“I’m Just Really Concerned About Dying in the Fire” (Synecdoche, New York)

21 thoughts on ““I’m Just Really Concerned About Dying in the Fire” (Synecdoche, New York)”

  1. Northeast Florida is on fire? Well, that’s a start. On the count of three I want everyone to blow as hard as they can and move that fire south. If any state deserved to be singed beyong recognition, it’s Florida.


        1. I was tempted to write, “But at least you’d be dead,” but I don’t actually want you dead. I mean, you’re a stranger on the internet. I’ve been trying to be more civil, both here and elsewhere on the net, but remarks like yours test my patience. I don’t actually care *why* you would suggest that my home, the place where I live and work and my family and friends live and work &c. should be “singed beyong [sic] recognition,” but I do know that the sentiment is ugly and stupid and probably born of a general ignorance or from a limited experience with our great, strange, diverse, and geographically beautiful state.


  2. I am happy to report that we Suwannee River Rats circumnavigated the Okeefenokee a few weeks ago and the three year (or was it 4?) fire consuming one of the most incredible places on the planet for people who love nature, the land and water, and its creatures and denizens, living on the nearly imperceptible edges in their domains is no longer smoldering. We saw a few trees still venting smoke. Some of the pines have tap roots of nearly pure pitch that go down 50′ into the peat – that’s a lot of burning matter. The swamp servants and lovers seemed kind of distraught about losing so much territory to fire (64K acres?), but were glad to see us visitors
    anyway, whatever asphalt and concrete hell some may have wandered in from. Mostly urban inmates escaping the reality of living somewhere up north for the fantasy that creation has presented the human race across the river in Florida.

    I have lived in NYC, SF, Laguna, Seattle, and Honolulu in the US, and here in the most rural, xenophobic part of Florida there is peace among the varieties of humans living together here. In spite of those who would point fingers and try to rearrange the human race. Mostly, we just laugh at their rants to the newspapers and suggest that they form a committee, appoint themselves a chair and try to get some followers. Have a bigger laugh.

    But, to the blog in hand. This one has a subversive context. I don’t understand it at all, but I can grasp its subtext. ?? It is connected to the Tarvoski’s blog by the flames. I didn’t understand the Tarvoski at all. It looked like a Bergman film, but with actual action – people running hither and yon distraughtly. I feel like ‘I Have A Voice’ – just what does this mean?

    If you are going to continue with the in flames theme, maybe you could dig up a good Telly Salavas (sp?) scene of ‘the Bronx is burning’.


    1. I haven’t seen The Bronx Is Burning, so I’ll check into it. The Tarkovsky film is very much in the mold of Bergman—very much a film about faith and God and meaning and, as its title suggests, Sacrifice. I put the scene up because of the fires, which, yes, are (always) very much in my mind when they happen.
      This scene is from Charlie Kaufman’s film Synecdoche, New York, a sad, strange movie about sickness and fear and realism and art. This particular scene is very strange—it’s about mistakes, I think, but also about the death that is built in to every choice, to the “cutting off” that choice symbolizes.


      1. Thank you. I see said the blind man. ‘The Bronx Is Burning’ is about the tv series from a while back starring Telly Salavas (sp?) involving violence and death and decay in NYC and the decline of our perceptions of the US. One of the few episodes I managed to catch was made when the occupants of The Bronx were setting it on fire because of their disgust with the people who owned the place. The smoke was drifting into Manhattan. Fortunately for my mind, I was privileged to be coming home for a brief visit before flying off to Jamaica, or Guatemala, or Australia. I especially liked Fiji, it was a gentle place in spite of the polarization between the natives and the India Indians.


  3. People have been hoping and praying that where I’m from falls into the sea or is destroyed by earthquake or some other biblical plague for decades on end now, so I’m used to it. People go to the movies and hoot and holler while Los Angeles burns, and can’t get enough of our citizens being incinerated. They think it’s funny. It’s entertainment. And I have no doubt that if it really were to happen, it would remain just that – entertainment. So take your Florida pride and stick it in a pipe and smoke it. Or get a thicker skin. And by the way: Castro really is awesome. Like, totally awesome.


    1. Uh. Okay. I have no ill will to LA or to California in general, nor to any other people in any other place that I can recollect at this time. There’s nothing in this thread to suggest glee at the problems of California (or any other place, with the exception of Florida, and those are your comments). I’d be happy to smoke my Florida pride, but it’s more like a metaphysical property than a smokable or comestible substance. I assume “thicker skin” = “don’t challenge my insults”; not gonna happen.

      And the Castro comment is just off the wall. Baffling. Bears no connection to anything here.


    2. The Bronx really was burning.
      Disaster is entertainment when it is visited on somebody else and some where else. ‘Everybody’ knows that NYC is fat and piggy and racist and ‘deserves’ a disaster now and then. But I doubt if any one would wish the place ill. My cousin in Hollywood says that the prevailing theory there is that when ‘the big one’ occurs, the rest of the continent will fall into the ocean and California will become once again and island. The

      news is entertainment. I remember the comments about how much better the napalming of the Vietnamese showed up on color tv. When I lived in Berkeley Anchorage had its big earthquake. There was a tidal wave watch for the San Francisco beaches. Thousands of people showed up with feasts and music to party on the beach and welcome the tidal wave. When St. Helens went off, I sat on the roof of the dorm watching in Olympia and cheered every time there was a big puff of ash letting go. The young students couldn’t understand why, thankfully. Disaster movies, which mostly are disasters as movies, sell really big at the mall. I forced myself to go to yet another Mel Gibson flagellation excess so that I could legitimately criticize all the ‘inspiration’ that people got from seeing Jesus being erotically raped. Every time the plot would start working up to a sado/masochistic climax, somebody would get up and exit the theatre. I thought that thank god, there were people in my civilization that had sensitivities similar to mine. But NO, they weren’t walking out, they were returning with supersize popcorn and swimming pool size drinks so that they could crunch and slurp during the gory parts. I can recall the looks of smug satisfaction when Katrina hit NO, because the queers finally got what was coming to them. Why should Florida be singled out for some special condemnation? I guess you must not care about all the other creatures that live here, too. I keep my caring about people that I can see and touch, and not about the rest of the bleeding human race. I draw inspiration from the song in ‘Hair’ about needing a friend instead of some one who cares about social injustice. As the cop who was trying to save the Jack Nicholson character in ‘Chinatown’ from himself said, ‘forget it, it’s Chinatown’. I have learned painfully to care about things that I can effectively do some thing about. If there were an ‘Occupy’ near where I live, I would go there and occupy and find some one to make out with. Just so that I could say that I bled a little, too.


  4. Hi, That’s really interesting because before seeing the Phoenix, I thought I saw Quetzalcoatl in the map. Wings out-stretched and head turned, just like in those South American glyphs. Thanks for taking it seriously enough to take a look.


    1. Is Synedoche part of Schenectady? I think that the fire in the film added poignancy to the dialogue. It all had a de ja vu, I’ve been here before, this is a recounting of my past that foretells my future atmosphere so that I’ll know what’s going to happen. The kind of screenplay that I am doing with the movie that I am making in my head.

      But the patterns on the map probably have nothing to do with the movie. I suppose since I have not seen it yet. The scene shown is good enough to cause me to actively seek a copy so that I can watch it. Maybe something else by the same director.

      I like the ‘we’ve got to leave Atlanta, Scarlett’ scene from GWTW. ‘But, Rhett…’ Let’s all connect the dots together now.


Your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.