I want to be Jason Bourne. I want a sniper rifle and the ability to dropkick a bad guy in less than fifteen seconds and to kill them with no more than a ballpoint pen. A ballpoint pen! Imagine the possibilities this leaves open for life at the office. The supply cupboard takes on a whole new meaning. I want to be the good guy (which in reality, I truly am) – and I want to be able to exact my revenge (oooh I used the R word), on anyone who should screw with me because I’m tired of being subordinate to the system, to politics, to workplace b.s., to societal nonsense. I’m just tired. Tired, tired, tired and bored. As Evan Dando would say, Baby, I’m bored.
I want to be in that opening scene in which Jason Bourne climbs his way to the top rung of the building and have my little orange sack filled with thousands of Euro, watch as it drops to the snow. I want to cleverly (and without bodily harm) drop down and hitch a ride in a Mini (or in my case, get into my own British Racing Green Mini (which I love and adore) that would sit there idling patiently waiting for me and my money to drop so that we can speed off into the dawn or the sunset or whatever and never look back, leaving Treadstone in our dust.
Oh sure, it means a life on the run, but isn’t everybody’s life a life on the run? Aren’t we all running from something? Our past, the present, work, general politics, family obligations, the ickiness of life as I’ll call it because there is always something or someone pursuing us and while most of these threats are benign, there are those which are not – the very real threat of rape, of murders and home invasions, or terrorism, volcanoes ready to blow, as a friend upliftingly informed me just today.
I want to take every nasty, underhanded person whose path I have sadly crossed and I want to bring them to their knees (okay, perhaps I wouldn’t do this but the feeling is normal and is there) and I want to make them eat their words and shame them until they know what it feels like to have been me To have felt used and to have suffered their melodrama and more.
So, Jason Bourne seems to me the perfect form into which to morph.
Watch the film The Bourne Identity (clearly the superior of the two Bourne films I think, though I admit a fond nostalgia for the original with Richard Chamberlain and Jacklyn Smith, hokey as it is, it’s still a fun Sunday afternoon watch provided you have a healthy dose of humor) after a bad experience and you’ll get a sort of vicarious thrill of living out your fantasies as Matt Damon takes out one bad guy after another.
Maybe it’s recent experience that leaves me confused and faithless in people who wear a smile and wield a sword behind their back, waiting until i turn and take one in the lumbar: I don’t know. But I want to just split to Paris (on s’ tire) (from whence I just came) and I want five passports and I want more money than God and a license to kill (just in case in need it) because I know that it if I were in possession of said weaponry I’d be like Bourne or Robin Hood taking out only the bad guys and leaving the good guys – robbing the rich to feed the poor.
It sounds absurd to say this because I am, by nature, a pacifist, though I find these days are fading quickly and I am sadly beginning to understand the logic of revenge and sharkiness and general bitchiness and the like because the older I get the wiser I get and I see that working in this climate is truly swimming with sharks (isn’t there a book by this title and if not, I ought write one). That there is no real integrity. That sounds so harsh even as I write it. I want to believe in people. I want to believe in the goodness of people, and yet… and yet… there are just too many let downs and again, the days grow shorter and I fall into a darker mood as this happens. It is cynical, clockwork; every year from November through March I ought to just hibernate because I am no one to be around and don’t wish to be around anybody either. It is a great effort to just get out of bed. More of an effort to force myself to participate in life’s activities.
I admit, there are times when it does feel like the rest of the world is like Treadstone – some black ops deal gone all wrong and from which I am trying desperately to escape. The problem is, Treadstone or my own private Treadstone (we all have our albatross) refuses to let me go. If it did, if I could just walk away from the way I felt at this time I would. If I could just go back to being pacifist and victim with tread-on-me marked on my forehead, then I would because it’s easier, but it’s also tiring and in the final account, it doesn’t pay off. Being a nice guy just isn’t paying off for me and yet… and yet… I don’t what to be a shit of a person either. I do not wish to become that which I hate.
Don’t misunderstand. It’s not that I really want to hurt anybody or ever would. I wouldn’t at least, not in the way that Jason Bourne does, but certainly, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t see the appeal of living out the American dream and drop-kick a fellow co-worker, which I suppose millions of people can relate to because they too watched this film and in some way identified with the Matt Damon character, though I would advise anyone NOT to dropkick anyone in the corporate kitchen as it’s a generally bad idea.
Let’s face it, Jason Bourne is pretty damn cool because he can drop-kick if he has to (though would not initiate) anyone, yet still the courage too to turn the table and pursue his pursuers, realizing this is the only way to truly manage the problem.
Even with, or perhaps especially with, amnesia, Bourne rocks our world. He fights every bad guy and remains elusive and quick-witted to the end, eluding his foes with relative ease. He has at least one cool apartment in Paris (that first is amazing and I’d take it in a heartbeat\. This is but one reason why he is our hero and why in some ways he is everyman… he keeps us on our toes but more, he makes certain that any enemy is on their toes should they bother him. Like me, he just wants to be left alone. Nothing wrong with that, is there? Don’t we all want lives of relative peace and freedom from nonsense? I think so. Most of us anyway.
Too bad the whole thing with that hired-killer from Treadstone shows up with those blades in his shoes and hands and everywhere, tries to kill Bourne and then jumps out the window (a major scene) because if it didn’t, he could just stay there with his new and cute girlfriend and live in relative peace forever. Paris, the apartment, the money, the girl – if it could only be a secret hideaway, life would be grand. But it isn’t meant to be and there would be no story without the drama because we need the drama as some cathartic thing to live out our own fantasies and feelings of inadequacy. For an hour and a half, we get to be Jason Bourne and we identify. Or most of us do anyway.
For there to be a story, the chase must continue and there must be at least one good car chase (a rare good one in a film for most of them are boring, except that spectacular one in “The Matrix” – which Matrix – I don’t recall and besides, it went on far too long…) Jason Bourne steers that Mini along the right bank as if he stole it, which he sorta does from his new girlfriend. I want to drive down steps at a 150 mph and get away.
But I’m no spy, no matter how much I may want to be. And no matter how cool I think people like Jason Bourne, not to mention the many James Bonds there have been, I never will be like them because a. my life is just not that interesting and in some ways, thank God and
But a girl can dream, can’t she? I can, in my dreams, I can be as cool as Jason Bourne and hey, I’ve been kick-boxing for six months and am looking lean and tough, but my face is open and still holds too kindly a disposition. More, I do know my foe, unlike Jason Bourne who knows, or begins to learn after severe amnesia and he learns that it is Treadstone that pursues him. Sure, Bourne is fighting for his life. With the rest of us, it is almost invariably a fight for your good name.
Treadstone could be a metaphor for the rest of us. We all have our demons, imagined or not, from whom or which we hide and try not to face. The difference between Bourne and the rest of us, or most of us, is that he faces his demons and enemies head on and does so mercilessly. He does what it takes and is the guy you want on your side, kind of like Tony Montana in one of my other real favorites, “Scarface.” Montana was supposedly a “bad guy” he still had that thing that made you love him in some perverse way – he still had that charisma and charm that made you want him on your side and he was tough and could and would kick-ass for you should you need it much in the same way you want a tough big brother or a friend who always has your back just in case . . .
Face it: you can’t handle everything, try as you will. There are things that are beyond you and at some point in your life, you will be or have been a victim and likely to some stupidity like office politics or the like, or not facing down a bully and later when the crisis is over you can think of all of the clever retorts you should have said and all of the things you could have done to cut her/him off at the pass but did not because you just figured it would “work itself out.”
Christ, don’t be a victim: speak up, speak out and don’t let any psycho convince you that you are like the wicked step mother and they are pure as the driven snow. It’s an old trick for the victimizer to blame the victim, hence the expression (blaming the victim). Bourne is never a victim.
Let me be clear; things do not just work themselves out and Jason Bourne would be the first to tell you this. Each of us has our own private Treadstone that pursues and eventually, you have to stop running and turn to face your fears, your foes. You have to be tough and you have to take action and sometimes, awful as this may be, you have to be aggressive or (wrong word,) assertive. You need not go in like Bourne and charge in with a sniper rifle because I’m sure your situation likely does not call for this, so read do not do that, tempting as it may be to cause seriously bodily injury to a the person who annoys the crap out of you or who wronged you somehow, leave that part to the movies and to Hollywood. Oh, you can dream about it (most of us do – it’s the American way), you can talk about it with friends, but that’s a long way from actually doing it. It is the reason Jason Bourne and James Bond and others in the genre exist and while Charles Bronson was such a hit – because he or they exact the revenge that we cannot or ought not.
Sure, learn from Jason Bourne – learn not to take any crap from anyone and learn to be tough and hey, even do learn some self-defense, some ego-boosting and toughening up skills like Tai Chi or kick boxing. Learn emotional the art of emotional stillness. Of simply being. I read that the Dalai Lama said that he is like the sea: sometimes the surface maybe rough and choppy, other times smooth and glassine but always, always, always, beneath everything is a deep and calm ocean. Read the Dalai Lama, as I am now doing, and read a book on forgiveness. Meditate. Cook, because cooking is good for the soul. Know that there are things in life more important than revenge because vengeance breeds vengeance, breeds vengeance. Sure, be tough, but be decent, or try to be and if you run across someone who is not, feel free to unleash your inner James Bourne and put them in the cross-hairs where they belong and keep your eye on that lens.
Remember this most of all, because one thing I learned from Jason Bourne and Tony Montana (Scarface) was this, no matter what – never let ‘em see you cry.
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