Diana and I watched Singles again recently. Aside from having one of the best soundtracks in the history of music, I just found the movie to be brilliant when I bought it in 1994. It wasn't just the snapshot of grunge style in Seattle, but the struggle to meet and connect with people just struck me as something we can all identify with. It's one of my favorite movies.
There's a part early on where Janet is talking to the camera about the desire to really embrace your youth. She says:
"I think time is running out to do something bizarre. Somewhere around 25, bizarre becomes immature."
Cameron Crowe's script really grabbed me with that line. Second only to Steve's drunk speech near the end in awesomeness, that line sums up everything that we seem to lose as we grow up. It was profound to me when I was 20, and it kind of freaked my shit out to hear it 20 years later.
When we are 20, the thing that seems most wild, making us feel alive, is going out to party and get drunk. OK, not everyone thinks that, but as infrequently as I did it, I have to admit that it was one of the things that made me feel like I was living life. Even if you are the club rat type, you eventually start to grow out of that.
So what is the value of doing things you or others might consider bizarre? Is it really being immature? At the ripe young age of 32, I had adventures in body piercing, and another at 37. Heck, I'm still thinking about poking more holes in my body. Is that wild? Why would I want to do that?
Others jump off of tall structures with a rubber band tied to their feet. Some travel to remote places where they put their lives at risk. I suppose some people might even go to an open mic night and sing. Is that wild? Why would anyone want to do that?
I think being bizarre in some outwardly obvious way is something we do to combat boredom, and also to keep life interesting. I don't think most people do it for attention whoring reasons, as an outside observer might suggest. There's a broad spectrum of reasons to break out of your comfort zone, ranging from dissatisfaction with your life to a deep understanding that there isn't that much at stake or risk to try new things. The former might be a little destructive, but the latter is really healthy, I think. I hope I can be healthy in that way.