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The Hopeless Cynic: Believing In Believing
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The Hopeless Cynic: Believing In Believing
Seems like a good time to submit this. It's not as coherant as some of my other works, but it's my most upbeat. Dedicated to Cameron Crowe, Tom Cruise and Charlie Cotterman.
Robert G Hagans
I used to be a hopless romantic, your average Lloyd Dobler. But at 19, I'm re-evaluating my life. I am becoming a realist, more like a Rob Gordon. Niether optimistic nor pessimistic (well, I'll try) but sensible. The cosmic connection that I've spent my entire life looking for is probably still out there, I'm just no longer obsessed with finding it. And I'm happy about that. For once in the last year and a half, I'm happy... sort of.
I'm a writer mainly (short stories/screenplays) and an aspiring film maker. I am currently directing a film that I wrote called How to Escape a Black Hole . It's all about the hassles of living in a small town and feeling trapped within. I like to meet other film makers out there doing the same things I'm doing, so drop me a line sometime, ya hear?
AUTHOR'S E-MAIL ADDRESS
|AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (10)
An Intimate Conversation With The Powers That Be (Short Stories) From the mind of the hopeless cynic, comes a very strange but brief look inside the male perspective, females should take a gander. Dedicated to Lea Van Cleef, and my sister Kriistal Tighe, who insipr... [1,070 words] [Comedy]
Fade To Light: In The Light Of A Shadow (Short Stories) This is the final chapter of the series. It ties up all the loose ends...for now. It also features the climatic battle between Jessica and Skye. [2,450 words] [Action]
In The Light Of A Shadow (Short Stories) A professional killer tries to escape her violent past...no one said it would be easy. This is just part One. I will post part 2 if I get good feed-back. [3,952 words] [Action]
In The Light Of A Shadow: Showdown In The House Of God (Short Stories) This is the second chapter in the seris about a professional killer tries to escape her past...she doesn't get very far. It is now followed by Fade to Light, the final chapter. [2,561 words] [Action]
Lock-In: A Teen Dramedy (Screenplays) From the person known as The Hopless Cynic, comes a script with a unique take on teen life, more specifically, previous events in my life. I hoped to immortalize it on film, but it was not to be. Enjo... [18,379 words] [Teenage]
The Hopeless Cynic: All That Glitters... (Essays) The Robster on love and relationships...watch your step ladies and gents. Here's to you EC. [995 words] [Comedy]
The Hopeless Cynic: Let's Get Typical (Essays) It's been forever, but I thought it was time to make a comeback. My latest on the subject of women, love and relationships. Specifically, the first early warning system for guys to discover what type ... [2,288 words] [Comedy]
The Hopless Cynic: Masochistic Summer (Essays) The Robster takes a definitive stake forward in the ongoing battle of the sexes. Women beware, the Robster is on to your game. Dedicated to John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, and the Happy Couple (you... [1,219 words] [Comedy]
The Hopless Cynic: The High School Experience (Essays) After a hiatus, the Robster is back, with a look back at High School. Dedicated to Charlie Cotterman, my beloved theatre class (plus Andy Stilling), J.D. Salinger, Zach Morris, and all the high school... [1,243 words] [Humor]
There Is Hope: The Hopeless Cynic (Essays) Here's a follow up to my last. Enjoy it. The Robster strikes again. Dedicated to Charlie Cotterman and the man formerly known as EC Allen. [985 words] [Comedy]
The Hopeless Cynic: Believing In Believing
Robert G Hagans
Confessions of Faith:
You confess your belief in something that you believe to be wholly larger than you as a person, larger than anything you can imagine. Something that you will never fully explain, comprehend or understand. Life, the Universe, and Everything are somehow connected through a force that brings about a sense of wonder whenever you pause and contemplate. What makes you “You”? And how do “You” fit into the whole grand scheme of things?
It’s an exquisite feeling to be full of wonder. To have so many questions that you must answer on your own. That your faith, your beliefs, is what you hold dear when it seems like these questions will overwhelm you. Like a child, you are convinced of it, that your faith will show you the way, guide you to your rightful place in life. So many are disillusioned by the uncertainty that they are swallowed up in disgust and fall by the wayside. They stumble and fall…
They loose their faith.
People are people. They have questions that NEED answering. And as you get older and you aren’t a child anymore it becomes harder and harder to turn to such vague answers and faith doctrines to answer those questions. It’s then that you start to question the faith itself.
Is it really the solution to your problems?
Was it forced upon you?
Is there something else out there that is a better faith?
Is your faith the wrong one?
Is that why it doesn’t answer all of life’s little questions?
No I’m not talking about one specific religion or even religion at all. Anyone can question a “faith”, no matter what it is at any time. It is the nature of people to question what they don’t understand; and anytime you have to put faith behind something to believe in it: religion, hope, life and love, it’s got to be something you don’t understand. Otherwise you wouldn’t need to have faith in it to believe.
Recently I stopped believing in the three most things I hold dear:
Life, love and the movies.
I have always defined my life through love, and defined my love through the movies. So in a round about way, I have defined my existence through the various scripted images of people on moving pieces of celluloid.
And it made me happy.
When life handed me lemons, I made lemonade and drank it while sitting down to watch a flick. It was what made me “Me”. There were the answers to all my questions waiting to be discovered in the video library of my basement. The accumulated knowledge and experiences of screenwriters, directors and actors from all walks of life available at the touch of a Play button. I mean after all, Movies are medium of fiction based on life, right? They have to come from somewhere even if it’s just from the inner-workings of someone’s mind. It rang true, so I never questioned my “faith”.
But as I got older, like any faith, mine began to deteriorate. Life was happening and I couldn’t turn to the same films as I’d done before. I’d seen them one time too many and none of the new movies I was seeing were filling the void. Like the Catholics say, my “spiritual well” had been drained, as it is throughout the course of life with all the trials and tribulations you have to face. Some are just harder than others to bounce back from.
The loss of love, for instance is one of the big ones. I always believed in the movie philosophy, that at some point or another the nice guy would get the girl and live “Happily Ever After”. But in my experience, the nice guy only gets screwed over by the no-so-nice girls who take advantage and is virtually ignored by the “nice” girls for one reason or another. Some of which I have already brought to light and need not to be brought up here. The point of the nice guy, according to my faith, was to keep the “Happily Ever After” dream alive no matter what. Keep a stiff upper lip, because you never know when SHE was going to show up and forever change your world.
But after many false alarms and just outright mind fucks, I was grasping at air, drowning in a sea in uncertainty and doubt that my luck would ever get me to that point. The search for “Happily Ever After” is a dangerous one lined with many possibilities for failure or settlement for “Good Enough.” Sometimes the biggest problem isn’t so much doubting the faith as it is finding the will to go on and to continue with so little left inside.
I needed to be refilled. Reborn. At a most inopportune time when the craft of movie making is at an all time low with corporate rule over the art and imagination of many talented film makers out there. For someone who needed answers there was no one to turn to except myself. I would stay up all night pondering and pondering trying to see what I could do, where I was going wrong. Music didn’t help, writing didn’t help. There were brief ups that quickly became downs again. I didn’t know that my faith was gone, but I knew that something was missing.
Friends are friends. People who often assume they know more about you than they really do. Their assumptions and opinions are sometimes helpful but are often unwanted or hypocritical, and therefore ring especially hollow. The same is also true for family, only even more so for the most part. I needed someone (or something) impartial, that wouldn’t pretend to know me inside and out, but at the same time, I could relate to it because I’d been through or was questioning something similar. And sadly, sometimes the only place you can find that is in your chosen “faith” that you’ve lost, and for me that was movies.
I hit close to rock bottom when I started to resent my relationship with my best friend simply because of who she was. A beautiful, loving creature worthy of much adoration and appreciation. It seemed like I’d discovered a single fluke (since she was the only one of her sex outside of my family that I trusted anymore) and I would never find another like her for myself. The realization of which meant that I had truly lost who I was and who I’d come to be and I sank deeper than ever into my hole. My “spiritual well” was empty.
And then the miracle.
I am a firm believer in the possibility that a single movie can change your perspective, your very view of life. Years ago, a little film called Say Anything had done for me what others before it had only tried to do: given me something to believe in. Now, in an age where films like it are few and far between, the genius responsible for it has given me another gem to admire and praise for it’s flawless design, Vanilla Sky. My former reality that had been cracked and fractured was suddenly crystal clear and for the first time in what had seemed like forever, I believed again. The floodgates opened and I was burdened with an overabundance, my faith restored.
And that is the power of movies for me.
The Rebirth. The Baptism. The Renewal of Faith. They’re all linked and not just in Christian Mythology/Bible sense. Call me ambitious, but they all seem to be central themes found throughout all religions whether it’s Buddhism or Muslim, Judaism, Mormonism, Christianity or whatever. From time to time it will have to happen. Such is the way of life so you can hold true to your ideals, though you should never let them consume you. Be open to the hope of the new and unknown, and never let your wonder and awe of the things in life cease, for that is when you truly lose site of the beauty that surrounds it. But for nothing else, if you take nothing away from this, know that in times of a crisis of faith and there seems to be nothing left to help. Always know, that no matter what the faith or beliefs that you hold dear, that there is Tech Support available. You just have to find it.
At least I hope so.
|READER'S REVIEWS (6)
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"Oh, Cynical One... Good article, man, as usual. Vanilla is a good way to restore your faith, GOD THAT MOVIE ROCKS!!! VS VS VS VS VS VS VS VS VS VS..." -- Angie.
"Great read, Robert. Thanks and good luck because you're going places." -- Randy.
"Rob, you have so much going on in that head of yours i dont know how you stay sane. I'm so glad to hear your faith is restored. I'm sorry for possibly being one of those not-so-nice girls. Never stop writing, it's a sorce of life and truth in your life." -- flashdance.
"Vanilla Sky was great. They are out there but can we find them is the only true question. Im glad you regained your faith. Hope and Faith are to very powerful emotions. til next time...." -- Ryan.
"with the loss of God after the Industrial Revolution and the decay of religious belief all dogmas cracked and lose their strenght, not to be questioned. Men found himself with a load of questions and not much to answer it. the problem is Hagans if you expect something exterior will bring you strenght, that you call " wonder and awe" you are screwd because it will never be enough. The problem is not sadness, doubt, war, loss of love but disbelief itself. Cinema, Music and Literature power my soul so i can relate to what you feel, i loved "Vanilla Sky" but next time doubt hits- and it certainly will- remember that desbelief is the cancer that weakens the will and if you can do that please, please tell me how." -- Jorge Freire.
"This opened my eyes to something...maybe I'll go back to my books after all. Thank you. " -- Pearl.
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© 2001 Robert G Hagans
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