HULK PRETTY GOOD AT AVOIDING MOVIES HULK KNOW WILL MAKE HULK WANT SMASH. BUT THROUGH CIRCUMSTANCE, HULK HAVE WATCH EAT, PRAY, LOVE THE OTHER NIGHT…. IT SO ENRAGING HULK HAVE GO TO DESERT FOR SOME TANK-TOSSIN’ JUST TO BLOW OFF STEAM… BUT NOW, HULK FINALLY READY TALK ABOUT IT.
YOU MAY EXPECT HULK SIMPLY TEAR APART A FILM THAT SEEM LIKE FROU-FROU NONSENSE ON OUTSIDE. THAT NOT WHAT YOU GOING GET THOUGH . HULK WORK HULK’S ASS OFF ON THIS SO YOU GOING TO GET A FOUR-PART, 7000+ WORD TREATISE ON SELF-DELUSION, SELFISHNESS, THE TRUE VALIDITY OF MENTAL HEALTH, FEMINISM, AND WESTERN MALAPROPISM.
FIRST, A FEW THINGS CONSIDER:
1) HULK NOT AGAINST “CHICK FLICKS.” HULK EVEN FIND THAT TERM REASONABLY OFFENSIVE. MANY PEOPLE CONFUSE THE LOW QUALITY AND PANDERING NATURE OF RECENT HOLLYWOOD ENTRIES WITH THE ACTUAL POTENTIAL QUALITY OF THE GENRE. THAT BIG MISTAKE. IN HULK’S VIEW, THERE SIMPLY GOOD MOVIES AND BAD MOVIES. HULK NOT CARE ABOUT GENRE OR INTENDED AUDIENCE. SO EAT PRAY LOVE = MOVIE ABOUT FEMININITY AND PERSONAL ENLIGHTENMENT? SURE, PERFECT! IT TOPIC NOT EXPLORED ENOUGH IN MOVIES, SO SIGN HULK UP! BUT HULK’S EVENTUAL PROBLEM WITH EAT, PRAY, LOVE THE ACTUAL CONVEYING OF SAID MESSAGE/SOLUTIONS/THEME AND NOT MESSAGE/SOLUTIONS/THEME ITSELF.
2) HULK NOT HATE JULIA ROBERTS. SHE BELOVED FIGURE FOR REASON. SHE ALWAYS CHARMING. AND IN RECENT YEARS SHE EVEN BECOME DECENT-TO-PRETTY-GOOD ACTRESS… BUT EVEN SHE NO SAVE THIS PIECE OF SHIT.
3) WHAT REALLY ODD THE MOVIE ITSELF NOT BADLY MADE. IT ACTUALLY FAIRLY WELL-REALIZED AND MARK MAJOR STEP FORWARD FOR DIRECTOR RYAN MURPHY.
THE PROBLEM THAT WHAT BEING WELL-REALIZED IN FILM = GARBAGE. THIS GET INTO PROBLEMATIC ARGUMENT OF “WHAT FILM ABOUT” VS. “HOW IT ABOUT” BUT HULK FEEL LIKE THE THEMATIC SUBTEXT OF EAT, PRAY, LOVE SO PUSHED INTO REALM OF “TEXT” IN FILM THAT IMPOSSIBLE TO SEPARATE THEME FROM THE STORY. HERE THEY ONE IN SAME. SO HULK FEEL THE “WHAT IT ABOUT” = MORE THAN FAIR GAME.
4) ALL PROBLEMS STEM BACK TO THE BOOK WRITTEN BY ELIZABETH GILBERT. HULK REALIZE HULK NOT KNOW ELIZABETH GILBERT. HULK REALIZE HULK COULD TOTALLY BE WRONG ABOUT ANY AND ALL ASSUMPTIONS MADE HERE. HULK JUST SEE HOLLYWOOD MOVIE WITH HER “VOICE” AND CHARACTER BASED ON HER HULK READ HALF HER TERRIBLE BOOK BEFORE HULK COULD TAKE NO MORE. HULK WENT BACK AND READ ALL HER ARTICLE. BUT THAT ALL HULK CAN KNOW BOUT HER. HULK KNOW THIS LIMITATION AND ACCEPT IT. BUT CANNOT HULK DEDUCE FROM EVIDENCE OF WHAT SHOWN/READ? REALLY, THAT ALL HULK DOING DESPITE INTENSITY OF HULK’S REACTION (HULK CAN’T HELP BE INTENSE. HULK = HULK). POINT IS, HULK FULLY REALIZE THIS NOT BE ALL END ALL OF DISCUSSION. IT JUST STARTING POINT… BUT IT A STRONG ONE:
SO HERE HULK’S CONCLUSION AFTER WATCH/READ EAT, PRAY, LOVE AND DOING TONS RESEARCH:
“ELIZABETH GILBERT”, BOTH THE CHARACTER AND THE PERSON, SEEM BE A HORRIBLY SELF-CENTERED PERSON. THIS SELF-CENTERED-NESS CRIPPLING. SHE HAVE NO REAL UNDERSTANDING OF HOW NOT BE SELF-CENTERED DESPITE IT BEING HER VERY GOAL. SHE A WOMAN WHO TOOK COMPLICATED-YET-FAIRLY-COMMON RELATIONSHIP PROBLEMS AND DECIDE BEST COURSE OF ACTION = CHEAT, GLOSS OVER SAID CHEATING, AND THEN ACT LIKE SHE THE ONE WHO BEEN RUINED WITHOUT EVEN ACKNOWLEDGING HER OWN BADNESS OR WHAT SHE DONE. AND IN TRYING TO DIG DEEP IN SPIRITUAL JOURNEY, SHE NEVER ACTUALLY DIG DEEP AND ADDRESS COMPLETELY OBVIOUS ISSUES AT PLAY AND INSTEAD OFFER ONE-NOTE, OBVIOUS, AND WHOLLY CLASSIST WAYS TO MERELY SIDE-STEP ISSUES THAT EVERYONE FACE INSTEAD OF ACTUALLY BEING FUCKING USEFUL.
SORRY… THAT HARSH, BUT THAT THE ESSENCE OF HULK’S ARGUMENT… NOW LET HULK ILLUSTRATE FURTHER.
PART ONE: THE PROBLEM
MOVIES NEED DRIVING FORCE THAT PROPEL NARRATIVE. CHARACTERS NEED REASON TO BE DOING WHAT THEY DOING. IN ACTION FILMS IT CAN BE AS ELEMENTARY AS “ESCAPE!”,”GET THAT THING!”, OR “HELP!” AND EVEN THOUGH THAT SIMPLE IT ACTUALLY ACCEPTABLE BECAUSE AT LEAST IT MAKE SENSE.
MEANWHILE, THE NARRATIVE OF EAT, PRAY, LOVE … WELL, IT ACTUALLY ABSENT. THE MOVIE LARGELY IN-CONGRUENT. STRUCTURALLY, IT END UP REALLY BEING SERIES OF VIGNETTES; LITTLE LIFE LESSONS AND PECULIAR LITTLE INSIGHTS OFFERED UP AS “DEVELOPMENT.” NOW, THERE ACTUALLY MANY EXAMPLES OF MOVIE THAT ACCOMPLISH THIS STRUCTURE. MOST OBVIOUS EXAMPLE = THE CLASSIC FILM ANNIE HALL, BUT THAT FILM WORK BECAUSE OF STRENGTH OF CHARACTERS AND STRONG COMIC VIEWPOINT. BY THAT HULK MEAN THAT AUDIENCE UNDERSTAND THE MOTIVE AND VIEWPOINT OF CHARACTERS IN ALL THOSE MOMENT DESPITE THE MOMENT BEING PRETTY RANDOM. THESE KIND OF “VIGNETTE-BASED” MOVIE WORK WHEN THEY HAVE THAT CRUCIAL UNDERSTANDING, WHEN IT HAVE A BACKBONE.
THE PRESUMED BACKBONE OF EAT, PRAY, LOVE (BOTH FILM/BOOK) PREDICATED ON THE GOAL TO ESTABLISH SELF-WORTH. HULK FIRST WANT STATE THIS NOT TERRIBLE IDEA FOR BACKBONE OF MOVIE/BOOK. THERE INNUMERABLE NUMBER OF PEOPLE THAT COMBAT DEPRESSION AND HAVE ISSUE OF SELF-WORTH. LIKE ANYONE WITH CONFLICT, THEY NEED HELP. THEY NEED ADVICE. THEY NEED GUIDANCE. AND ELIZABETH GILBERT POSITION HERSELF AS SOMEONE WHO CAN OFFER THAT. WHY? BECAUSE SHE SOMEONE WHO NEEDED IT TOO.
HERE THE PROBLEM: ELIZABETH GILBERT NOT ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE… BUT SHE THINK SHE IS.
IN FICTION IT CALLED A PROBLEM OF A “UNRELIABLE NARRATOR.” IN SOMETHING NON-FICTION-Y LIKE THIS, IT INVOKE A PROFOUND LACK OF HONESTY WHEN HONESTY MOST IMPORTANT THING TO OFFER. HULK NOT DISPUTING ACTUAL FACTS OF BOOK/FILM (THOUGH SOME REMAIN SUSPECT). IT JUST HULK SEVERELY DISTRUST THE VIEWPOINT OF THESE EVENTS.
ELIZABETH GILBERT SEEM BE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE WITH EVERYTHING: SUCCESS, MONEY, PRESTIGE, AND HAPPINESS… YET SHE FRAME A REALITY OF HER LIFE THAT = PERPETUAL VICTIM-HOOD AND DIFFICULTY. NOW, YES THE PROBLEMS = VERY REAL TO ELIZABETH GILBERT. THIS THE VERY DEFINITION OF DEPRESSION. BUT THAT THE PROBLEM, IT SO OBVIOUSLY NOT TO US. IT SUCH A CANYON-LIKE DISCONNECT. NOW IF THE BOOK/MOVIE MORE ABOUT HER BATTLE WITH SELF-CREATED DEPRESSION, THE OVERWHELMING EMOTION SHE FEEL, AND HOW COMBAT SELF-CREATED DEPRESSION IN A WORLD THAT CANNOT SEE IT? WELL, THEN THIS BE ENTIRELY DIFFERENT BLOG-POST. THAT WOULD ACTUALLY BE SOMETHING TO BE COMMENDED. BUT THAT NOT WHAT EAT, PRAY, LOVE ABOUT AND THAT WHY IT FAIL. ULTIMATELY, SHE ONLY TACKLING SURFACE PROBLEM WITH SURFACE ANSWER AND NOT GET TO ROOT OF HER DELUSIONAL DEPRESSION. THAT THE MOST IMPORTANT DISTINCTION IN WORLD.
INSTEAD, GILBERT SEEMINGLY HAVE NO ABILITY TO ARTICULATE THE REALITY OF HER DEPRESSION BEYOND THE EXTREME DESCRIPTIONS THE PUSH READER AWAY. WORSE, SHE GIVE VAGUE WORDING TO THE ORIGINS OF EACH PROBLEM THAT MAKE EVERYTHING SEEM LIKE SOCIETAL PROBLEM, NOT HERS. IT FULL OF ALL THOSE ROTE REFERENCES TO “WHITE-PICKETT FENCES” AND HOW THINGS “SUPPOSED” BE, ETC. IT THE SAME SHIT ONE SEE IN VAST NUMBER OF “BLAME UPPER-CLASS SUBURBANISM” BOOKS/MOVIES AND ALL JUST SO DAMN JUVENILE. ONLY THIS BOOK/MOVIE ABOUT HER AS RICH NYC ELITE, WHICH TURN IT FROM TIRESOME TO DOWNRIGHT INSUFFERABLE. GILBERT ACTUALLY MAKER HER CONFLICT AN OUTWARD THING… A ME VS. THE WORLD THING….WHICH ANYONE WHO KNOW FIRST THING ABOUT DEPRESSION, KNOW THIS AN ISOLATING MENTALITY THAT MAKE DEPRESSION WORSE (THE EVENTUAL SOLUTIONS OF CONNECTIONS GILBERT OFFER, ACTUALLY FLEETING TOO, BUT HULK GET TO THAT LATER).
THE QUEST FOR SELF-WORTH IN EAT, PRAY, LOVE ACTUALLY DO HAVE GENESIS STORY. IN TERRIBLY CONVOLUTED FASHION WE PRESENTED TO A “REALITY” IN WHICH GILBERT IN TERRIBLE, DEPRESSED MARRIAGE WITH PERSON WHO NOT “GET HER” WHATSOEVER. THE PROBLEM = WE RARELY SEE ANYTHING THAT REALLY SHOWCASE THIS. IT MORE JUST LIKE “HE DOES THINGS THAT GET ON MY NERVES SOMETIMES” OR “HE DOESN’T DO WHAT I WANT HIM TO DO SOMETIMES”… SERIOUSLY THAT IT. FOR MOST PART, HE CARING/FUN INTERESTING GUY SHE ONCE LOVE VERY MUCH. BUT SOMEHOW WE JUST SUPPOSED TO BELIEVE “MY MARRIAGE WAS AWFUL AND MAKING ME SUICIDAL.” IT MAKE NO SENSE TO READER/VIEWER WHATSOEVER. ALL WE SEE JUST A MARRIAGE THAT NOT 100% PERFECT. IT ONLY 90% PERFECT OR SOMETHING.
SO HER SOLUTION?
SHE CHEAT ON HIM, BREAK HIS HEART, THEN PRETEND LIKE SHE THE VICTIM AND HAVE TO SPEND ALL HER MONEY SO HE NOT GET ANY OF IT IN THE DIVORCE… NOW OFF TO ENLIGHTENMENT! OH AND IN THE MIDDLE SHE HAVE ANOTHER RANDOM RELATIONSHIP WITH ACTOR THROWN IN THERE (THE ONE SHE OBVIOUSLY CHEAT WITH BUT NOT ADMIT FOR SOME REASON) AND THE REASONS FOR THAT BREAK UP EVEN MORE CONVOLUTED.
THERE THOSE OF YOU SAYING, “WAIT, WHAT!??!?!?!?”
YES DEAR READER, THAT THE ACCURATE SUMMARY OF WHAT HAPPEN. AND IN BOTH BOOK/MOVIE IT PRESENTED SO QUICKLY AND NONSENSICALLY AS TO BE TERRIBLY CONFUSING. NOTHING ABOUT IT MAKE SENSE. SO IF WE HAVE TO TRUST MOVIE IN “THESE THE MOTIVES/INTERESTS OF MY CHARACTERS’ SENSE THEN THE BACKBONE IS LOST. ALL HULK GIVEN = UGLY, BANAL PLATITUDES OF RELATIONSHIP SENTIMENT. THINGS LIKE “WE FELL OUT OF LOVE”/ETC. ALL STUFF COMPLETELY OUT OF LINE WITH WHAT WHAT PRESENTED. WE SIMPLY TOLD TO TRUST HER VERSION OF STORY… HULK CALLING SHENANIGANS.
LOOK, THERE PLENTY OF GREAT LEGIT STORIES ABOUT THE SUBJECT OF LOVE COMING UNDONE AND HOW WE BUILD SELVES BACK UP. RELATIONSHIPS INCREDIBLY UNIQUE AND INFINITELY COMPLEX, AND HULK NEVER BEGRUDGE IT WITH OVER-SIMPLIFICATION… BUT GILBERT GIVE AN ODDLY SELF-CENTERED AND DOWNRIGHT STRANGE ACCOUNT OF HER STORY. AGAIN, SHE FRAME IT LIKE SHE THE VICTIM WHEN A) THE SOURCE OF DEPRESSION SELF-CREATED AND B) SHE THE ONE DOING SERIOUS DAMAGE TO PEOPLE. LATER ON SHE SORT OF ADMIT TO “HURTING PEOPLE” BUT THAT REALLY AS DEEP AS IT GO. SHE COMPLETELY GLOSS OVER HER OBVIOUS AFFAIR (HULK MEAN, REALLY, HUSBAND GETTING ALL THE SETTLEMENT IN DIVORCE? IT TAKE MAJOR THINGS FOR MAN TO GET THE SETTLEMENT… HULK NOT ARGUING MERITS OF THIS AND PLEASE NO THINK THIS MEANT AS SEXIST STATEMENT WHATSOEVER, JUST IN HULK’S RESEARCH IT JUST THE COMMON REALITY OF HOW THESE THINGS TEND GO. AND THEN THERE HER MEAN-SPIRITED “I HAVE TO SPEND MONEY SO MY INCREDIBLY HURT HUSBAND NOT GET IT THING. WHICH, AGAIN, SHE TREAT LIKE SHE THE VICTIM… FUCKING BIZARRE.
DEEP DOWN, THERE SOME PART OF GILBERT THAT TERRIBLY AWARE OF WHAT SHE DOING. SHE MAKE ALL THESE VAGUE ATTEMPTS WHERE SHE TRYING SAY SHE A JERK WHO NEED TO FIX HERSELF, THAT SHE DO HORRIBLE THINGS TO PEOPLE AND SHOULD ACKNOWLEDGE THAT… BUT SHE NEVER GET THERE… EVER. IT FEEL ALL SO AIMLESS.
WHICH MEAN HER CHARACTER JOURNEY, NO MATTER WHICH WISE OLD MAN IMPARTED HER WITH WISDOM, OR GREAT FRIEND SHE MAKE (OFTEN TEMPORARILY), AND NO MATTER WHICH “TRUE-FEELING” CONCLUSIONS SHE MAKE… IT INEVITABLY AND EQUALLY AIMLESS.
HULK ARGUE THAT THE REASON THE MOVIE DISCONNECT WITH SO MANY PEOPLE. THAT THE REASON CRITICS HATE IT EVEN THOUGH BY ALL ACCOUNTS THE FILM-MAKING (OR “GLOSS”) PRETTY DECENT. IT THERE JUST NO RATIONAL MOTIVATION FOR ANY PART OF HER QUEST. IT FRAMED LIKE ALL THE THINGS THAT SEEM LIKE THIS KIND OF STORY: A DIVORCE. A QUEST FOR SELF EXAMINATION AND HAPPINESS. THE ACTUAL “WHAT” MAKE SENSE TO EVERYONE, ESPECIALLY TO ALL PEOPLE HAVE DEAL THESE KIND PROBLEMS BEFORE… BUT IT REALLY AN EMPTY RUSE.
MAKE IT A COMPLETELY DISHONEST AND BULLSHIT RUSE.
ELIZABETH GILBERT SEEM LIKE INTELLIGENT PERSON IN PROSE OF EAT, PRAY, LOVE (HER EARLIER WORKS NOT SO MUCH). HER WRITING CLEAR AND ARTICULATE, BUT, AGAIN, HER RATIONALIZATION AND VERSION OF HER OWN STORY REEK OF NONSENSE. SHE SEEM LIKE KIND OF PERSON WHO SO INTELLIGENT IN SOME WAYS THAT SHE CAN REASON HERSELF INTO ANY CONCLUSION THAT FITS HER IMPULSES. HULK WATCH IT ALL THE TIME. BRIGHT PEOPLE WHO CAN FIGURE OUT A LOGISTICAL WAY BE AWFUL PEOPLE; PEOPLE WHO CAN INTELLECTUALLY JUSTIFY THEIR OWN ARROGANCE.
IT ALSO THE PSYCHOLOGICAL CASE IN MANY WEALTHY DRUG ADDICTS, WHITE-COLLAR CRIMINALS, AND, WELL, LAWYERS IN GENERAL (HULK KID, HULK KID… SORT OF). AND IN GILBERT’S CASE IT NOT SO EXTREME. SHE NOT A DRUG ADDICT (THAT WE KNOW OF), BUT SHE FIND A NUMBER OF WELL-ARGUED REASONS TO BE MEGALOMANIAC BENT ON QUEST FOR SELF-HELP.
IT EQUIVALENT OF SAYING: “THE WORLD IS TELLING ME I’M SELFISH AND DESPONDENT, SO I’M GOING TO GO ON SPIRITUAL QUEST THAT JUST MAKES ME MORE SELFISH AND DESPONDENT.”
IT NO MISTAKE SHE KEEP SAYING IN FILM/BOOK THE THIS JOURNEY SHE ON “THE GETAWAY.” HULK ARGUE THOSE WORDS SUBCONSCIOUSLY VERY IMPORTANT. THIS NOT SPIRITUAL REBUILDING. EMOTIONALLY SPEAKING, THIS A WOMAN DRIVING IN A GETAWAY CAR AFTER COMMITTING A CRIME.
NOT THE WAY TO START ENLIGHTENMENT.
PART TWO: THE TEXT ITSELF
SO LET HULK NOW TALK ABOUT THE ACTUAL CONCLUSIONS AND LIFE LESSONS CONVEYED IN BOOK/FILM. HULK GOING TO SPLIT INTO INHERENT PROBLEMS WITH GILBERT’S DISPOSITION AND THEN PROBLEMS WITH SPECIFIC SOLUTIONS IN AND OF THEMSELVES.
I). HULK ARGUE GILBERT’S DODGY NATURE CONCERNING THE ROOT OF HER ACTUAL PROBLEMS = THE SAME THING THAT CAUSE THE “SOLUTIONS” TO LACK EFFECTIVENESS. THE SOLUTIONS CAN’T PRESENTED INHERENTLY EMPTY.
II). THE BIG ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM FOR HER SPIRITUAL QUEST? SHE GETTING PAID TO DO IT. SHE GOT AN ADVANCE AND TONS OF HER EXPENSES COVERED. NOW, THIS VERY TRICKY AREA AND HULK NOT GOING TO ASSUME MORE THAN HULK SHOULD. BUT IT EXACTLY THE KIND OF THING THAT CAN 1) CAUSE AUTHOR ON SPIRITUAL QUEST TO CREATE FICTIONAL PROBLEMS FOR SAKE OF NARRATIVE. AND 2) INHERENTLY UNDERMINES THE ESSENTIALLY “PURITY” OF HER GOAL. IT’S A JOB, INSTEAD OF SOMETHING “SHE HAD TO DO.” SO JUST KEEP IN BACK OF MIND. AFTER ALL, A QUEST FOR SPIRITUAL ENLIGHTENMENT CAN NO BE A PROP.
III). SO MUCH OF THE QUEST ABOUT SEARCH FOR LASTING PERMANENCE IN HER LIFE (SHE TEND TO BE ALL OVER PLACE IN CASE YOU NO NOTICE). BUT BOTH HER APPROACH AND ACTUAL CONNECTIONS IN THIS JOURNEY REEK OF IMPERMANENCE. SHE MAKE CONNECTION WITH PERSON OR BREAKTHROUGH OF AN IDEA… THEN SHE LEAVE. EVERY TIME IT HAPPEN, SHE LEAVE. SHE ALWAYS OFF TO NEXT THING AND RARELY DO THE CONNECTIONS STICK TOGETHER BEYOND “THIS HAPPENED TO ME” (AND VERY OFTEN THESE LEARNING MOMENTS INVOLVED HER IMPARTING SOME TWO-BIT WISDOM… WHICH IS OBVIOUSLY THE POINT OF A SPIRITUAL JOURNEY… UGH). IT JUST SO OBVIOUSLY FLEETING. AND HULK KNOW THIS POINT MERELY TANGENTIAL, BUT HULK BELIEVE PERSONAL GROWTH ALWAYS ABOUT HOW WE RESPOND TO WHEN DEALING WITH CONSTANTS, IT EASY TO “CHANGE” IN THE FACE OF VARIABLES. BUT BASICALLY THE SPEED OF THE NARRATIVE IN BOOK/MOVIE ONLY HELP SOLIDIFY THE HOLLOWNESS.
IV). HULK JUST LOVE THAT” EAT, PRAY, LOVE” WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT IT, ACTUALLY A SERIES OF COMMANDS. YEAH IT NOT EXACTLY SEEM LIKE COMMANDS, BUT SECRETLY, THAT WHAT THEY ARE… SORT OF CHANGE THE WHOLE DYNAMIC, RIGHT? THESE NOT SUGGESTIONS. THEY SNEAKY COMMAND FROM THE AUTHORITY (RE: GILBERT). HULK KNOW THAT SORT OF SEEM UNFAIR BUT IT TOTALLY DESERVED. READ SO MANY PARTS OF BOOK. WATCH SCENES IN MOVIE WHERE GILBERT CHARACTER TELL PEOPLE WHAT TO DO. IT AMAZING. THEY TOTALLY COMMANDS.
SO ONTO THE SPECIFIC PROBLEMS.
BEFORE HULK START DIATRIBE ON THE FIRST PART OF GILBERT’S BOOK/MOVIE, KNOW THIS… HULK KNOW ALL TO WELL THE DANGERS OF ANOREXIA. ONE OF HULKS BEST FRIENDS DIE OF IT. NOT BATTLED. NOT FLIRTED WITH. DIED. HULK WATCH THE WHOLE THING UNFOLD SINCE FRIEND A SMALL CHILD AND HULK PROBABLY KNOW THE IN AND OUT OF THE PSYCHOLOGICAL AND SOCIETAL INFLUENCES OF IT BETTER THAN ANYONE. IT AN AMAZINGLY SERIOUS PROBLEM THAT TIE INTO MANY CULTURAL ISSUES. SO LET HULK JUST SAY THIS… THERE HUGE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THOSE TRULY BATTLING ANOREXIA AND THOSE WHO WRESTLE WITH FAIRLY COMMON (THOUGH DEFINITELY UNHEALTHY AND SERIOUS) BODY ISSUES… AND IT WAY FUCKING DIFFERENT FROM THOSE WHO USURP THE LANGUAGE OF THESE SERIOUS PROBLEMS TO DEAL WITH SOME BASIC “I DON’T FEEL GOOD ABOUT MYSELF” SOCIETAL BULLSHIT.
ELIZABETH GILBERT STRIKE HULK AS A USURPER.
HULK NOT DOUBTING THE SINCERITY OF HER FEELINGS, JUST THE VERACITY FOR THE ORIGIN OF THESE FEELINGS. ELIZABETH GILBERT A NATURALLY SKINNY, NATURALLY ATTRACTIVE PERSON WHOSE ENTIRE FIRST SECTION OF THE BOOK/MOVIE DEAL WITH HER PLIGHT OF GOING UP A FEW JEAN SIZE… NO, REALLY THAT THE DEPTH OF WHAT WE TALKING ABOUT. THE SERIOUSNESS OF CULTURAL IMAGERY MADE NAUSEATINGLY TRITE. HER SPIRITUAL JOURNEY IN ITALY BASICALLY AMOUNTS TO HER DEALING WITH EATING CARBS, ICK!
AND LOOK, HULK GET THE PARLANCE OF OUR TIME AND HOW VAST NUMBER OF AMERICAN WOMEN DO ACTUALLY DEAL WITH THINGS LIKE THE ANNOYANCE OF FINDING A GOOD PAIR OF JEANS. OR HOW SLIGHT ALTERCATIONS TO APPEARANCE CAN DRAMATICALLY IMPACT WARDROBE ISSUES. MANY PEOPLE ROLL EYES AT THIS CLICHE, BUT IT CLICHE FOR REASON AND IT RELATE-ABLE TO MOST PEOPLE FOR REASON. HULK KNOW THIS AND, AGAIN, HULK KNOW THAT THE SOCIETAL PRESSURE TO LOOK CERTAIN WAY IMMENSE. BUT INSTEAD OF PUTTING THIS IN APPROPRIATE CONTEXT, ELIZABETH GILBERT GO INTO HYSTERICS. SHE USURP THE VOICE OF TRUE STRUGGLE OF ANEXORICS AND THEN HAS THE GOD-DAMN GALL TO ACT LIKE FUCKING AUTHORITY ON IT. HER “STRUGGLE” ANYTHING BUT THAT.
AND WORSE, THIS NOT ALL PART OF SOME SPIRITUAL JOURNEY. IT OBSERVATIONAL ONE-NOTE-ISM. SHE TREAT HER BASIC, DISCIPLINED APPROACH TO “IT’S SOMETIMES OKAY TO TREAT YOURSELF” AS A FUCKING REVELATION. HULK’S FAVORITE DRAMATIZATION OF THIS INSANITY? THE OVERTLY DRAMATIC SCENE IN THE PIZZERIA. IT JUST RIDICULOUS. EVERY TIME THE SUPREMELY WELL-OFF GILBERT USURP THE LANGUAGE OF PEOPLE WITH REAL EATING DISORDER IT MAKE HULK WANT SMASH LIKE HULK’S NEVER SMASHED BEFORE.
BUT THE BIGGEST PROBLEM OF HER “EAT” SOLUTION SOMETHING SHE NEVER FUCKING SEEM TO ACKNOWLEDGE: THAT MOST THE WOMEN AND MEN WHO READING/WATCHING IN SEARCH OF ANSWERS OF SELF-ESTEEM ARE PEOPLE DEALING WITH AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT BODY ISSUE: OBESITY AND BEING OVER-WEIGHT. SERIOUSLY, THERE ABOUT 3 TIMES THE AMOUNT OF PEOPLE BATTLING OBESITY COMPARED TO THOSE BATTLING EATING DISORDERS (THOUGH THERE SOME OBVIOUS OVERLAP BETWEEN TWO). WHICH MAKE GILBERT’S THROW-CAUTION-TO-THE-WIND APPROACH WHOLLY RECKLESS. SERIOUSLY, THE ENTIRE “EAT” SOLUTION SEEM AIMED AT VERY PARTICULAR SUBSET OF PEOPLE WHOSE SELF-ESTEEM ISSUES ARE MERE TRIFLE WHEN COMPARED TO THE CRIPPLING SELF-ESTEEM ISSUES DEALT WITH BY PEOPLE MARGINALIZED BY CONSUMER SOCIETY. AND HULK CAN TELL YOU ONE THING…
EATING A WHOLE FUCKING PIZZA IS NOT THEIR SOLUTION TO SELF DISCOVERY.
SORRY, MOVING ON.
THIS SOLUTION SORT OF THE MOST BENIGN OF GILBERT’S THREE COMMANDS, YET THERE ONE OBVIOUS DEEP FLAW HULK GET TO IN MINUTE. IN “PRAY” WE SEE GILBERT’S EMBRACE OF MEDITATION AND EASTERN PHILOSOPHY. BUT HER HANGUPS IN GETTING THERE OFTEN COMICAL. SHE NO CAN FIND INNER PEACE CAUSE SHE KEEP WANTING DECORATE THE MEDITATION ROOM (OH THOSE KOOKY UPSCALE AMERICANS AND THEIR SENSE OF AESTHETICS!).
THERE ANOTHER GREAT MOMENT GILBERT TAKE THE TIME TO CRY ABOUT HER OLD DIVORCE (AGAIN, HER FAULT) DURING A YOUNG GIRLS ARRANGED MARRIAGE CEREMONY (ONE WHICH THE GIRL TERRIBLY DISTRAUGHT OVER MIND YOU). AND GILBERT STORM AWAY FROM WEDDING SO THAT THE YOUNG GIRL HAVE TAKE TIME TO CONSOLE HER. CAUSE REALLY, THAT THE OPPORTUNE TIME AND NATURALLY, IT NEVER DAWN ON THE GILBERT CHARACTER TO OFFER ANY KIND OF HELP. UGH. IT JUST SORT OF THING THAT DRIVE HULK NUTS. IT BASIC SELF-CENTERED BEHAVIOR AND SHE NOT EVEN AWARE.
THEN THERE ANOTHER GREAT MOMENT WHICH HIGHLIGHT GILBERT’S PSYCHOLOGICAL BLOCK AND NOT GETTING IT. THE MOVIE SPEND LARGE TIME OF THIS SECTION WITH CHARACTER NAMED “RICHARD FROM TEXAS” (PLAYED BY THE WONDERFULLY BY THE SOULFUL RICHARD JENKINS). HE SORT OF BRAZEN AND IN YOUR FACE CHARACTER, BUT ULTIMATELY HE REVEAL TRAGIC PAST. SPECIFICALLY A MOMENT WHERE HIS ALCOHOLISM NEARLY KILL HIS SON. THERE A REASON HIS STORY TAKE SUCH PRECEDENCE AND YET TELLING OF IT MADE SO OBVIOUS AND BANAL (MADE ALL THE MORE ODD BY FACT GILBERT A DECENT WRITER)… HULK ARGUE IT JUST SEEM LIKE GILBERT SO DESPERATELY TRYING TO CONVEY HER OWN FEELINGS OF GUILT (BECAUSE AGAIN, SHE RUINED HER MARRIAGE AND CAN’T SEEM TO ADMIT IT) BY OVER PLAYING HER OWN SENTIMENT INTO RICHARD’S-OBVIOUSLY-MUCH-MORE-TRAGIC STORY. SO ONCE, YET A-FUCKING-GAIN, SHE DEFLECTING THE TRUE ISSUES AT HAND.
TANGENT: THERE ALSO THIS IDIOTIC DIRECTING MOMENT WHEN MOVIE MAKE BEYOND DUMB CHOICE TO HAVE RICHARD JENKINS GIVE SOULFUL SPEECH ABOUT TRAGEDY BY HAVING HIM TURN AWAY FROM CAMERA. INTERESTING? SORT OF. IN THAT OBVIOUS WAY HULK GUESS. BUT IT BEYOND DUMB NOT LET US SEE RICHARD JENKINS HAUNTED EYES. HULK WOULD HAVE BEEN SOBBING LIKE A LITTLE SCHOOLHULK IF ACTUALLY GOT TO SEE THE PERFORMANCE THAT HULK ONLY GOT TO HEAR. ANYCRAP. BACK TO DIATRIBE.
AS FOR HULK’S FAVORITE MOMENT OF NONSENSE? (HULK ACTUALLY CAN NO REMEMBER IF IT TOOK PLACE DURING NEXT SEGMENT, BUT IT TIE INTO SPIRITUALITY SO IT GOING HERE) WHEN PRESENTED WITH MENTAL EXERCISE/TRUE HONOR OF HAND-COPYING A HOLY TEXT, AND WHEN SHE SPECIFICALLY ASKED NOT TAKE BOOK OUT TO GET IT COPIES… GILBERT FINDS “COMICAL” MOMENT TO STEAL BOOK TO GO GET COPIES MADE… WHICH SHE THEN LATER GIVE AS PRESENT. THIS CAUSE HULK’S JAW DROP. NOT ONLY SHE NO RESPECT WHAT ASKED TO DO, NOT ONLY SHE FUCKING SHOW INCREDIBLE DISRESPECT TO SACRED TEXT (THE PLACEMENT WITHIN HOLY CONFINES KEY TO INTEGRITY OF TEXTS) SHE JUST SORT OF SMILES THE WHOLE THING OFF. IT SUCH GREAT EXAMPLE OF BRAZEN AMERICANISM (I’M GONNA DO WHAT I WANT CAUSE IT’S EASIER AND FUCK RULES!). AND IT EVEN BETTER EXAMPLE OF “NOT GETTING” THAT THE POINT WAS TO LEARN THE DISCIPLINE OF THE COPYING AND NOT THE FINISHED RESULT. AND IT SUCH A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF HER SHORT CUT TO SPIRITUALISM! THE WHOLE THING SHOW HER INSULTING PSYCHOLOGY IN A NUTSHELL.
OVERALL, HULK NOT REALLY WANT GET INTO THE RELIGIOUS ASPECTS OF THIS WHOLE SECTION. GILBERT SORT OF INFURIATINGLY NOT REALLY GET INTO SPECIFICS OF HER TAKE ON GOD/RELIGION THEN HAVE MOMENTS WHERE SHE INVOKE SPECIFICITY OF PARTICULARS AS IF TO HAVE PERSONAL MEANING. RELIGION ALWAYS ONE’S OWN AND HULK FEEL LIKE IT MAY START WHOLE OTHER ARGUMENT THAT HAVE NOTHING DO WITH GILBERT’S PROBLEMS. EVEN WITH THIS, HULK FEEL IT OKAY TO TALK ABOUT CONCEPT OF “PRAYER.”
HULK NOT RELIGIOUS, BUT HULK FEEL LIKE HULK UNDERSTAND WHAT IT MEAN TO ENGAGE IN PRAYER. HULK CONSIDER PRAYER TO BE A RITUAL IN WHICH ONE ENGAGE IN COME TO GRIPS WITH WORLD, CLEAR MIND, ENGAGE IN SELF-REFLECTION, FIND INNER PEACE, OR DEVELOP SHARP INCISIVE MINDFULNESS AND DISCIPLINE.
WHAT DOES HULK DO FOR PRAY? HULK PRAY BY WATCHING MOVIES. HULK PRAY BY PLAYING VIDEO GAMES. HULK PRAY BY BLOGGING/TWEETING INCESSANTLY ABOUT THINGS RANGING FROM STUPID TO SEMI-IMPORTANT. HULK FILLS HULK’S MIND NOT WITH HULK’S TROUBLES (OF WHICH THERE MANY. SERIOUSLY, THE LEADER CAN SUCK IT) BUT WITH THINGS AND MATTERS HULK CONSIDER INTERESTING. SURE HULK CAN WASTE 7000 WORDS ON A THE NONSENSICAL PHILOSOPHICAL ARGUMENT MADE BY A HORRIBLE BOOK/MOVIE (AHEM), AND HULK KNOW THIS SEEM LIKE ANTI-PRAYER, BUT HULK USUALLY FIND SOME KIND OF CENTER OR STASIS IN THIS PRACTICE.
BETTER YET, HULK UNDERSTAND THAT WHAT HULK SAYING NOT SOME RELIGIOUS THING BE ASCRIBED TO, AS THIS NOT SOME ADVICE HULK THINK ALL SHOULD PARTAKE IN TO HAVE BETTER LIFE… HULK JUST CASUALLY EXPLAINING HULK’S TAKE; THAT THESE JUST SOME THINGS THAT HELP GET HULK THROUGH DAY. HULK TREAT IT AS SIMPLE AS IT NEED BE TREATED.
IT RATHER DIFFERENT FROM THE TAKE OF ELIZABETH GILBERT’S SECOND COMMAND.
… HULK DIDN’T REALLY HAVE A LOT OF FUNNY PICTURES FOR THIS SECTION… SORRY.
IT ALL COME FULL CIRCLE. HULK FEEL LIKE PART OF THE REASON GILBERT SHOEHORN THE RELATIONSHIP-PROBLEM NARRATIVE INTO BEGINNING, SO THAT SHE HAVE REASON TO “FIND LOVE” AT END. LOGISTICALLY IT MAKE SENSE, BUT THE PROBLEM IT TOTALLY NOT READ LIKE THAT WHATSOEVER. IT ACTUALLY REEK FAR MORE OF NAKED COMMERCIALISM THEN WHATEVER THE CONFUSED, EMOTIONAL VOMIT IS ON DISPLAY HERE.
IN ALL HONESTY, HULK NOT SURE GILBERT KNOW WHAT LOVE IS.
SERIOUSLY. HULK REALLY DON’T KNOW. AT LEAST NOT WITH WHAT HULK PRESENTED. HER ABSURD CHARACTERIZATION OF BREAKUP OF HER MARRIAGE AND THE NONSENSE CRAZY RELATIONSHIP WITH ACTOR SET UP A MUDDLED VIEWPOINT, ONE WHICH EVENTUALLY MIRRORED BY THE RELATIONSHIP THAT TAKE ULTIMATELY TAKE PLACE IN “LOVE” SECTION.
FOR STARTER, GILBERT GET INVOLVED WITH GUY WHO NOT BEEN WITH WOMAN FOR 10 YEARS. THAT WORTH NOTING IN AND OF SELF. SECOND, HE DEEPLY HURT IN DIVORCE. HE ALSO DEEPLY LOVE HIS SON. AND SHE INVOLVE HERSELF IN THESE DEEPLY PERSONAL FAMILY AFFAIRS. FROM THERE, AFTER BURROWING IN, SHE ULTIMATELY ENGAGE WITH HIM IN PHYSICAL RELATIONSHIP. AND THEN WHEN THINGS GOING AMAZINGLY, SHE GET SUDDEN COLD FEET AFTER STRINGING ALONG SO BLATANTLY. SHE WAS LOOKING AT THIS AS SOME BIG ROMANTIC AFFAIR. HE WAS CLEARLY OPENING HIS LIFE UP AGAIN.
SO OUT OF NOWHERE SHE SUDDENLY BACK TO THE DOGMATIC MANTRA OF HER PRAYER AND “I DON’T WANT TO LOSE MY BALANCE” AGAIN, JUST ANOTHER BIZARRE REACTION FROM GILBERT. WE RECOGNIZE THE SOCIETAL UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT SHE SAYING, BUT NOT HER MOTIVATION. IT STUFF LIKE “WE’RE MOVING TOO FAST!” FREAK-OUT WE SEE SO MUCH IN MEDIA. AND SHE FRAME THIS ENTIRE RELATIONSHIP WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF HERSELF, COMPLETELY FUCKING IGNORANT OF THE ISSUES HE MUST BE GOING THROUGH TOO (AND OBVIOUSLY, THEY ARE OF EXTREME DEPTH. HIS PAST MUCH MORE TRAGIC. HERS LARGELY A PUT ON). IT ONE OF THE MOST RIDICULOUSLY OFFENSIVE THINGS HULK EVER SEE/READ. HIS FEELINGS ABOUT MATTER NOT EVEN AN AFTERTHOUGHT. HECK, THEY NOT EVEN A THOUGHT. EVER. SHE TRULY IN HER OWN WORLD.
AND THEN TO GET OVER THIS “CLIMACTIC DIFFICULTY” AND EMBRACE LOVE, SHE DECIDE SHE HAVE TO “LET GO” OF PAIN CAUSED TO HER IN DIVORCE. SHALL HULK GO OVER THE ACTUAL EVENTS OF HER MARRIAGE BREAK-UP AGAIN? GIVE HULK BREAK! YES, HULK KNOW BREAK-UPS TOUGH. BUT TO PRETEND YOU ENTITLED TO SAME MISERY AS PERSON’S HEART YOUR TORE OUT RIDICULOUS AND SHOW FUNDAMENTAL LACK OF BASIC HUMAN UNDERSTANDING. HULK KNOW THIS JUST SOUND SO REPETITIVE, BUT IT THE REASON SHE NOT HELPING SELF AT ALL.
HULK MEAN… JUST WHO THE HELL SHE THINK SHE IS?
ONCE AGAIN, HULK CAN’T PRESUME SUCH HORRIBLE THINGS ABOUT PERSON HULK NOT KNOW. HULK CAN JUST GO OFF TEXT GIVEN… BUT THE CHARACTERIZATION OF THESE EVENTS IN THE TEXT JUST HORRID. HALF OF IT THROUGH THE FILTER OF HER OBVIOUS SOCIAL FEARS/ANXIETY/DEPRESSION BUT IT WRITTEN LIKE TRIVIAL UPPER-CLASS, SELF-INVOLVED BULLSHIT. IT SORT OF MAKE HULK ANGRY (AND IN CASE YOU NOT KNOW… YOU NOT LIKE HULK WHEN ANGRY). MAINLY, CAUSE THE ACTUAL ISSUES BEING “TACKLED” IN EAT, PRAY, LOVE PRETTY IMPORTANT.
FOR ALL HULK GATHER, ELIZABETH GILBERT COULD BE LIKE THIS PERSON:
TO BE FAIR. THERE WEIRD TENDENCY TO PUT A NEAT, CLIMACTIC BOW ON THINGS. HER BANAL-ALBEIT-NICE DECREE AT END DO GOOD JOB OF MAKING HULK FEEL GOOD… BUT IN CONTEXT OF ALL IT JUST AS PUT ON AS EVERYTHING ELSE. JUST AS IMPERMANENT.
TO ALSO BE FAIR, IT SEEM THAT MANY OF THE ISSUES HULK HAVE WITH GILBERT’S THOUGHTS IN THIS PART = FURTHER EXPLORED IN HER FOLLOWUP BOOK “COMMITTED” ABOUT HER ENSUING RELATIONSHIP/MARRIAGE WITH THIS NEW MAN SHE MEET. IT SEEM LIKE SHE REALIZING A BIT MORE ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF CONSTANT SOLUTIONS (AS OPPOSED TO TEMPORARY), BUT STILL FROM EVERYTHING HULK READ (E.g.) WE STILL DEALING WITH IMPOSSIBLE EXTREMES AND NONSENSICAL CHARACTERIZATION OF A PROBLEM, WHICH HULK STILL CONSIDER PART OF AN UNRELIABLE NARRATOR. AND BESIDES, MUCH OF THE SEEMING GOAL OF “COMMITTED” REALLY SEEM TO UNDERMINE MANY OF THE EXACT POINTS SHE MAKE IN EAT, PRAY, LOVE SO SHE EVEN UNDERMINE HERSELF!
WHAT PERHAPS SO INFURIATING THAT GILBERT SEEM SO CLOSE MOST OF TIME. AGAIN, SHESMART BUT SHE CONSTANTLY MISS THE POINT OR UNDERLYING PROBLEM. AND ANYTIME SHE MAKE BREAKTHROUGH, SHE THEN DO SOMETHING THAT THE ANTITHESIS AND THEN NEVER ACKNOWLEDGE IT. LIKE SHE NEVER FULLY REALIZE THE PERFECTLY REASONABLE SOLUTION OF “HEY, MAYBE PERMANENCE JUST NOT REALLY MY THING.” HULK KNOW PLENTY OF PEOPLE WITH NOMADIC LIFESTYLE. THEY LEARN EMBRACE IT AND MAKE PEACE WITH LIFE OF CONSTANT CHANGE. BUT GILBERT LITERALLY WRITE STORY ABOUT BEING NOMADIC THEN SHE NEVER SEEM CLUE INTO FACT THAT ACTUALLY WHAT SHE DOING. AGAIN, IT JUST BIZARRE.
THE NOMADIC THING ACTUALLY MAKE RYAN MURPHY THE PERFECT DIRECTOR FOR THE FILM. HULK MOST APPRECIATE MURPHY’S WILLINGNESS TO PUSH BOUNDARIES INTO GREAT TOPICS AND EXPLORE INTERESTING CONCEPTS (HULK PRETTY MUCH REFERENCING THE GOOD EARLY SEASONS OF NIP/TUCK). BUT THERE ALSO LIKELY NO OTHER FIGURE IN HOLLYWOOD WHO GET BORED WITH SAID TOPICS/PROJECTS SO QUICKLY. HE WORK FOR BRIEF MOMENT ON SOMETHING THEN IMMEDIATELY MOVE ON. HIS TV SHOWS LEFT IN WASTE AFTER HE ALREADY RUN THEM DRY IN THE BRIEFEST OF SPANS. SO WHO BETTER TO CHARACTERIZE THE JOURNEY OF A WOMAN EXPLORING THE “JOURNEY” OF PASSING FANCY?
AGAIN, TO BE FAIR, THERE ACTUALLY A LOT HULK ENJOY ABOUT THE MOVIE IN TERMS OF TONE AND DIRECTION. THE MOMENTS IN AND OF SELF WELL-EXECUTED (THE LANDSCAPE, THE SENSE OF PEACE, EVERYTHING RICHARD JENKINS). AND MURPHY NEVER TRY GO FOR UNCALLED-FOR “EDGY” STUFF. HE JUST SEEM SURPRISINGLY FOCUSED ON SCENE AT HAND. BUT, LIKE GILBERT, THE OVERALL BACKBONE JUST MISSING.
HONESTLY, THE MOVIE ABOUT A LOT OF CONCEPTS THAT HULK FIND FASCINATING: EASTERN PHILOSOPHY, TRAVEL, FOOD, SOCIETAL PRESSURE, PSYCHOLOGY… BUT IT IT NEVER QUITE GET TO THAT REAL PLACE.
HULK GOING USE WORD “OPRAHISM” IN SENSE THAT LIKE MANY OF OPRAH’S LIFE SOLUTIONS IT NEVER GET TO SOURCE. IT ONLY ADDRESS SURFACE. AND HULK ACTUALLY NOT AN OPRAH-HATER. IN WORLD FULL OF POWERFUL MEDIA FIGURES SHE ONE OF EW WHO SEEM TRULY SERIOUS ABOUT PHILANTHROPIC CAUSES. AND IT OFTEN SHOCK HULK HOW MANY NOT KNOW THE STORY OF HER LIFE AND INCREDIBLE THINGS SHE OVERCOME. TRUST HULK, THE PAIN OF HER LIFE = ANYTHING BUT FALSE. SHE GO FROM THE MOST DESTITUTE OF SITUATIONS TO TRY AND MAKE SOMETHING POSITIVE.
ELIBETH GILBERT? SHE GROW UP ON PICTURESQUE CHRISTMAS TREE FARM IN CONNECTICUT.
SERIOUSLY. NOW AGAIN, HULK MAY NOT KNOW DETAILS, BUT FROM ALL ACCOUNTS SHE LARGELY CHARACTERIZE EARLY LIFE AS GLOURIOUS. IT NOW WONDER THAT MANY OF OPRAH’S REAL LIFE CONTRIBUTIONS = REAL AND PERMENANT. THE PROBLEM WITH OPRAH THAT IN TV FORM IT OFTEN COME OF AS FANCIFUL AND BITE-SIZED. SOMETHING PROMOTED AND INSINCERE. IN ONE WAY IT WHAT THE SHOW REQUIRE, BUT IN ANOTHER WAY IT PAINT VERY DIFFICULT CONCEPTS IN TOO BROAD STROKES.
HULK WILL EXPLAIN THIS ONE BETTER BELOW, BUT ONE OF BIGGEST PROBLEMS THAT THE SOLUTIONS OF SELF-ESTEEM IN EAT, PRAY, LOVE NOT APPLICABLE TO EVERYONE. WHATSOEVER. SO MUCH PRESENTED ONLY FOR THE RICH. THE FINANCIAL COSTS OF JOURNEY ASTRONOMICAL. AT LEAST OPRAH DO ABOUT HALF HER SHOWS FOR PEOPLE WHO NOT HAVE RIDICULOUS MONEY (AKA 95% OF HER AUDIENCE).
AND IT WOULDN’T BE ALL THAT BAD IF GILBERT NOT ACT INSUFFERABLE ABOUT THE SPECIFICS OF WHERE SHE TRAVEL. THE TONE OF HER VOICE “THIS NOT WHAT I LEARNED IN THIS SPECIFIC, HOLY PLACE AND HOW YOU, THE READER CAN USE IT!” BUT MORE “WOW, THIS IS WHAT YOU CAN LEARN ONLY IN THIS SPECIFIC PLACE. YOU HAVE TO COME HERE” IT RIDICULOUS. IT READ LIKE A TRAVEL AD. OR WORSE, A BUNCH OF RICH PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT THEIR VACATION AND TRYING ONE UP ONE ANOTHER.
PART THREE: SO WHAT THE HELL REALLY WRONG WITH ELIZABETH GILBERT ANYWAY? HAS SHE ALWAYS BEEN LIKE THIS?
AGAIN HULK NOT KNOW HER. THIS ONLY ASSUMPTIONS BASED ON WHAT MATERIAL OUT THERE.
SO HULK WANT BE THOROUGH AS POSSIBLE IN BE SURE THAT THIS SLANDEROUS-BUT-NOT-IN-A-ILLEGAL-WAY SENTIMENT NOT UNFOUNDED. HULK WANT GO THROUGH EVERYTHING OUT THERE AND FIND THE SIMILARITIES (AND POSSIBLE COUNTERPOINTS) TO HULKS ADMITTEDLY-MEAN-SPIRITED POINT. AND THANKFULLY, THERE LOT OF MATERIAL OUT THERE ON ELIZABETH GILBERT. HULK MUST LOOK AT HER HISTORY AND SAY “WHO THIS PERSON SEEM LIKE AND WHY HULK SHOULD TRUST HER?”
SO HULK GO TO THE START OF HER CAREER… YUP, SHE THE NINCUMPOOP THAT HELP POPULARIZE THE COYOTE UGLY PHENOMENON.
IN 1997 SHE WRITE GQ ARTICLE THAT GO ON BE THE BASIS FOR THE MOVIE. HERE THE ARTICLE. PLEASE READ.
QUITE FRANKLY, THE ARTICLE TERRIBLE. HULK NOT SURE HOW IT EVEN PUBLISHED LET ALONE BECOME SOME KIND OF ODD LAUNCH TO A QUASI-POPULARIZATION (HULK NOT SURE THE QUALITY OF GQ CAUSE HULK NEVER READ IT, BUT HULK PRETTY SURE HULK BEEN LINKED TO ARTICLES IN PAST AND THEY NOT REALLY LIKE THIS). HULK MEAN, IT RAMBLE. IT NIGH INCOHERENT. MORE IMPORTANTLY, SOME FOLKS READ ARTICLE AND MAY SAY “HOW THE HECK THIS SAME PERSON WHO WRITE EAT, PRAY, LOVE“? IT A GOOD QUESTION. TO BE FAIR, SHE IN HER 20’S WHEN WRITE THAT SO IT CERTAINLY FAIR TO ALLOW FOR GROWTH.
IT MUCH MORE IMPORTANT TO KEY IN ON THE SIMILARITIES. FIRST THING HULK NOTICE THAT FOR A SEEMINGLY DEEPLY PERSONAL ARTICLE ABOUT HER LIFE AND EXPERIENCE, THERE VERY LITTLE ACTUAL CONTENT OF SELF. MEANING IT SURPRISINGLY DISTANT. AND NOT DISTANT LIKE AN OBSERVATIONAL PIECE, IT JUST A RUN-ON LIST OF UNCONNECTED ANECDOTES. WHICH NOT EXACTLY A PROBLEM IN AND OF SELF, BUT THESE ANECDOTES CONTINUOUSLY MENTION HER AS AN ACTIVE PART OF THE SITUATION; TO EFFECT OF: “I COULD MAKE MEN WANT TO MARRY ME” AND SUCH (SHE MAKE THIS POINT A LOT). YET THERE IS ABSOLUTELY ZERO FUCKING INSIGHT INTO WHAT THAT MEANS FOR THESE PEOPLE AND WHAT HER CONTRIBUTION TO THE DYNAMIC SITUATION WAS… AGAIN… DOWNRIGHT BIZARRE. SHE WROTE DISTANT, OBSERVATIONAL PIECE WITH FIRST PERSON SINGULAR PROVOCATION. IT BETRAY ITSELF.
ULTIMATELY, GILBERT HAVE A SUBCONSCIOUS OBSESSION WITH SELF, YET IT A DECEPTIVE SELF. SHE JUST HAS TO THROW HERSELF INTO THE STORY DESPITE ANY RELEVANCE. AND SHE NEVER EVEN ATTEMPT TO LOOK HONESTLY AT THE SITUATION.
ALL HER WORK HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM: IT UNTRUSTWORTHY. HULK ACKNOWLEDGE THE “STORIES” MAY BE TRUE, BUT THE SENTIMENT/CONVEYANCE ALWAYS FEEL FALSE. ALL THE QUESTIONS OF THE STORY ALWAYS LEFT UNANSWERED. PERHAPS THE EDITORS WANTED IT TO BE SEX-ED UP, BUT IT IN THERE AND IT SO AMAZINGLY DISINGENUOUS. AND, HILARIOUSLY, NOTICE ON LAST PAGE THE MENTION OF ANOTHER “HEARTBREAK STORY.” NOTICE HOW EVEN IN TRUNCATED FORM THE READER GIVE THE SAME EXACT STORY ABOUT LOVE GONE AWRY. WE SENSE THEME HERE? HILARIOUSLY, OR PERHAPS TRAGICALLY, IN ARTICLE GILBERT MENTION HOW HAPPY SHE IN HER MARRIAGE NOW… AND THIS SAME MARRIAGE SHE HATE LATER ANNIHILATE AND USE AS GENESIS OF EAT, PRAY, LOVE… TOO BAD SHE WRITES IN INK.
OKAY NOW READ THIS OTHER ARTICLE ON “THE LAST AMERICAN MAN” AND DO HULK FAVOR: NOTICE HOW MUCH ELIZABETH GILBERT MENTION HERSELF. “I”, “MY”, ETC. READ THE ARTICLE:
WE RARELY ACTIVELY NOTICE THE HABIT (GOOD EDITORS DO THOUGH) BUT GILBERT = ALL OVER THE STORY. AND NOT IN GOOD WAY. IT ABOUT HER OBSERVATIONS (WHICH OFTEN PRETTY ROTE), NOT THE OBSERVATIONS THEMSELVES. THERE A CRUCIAL DIFFERENCE IN JOURNALISM. LIKE READ THIS:
“I felt as if I’d stepped into an eighteenth-century Quaker household. I felt as if I’d brought a bad smell in with me. I felt that I reeked of the stupidest features of modern American society (diet dog food, beepers for children), and I felt tragically incompetent. (I don’t work the land. I don’t make venison stew.)”
THE JOB OF WRITER TO APPROXIMATE EXPERIENCE FOR READER, AND SOMETIMES, YES, DO THAT THROUGH PERSONAL INPUT. BUT THIS EXEMPLARY OF HOW SHE GO FAR BEYOND IT. AND EVEN IF NOT OBVIOUS, SUBCONSCIOUSLY WE ABSORB THIS STUFF. IT MAKE US SEE THE WRITER PRESENT, BUT IT COME WITH GREAT COST OF DISTANCING. LOTS OF FOLKS OFTEN MAKE FUN OF THE USE OF “ONE FEELS” OR “ONE MIGHT THINK” AND EVEN THOUGH HULK GET WHY THAT MIGHT SEEM PRETENTIOUS, IT STILL DO THE NECESSARY JOB OF CREATING DISTANCE BETWEEN THE AUTHOR AND THE SUBJECT. IT MAKE THE AUTHOR = PURE OBSERVATION. IT UNIVERSALIZE THE THOUGHTS OF AUTHOR INTO THOUGHTS THAT COULD BE HAVE BY ALL.
INSTEAD, GILBERT TREAT HULK TO SHIT LIKE THIS:
“I didn’t mind the hard work, and I appreciated the beauty of Turtle Island, but my thoughts strayed—not to my family, not to hot running water, but to the really gorgeous and expensive Calvin Klein suit I’d purchased recently. While I was up there plowing that field, while Eustace was teaching me how to handle that draft horse, my thoughts were constantly wandering to that Calvin Klein suit, which is the nicest thing I’ve ever owned. I’d picture it hanging in my closet. I’d wonder how it was doing. And, I’m sorry to confess, I’d sigh with deep longing.”
HULK NOT GOING TO SUDDENLY GET DOWN ON THE PERILS OF HIGH FASHION OR ANYTHING. JUST CAUSE IT NOT HULKS INTEREST NOT MEAN HE BEGRUDGE THE INTEREST AS A WHOLE… BUT GOOD LORD, COME ON! YOU ACTUALLY GOING TO SAY THAT? JESUS CHRIST LADY. DOES SHE NO REALIZE THAT SHE NOT DOING THAT THING WHERE SHE ADMITTING SELF HUMAN FOIBLE IN A VERY HUMAN WAY THAT MAKE US LIKE HER? THAT SHE BASICALLY ADMITTING SOMETHING THAT ONLY JUST HORRID AND IN A RATHER HORRID WAY. UGH. DAMMIT…. SORRY HULK MOVING ON.
BUT WHAT MOST STRIKING, HOW THE ARTICLE HAVE STUNNINGLY LITTLE TO SAY.THE ARTICLE’S SUBJECT MATTER OF MAN IN BATTLE WITH NATURE SEEM LIKE SO MUCH COULD BE GET INTO… BUT IT JUST DOESN’T. HULK WOULD NO EVEN MIND A VERY PLAIN ASSESSMENT, BUT ALL HULK GET BRIEF FLIRTATIONS WITH THE VERY PLAIN IDEAS.
LIKE NEAR END OF ARTICLE SHE MISS THE MOST INTERESTING THING HER SUBJECT SAY: “Because,” Eustace said, “they recognized right away that I was a real person, and they’ve probably never met one before.
The next day…”
SERIOUSLY!?!? IT JUST TO THE NEXT DAY WITHOUT EVER REFERENCING?
SHE JUST LEAVE THE MOST INTERESTING THING THE MAN EVER SAY SHE JUST LEAVE THERE. IT NOT LIKE IT AN INSPIRING QUOTE, BUT THERE REAL OPPORTUNITY TO GET INTO THE MAN’S PSYCHOLOGY AND MOTIVATION FOR WHAT HE (I.E. WANTING TO BE A “REAL MAN”). IT NEVER REALLY TAPPED INTO.
HULK NOT GOING TO PUT HULK-SELF THOUGH HELL TO READ HER OTHER BOOK “PILGRIMS” AND PROVE POINT FURTHER (HULK DONE ENOUGH AND FRANKLY PRETTY TIRED), BUT HULK WANT POINT OUT ONE LAST THING FROM ELIZABETH GILBERT, THE PERSON.
NOT LONG AGO, GILBERT INVITED TO THE TED CONFERENCE (A SUMMIT ON TECHNOLOGY, CREATIVITY, AND FORWARD THINKING). SHE GET UP THERE AND, YOU GUESS IT, GIVE A SPEECH FOCUSING ON A NON-EXISTENT + SELF-INVOLVED PROBLEM. IT BASICALLY THIS: “AFTER EAT, PRAY, LOVE BIG SUCCESS ARE YOU AFRAID YOU’LL NEVER DO SOMETHING AS GOOD AGAIN??” AND IT TURN OUT, YES SHE WAS AFRAID! IT MADE HER TERRIFIED TO THINK ABOUT IT! BUT GUESS WHAT EVERYONE? THAT SHOULDN’T KEEP ANYONE DOWN! CREATIVITY SHOULD BE DARING RISK! AND THESE THE STEPS YOU NEED TO OVERCOME CRIPPLING FEAR OF ONGOING AND WELL DESERVED SUCCESS!
SERIOUSLY THAT WAS HER FUCKING TED SPEECH. SHE JUST FRAME AN IMAGINARY COMPLICATION AND THEN ACT LIKE SHE ABOVE THE CRIPPLING PRESSURE OF MEGA-SUCCESS. AND HULK NOT SAYING MEGA-SUCCESS NOT A REAL PROBLEM. IT HAVE GREAT PRESSURES. BUT KNOW WHO DEAL WITH MEGA-SUCCESS WELL? PEOPLE WHO UNDERSTAND THAT IT THE GREATEST GIFT THAT CAN EVER BE AFFORDED. PEOPLE LIKE GEORGE CLOONEY AND STEVEN SPIELBERG . PEOPLE WHO RECOGNIZE NOT THE BURDEN, BUT THE UNQUANTIFIABLE FREEDOM OF THAT PUBLIC SUCCESS AT MOST BASIC LEVEL.
CHECK OUT VIDEO HERE:
NOTICE HER WEIRD HABIT OF HER CONSTANTLY LAUGHING AT SELF WHILE AUDIENCE NOT LAUGHING AT ALL? IT JUST ANOTHER WAY THE WORLD INSIDE HER HEAD DIFFERENT FROM THE ONE WE EXPERIENCING.
PART FOUR: ELIZABETH GILBERT AND THE IMPLICATION ON CULTURE
HULK WANT HONESTY.
IT THE MOST IMPORTANT QUALITY IN A WRITER/FILMMAKER/WHATEVER-THE-HECK. EVEN IF THE STORY UNTRUE. EVEN IF THE WORK ABOUT AN EMOTION. EVEN IF JUST TRY MAKE US LAUGH. EVEN IF IT A BIG INTERGALACTIC SPACE OPERA… IT JUST HAVE FEEL HONEST. EVEN THE COMIC PRATFALL HAVE TO LOOK REAL.
HULK NO THINK GILBERT HONEST.
SHE PROBABLY EVEN NEED HELP. BUT IN FIT OF IRONY, SOCIETY HAVE REWARDED GILBERT’S SELF-DELUSION AND GIVEN HER UNIMAGINABLE SUCCESS. IT NOT WHAT SHE NEED. SHE SELF-TREATED FALSELY AND TO OUR OWN AMUSEMENT.
THERE WAY IN WHICH GILBERT COMPLETELY SYMBOLIC OF WHAT WRONG WITH (A CERTAIN ASPECT OF) AMERICA.
HULK HAVE NO IDEA WHY HULK BRINGING UP THE WIRE, BUT HULK GOING TO DO IT ANYWAY.
THE SHOW’S CREATOR DAVID SIMON OFTEN USE PHRASE “THE OTHER AMERICA” TO TALK ABOUT THE PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY NOT USUALLY REFLECTED IN OUR TRADITIONAL MEDIA. THE AMERICA THAT DEAL WITH SET OF SOCIO-ECONOMIC PROBLEMS SO CRIPPLING, WE CAN NO EVEN BEGIN TO CONTEMPLATE. THE ONES THAT CANNOT BE FIXED WITH A BLANK CHECK, OR SWEEPING PROMISES, OR EVEN BEST INTENTIONS. BUT IT SO IMPORTANT TO REALIZE HOW OUR SOCIETY NO POSSIBLY IMPROVE OUR OWN LIVES WITHOUT ADDRESSING THE MASSIVE THINGS THAT NEED HAPPEN TO FIX “THE OTHER AMERICA.”
HULK’S POINT ON ELIZABETH GILBERT THIS: HOW THE FUCK CAN PEOPLE IN THE OTHER AMERICA ENJOY THE DELICIOUSNESS OF ITALIAN PASTA? HOW CAN THEY ENJOY THE PRISTINE TEMPLES? THE CALM OF BALI RAIN? THEY CAN’T.
AND LET NOT PRETEND “THE OTHER AMERICA” NOT PART OF THE AIM OF SELF HELP BOOKS. THE OTHER AMERICA READ/SAW EAT, PRAY, LOVE IN DROVES. HECK, EVEN MOST OF OPRAH’S AUDIENCE “THE OTHER AMERICA.” BUT THE SOLUTIONS PRESENTED IN BOOK NOT FOR FOR THEM. THEY DON’T WORRY ABOUT THE FUCKING CHANEL SUIT. THEY DON’T HAVE TO SPEND ALL THEIR EXTRANEOUS MONEY SO THEIR EX-HUSBAND DOESN’T GET IT. THEY DON’T WORRY ABOUT NOT BEING A SIZE 6.
SO SHOULD THEY EMBRACE EATING THE OVER-PROCESSED GARBAGE OF THE MEGA MART AND INDUSTRIAL FARMS?. OF COURSE NOT. BUT IT A NON-ISSUE IN GILBERT’S MIND. SHE NOT GET HOW PAINFULLY CLASSIST HER SOLUTIONS ARE. THINK HOW ODDLY GILBERT SEEM SIDE-STEP THE OVERWHELMING POVERTY OF INDIA AT EVERY STEP. THEN THERE THAT CHARITABLE GESTURE IN BALI, GILBERT’S SOLUTION TO THIS PROBLEM APPARENTLY RAISE MONEY FOR PERSON SHE MET TO BUY HOUSE. DON’T GET HULK WRONG, IT A WONDERFULLY NOBLE ACT IN SINGULARITY, BUT THE WAY IN WHICH IT REGARDED AS LIKE “ALL WE HAVE DO IS WRITE CHECKS AND MOVE ON.” SHE NOT USE THOSE WORDS OF COURSE, BUT THAT HER ACTIONS… IT THE EXACT PROBLEM WITH MODERN CHARITY. SHE CAPTURE HER RELUCTANCE, BUT NOT THE DEEPER PROBLEMS IN HERSELF.
ALL THIS ADD UP ONE SIMPLE THING: ELIZABETH GILBERT’S BIGGEST PROBLEM THAT THE PROBLEMS IN HER MIND EQUAL PLIGHT TO THE PROBLEMS IN THE WORLD… THEY ARE NOT.
SHE ULTIMATELY HAVE NO PERSPECTIVE IN A BOOK/FILM ABOUT GAINING PERSPECTIVE.
PERHAPS 7000+ WORDS NOT NECESSARY. HULK EVEN CALLED UP MAMA-HULK TO TALK ABOUT IT AT ONE POINT AND MAMA-HULK PUT IT SIMPLY “HATED IT. ALL SHE DID WAS WHINE.” YUP… COULD HAVE SAVED YOU LOTS OF TIME. BUT THERE TIME FOR BROAD STROKES AND TIME FOR EXORBITANT, WELL-ARGUED TAKE-DOWNS. HULK FELT SHE SUCH A WELL-REGARDED AND POPULAR FIGURE, ONE WHO LARGELY CRITICIZED FOR WRONG AND ODDLY SEXIST REASONS… SO HULK FELT IT LIKE ONE OF THOSE TIMES TO DRONE.
IN MANY WAYS, HULK NOT NEARLY AS ANGRY AS WHEN HULK FIRST SEE MOVIE. BY ARTICULATING IT IN THIS LONG RAMBLING ESSAY, HULK LEARNED TO DEAL WITH MUCH SMASHY-ANGER ACTUALLY… IN END, EAT, PRAY, LOVE PROBABLY A FAIRLY INERT PROPERTY THAT NOT HAVE A FAR REACHING EFFECT ON WORLD.
BUT EVEN THAT NOT CHANGE FACT THAT EAT, PRAY, LOVE A BOOK/MOVIE DESIGNED TO HELP PEOPLE AND IT ABSOLUTELY FUCKING USELESS TO MOST AMERICANS, THE AMERICANS HULK SEE EVERY DAY. IN FACT, HULK THE ADVICE HARMFUL TO THEM (EAT MORE! SPEND ALL YOUR MONEY!).
DON’T MISUNDERSTAND HULK WHEN HULK SAY THIS, BUT IT OFTEN LIKE THE RUNNING INTERNET JOKE “WHITE PEOPLE PROBLEMS”… WELL ELIZABETH GILBERT’S PROBLEMS = THE EXACT DEFINITION OF “WHITE PEOPLE PROBLEMS.”
ACTUALLY… IT SO LACK UNDERSTANDING THAT IT LIKELY EVEN HARMFUL TO THE SELF-ABSORBED PEOPLE IT SEEM DESIGNED FOR.
SO MAKE THAT ZERO AMERICANS.
56 thoughts on “HULK WATCH EAT, PRAY, LOVE FOR YOU ASSHOLES”
This was pretty wonderful. Funny and keenly observed. Well done, good sir.
HULK THANK. IN RETROSPECT IT COULD OBVIOUSLY BE SHORTER (HULK SORT OF MADE SAME POINT OVER AND OVER AGAIN IN DIFFERENT WAYS). BUT HULK JUST FELT LIKE PROBLEMS WITH THE INESCAPABLE PROBLEMS PROPERTY DEEPLY TIE INTO SOME DEEPER AMERICAN PROBLEMS.
AND HULK HAVE CARNIVALE IN HULK’S NETFLIX CUE (GOTTA FINISH FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS FIRST). ONCE HULK START HULK GOING GO BACK AND CATCH UP WITH YOUR MOST EXCELLENT LOST AND FOUND (THE LOST AND TWIN PEAKS RUNS BOTH SPECTACULAR)
Wow, Hulk. Just WOW. With your imperfect grammar and complete disregard for your own psychological safety (I can’t believe the depth of your research into this horrible woman), you have managed to PERFECTLY express my own inexpressible reaction of hatred for this film/character.
So–did it rate negative Smashes?
HULK WAS AFRAID TO DO PHYSICAL SMASHES AS THE RESULTING SMASH WOULD LIKELY KILL THOUSANDS AND THOUSAND OF INNOCENT BYSTANDERS, ALL OF WHOM LIKELY HATED THE MOVIE TOO.
Well, Hulk, I don’t know if there’s much to say in response – I think you could call this the “definitive word” on Eat, Pray, Love – but I did have a bit to contribute in response. The whole time I was reading your piece, my mind kept flashing back to A Million Little Pieces, and because I’m the sort of person who ranks stuff, I started trying to figure out the relative value of Frey’s lies and delusions over Gilbert’s (though they might well be in different classes all together). Then, of course, that reawakened the debate about truth versus art that I have about six times a year with myself. That’s not to say that EPL’s supposed to be art in the same way that The Social Network’s supposed to be art, but kind of.
My mind jumped to A Million Little Pieces especially because of what you said regarding EPL being something that’s supposed to help people, but is completely unhelpful (and even harmful). Even though A Million Little Pieces was a fraudulent memoir, it still told a relatively inspirational story about a guy’s battle with addiction and his own personal demons, and whether it was true or not, it did affect people in a positive way (I never read it, so my impressions are all second-hand). I’ve always been of the mind that there was some value to the book (maybe even some “artistic truth,” though that might be going too far) because readers placed value in it, whether he had a root canal without Novocaine or not.
I suppose the reason I kept thinking about truth is that EPL seems like self-improvement for [rich, white] people who are too lazy to actually try to improve themselves. That, to me, makes the work lazy, and since the truth is never lazy, that makes it kind of a lie, through some transitive property that I’ve not quite figured out how to articulate.
HULK THANK FOR THOUGHTFUL COMMENT.
IT INTERESTING DICHOTOMY FOR SURE. ON ONE HAND, WHAT EGREGIOUS ABOUT A MILLION LITTLE PIECES SOMETHING VERY TANGIBLE TO PUBLIC. HE OUTRIGHT LIE ABOUT HIS “FACTS OF LIFE” (HULK SORRY AND WILL ABSTAIN FROM MRS. GARRETT REFERENCES). FREY OBVIOUSLY WOULD HAVE MAKE BENEFIT FROM PUBLISHING A PIECE OF FICTION BASED ON PERSONAL EXPERIENCES, BUT IN CHASING ALMIGHTY DOLLAR (MEMOIRS ALMOST ALWAYS BIGGER BUSINESS THEN FICTION)IT END UP BEING OBVIOUSLY TERRIBLE DECISION. BUT STILL WHAT FREY DO SEEM LIKE VERY NAKED AMBITION. HIS ATTEMPT TO PUT ONE OVER AND REAP BENEFITS SO OBVIOUS AND CLEAR.
ON OTHER HAND, GILBERT’S DECEPTION MUCH MORE SUBTLE. SHE ADOPT LANGUAGE OF VERY COMMON PERSPECTIVES (AMERICAN STRUGGLE TO PURSUE HAPPINESS), PROBLEMS (BODY IMAGE ISSUES), AND SOLUTIONS (EASTERN PHILOSOPHY), DESPITE A COMPLETE LACK OF FUNDAMENTAL UNDERSTANDING. SURE, SHE HAVE LOGISTICAL UNDERSTANDING, BUT HAVE A PSYCHOLOGICAL BLOCK THAT STOP HER MAKING ANY TRUE PROGRESS. AND IT ALL SO OBVIOUS.
FOR SOME REASON, HER DECEPTION BOTHER HULK MUCH MORE. IT SORT OF MACHIAVELLIAN INTERPRETATION: FREY A LIAR WHO GETS IT. GILBERT A LIAR WHO DOESN’T GET IT.
I’ve never read the book or seen the film so thank you for confirming a lot of my suspicions about this film.
I was just wondering if you watched this film out of any desire to relate or interact with someone who experiences anger and internal conflict about themselves and their role in society at large. It seems to me like your unique psychological experiences would allow you a valuable insight into some of the themes of identity and pressures of conforming to social normatives which you allude to in the review.
Brilliant. 😀 Thank you for that. I started reading the book after a friend recommended it to me, and loathed it, and your review seems spot on to me. I also deeply understand writing 7,000 words about a film you deeply disliked/distrusted … like being sick/vomiting up of “toxic material” in slow-motion.
brillant review makes me almost want to read the book more then even see the movie. look forward to the next movie review
Sounds to me like the film should’ve been directed by Michelangelo Antonionni who would have clearly seen these character faults (and the societal damage caused by these selfish viewpoints) and expressed it into something sublimely beautiful and thought-provoking.
HULK LAUGH. THAT PROBABLY TRUE.
AND ON TANGENTIAL NOTE, THAT NOT WHAT HULK MEAN (THOUGH THAT NOT WHAT HULK SAY YOUR IMPLYING WHATSOEVER). HULK JUST WANT MAKE CLEAR HULK NO NEED GILBERT BE “PUNISHED” FOR WHAT SHE DO WRONG. HER SOLUTION OF MOVING ON FROM HER CARNAGE ACTUALLY THE CORRECT RESPONSE, BUT WHAT HULK WANT IS ACTUAL UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT SHE DONE… OF WHICH THERE SEEM BE NONE.
I had a friend who loved EPL and all things Elizabeth Gilbert. She decided not to be my friend anymore after I very politely told her it really hurt my feelings and inconvenienced me when she blew off our plans at the very last minute. I got a passive aggressive fauxpology and that was it. I’m not saying EPL can turn you into a self-centered cow, but, be wary of anyone who really likes it.
I started watching the movie. When she touched down in Italy I paused the movie and never went back.
I did not want to go on a journey of self-discovery with her. I didn’t even make it through “Eat”.
Mmm…I think some of your points are valid, however I think that Hulk should have talked about this with a feminist-minded woman to understand why this book is so popular. Does Hulk ever wonder why this book, with its ego-centric, classist, NY woman would resonate with all types of women around the world? Hulk should contextualize this work and if Hulk was a woman he might understand what this means. Women are socialized from a very early age to put others needs before their own. Women like Elizabeth Gilbert, because she says fuck all of that, I am going to think solely about myself. I don’t care if I’m not being a good friend, good mother, good wife, I want to do just be free and do what makes me happy. It’s interesting that many of your points revolve around the idea of her selfisness. Dear Hulk, that is the main point of the book and the movie that you missed. It’s the glorification of a woman being selfish and coming to terms with it.
HULK ACTUALLY TALKED WITH SEVERAL FEMINIST-MINDED WOMEN FIRST. INCLUDING BETTY. AND HULK SAID SEVERAL TIMES THROUGHOUT PIECE THAT IF GILBERT ACTUALLY ENGAGED THE TOPIC IN THE TERMS YOU STATED, IT WOULD HAVE CHANGED EVERYTHING. BUT SHE NO DO THAT. SHE CREATE A PERSPECTIVE OF PERPETUAL VICTIMIZATION AND BARELY ACKNOWLEDGE WHAT SHE DOING AS “SELFISH.” INSTEAD SHE GUISE SELFISHNESS UNDER ETHEREAL EASTERN TERMS LIKE “FINDING BALANCE.” AT NO REAL POINT DOES SHE ENGAGE IN THE STARK/CLEAR TERMS YOU USE. AND LIKE MANY THINGS SHE USURP, THE NOTION OF EMPOWERMENT ACTUALLY ONE OF THEM.
HULK CONSIDER GILBERT TO BE A STUNNINGLY MISGUIDED FEMINIST.
AND MORE TO POINT… HULK NOT REALLY THAT ON BOARD WITH WHAT YOU DESCRIBING ANYWAY. YOU SAY WOMEN ARE SOCIALIZED FROM VERY EARLY AGE TO PUT OTHERS NEEDS BEFORE THEIR OWN. HULK ARGUE THAT ONLY A HALF TRUTH:THAT JUST AS MANY WOMEN ARE SOCIALIZED TO BE “LITTLE PRINCESSES” (ALONG WITH A LITANY OF COUNTERING AND HORRIBLE SEXUAL SOCIALIZATION PERSPECTIVES THAT COME AS RESULT OF THAT). AND THE LOGIC BECAUSE WOMEN HAVE ALL THIS SOCIETAL PRESSURE THAT THEY MUST DISMISS ALL THAT “LIFE” STUFF EQUALLY PUZZLING.
HULK ARGUE IT NOT “WOMEN” BUT “PEOPLE” WHO ARE SOCIALIZED FROM A VERY EARLY AGE TO PUT OTHERS NEEDS BEFORE THEIR OWN. HULK KNOW THAT HULK WAS. IT CALLED BEING A CITIZEN, LIVING IN A COMMUNITY. IT CAN BE JUST BEING A GOOD CHRISTIAN, OR WHATEVER RELIGION YOU MAY BE. HULK ARGUE THIS THE CORE OF OUR SOCIETY.
THE ARGUMENT THAT EMBRACING SELFISHNESS IN ANY HIGHER CAPACITY THAN SEEKING MOMENTARY NON-DAMAGING ENJOYMENT IS THE GOAL OF LIFE = DOWNRIGHT BAFFLING.
AGAIN, HULK ARGUE THIS A PEOPLE THING. NOT A FEMINIST THING.
AND IN THIS SITUATION THOSE TWO SHOULD BE THE SAME THING REALLY.
Terrific response, Hulk. Couldn’t have replied to this comment any better myself.
thanks hulk 😉
By Odin, thou hast encapsulated the very same feelings I had experienced when the good lady Sif had brought this tome from Midgard. “Verily,” I said unto her, “Canst thou not see this mortal wench hath not perspective and the self-awareness granted to even the comically self-deluded Volstagg?” At that she merely shrugged and noted that “the Odinson understandeth not ‘Women’s Issues’ “. Understandeth not?? Hath I not rescued her from Hela’s cold grasp? Hath I not battled Surtur and the Midgard Serpent both to save her from eternal peril? Hath I not watched “Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants” at her side?? Aye, but the God of Thunder doth digress…
Continue your mighty works of critical analysis, jade one. Know that your fellow Avenger doth stand at your side and looks down upon you from fabled Asgard (specifically, from Heimdall’s laptop).
[HULK NOD VIGOROUSLY NOD WITH APPROVAL]
THAT SHOULD BE ONE “NOD”
Great review, Hulk. I saw part of the film (couldn’t go through seeing it all) an I also got pissed, although I don’t remember almost anything about the plot. I do remember the narrator being an extremely frivolous person, selling spiritual growth: One could conclude by the financial success of the book that self-indulgence sells, while personal growth doesn’t.
Also I think that I’ve seen my share of ‘chick-flicks’, and like you I can’t dissmiss the whole genre, but I’ve noticed most of them are really stupid in a ‘feminine’ kind of way. Like most ‘action’ movies are stupid in a ‘masculine’ sort of way.
Finally, what kind of keyboard does the Hulk use, and what kind of remote control? Seems that with the Hulk’s fingers strenght and size, those devices could get crushed…
STARK HAVE ONE KEYBOARD MAKE SPECIAL. IT REALLY BIG AND HULK SHARE IT WITH ANT-MAN WHEN HE GO INTO GIANT MODE / NOT BEATING HIS WIFE. IT REALLY NICE OF TONY.
HULK GET WHAT YOU MEAN WITH MASCULINE/FEMININE THING, BUT HULK NOT REALLY SURE THAT’S FAIR. AFTER ALL, MOST ROMANTIC COMEDIES DIRECTED BY MEN (LIKE THIS ONE). IT SORT OF MAKE IT EVEN MORE TRIVIAL: IT NOT EVEN WHAT FEMININE STUFF “ABOUT” IT WHAT WE MEN “THINK” IT ABOUT.
HULK SORT OF BEMOAN THE LOSS OF THE ROMANTIC COMEDY IN A LARGER CONTEXT. STUFF LIKE “HIS GIRL FRIDAY” OR “PILLOW TALK” JUST BLOW TODAY’S SCRIPTS OUT OF THE WATER. THEY USED TO MAKE ROMANITIC COMEDIES FOR PEOPLE, AND SOMEWHERE ALONG LINE THEY DECIDED TO MAKE ROMANTIC COMEDIES “FOR” WOMEN. WHICH IS BIG MISTAKE. IT’S LIKE NO ONE HAS ANY IDEA HOW TO DO THAT STUFF ANYMORE. OR MAYBE AUDIENCES GOT BORED WITH IT AND WE JUST NEVER FIGURED OUT A WAY TO REALLY GET BACK TO IT.
PART OF HULK THINKS IT JUST BECAUSE WE STOPPED TRYING SO HARD AT. MIKE NEWELL FAMOUSLY MAKE RICHARD CURTIS DO 17 DRAFTS OF “FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL” WHICH ONE OF THOSE ABSOLUTELY PERFECT MOVIES. THE MORE FAMOUS RICHARD CURTIS GET, THE LESS HARD HE TRUES. HECK LOVE, ACTUALLY FEELS LIKE A FIRST DRAFT.
HULK NOT SURE WHERE HULK GOING WITH ALL THIS. IT SORT OF A RUN-ON THOUGHT. HULK JUST WISH THERE WERE BETTER ROMANTIC COMEDIES.
I too bemoan the lack of good modern romantic comedies. Have you ever seen the Hugh Grant/Drew Barrymore vehicle “Music & Lyrics”? I was pleasantly surprised by how genuinely funny it was and the chemistry between the two leads, even though I usually find Barrymore kind of annoying. It’s not like, Oscar material or anything, but it made me wonder why most modern romcoms don’t seem to bother with creating even likable two-dimensional characters and witty repartee even within the confines of a largely predictable story.
Plus watching Hugh Grant in a great 80’s spoof video is way funnier than it has any right to be.
Please rewrite this using upper and lower case and the word IS. I think it would be 100 times better and 1000 times easier to read as a real review. It’s almost as irritating as Elizabeth Gilbert.
HULK WRITE LIKE HOW HULK TALK IN HULK’S BRAIN. HULK CAN NO HELP [HULK LOWERS HEAD IN SHAME]
That makes me sad, Hulk. 😦
Word, Hulk! You just stole them right out of my mouth!
I propose this following conundrum which, thanks to my superior, augmented intelligence, I can condense into an almost koan-like simplicity.
Elizabeth Gilbert and Ayn Rand walk into a room. Who walks out (with the entire pizza)?
+1000 EXP. TO GEORGE TARLETON
I love you. (Seriously, this article gave me intellectual orgasms.)
Sadly, I am not James Franco.
This entire review, the comments, and replies; all of it owns. Great work! I, too, have been punished for giving similar movies the benefit of the doubt, “In and Out” most notably. Thanks for the great post.
HULK THANK ALL FOR MOST KIND RESPONSES.
I heart this essay/review (and all of your replies to the comments) incredibly hard. Thanks for writing it. I found this page through a Google search while trying to confirm a lot of my suspicions re: EG and now will stay for Hulk.
Great article. I really feel like you captured my thoughts of being stuck watching this movie fantastically, way better than I could’ve.
Friend Hulk, methinks that thy reviews art more glorious than an ice cream sundae!
I wert disappointed that thou discusseth not yon Indian cult. After watching the movie I didst google it, and lo! Verily, here be a tale of scandal and woe.
Incidentally, Gilbert’s companion from Texas doth be a real inhabitant of Midgard, and hath appeared on television.
I hadn’t really thought about it this way. I read the book. I didn’t find it particularly insightful or anything, but I’m a traveloholic, so I just loved her being everywhere. I didn’t appreciate some of the trivialisations of other people’s cultures, though. I mean, I appreciate trying to tie all of Italy in with “Eat”, but there’s more to Italy than food.
I read the book so long ago that i don’t remember if it was meant to be a self-help book in a “go, do these things sort of way.” I don’t see how it could be. You bring up rich again and again. But money is not the only obstacle. There aren’t many people who can just drop everything and leave everyone for a year. It’s just not a feasible solution. I really hope that’s not how she meant it, because if so, yes, it’s a complete fail.
I think I watched to movie too, but if I did I’ve since purged myself of any of the specifics.
I found the movie unwatchable and never finished. I enjoyed the book and several of Elizabeth Gilbert’s other works. I like the way she writes.
Then i read this line: “ELIZABETH GILBERT’S BIGGEST PROBLEM THAT THE PROBLEMS IN HER MIND EQUAL PLIGHT TO THE PROBLEMS IN THE WORLD”
As it turns out, I tend to do the same thing. For better or worse, there’s something in her writing that I recognize in myself.
I might not agree with that worldview or even like it, but I can relate to it.
Great read. How neither you nor any or your commenters ever mention the word “narcissist” is a wonder to me. Some people believe that any pain they feel is a slight against nature and is somebody else’s fault, including the discomfort of knowing they hurt or neglected someone else, and the resentment it leads to is overwhelming. This is a common problem, especially among the over-priveleged.
I may be way off-base here, but I get the feeling that women are so lacking in stories about them and their issues that they would rather consume such nonsense than go without.
Having read her articles (alas, I would rather not subject myself to a book by the woman), I can see the appeal in her writing style – it is certainly disjoint and scattershot, but the sections each have their own flow that lends itself to reading. Her main problem is that the -content- of her writing doesn’t really say much, refusing to really dig deep.
So, she’s writing about things that are often unstated and resonate with many people and her writings are pleasant to read, despite not saying much of anything worthwhile – I would wager this to be her success in a nutshell.
Short version: the author is a classic narcissist.