I’m in this weird state right now where I’m not really happy nor am I really sad. I’m in a lull. I’m bland. I’m silent? It’s a mood perfect for writing because I’m not trying to say something profound, I’m just here… I’m just typing. My impulses are just telling me to write… something.
What do you think about when you think of the classics? When you go on YouTube, when you look at your movie collection, when you go on Netflix, when you look at your book collection… what do you grab if you’re looking for something classic.
Classic: that one particular artwork that makes you repeat every line projected from the character’s voice or make you giggle even though you’ve read that sentence over and over before. Classics.
Here are my classics…
Good Will Hunting’s Fight Scene: I’ve watched this more than 100 times in my entire life. I can hear my heart stop. I close my eyes as my soul gasps for air when Will (actor Matt Damon) pounds his fist again the wall – “Don’t Bullshit. Don’t Bullshit Me!” Every time, even now, I can feel my eyes start to dwindle – exhausted from all the emotional energy my body gives to that scene.
It’s a classic.
The one thing that I love about that scene is where it starts. It begins calm, aloof, almost blissful. Then it picks up – the bed starts to shake – doubt begins to creep – cuts open – and not only do you hear it – but you also feel like you’re there – you feel everything.
It’s loud. It’s louder.
Will is gone. Skyler is crying. You want to cry.
It’s over between them.
Jerry Maguire: One of my favorite movies of all time. It’s a movie that has taught me a lot about what I do and how I should live my life.
There are a few, but for some reason I always go back to:
Cuba Gooding Jr’s Acceptance Speech: I always get excited and start rooting for him while he’s screaming with joy.
The Surprise in South Africa: I love how he tells this story. I’m captivated.
Kevin Hart: Teacher: I can’t stop laughing. The way Kevin Hart sets up the joke… god damn – too good.
Fuck I Look Like by Kai Davis: It’s one of those Spoken Word poems that just comes off very strong. Makes you jump out of your seat – BOOM! I’m screaming alongside the audience – joining in on the fun. F*ck woman. SPEAK.
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens: I am very empathetic towards Pip (the main character). I feel he relates to me as much as I relate to him. I quote lines from the book, often.
Kindred by Octavia Butler: I first read this book in 2007. It’s the book that inspired me to start writing first person stories. It’s also the first book that taught me about pacing. It’s a intuitively mind heavy book.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green: I admire John Green more so than the story. The story is addicting and it was great. But I’m more astounded on how John Green wrote the book. I feel as if it was written formulaically (for young adults) its a formula I’m following right now (for my own book).
Yes, I’m studying his pacing, his word count for each chapter, his flow, and how he transitions from one place to another.
It is my objective not to bore you but rather make you understand what classics do to me and what they can do to others. Classics, as cliche as this sounds, creates a lasting impression with our emotional well-being. It sticks. No matter how old it is… It lives.
I think it’s the job of every artist to create something, at least one thing, that becomes a classic. I want to end with this quote:
The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means, and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it’s life – William Faulkner.
Essentially, creating a classic.
What are a few of your classics?