Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Problem of Envy

I was reading this AV Club interview with Zooey Deschanel about her singing/acting career and I was quite taken and jealous over the whole thing. Taken because I like what she had to say, and jealous because she has the guts to say it, while I have all kinds of hang ups and insecurities over saying the same or similar things.

For instance:

  The A.V. Club: Your music feels simultaneously nostalgic and modern. Do you ever feel torn between the two?
Zooey Deschanel: Yeah, I think so. I usually like stuff that was made before I was born. At the same time, I’m happy to live in 2010 and have access to many years of records.
AVC: A lot of your songs deal with unrequited love and relationships gone bad. Now that you’re off the shelf, so to speak, what are you going to write about?
ZD: I still write about unrequited love. It’s interesting. It was never so personal. I mean, the emotions are personal. I’m moved by the emotions, but they were never all about me. I think when you use too much in your own—if you’re a creative person at all, if you overuse yourself as a pawn in your own adventures to write your masterpiece, I think you end up bending yourself. It’s all very sincere emotionally. It’s just not necessarily my life experience. 
AVC: What keeps you coming back to that subject?
ZD: I don’t know. You just like some things or other things, I guess. Interesting stories.
She's just so simple about it all. "Yeah, I like stuff that was made before I was born." If I said that I would feel like a dunce for saying "stuff," and I would worry that people would think I simply "don't get" more modern and "challenging" art.
And then, "I don’t know. You just like some things or other things, I guess. Interesting stories." You gotta be KIDDING me?! As it so happens this is the only valid explanation for inspiration in art, but you can't just SAY that. Artists have to be complicated, deep, brooding, esoteric but without completely falling off the planet. I'm controlled by the notion that we can't possibly be so damn blessedly straightforward and uncomplicated about such a serious and mythical concept as artistic inspiration.
So Zooey, 
Zooey Deschanel

cheers to you and your extremely unpretentious style--just know that if it were an easily transferrable trait I would mug you in the blink of an eye for it. And also know that because of the envy you've inspired in me, if we are to ever meet, I am going to be so passive-aggressive, praising and reproachful that you'll doubtless feel you've stepped into a whirlwind of befuddlement, vague alarm and id-driven transparency, all smoothed over with a shellacking of insincere middle-middle class American kindness. 


Carlytron said...

+ she is a cutie!

Jessica DesLongchamp said...

You come up with the most random and darling observations! Really enjoyed reading your thoughts... plus Zooey's pretty great too. ;)

Glenn said...

Who is Zooey Deschanel?

JD said...

Oh...Glenn. Haven't you seen Elf?? You probably haven't, so do yourself a favor and see it (on account of it's funny).