“If you could only see…”
analysis of Grady/Jack…
note how the strengths at the beginning and the weakness/meekness slowly transform and shift until
Jack is basically cowering in obedient fear before the meek butler, who seems now undefeatable,
utterly confident, a “man” whose force of will itself flexes and reverberates with every word and
every movement. in a very short period of time, Grady IS in charge, period…and Jack is his
obedient and thankful servant, trying to his best to please his master, completely disregarding
anything: his wife and child, his sanity, his (tenuous hold on) decency…etc…
the house itself is “alive”. The hotel itself is a living entity, dormant when there are too many
people to “attack” (control), coming alive (slowly) when the number is just a few (caretakers).
The power of the house also is dormant, and needs to “thaw” over the winter…it requires only
someone with “The Shine” to awaken it. These people are the only “danger” the hotel feels…noone
else can (usually) see what IT really is. But those who shine can see, and therefore might be
motivated to try to defeat such things.
The hotel becomes stronger and stronger the longer X (the shiner) remains. It cannot control X,
and cannot kill X…the power of the Shiners is enough to at least combat the hotel to the point
where survival is possible.
Thus the important factor is: There must be another (Y) among them who is weak, mentally and
morally. Someone with no real courage, no real convictions. Someone prone to anger but cowed by
real threats. The house attacks precisely: the first opportunity it can, it appeals to a negative
aspect of Y. Y becomes more comfortable…it appeals again…etc, until Y is NOT Y, Y is the house
manifested in true, purely physical form. There is no longer anyone named “Jack Torrance”, for all
intents and purposes.
Wendy, lacking one of these labels (she has no shine, but she is NOT weak…her love for her son is
so powerful that it, in some ways, shields her from the evil of the house and the house’s hate for
At the end, the house is TOTALLY alive…everything manifests everywhere to everyone, the entire
place seems to be both screaming at and laughing at the puny mortals attempting to defeat it.
And now with a commentary, here is a grumpy old puppy.
I’m old, and I’m not happy.
People today and their fancy “internet” and “word processors”, producing readable, well-researched
book reports.…FLEEBITY FLOOBITY!
In my day, there was only one way to write a book report. You had to use a
typewriter. And if you were lucky you had one at home, but it wasn’t yours.
So you had to fight to the death with the rest of the book-reporting household.
And the longer it was the more hopeless you felt even trying. You had to
type with the same terrified care as playing ‘Doctor’, where a human being is
just a few slots and a lot of buzzers. He had a red nose like Rudolph and
mocked you savagely if you made a mistake.
And we LIKED it! We LOVED it, oh happy day!!!
If you couldn’t use the home typewriter you had to use the one at the library.
And half the keys were stuck. And there was always that mystery key with the
letter faded off. And if you didn’t hit the key hard enough the letter just
looked like a shadow on your piece of typewriter-mandated paper. And if hit
the key too hard it was in BOLD by accident. And if you made a mistake there was
no “back-spacing” over it for easy deletion. And you couldn’t even fix it then
because there was a line a mile long of other kids who waited til the last day,
and if you took too long they turned into ‘Lord Of The Flies’ disciples and put
your head on a pole. So you waited until you finished, half the letters ok,
and the other half too high, too low, misspelled, or just really stupid because
you only took an hour to write the rough draft. And the only way to fix it was
to slather the mistakes in “White-Out”. But you didn’t have the typewriter
anymore so you had to spend 10 hours practicing your calligraphy to make sure you
could write the letter correctly with your black ink pen that stopped working
about halfway through the letter. And you didn’t have another black ink
pen, so you switched to blue ink. And you ended up with some weird symbols from
an alien language in half black and half blue.
And you LIKED it! You loved it, oh happy day!
In my day, we didn’t have all the information you needed just one click away. FLEEBITY FLOOBITY!
In my day, you had to use encyclopedias. And the encyclopedias were outdated
the SECOND you bought them for seven easy payments of fifteen thousand dollars.
And after a year or two one of the volumes went missing. And you could NEVER
find it. So you wrote a five-page book report all the while praying to
Almighty God that not too many words with the letter “t” needed to be used.
And then one of your typewriter keys broke and you had to avoid “m” as well.
So half the time was spent writing and the other half coming up with synonyms
for every “t” or “m” word.
And you never had five pages of real “information”. You had two. So you
had to stretch out that two pages worth by saying the same thing OVER and
OVER again, with only small alterations to sentence structure. And even
after all that it wasn’t ready, because after page 4 and a half you couldn’t
think of any more ways to say the same thing. So you got a black pen and tried
to write as well as you could while walking toward school. And it looked
horrible. And the pen kept failing. And it died completely with three sentences
left to write. So you looked for a blue pen but you couldn’t find one, so you
grabbed that one pencil you had that you hadn’t used since last time you did a
book report and you finished the report in pencil. You completed the hierarchy
of book reports out of necessity. And you knew it wouldn’t even be accepted
if they saw it first, so when people came up to drop off their book reports
on the desk, you went in the middle and tried to quickly have your little
monstrosity covered by someone else’s. And when it came back a “D-” you
didn’t mind…you LOVED it! You danced for joy because at least you didn’t
have to do the whole thing over again.
90 percent of your report was taken from an encyclopedia, and 10 percent from
some book you’d never heard of, but it was vaguely about the subject and you
needed to have another “source”. And the biggest bit of information you got
from that book was the source listing info for your report. That’s right,
every report was the same except a few sentences from the first book you could
find in the library that in any way applied to the subject. But everyone
else was looking for those books too, so you had to pick something with the
most marginal connection to the subject. You made a link between the Cold War
and Ancient Egypt, but since there is no link between the two you just started
writing each letter as widely as possible. And you said the same thing OVER
and OVER again. And by the end you’d gone insane with worry and were trying
to draw some hieroglyphics. And you didn’t even know what they meant.
But that’s ok, because neither did your teacher.
The only “computer” we had was at school. And your eardrums were permanently
damaged by the disaster-avoiding cries of whichever adult saw you ALMOST do
something while the red light was on. And the only thing you could do with it
was play ‘Oregon Trail’. And you thought the horrific graphics were AWESOME.
And you never bought enough of everything to survive. And you failed to make
it to Oregon every single time. One by one, your little party of travellers
died. And the only things you learned from it were 1) never try to go to Oregon
and 2) bullets don’t actually move that fast, so you have to fire three seconds
before the horribly drawn beast hits the center of the screen.
That’s right, you were ignorant, relieved to get a D-, and your reports and
others like them were cited as legitimate explanations for book-burnings.
And that’s the way it was and we LIKED it!
CPE 1704 TKS
I want to love and protect those I care about. I want to be good. I want to do something good. I
want to protect things that can’t protect themselves (children, dogs, cats). Dogs and cats have
been domesticated FOR humans, BY humans. They instinctually trust people. We have ENCOURAGED that
trust over the years. Taking that trust, that innocent love, that WE helped them to have, and
using it to hurt them is one of the greatest evils I can think of.
I HATE anyone that causes harm to complete innocents. Not dislike…HATE. Fury, rage,
righteousness. Beyond what you could feel, if the timing is right. Thank God for BPD.
FAIR USE: CRITICISM – Really bad video. Pretty good song, especially after watching Black Mirror episode ‘San Junipero’.
That guy in ‘American Beauty’ that talked about filming something flying and dancing in the wind. I understand that. I really do, I see how he sees the beauty of it. MOST people can “understand” it. I felt it. I’ve felt a lot of things that people would ignore or mock if I told them, things about beauty and such.
The difference between me and him is: I don’t JUST feel beauty that strongly. I feel lots of emotions very strongly. Some good, some bad, some neutral.
*Me* “That’s a GREAT book…amazing, so powerful near and at the end.”
*Someone else* “How many times have you read it?”
*Someone else* “Why just once if it’s so ‘great’?”
*Me* “It hurts.”
For instance, the LOVE I would feel (possibly, in his situation, if my mental illness allowed) – which is partly fear, in my case – isn’t the only unusually strong emotion or reaction I would be dealing with.
Basically, the two things I feel the strongest, under the right circumstances, are:
Love (it’s not all or always fear. It’s NOT. But it’s incredibly powerful…and the after-effects sometimes fill me with awe, a sort of distant untouchable sense…and everything else seems to slow down, quiet down…and I revel in the feeling, partly because it’s not emptiness but mostly because it’s so incredible to me). (See ST:TOS “Spock’s Brain and the before/after “amazed, realized, sudden brilliance”/”hesitation, confusion, anxiety, grasping”. So I’ve learned this…and I can just let it wash over me, still somewhat amazed, perhaps in awe. But I’ve also learned that it’s fleeting. It won’t last forever, and when it’s gone it will hurt to know I had it, and lost it, and so I intentionally remind myself it’s fleeting, and prepare for it being gone, so that when it IS, THAT (it being gone) doesn’t hurt as much.
Hate (I’m a decent person. I try to live a good life. I want to be good.) Sometimes, things that happen evoke hate in me. Recognizing this, which is sometimes hard to do, does one of two things. One is that I pause, think, and analyze. I internally test whether it’s justified or just my anger coming to the forefront. And if it’s unjustified, I try to avoid it: do something else for a while, lie down and relax (or try to), etc.
If it’s justified, I can examine a proper response. But generally I think I’m a paper tiger, all bluster and little bite.
Even under the most deserving circumstances, even feeling it DEEPLY, I sometimes can’t do anything about it. I don’t have it in me. Then, at least.
But as a parting comment before I go to watch the movie again, I think, should something happen that is horrible and evil to one that I care about, the horribly-exaggerated comment I made quite a while ago (and more since) is good: “If you X, I will make John Doe’s ‘SLOTH’ look infinitely merciful in comparison.”
And I don’t think that’s wrong.