I haven’t blogged in a while, sorry about that. Been busy with other projects and stuff. This week looks quiet on the social front so I promise to write more. Ha! Look at me typing this as if I actually have an audience.
Right. The Shawshank Redemption, what a classic movie, right? If you haven’t seen it, just a warning: this post is chock full of spoilers. If you have seen it then this will all make sense. The Shawshank Redemption is the perfect allegorical study of the different kinds of relationships you get. Let us begin:
The Old Man and the Bird (The Needy Relationship)
If you recall, there was this old guy that Tim Robbins was friends with. He had this little bird and he’d feed it worms all the time. I can’t really remember all the details of this little sub-plot, but I guess it was cute and made everyone go aw. The fact is, there are a lot of human relationships like that. When you’re in prison, carrying a little bird around and shoving worms in its face is pretty cool. When you’ve got a job and hopes and dreams and friends and bills, it isn’t that cool. Especially when the bird is a full-grown human and the worms are constant reassurances of love and fealty. Then it becomes a downright pain in the ass. Let’s be realistic, we all need reassurance and bits of love, but every fucking second? Anyway, you know what happens to the old man right? He dies. You’ve been warned.
The Gang-rapers (Unrecquited love)
During a big portion of the movie, Tim Robbins is pursued by a bunch of rapey men that want to get down with him. I guess when you’re in prison and you run out of worms and birds, you take the next best thing, in this case: Tim Robbins. Getting gang-raped in prison is kind of like unrecquited love. It’s sore, it leaves you broken, and you know that tomorrow its going to happen all over again and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. A lot of people say that there’s a certain poetic tragedy in unrecquited love. Yup. Also, your bum bleeds a lot. The rapey guys get beat to death with spoons in the end (or something like that). Once again, warning issued.
The Three Football Fields of Shit (The Comfortable Relationship)
Hey, if someone tells you that all you have to do get ultimate freedom is crawl through a shit-filled pipe three football fields in length, you’d do it right? Of course! It’s ultimate freedom bitches! Tim Robbins smashed into that pipe with gusto. Some people do it, but they kind of get stuck halfway. They get overwhelmed with the shitty fumes and they just forget what they’re doing and where they’re going. They forget who they are. They just get stuck because hey, shit is kind of warm and it doesn’t smell so bad if you breathe through your mouth. What they don’t realise is that ‘comfortable’ relationships destroy your soul and kill your will to live. Blink and you’re 40, overweight, with three kids and a death wish. If you’re in a pipe like that, get the fuck out, because you know what happens next. You drown in poo, that’s what.
Morgan Freeman, Tim Robbins, The Beach and The Boat (The Best Relationship)
At the end of The Shawshank Redemption, Tim Robbins is on this amazing beach busy working on a boat. Just fixing it up. Morgan Freeman approaches him (having just gotten out of prison), they kind of smile and they begin working on the boat together (that’s how I remember it at least). That’s right, they begin working on their relation-ship. See what I did there? Boat, ship? Get it? Aw fuck off! It is funny! That’s the perfect relationship man. Two people working together to achieve something. Helping one another to achieve a common goal. Mutual respect, appreciation, grace. The days are beautiful, the work is hard, but you’re doing it with your best friend. Nobody has given up, everybody is getting enough love, it’s all flowing both ways. Good times.
I’ve experienced all of these kinds of love, even the last one (sort of). I think everyone goes through a few of these kinds of things, sometimes with the same person. It’s life man. It’s chaos. Nobody knows what the fuck is going to happen next. Just be good and don’t give up. If you’re single, you’re Tim Robbins, alone in your cell, digging a hole to freedom. Keep digging. If you’re stuck in one of those shitty relationships, shame for you. Best you make some choices. If you’re in the boat and beach one, I am jealous of you. I want to be you. I will find you and cut your face off with a scalpel and wear it like a mask and assume your identity just so I can have that type of relationship for even a day.