The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone else when we’re uncool. Lester Bangs, Almost Famous
There is a great scene in the film “The Holiday” when Kate Winslet’s character, Iris, is so distraught over hearing the news of her ex’s engagement that she starts breathing in gas from her stove as she is getting ready to light the flame for a cup of tea. She then realizes what she is doing and scrambles to open the window, finishing the moment with a mumble to herself, “Low point!”
I love this scene because it reminds me of our humanity and the vulnerability we carry in our hearts that result in situations in our lives that really are “UNCOOL.” It makes me laugh every time. The scene has become an unfailing reflection of my own relationship foibles. As I have opened this article with a quote that I also love, from another film (yes, I am a cinematic nut job), I can’t help but refer to it over and over again in my own life. A lot of getting over our self- judgments that usually result in some misguided perception about who we are, is about owning those moments in our lives where we really do hit those “low points” and seriously act “uncool.” Iris’s goofy attempt at poisoning herself with gas from her stove qualifies as one of these moments for me.
There has been a lot of talk over the past week about Miley Cyrus’s performance at the MTV VMA awards, and it has been funny to see many people’s reactions here on WordPress with the weekly writing challenge incorporating it as a guideline. Most people don’t want to give any energy to the topic and the hype of this pop performance dilemma. I totally understand it, as a person myself who has always rejected in some way through my own musical snobbery such mainstream musical gunk- which is why I have always related to the main characters in Almost Famous.
But I can’t help but notice that even those that don’t want to give any energy to the event still do by feeling the need to make their statement. When I finally had a second to actually watch the video, I found myself laughing out loud- really. Why? Because here was a person engaged in one of those “low points,” one of those “uncool” moments where her immaturity outweighed whatever it was she was trying to do on that stage. To me her performance was no different than a bunch of 13 year old awkward boys or girls having a sleep over acting outlandish about sex, a topic they don’t know anything about but want to be “cool.”
In my heart, I can’t help but be grateful that I now have enough wisdom to honor Cyrus’s process of growing up amidst all the labeling on this planet and the continuous blubbering over one concern to another regarding pop artists and what they are teaching our kids or what they say about our society as a whole. In the end, we have to all own our “uncool” moments for what they are and love ourselves because there is nothing else left that is real but that love. One day, I’m sure Ms. Cyrus will own her “uncool” also and be a person she herself can fully love rather than seek the hype surrounding celebrity marketing and drama.