Middle Age, The World’s End, and a Farewell to the Courtesy


I love British humor, especially when it’s from the same minds that brought us Shaun of the Dead.  The World’s End was a bit different than what I expected in that it sort of hit close to home.  It was funny in that way peculiar to the Brits, but it also made me think. Here you have a guy (Gary King) wanting to re-live his one top-of-the-world halcyon moment- and you almost have to hand it to someone who has been able to keep that joie de vivre of youth alive past age 40.  I think the whole joie de vivre concept went down the drain for me pretty much by 21, and it was gone for good after my divorce.


In the movie you discover that Gary King’s friends are a lot like me: washed out, sold out, burned out and resigned to the fact that the best of life is far behind them.  Gary hadn’t changed, but his friends had.   The world around them had changed too, thanks to the blue-blooded alien robots.  Orderliness, conformity, blah, blah, blah.  The difficult thing is that the older we get, the more we buy the neat and tidy, bland, unexciting life, even when it goes to extremes.

There is something to be said for responsibility and routine and stability.  Those things are boring, but at least they’re somewhat predictable and safe.  44 is a long, long way from 17.  I know better than to dream lofty dreams or to expect anything better than the status quo.  The saying that, “A young person wants a the world and a new BMW, but I’d be happy with just a good BM,” is pretty much true for me.


I’m pretty sure the 1986 me would have drooled over this.


2013 me is a lot more realistic.

I think for me the aggravating thing is that as far as I know, I’ve never had that top-of-the-world halcyon moment, and I’d probably not know it when or if I ever did- or ever will.

The sad part is I can identify with the blue-blooded robots- going through the motions, blending into a bland world of blasé days, one indistinguishable from the next, keeping things orderly and tidy and boring until one day you sort of drop dead.  Sometimes I think I dropped dead years ago, but just forgot to fall over.

On another tangent, the city of Marion lost an historical landmark, if you can call a motel turned cathouse an historical landmark.


In 1960-whatever it was a nice little roadside motel with a pool and everything.


In 2006 it was a pay-by-the-hour cathouse.

It was a little bit sad to see what was left of the Courtesy bulldozed over, although I think the only purpose it had served for the last couple of years was as a crack house.  The only thing is that half of the town or more would have to be bulldozed if they wanted to eliminate all the crack houses.

The main take-home I got from The World’s End is that you can’t really go home again, and you can’t really ever re-live your glory days, and I never really had any to begin with.  Perhaps my mistake is that I have to go back home again from time to time and what I see depresses me even though I don’t live in that sphere anymore.

I think that’s why my sisters avoid going to Mom and Dad’s like the plague.  That feeling of being misplaced and out of time is disconcerting enough, but add opening up the old wounds and bad memories and rivalries and so forth, and it can be downright abysmal.  Sometimes I don’t understand why I go back as often as I do, but then I remember that my son and my granddaughter still live there.  I can’t demand that my family meet me where I am, even if they could.


I leave with the philosophical observation of the day.

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