"The Importance of Being Important"

Bloemendaal aan zee, today. Dream [ reality ]

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"Foreword. The Importance of Being Important […] During the classic time of Greece a terrible thing happened in one of the temples. One night the statue of Zeus was mysteriously smashed and desecrated. A tremendous uproar arose among the inhabitants. They feared vengeance of the gods. The town criers walked the city streets commanding the criminal to appear without delay before the Elders to receive his just punishment. The perpetrator naturally had no desire to give himself up. In fact, a week later another statue of a god was destroyed. Now the people suspected that a madman was loose. Guards were posted and at last their vigilance was rewarded; the culprit was caught. He was asked, "Do you know what awaits you?" "Yes," he answered, almost cheerfully. "Death." "Aren't you afraid to die?" "yes, I am." "Then why did you commit a crime which you knew was punishable by death?" The man swallowed hare and then answered, "I am a nobody. All my life I've been a nobody. I've never done anything to distinguish myself and I knew I never would. I wanted to do something to make people notice me… and remember me." After a moment of silence he added, "Only those people die who are forgotten. I feel death is a small price to pay for immortality!" Immortality! Yes, we all crave attention. We want to be important, immortal. We want to do things that will make people exclaim, "Isn't he wonderful?" If we can't create something useful or beautiful… we shall certainly create something else: trouble, for instance. Just think of your aunt Helen, the family gossip. (We all have one.) She causes hard feelings, suspicion, and subsequent arguments. Why does she do it? She wants to be important, of course, and if she can achieve this only by means of gossip or lying, she will not, for one moment, hesitate to gossip or lie. The urge to be outstanding is a fundamental necessity in our lives. All of us, at all times crave attention. Self-consciousness, even reclusiveness, springs from the desire to be important. If failure arouses compassion or pity, then failure might become an end in itself. […] Without exception everyone was born with creative ability. It is essential that people be given opportunity to express themselves. If Balzac, De Maupassant, O. Henry, hadn't learned to write, they might have become inveterate liars, instead of great writers. Every human being needs an outlet for his inborn creative talent. If you feel you would like to write, then write. Perhaps you are afraid that lack of a higher education might retard you from real accomplishment. Forget it. Many great writers, Shakespeare, Ibsen, George Bernard Shaw, to mention a few, never saw the inside of a college. Even if you will never be a genius, your enjoyment of life can still be great. If writing holds no lure for you, you might learn to sing, dance, or play an instrument well enough to entertain your guests. This belongs in the realm of "art" too. Yes, we want to be noticed. We want to be remembered. We want to be important! We can achieve a degree of importance by expressing ourselves in the medium which best suits our particular talents. You never know where your avocation will lead you. Even if you fail commercially, you might very well emerge from your experience an authority on the subject you learned so much about. You'll be richer in experience -- and if you have been kept out of mischief, that alone will be a great accomplishment. So the gnawing hunger to be important will be satisfied at last without harm to anyone."

Lajos Egri in 'The Art of Dramatic Writing', foreword, page x, xii, xii, first published in 1946 by Simon & Schuster, INC, USA

"The [director] concerned [ was ] rather surprised that I even asked for the [ script ] -- […] asking 'Since when do cameramen read scripts?' -- but only once have I accepted a film without seeing a script (or at least a treatment) first, and on that occasion I sorely regretted it."

Walter Lassally in 'Itinerant Cameraman', page 101, first published in 1987 by John Murray (Publishers) Ltd, London

"Images, music and voice-over move independently.[…] The visual flow is […] varied. [ The ] film interweaves crucial New Wave principles: the pictorial space is moral space; that morality is an unstable equilibrium between audacity and prudence; that morality can be non-judgemental; that morales are not rules, but serious games with calculated risks; and that personal structures only intersect with the political."

Raymond Durgnat in the introduction to Francois Truffaut's 'Jules et Jim', first published in English in 1968 by Lorrimer Publishing Inc., reissued in 1989 by Faber and Faber Limited, London

"With tea, just like wine, you are dealing with terroir. The composition of the terrain and climate are crucial for the development of certain characteristics. Handpicked, traditionally produced tea from a reliable region are at the base, always. Quality tea is affordable luxury. You can drink great tea for the same price as bad wine."

Robert Schinkel in 'Exclusief, informatie magazine Sligro, Nr 15', page 29, published by Sligro B.V.