Sunday, May 5, 2013

When fireworks underwhelm: Returned Soldier Kyle Wilson and Comedian Pete Holmes "feel nothing"

A friend of mine was explaining the closing scenes of movie 'Blue Valentine' (2010) on the theme "Love ends". She described how the final shot was of the lead couple enjoying a fireworks display with a montage of the early stages of their relationship overlayed.
The friend she watched it with posed the question "Why do you think the filmmaker did that?". Stumped, he replied "Its a metaphor for love".
Cue awkward collar pulls.

Its part of the human experience for feelings to wane, guess the trick is not be defeated by it. Below are two pieces I've enjoyed in past weeks which touch on fireworks and passion.

'Hack' is a Current Affairs show on National Youth Broadcaster, Triple J. During ANZAC week they covered several stories on the human toll of War. Featured heavily was 22 year old Kyle Wilson, a returned soldier returning from the Afghan theatre. He explains to Alex Mann his feelings of ennui at home after so much adrenalin abroad.
Hack: Wednesday 24th April
KYLE WILSON: (6m 40s) When I got back people used to be like, let's go watch the fireworks but fireworks bore me to tell you the truth
ALEX MANN (voiceover): The common theme for all three guys is the intensity of the experience and the emotion they shared with their mates when serving. Kyle says that now he's home, nothing else seems to measure up
WILSON: I miss Afghanistan so much. I miss the mates I was with and I miss the fighting aspect of it. But it also comes with a lot of downers as well but I'll always miss that feeling. I'm sure every soldier who's been through that experience listening right now will be saying the exact same thing. They miss that Adrenalin rush.
I had the pleasure of trekking south to Melbourne to see Pete Holmes perform in Australia for the first time. I got to hear this joke live. In conversation with running mate Comedian Eddie Pepitone he explains the origin of the fireworks joke during a joint day at the zoo.
'You Made it Weird' with Pete Holmes: Episode 143 - Eddie Pepitone
HOLMES: (11m 30s) ... Sometimes you'll have the greatest day in the world and you'll just be like "But I just don't feel great"
PEPITONE: Its like what you said in Australia which I love. Pete did this thing in Australia where he went to see Koalas and he told the audience that night - "I saw Koalas, I felt nothing".
room laughs
and I found that the funniest thing because my wife was all over me - "You gotta see the Koalas, You gotta see the Koalas".
HOLMES: The actual line which you loved so much was, I do say "I felt nothing". But the opener was "You ever look at something and wish that it meant more". And that's how I feel when I look at fireworks
PEPITONE: Haha fireworks too
HOLMES: Fireworks are one of those things that when you look at the colors in the sky and you're like eerrrrrrr...
PEPITONE: Its just a great metaphor, its just a a great way to talk about what I'm talking about. I thought that success (not that I'm a major success), I thought success would be - End of all Problems! but that never ends...
Watch Pete deliver the observation at the 'Festival Club' for the Melbourne Comedy Festival

VIDEO: Pete Holmes - ABC2 Comedy Up Late

Find more posts on "losing a feeling":
- Read more about the "Hero's Journey" (aka The Monomyth)
- Coming Home from a year abroad. Reverse Culture shock and beating the travel Blues: The Hurt Locker (2008)
- Comedian Pete Holmes on adjacent experiences: Conversations relating to Travel, dreams and life
- Argentina observations: Do you really want to live forever young?

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