Tuesday, April 26, 2005

A Crowe Is No Fighter For Seeming Sloshed

"A crow is no whiter for being washed."
-French Proverb
"I'd like to play passionate women, but no one will let me."
-Russell Crowe

I like Russell Crowe, now. It turns out he's not a full time jerk, as most people suspect, but when we see him react with his well-known "personality quirks" he's merely lashing out against people that are seriously bugging him.

My newly found respect for the man did not arise from a moving performance (though he was in a few good movies), nor did I swoon over his startingly mediocre music, and I hardly gained the respect I now have for him because of his public fisticuffs. This newly purchased affinity toward the begrudgingly plain actor came about after sitting down this morning to watch the latter half of an Inside the Actor[']s Studio episode that featured the Aussie export.

This 44-minute hour-long show revealed a surprisingly cogent man of entertainment that convinced me that he is not a muscled brute yearning for bloodshed as much as he is a chained rottweiler that only desires peace and quiet alone in his tiny, tiny doghouse. His approach to his craft was realistic yet respectful and his modesty was overwhelming.

That's the beauty of Inside the Actor[']s Studio (or ITAS to the hardcore fans), it opens an actor's vulnerability to the audience, because an audience is actually present at the filming. An actor interviewed is almost regarded as a substitute teacher or a guest lecturer for the period of time that host James Lipton's spotlight shifts to the chair across from his big oak desk.

It's really the new Behind the Music except the artist actually speaks about his or her craft in addition to all the tribulations they've experienced in front of adoring fans and box office grosses. It adds onto the interest factor that the former show lacked (did we really need an hour about the Bay City Rollers?). It seems as if the viewer is actually learning something about a trade that has become mysticized in media-centric modernity.

Like a lot of Behind the Music episodes, one comes out at the end of an ITAS with a newfound respect for the artist at the center (most of the time. I found that I had even less respect for Vanilla Ice at the end of his BTM than I did when the show started). And with this in mind, you can understand my newfound headnod to Russell Crowe.

Maybe it's a part of UK-thing, why even though the bastard dropped out of High School, he's still smarter than most of the student body at American universities. He can form a complete sentence and can speak in great detail, and at great lengths, about a particular subject without losing his focus or structure, and he values that quality in the people he meets as well. So, that's why I gave him the thumbs up earlier.

Many people today, and I've addressed this in a previous post at greater length, simply go to school to get a job. And why do they want to get a job? Simply to make money.

Don't lose me, now; I'm all for making money, but that's not the only reason why I'm making decisions about my future. There's a kid in my History class who says he'd love to major in the subject, but he won't specifically because there's no money in it. How unfortunate is that? He would rather get a degree he doesn't want to get a job he doesn't like just so he can make a lot of money. What about satisfaction with your life? I would rather have a job where I could come home at night and feel that my contribution was worthwhile. Is this just a pipe dream? Is this really beyond what I should expect out of my life on this planet? The only life I've got? To that I say fuck no--pardon my french.

Keep a good thought, and thank you, Mr. Crowe (and a slight smirk for the other Crowe), for keeping me from falling into a funk.


KMFK said...

How dare you like this man. Have you heard his cd or any of his music? It SUCKS. He's an asshole for even thinking he could make money off that shit. Its terrible. I don't think I ate for a few days after listening to a sample of it because I was in shock that someone would even make a cd out of it. You make me sick Dan. I actually didn't read most of this blog.

DCVB said...

Then I'll summarize:

I don't like him because of his acting (most of which is unmemorable) or his music (or as I said, and quote, "his startlingly mediocre music." I have heard his music, and I too have retched.

I appreciate him because of his attitudes toward his career. He approaches his job as a sort of wobbly-founded blessing. He feels incredibly lucky for being able to do what he loves to do, but feels someone may catch on and take it away from him at any moment.

It's that idea that I agreed with, the abandon to do in life what the fuck you want to do instead of caving into American demands of only doing something "because it will make you money." Screw that, if you actually do what you love, then you'll be more than compensated for your efforts.

It's all in there, just take the time out and do some reading.