Who are you?

I love listening to The Who. Oddly enough, however, I’ve always found one of their most popular songs, “Who Are You,” is the one I like the least. Actually, I really don’t like that song much at all. The lyrics are great but it sounds like a song they’d sing on that terrible children’s program I used to see on TV back in the 70’s. It was called “Let’s Go” and yeah, it sucked pretty bad. Come to think of it, I’m not crazy about “My Generation” either. But don’t let that weaken your faith in my liking The Who and their music. “Baba O’Reilly,” “Behind Blue Eyes,” “Pinball Wizard” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again” are just a few of the ones that make me turn my steering wheel into a set of bongos.

And I have to admit: this song that I don’t like does ask a good question: Who are you?

Ever hear of “identity foreclosure”? It’s a term that psychologists use in the study of identity formation, particularly in teenagers and children. As we all know, teenagers are at a crucial age of discovering who they are and sometimes they make the mistake of identity foreclosure–they prematurely “close the deal” on who they really are. For instance, imagine a kid who gets teased a lot for being overweight, so he jokes about it a lot for relief. Then he makes the decision that he’s a joker and a chubby clown. There’s more to him than that, but he’s decided, way too soon in life, that this is what he is. Or maybe a young girl who was raised as a Catholic vegan cage fighter with ties to the mafia. She may have made that decision because her parents are Catholic vegan cage fighters with ties to the mafia, but she later finds out in life that she hates attending mass, loves bacon and fears stepping into a combat cage because she fights like a retired Swedish hockey player. (I won’t say anything about the mafia. I’ve watched De Niro and Pacino movies enough to know better than to mess with that.)

Makes you wonder though, doesn’t it? Are there identity things you committed to as a young adult and held onto that you don’t need to? It’s a difficult question to ask. It’s like looking into a mirror to see something we don’t want to see, only to find that it’s foggy and we have to look close, making it that much harder and painful to do. Here are some examples:

– I’m just not the kind of person who is creative. I can’t draw, paint, write… nothing.

– I guess I am adventurous with some things, but a lot of things I’m not at all. Wouldn’t even want to try.

– I don’t like change. That’s just who I am.

– I wouldn’t say I’m beautiful or good looking. But hey, not all of us can be.

These are attitudes I’ve heard/sensed from myself and my fellow adults that I find are usually cop outs as opposed to true identity claims. Is that really who  you are? Have you merely given up and making these conclusions a way of excusing yourself from moving forward?

Our movies this week have people who fight against identity crises. A Hebrew prince is suddenly a slave, something that he was never meant to be. An entertainer pretends to be coupled with a woman who has the right Hollywood look and appeal so as to keep up appearances when he really has no affection for her. And a young man grieves over his life regrets and insists that he is a good-for-nothing bum.

None of us should give up so easily with these things. Maybe we’re better than we think we are. More beautiful, creative, likeable and smarter than we think we are. In fact, I know we are. That is, with the exception of “deuces” right?

This week we have a first: In just over a year we’ve had over 100 movies of the week, and the first one to ever get the distinction twice:

Congratulations Singin’ in the Rain. This is your week. Again.

Eva Marie Saint

Eva Marie Saint

And the Oscar goes to…

Best Actress: Eva Marie Saint in On the Waterfront. She is breathtaking in this movie and plays off of Brando so well. I would argue just as well as Ingrid Bergman does for Bogart in Casablanca.

Best Actor: Donald O’Connor in Singin’ in the Rain. Last time the winner was Gene Kelly, but O’Connor does just as great of a job. Watching him dance is something you will never forget.

Best Quote: “One God, that I can understand; but one wife? That is not civilized. It is not generous!” – spoken by two sheiks in Ben-Hur. It should also be noted the awesome inclusion of the term “bonehead” by a sheik in a movie set in Ancient Rome.

And now, from the song…

I know there’s a place you walked

Where love falls from the trees

My heart is like a broken cup

I only feel right on my knees

I spit out like a sewer hole

Yet still recieve your kiss

How can I measure up to anyone now

After such a love as this?

Who are you?


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