I have made it! One full year of watching the wallpaper paste that is The Truman Show. Looking back at the predictions I had from the beginning of the year, I can say that I was not even close.
1. While I can not say that I can point out that the movie was the cause of any changes in my personality, I can’t discount that it had something to do with them.
I am not the same person I was a year ago. I have changed where I live, and found someone with whom I want to spend the rest of my life with. How she will deal with me watching a movie once a week for an entire year still has yet to been seen. I dress differently now, I wear button-ups instead of graphic t-shirts more often than not. I now wear my grandfather’s ID bracelet from 1950. I don’t seem to be able to tolerate spicy food like I was once able. There really is a lot of things about myself I can honestly say are different.
2. I have not gone crazy.
While I did hate the movie for more than a couple of months, it did not drive me to do anything rash or insane. I don’t think anyone could be inspired by Truman to do anything crazy. I also think that Catcher in the Rye and Jodie Foster are just as harmless, and those did supposedly inspire some horrid acts.
3. I wish I was paranoid.
I had ventured the guess that I might become more aware of being watched, or at least suspect it. Well… that seems to not have panned out either. The tech in Truman is just… dated. It is almost like being afraid of vacuum-tube-powered robots being able to take over the world. It’s just not going to happen. Maybe if I was watching Eagle Eye (even though the internet does not work that way) or Enemy of the State I might have become more paranoid about surveillance. I will admit that I do wish that I would have developed some form of paranoia. That would have been a more interesting result. I also could have made not being picked up by surveillance into a nice little hobby.
I will say that I do have the feeling I am going to miss The Truman Show on some level. I think I will always change the channel if I see it on TV, but that is because I now own two copies of it. I can watch it anytime I want to feel nostalgic for 2012. This year, the good times as well as the bad, will be marked for me by the one constant I did have. I did not have my wonderful Lady through the year, nor did I live in the same place. I did travel in my first commercial airliner, visited the west coast for the first time, had my first In and Out burger, saw my sister graduate college, moved, had my car of the past six years die on me, traveled to Virginia via car, saw Washington, D.C., and was introduced to a multitude of new and interesting foods and ideas. This year marked a successful rover landing on Mars, and more horrible shooting sprees than I would like to remember. The thing is, I will remember all of these events because of Truman.
I used to play a lot of video games when I was younger. I had an NES. When I think of that console or hold the controller in my hands, I can remember more about my childhood than just sitting around and trying to dredge up memories. I can remember my uncle who died. The way he smelled, walked, talked, and the way that whenever he smiled because he was happy he would always simultaneously breathe out his nose. I remember the dogs he and my aunt had, and how I was the surrogate child of one of them. I can remember how they introduced me to Star Wars, Lost in Space (both the campy and new one), and Nintendo Power. And from there I can remember more about other members of my family. All of these memories spawning more and more. It is like a chain, everything is connected to something else. That is what Truman will do for me when I think about it. This past year is all anchored to this one movie.
That is the thing about movies, music, and television. Sometimes it is not the movies themselves that effect us, but rather the things we attach to them ourselves. Everyone has something like that. There is that one movie or song that you can not listen to because someone broke your heart and it just happened to be playing right after. There are the movies that we used to watch with our parents or grandparents that make us feel like children again. There is a reason Star Wars will always fill me with boyhood wonderment. Whenever I am sick, I still reach for either Return of the Jedi or The Real Ghostbusters, as I did when I was 8.
That will be what I take from this year, more than anything else. The connection to it. I do not know when the next time I will watch Truman again will be. I do know that when I do, I will have all of the memories from 2012 to go along with it.