“At the earliest drawings of the fractal curve, few clues to the underlying mathematical structure will be seen”
- Ian Malcom
So begins Jurassic Park, without which this year’s experiment would not be possible. As I begin to record the results of watching this book’s film adaptation once a week for a year, it is worth noting one of its central themes. Given time, chaos can and will erupt from seemingly stable systems. Bearing this in mind, let’s take a look at my first month with Jurassic Park.
THE VIEWING PROCESS:
The only stipulation of this experiment has, since the beginning, been to watch one’s movie once per calendar week and to write an article about that experience. Since there is a good deal of leeway in this description, how we choose to approach this assignment can give some insight into how we are being affected by our films.
Last year, I quickly resorted to film analysis as a method of getting myself through week after week of High Fidelity. I started carrying that habit over into the new year. But while I enjoy film analysis, I was finding it difficult to sink my teeth into Jurassic Park. I just wanted to sit down and enjoy the movie. Last year, tearing apart High Fidelity was the only thing that could get me through it; this year, picking at Jurassic Park feels more like a chore. (Some elaborations on this point can be found here.)
Two out of three viewings in January were undertaken alone (compared to three of five last year). In the inconsequential coincidences department, Bill and Becca joined me for my third viewing both years (on Jan 19th of last year, and on Jan 18th of this year). My brother Matt joined me for one-and-a-half January viewings, both years.
MY EVERYDAY LIFE:
I was expecting John Williams’s score to be stuck in my head much more than it has been. In the first week, I caught myself humming it three or four times. As the month went on, the amount decreased.
It is hard to say how much I quote the film from day to day. If I had to give an estimate, I would say I have gone from quoting it frequently, to quoting it all-the-goddamn-time.
I have, so far, been refraining from using the movie to frame my life. By which I mean, I have not started thinking of people in my friend groups as characters from the film. I used to do this very frequently. I did it in college. I did it at the golf course I worked at…
I’m obviously pretending there’s a T-Rex on the green.
Maybe I’ve grown out of it. Maybe my friends don’t easily fit into Jurassic Park roles. I don’t know why, but I just don’t pretend my acquaintances are Grant or Malcolm or Nedry anymore.
Aside from things mentioned above, I have not noticed any overarching behavioral changes at this time.
I do not tend to dream about things I enjoy. This has bothered me ever since I was a child. (I would concentrate my thoughts on The Magic School Bus right as I was falling asleep in an attempt to force it into my dreams, but to no avail.) As such, it comes as no surprise to me that I have had no Jurassic Park dreams. No, strike that. In the first week, I had one dream in which I was watching Jurassic Park. Why, and what happened afterward, are lost to me. Though, I suppose it could count as prophetic. You heard it here first: Watching Jurassic Park repeatedly gives you prophetic dreams.
HIGH FIDELITY REMNANTS:
I would like to think that High Fidelity no longer plays a significant role in my life, but it still comes sneaking around when I least expect it.
I was walking down the street one day, and saw a record store I used to stop into from time to time. Instead of going in and browsing though dollar albums, I felt kind of sickened, and walked quickly past.
Certain buzz words tend to jar me into thinking about High Fidelity; words like “Laura,” “rejection,” “Evil Dead 2,” “Otis Redding,” “broke up,” and perhaps more notably, “Ian.”
What fucking Ian guy?
It bothers me whenever I hear “Walking on Sunshine.” This happens almost daily, because the song appears on a playlist which runs on a loop 24-7 at my place of work. It also appears in several current commercials for products I intend never to buy (to hell with you, Jenny Craig!).
On at least two occasions, when quickly trying to come up with a generic romantic song, I have started humming “Let’s Get it On.” Both times, I failed to notice which song it was until I hit the lyrics.
Will I never be free?
My life right now seems fairly normal, but if Jurassic Park (and Jurassic Park) have taught me anything, it is that a semblance of control and normalcy can conceal insanity waiting to burst free. Things seem quiet now, but for all I know, Nedry has already turned off the power to the fences. I just don’t know it, because the Rex is still busy eating a goat. Only the coming months will tell.