Falling Down

Back in 1993 I was in high school. A year earlier my future wife kissed me, though at the time I had no idea. It was just a random party where some girl kissed me. When I wasn’t being kissed by girls at party (which was pretty much any time except that one), I spent my time being a bit of a loose cannon. The sort that people just assume is going to ‘go postal’ one of these days.

So when the Michael Douglas movie Falling Down came out, I literally had a high school teacher who said, “This movie was made for you.” It’s about a guy who is stuck in a traffic jam in L.A. and just gets out of his car and starts walking. He wants to make a phone call so he goes to a convenience store to get change for the phone, but the guy says he has to buy something, so buys a can of Coke, but the guy behind the counter says it’s eighty-five cents, so that doesn’t leave enough for the phone call. Michael Douglas gets pissed off and ends up destroying the store. From there he takes on just about every section of 90’s Los Angeles that was driving any sane man nuts.

They were right. I loved that movie. I even bought it on Laserdisc. (Remember Laserdiscs?) The fun part was you could cut out almost all the scenes with the cops and just watch Michael Douglas beat the hell out of L.A. if you skipped chapters.

Falling Down was the movie I’d watch when I had a bad day. (This was before Grand Theft Auto.) Sure, I might want to go nuts, but this way I could vicariously get my aggression out without having to call a lawyer.

I’m of the opinion that this kind of ‘aggression self-therapy’ is important and healthy. I think that more often than not, the people who really blow are the ones who don’t have some sort of outlet.

We’ve all had those days where it seems like everyone and God is against you. Sometimes you wake up and the day just says, “I’m going to kick your ass.” And all you want in the world is for people who love you to tell you it’s all going to be okay and that you’re going to get through it, but since it’s a Bad Day that’s not going to fucking happen. It’s not that nobody loves you and nobody cares (though who knows? Maybe it is). It’s just your day to get hit with the shithammer.

-Jack

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