show cool movies!!?? ...and, the thing is I know they would come!

...oh, I do miss wine. sigh.

8:15 PM

 
Blogger josh williams said...

Thanks and thanks to some other people that have offered support from your site. Yeah, the mean streets of Indy. Forgive me if I come off as crass. JW

8:42 PM

 
Blogger L.A. Gal said...

You're brilliant! Loved reading your posts...and now listening to Speeding Motorcycle. I need to get turned on to some new music. Where do you find these artists? Happy 2006!

8:42 PM

 
Blogger L.A. Gal said...

oh...and by the way -- YES...def leppard pour some sugar on me. can't think of too many other songs that get you going like that!

8:44 PM

 
Blogger JackJumpedOverTheMoon said...

ing,

Nothing wrong with a little pink "dah-ling"...

Who me? I wouldn't be caught dead!

(Actually I own a pink shirt, note the use of the singular. Hee hee.)

Jack

9:13 PM

 
Blogger Labbie said...

It's not so much cool, lots of people still die from smoking, more than I care to count or think about. But you spoke about denial, and my approach to smoking is acceptance... Acceptance that adults are free to make their choice (be it "right" or "wrong", in quotes because these things are relative from the frame of reference of the observer)... Acceptance that smoking is not going to go away at the snapping of a finger or the passing of a law... And acceptance that there are worst things people can do to others and themselves than smoking... Per se, rape and pillage.
Athletic type? Hardly. I've never been so overweight... But I'm working on a comeback.

4:40 AM

 
Blogger AndyW said...

I don't believe in complete denial because it just sets one up for failure. If I want a smoke I have one, if I want a drink I have one etc... But, fortunate for me I am blessed with a non-addictive personality.

9:01 AM

 
Blogger ticharu said...

I'm no help at all on this one. I quit smoking ciggies in 1983!

I listened to Speeding Motorcycle. I thought the singer was going to cry, which made it kinda endearing, but I think the song really cries out for a T-Rex stomp!

10:39 AM

 
Blogger ginab said...

I'm about to indulge in what had been a long unrequited love for french fries, frozen, O'reda. I can't even spell, I'm so looking forward to their taste, suddenly. Turning one around in my mouth, then chomp! Working out has its downside. I've been eating near everything in sight, for instance. If only a man were around. "Hey now! Slow down there, Nelly! Have some more chips!"

I hear.

10:50 AM

 
Blogger Moonpie said...

Happy New Year Ing!
Don't beat yourself up about the smoking it's a difficult trap to get out of. I have to agree with Jungle Jane the Alan Carr book worked for me too. I read the second book "Alan Carr's Easy Way to Quit Smoking Permenantly" and I've not had a single puff since February. I read that February 2nd is a good day to quit, if you believe in the cycles of the year and all that, Although Alan Carr recommends you don't give yourself a date, you just quit as you finish the book, I just thought it may be good back up so finished the book on that date. New Year is a bit too emotionally fraught to be traumatizing yourself if you ask me.
Hope this is a great year for you!

3:05 PM

 
Blogger ing said...

Matt:

I've arranged for the theater, which will be adjacent to the library on the Brigatine Commander Josh Williams is currently securing for me. It was destiny, Matt.

JW:

While I'm not used to crassness, having been brought up a lady of refinement, I understand -- or at least, I learned of this in my sociology class at Vassar -- that there are areas of the country a young lady does not dare tread for fear of hearing things that will set her ears on fire. Central Indiana being one of them. I will close my eyes and think of England, and thus, pick my delicate way down your rough streets.

l.a. gal:

I'm glad the sugar-pouring thing worked for you. It sure did for me. And welcome!

Jack:

I went through a black-and-metal-studs period, much to my mother's dismay. Then I reverted. Heels, too, I'm afraid. Though I spend a lot more time in my cowboy boots, given the nature of my job (ah, the life of a rodeo queen).

Labbie:

Yes, well, I sometimes run into people who have the unfortunate urge to chide me on this count, and most of these people are alarmingly fit. I'm so glad you don't chide, or lecture, or reproach, or even upbraid.

I'll be cheering from the sidelines as you make your comeback.

andyw:

Not me. I've avoided many addictions by not trying certain things. My main problem is that I associate smoking (for instance) with the act of writing. Now it's hard for me to do one without the other. Ah, well.

Ticharu:

Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. Though the version you heard is somewhat true to the original -- Daniel Johnston has a peculiar, whiny voice.

ginab:

Oooooh, save me a few! (Same thing a man would say, were he around, which I guess would be a preventative.)

Moonpie:

I'll read that book, I will, I will!

5:24 PM

 
Blogger AndyW said...

ing,
Thanks for stopping by.
I chatted with Ticharu when thinking about creating the Communal-Music blog. He's already downloaded the first mp3 and is working away.
Cheers,
AndyW

7:08 PM

 
Blogger jungle jane said...

i am still in the black-and-metal-studs phase, Ing. I wonder if 39 is too old to be a rock chick??

8:37 PM

 
Blogger ing said...

Never, JJ, never.

10:48 PM

 
Blogger ginab said...

Sorry, I ate the fries like a pig dog given chores of late. Will I ever, never ever, know my true fate?

puff the magic dragon.

11:15 PM

 
Blogger ing said...

Aw, jeez! I was holding out for those fries. I even turned down a basket of onion rings my good friend Dirty Sanchez fried up for me.

11:23 PM

 
Blogger JackJumpedOverTheMoon said...

ing,

I'm kind of coming out of that phase now. I still have a dog collar, I'll wear it from time to time... and I love my army boots, but I'm even WEARING that pink shirt today. And makeup has happened as of late too. (Not very much, just a tad.)

Is my Andrew turning me into a woman? *Shock*

Jack

11:50 PM

 
Blogger ing said...

No "Andrew"-type can turn you into a woman, sweets. Dog collar or no, you were, are, and will be (unless you change your mind).

12:33 AM

 
Blogger ticharu said...

I can identify with the addictions thing as you mentioned smoking and writing. I smoked pot every single day for 20 years and felt that I could not play or write music without being stoned. While my music sounds pretty trippy, I do it all straight. 10 years now.
I'm still a stoner at heart, but the physical act is no longer nessasary.
Ciggies are a physical addiction on a par with smack, hardly the same as weed, but so much of the addiction is psychological.
Your mind is a hallway with doors. Put the ciggies behind a door and close it. You can look in from time to time. Just remember to close the door when you leave.

4:19 AM

 
Blogger Chris Capp said...

Hello,

Been a visitor here but thought I'd leave some tracks. The tawny weed is evil and, yes, the Brokeback boys smoke constantly. Good Night, and Good Luck is an even more difficult film to get through without wanting a cigarette. And I've never even been a smoker. They make it seem so essential. And suave. And atmospheric.

I'd take cigarettes on the air if it also meant more intelligent, independent journalism.

10:01 AM

 
Blogger honeyhive said...

I tripped for 3 years once, about every other to every 3rd day. It got scary toward the end.

3:37 PM

 
Blogger lryicsgrl said...

I gotta see this movie.
Will I be jealous. I love that Jake Gyllenal (sp?)

5:57 PM

 
Blogger lryicsgrl said...

Oy Vey,
Honeyhive, when your mother told you to always wear clean underwear, she meant for people to see them only if you have been in a horrific car accident.
Sheesh!!!

Oh dear, was I really suppose to ignore the "snap shot"?

5:59 PM

 
Blogger ginab said...

And today, on top of smoking, I ate that jasmine rice with scrambled eggs with tuna and peas (high octane) dish which knocked me between my sheets for a good twenty minute kip, and naturally this feast and smoke stint followed WORKING OUT.

I'll be cryin' in my leftovers tomorrow.

8:11 PM

 
Blogger jungle jane said...

I wonder if Alan Carr takes afternoon naps?

9:19 PM

 
Blogger Chuck Dawson said...

Are you denying yourself the posting of some new material?

10:05 PM

 
Blogger ing said...

Tich:

Yes, it's really deadly when you combine that kind of thing with the creative process. It's not just substances. I have this hideous plaid shirt that I've had now for at least ten years. I can't sit down and write unless I'm wearing it.

Chris:

I see you've defined your standards.

HH:

That would be scary, I imagine. A friend of mine was doing a similar thing. He quit when he realized that he talked to himself in public, and not in an amusing way, either. Now he's right as rain.

lzy:

Do, see it. You'll be doubly jealous when you see how Heath Ledger strings him along.

And snappy comeback, mom. : ]

ginab:

Me too, huge burrito. I would have napped but Chuck Dawson, just above my head there, made me work instead.

Jane:

No, Alan Carr kips in the afternoon. He naps in the evening. (And he never sets his sheets on fire, either.)

Chip:

You're tired of my old posting? Hang on a sec -- I'll be right back. . .

1:32 AM

 
Blogger purplesimon said...

Hey Ing,
Thanks for popping along, leaving comments and generally smoking me out! I also tried to give up; failed and am trying again.

It's hard. Still, if a movie was ever to cause me to start smoking again it would be Brokeback. Which is why I have yet to go see it. I will, but only if I think I can use smoke in my eyes as an excuse for blubbering in public.

Oh, and on the subject of Sufjan, I can't wait until the UK hosts a show. I also see you're a Bonnie Prince fan. Cool.

Me? I'm loving Herman Dune at the moment, this alt-country thang is moving me right now.

Enough now, I've got commercial words to write. Ones I get paid for, not the ones that excite me. I'll add a link to your blog, too. I think my friends would like it.

purplesimon out...

1:45 AM

 

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