Do you have images from films or books that stick in your head? For years afterwards? I don’t mean the collective, iconic ‘you’ll find me on the back wall of a Planet Hollywood restaurant’ kind of image – but the weird little private ones, that maybe only you will remember. One image that I always have lodged in a mind-crevice is that of Danni Minogue tossing a salad from a Smash Hits annual, circa 1992 (this must have been a receptive time for me – I also recall Annie Lennox’s advice to always wear rubber gloves when doing housework from the same edition). Going back further, I retain ‘up there’ *gestures at brain* a cartoon from a pictorial version of Robin Hood, of a squirrel, dressed in Lincoln Green, holding a log aloft like a muscle man. I think I was in love with this squirrel (call me if you’re reading this, k?) Anyone else do this?
Just me, then.
A less idiosyncratic moment that I come back to again and again is a scene in Network by Sidney Lumet. Which, if you haven’t seen, you should. In fact, stop reading this and do it now. It’s on Netflix. I’ll wait.
So now you know that it’s about an embattled news anchor who loses his shit. you probably also know the moment that lodges in my head (thought maybe not, if you were looking for squirrels with logs) which is when Peter Finch as Howard Beale the news anchor yells ‘I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!’
I feel this moment so hard. Especially today. For I too am mad as hell and not going to take it anymore and I have demonstrated this in the strongest of ways.
Firstly, I whispered ‘Dickhead’ at a car that nearly ran me over. Secondly, I enquired in a very nice text (which ended with a ‘x’) as to why I hadn’t been paid for some work that I’d done.
And these milky reasons make me want to do an even bigger Peter Finch as Howard Beale the new anchor out of the window. Because I’m mad as hell at myself.
I know – I’m laidback, but I’m laidback for the wrong reasons – not because I’m easygoing – but because I will literally punch myself in the head before I confront a situation with deeds or words. As a freelancer, I know I need to rep myself much much better than this – but I have, for years, erred on the side of self deprecation. I do not take myself seriously. May I add that in the second case, where I’m waiting for payment, that I have had my hours cut without consultation? So I have gone from earning peanuts to earning the bits of peanuts that fall off in the bottom of the bag – and not even that, if the current situation persists.
I need another image to put in my head, one that sticks. I’ve tried Ripley (too tall), Michael Douglas in Falling Down (too aggro), Furiousa from Mad Max (too much and I’m a terrible driver). I don’t want to be Howard Beale yelling at the world. I need a better fit and I’m open to suggestions.