Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Dirty, Rotten Writing

Not many people can claim to have learned a life lesson from the 1988 film, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. But I have.

In the scene, Lawrence Jamieson (Michael Caine) is talking to Freddy (Steve Martin) about life. Lawrence says, “Freddy, as a younger man, I was a sculptor, a painter, and a musician. There was just one problem: I wasn't very good. As a matter of fact, I was dreadful.”

Pause scene there. Back to my life-

In college, I wanted to be artist. I wanted so badly to be deep and mysterious. Don't we all want that in college? I went so far as to even submit a portfolio of "art" to my university in hopes of being accepted to their prestigious visual arts program. Of course I was summarily turned down. I could almost hear the Dean laughing from his ivory tower as he glanced over my "body of work". I didn't blame him. It was well, dreadful.

Back to the movie-

Lawrence Jamieson goes on to say, "Freddy, what I am saying is: know your limitations. You are a moron."

I learned very quickly, and painfully, that the world of visual arts would never include me. I'm an artistic moron. Maybe that's why writing gives me so much pleasure. It's an artistic outlet that has nothing to do with apertures, canvas, charcoal or shading. It’s word-smithing, something anyone can do, though we all do it with varying success.

So here’s to hoping that although I am an artistic moron, let’s hope I fare just a little better in the writing world.


  1. Your post put a big smile on my face. May have to start using the term 'artistic moron'.

  2. Thanks! It's what I call myself when I am attempting to draw a straight line with a ruler...and fail. Thanks for stopping by the blog again! It means a heck of a lot!!!

  3. :) Funny. At one time I was a cheerleader. I was kind of a chubby cheerleader. We won the state championship and I was so elated I deluded myself into thinking I could do a toe-touch spread eagle jump thing. I could NOT do it once I tried. Why did I attempt that for the first time in front of a packed stadium of people? I'll never know...but the point is, we all try stuff and it doesn't work out. Ain't no shame in it.