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The Other Place

So. Day Two of Unemployment. No, I don' t have a job just yet, but I do have a sort of interview thingy with a placement agency tomorrow, so we'll see what comes of that.

Yesterday was spent updating the resume and flinging it in every possible direction. I pretty much put a working day's worth of time into it, so I decompressed by my usual internet mucking. I came across something that made me ponder a bit.

On TVTropes.org, there was an entry that referenced a particular Twilight Zone episode called A Nice Place to Visit.

I should state for the record that I actually think The Twilight Zone is a twee bit overrated at times. I understand that it was ground-breaking television and lots of sci-fi heavy hitters wrote for the show at one point or another, but for every brilliant episode there are a lot of WTF ones that kinda make me want to throw things at the screen.

At any rate, my thoughts on this episode aren't based on a full viewing, but a reading of the plot summary. I did find on YouTube a rather nicely done 6-minute edit of the episode, set to "Hotel California" (no, really, it fits) which gave me a pretty good impression of it, though. (You can check it out here, if you are so inclined.)

The story is thus--a petty crook named Rocky Valentine is robbing a store and gets shot and killed by a cop as he flees. He awakes and is greeted by a man in white called Mr. Pip, who informs him that his job is to give Rocky everything he wants. So Rocky gets everything--a posh hotel room, voluptuous women, huge stacks of cash and every time he gambles, he wins. Initially, he's elated, but over time he gets restless and finally reaches a point where he decides he's not cut out for Heaven and asks Mr. Pip to send him to "the other place." Mr. Pip informs him that "this is the other place!" Cue maniacal laugher and Rod Serling voice-over. The End.

On one level, it's a pretty basic be-careful-what-you-wish-for sort of story. But it struck me rather profoundly, perhaps because of all I've been going through of late.

There's one scene from the YouTube footage that sums it up best--Rocky goes to a pool table and shoots the break. Every single ball goes into a pocket perfectly. (The effect is a little cheesy, but it was shot in 1960 for pete's sake.) Rocky is so frustrated he breaks the pool cue in half.

There is a truth in that. As much as we may bitch about the obstacles that come our way, we need them. A game of pool is no fun if the game ends on the break, and a life is no fun if everything comes without effort, without struggle, without challenge.

A lot of people, it seems, have the notion in their heads that if they can just get it "right" somehow, then all their problems will go away and they'll live Happily Ever After. I don't deny that life can be improved. Indeed, I think that's the point of living, is to strive for improvement. But life cannot be perfected and when you think about it, it really shouldn't be.

So when things get tough, remember, it could be worse. You could be trapped in The Other Place.

Today I took pleasure in purging the crap from a corner of the living room.

Today I learned how to apply for a job through the listings on the Georgia Department of Labor website.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 2nd, 2007 10:13 pm (UTC)
One of my favorite TZ episodes ever. *nods*
Oct. 4th, 2007 09:23 am (UTC)
Nicely said. *applauds*
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )