THE porch project


September 13, 2017

In lieu of no podcast today (we will be recording this weekend instead), I thought I would sit down on The Porch and talk about something that has been bothering me a lot lately this week. 


 Jim Carrey. The famous comedian's interview this week with E! news involved a discussion regarding the meaning of life (or lack thereof), the superficiality of Hollywood, and...tetrahedrons? I know, I was equally  lost when I watched the interview the first time, too. 


In fact, skip to 1:00 in the interview and start with Carrey's bizarre, random James Brown impression; that will give you a good precursor to how the interview went.


Welcome back! Are you perplexed yet? You might be asking, "Caroline, why has this interview been on your mind all week?"


AlIow me to start at the beginning.  


Catt Sadler, the anchor of E! news, started off the interview inquiring about Carrey's date to the carpet. I'm assuming she wasn't aware of Carrey's ex-girlfriend, Cathriona White, and the fact that she committed suicide days after her and Carrey's breakup; you can read more about that here


However, besides Sadler's insensitive inquiry, it was Carrey's message in this interview that I found the most perplexing. 


"I wanted to find the most meaningless thing that I could f*cking come to and join," Carrey told Sadler. "And here I am."


In all of the nights I have (guiltily) watched E!'s red carpet interviews, I have never heard anyone speak so bluntly about the superficiality of Hollywood on live television. While thousands of viewers were "ooh-ing" and "ahh-ing" over what celebrities would arrive on the red carpet and what avant-garde designers they were wearing, people in Texas and Florida were still mourning the losses of loved ones and their homes, post-Hurricane Harvey and Irma. 


Carrey had a point. 


However, what seemed to be a rude, yet refreshingly organic response from Carrey, soon turned into an eerie one. Carrey then proceeded to talk about the uselessness of the concept of "Icons," the theme of the red carpet event he was at, and how people, like Sadler, didn't really exist. 


"I don't believe that you exist, but there is a wonderful fragrance in the air," Carrey said. 


It was at this moment that you could tell Sadler became uncomfortable and defensive, and tried to reason with Carrey over the importance of celebrating icons.


Carrey, however, had none of it.


"I believe that peace lies beyond personality, beyond invention in disguise...beyond the red 'S' that you wear on your chest, that makes bullets bounce off. I believe that it's deeper than that. I believe we are a field of energy, dancing for itself...and I don't care," Carrey said. 


*Cue the record needle scratching sound* 


Was Carrey messing with us? Was he channeling Andy Kaufman to promote Man on the Moon? Was he on drugs? Was he experiencing an existential crisis mid-interview...or did he just have one before arriving on the red carpet?


Or, like many are still wondering, is Carrey suffering from manic depression? 


Before I delve any further, check out this quote Carrey may have been alluding to: 


"And those who were seen dancing

were thought to be insane by those 

who could not hear the music." 


--Fredrich Nietzsche 


Marinate on that for a lil' bit. What I'd like to think was going through Carrey's mind in this interview was Carrey emphasizing the notion that some people will never get you...just like many of the people who don't "get" Carrey's message at all. Hell, just look at the thousands of confused people on Twitter, wondering where they can get "the drugs Carrey was on."


But, according to Carrey, that's life.



 In fact, we will probably never really get what Carrey's true intention was behind his sensational interview. Many who watched this video thought Carrey was insane―it looked like he was having a mental breakdown. I was one of those people, until I watched the video a couple times; I was able to listen closely to what he was saying, and contrary to popular belief, I've deducted that I don't think this was a manic breakdown, exposed on E!


However, I do think Carrey had an intention of brining awareness to depression through his unconventional answers, and I think that's incredibly important. Did I mention September is National Suicide Awareness month? 


In fact, the Nietzche quote Carrey was most likely alluding to is one that has often times been referenced with mental illness; Nietzche himself was suffering from mental illness when he coined this metaphor. A lot of people view those with mental illness as "disturbed" and "insane," but this quote illustrates how those who are not suffering from mental illness simply don't understand what's it like to be suffering from one. 


Furthermore, the fact that Carrey alluded to nihilism throughout his interview also exaggerates some of the thoughts people living with depression often think of; thoughts of life lacking meaning and purpose. 


Whether Carrey was referring thoughts that go through his own mind, his ex-girlfriend's suicidal thoughts, or simply the superficiality that pervades pop culture, Carrey's two-minute interview on a red carpet got viewers thinking about subjects more important than New York Fashion Week and celebrity gossip. And I think that's the main point that should be taken from his interview. 



So, I leave you with this. The lyrics of "Brain Damage" by Pink Floyd, off of one of my favorite albums, The Dark Side of the Moon. 


"The lunatic is on the grass
The lunatic is on the grass
Remembering games and daisy chains and laughs
Got to keep the loonies on the path
The lunatic is in the hall
The lunatics are in my hall
The paper holds their folded faces to the floor
And every day the paper boy brings more
And if the dam breaks open many years too soon
And if there is no room upon the hill
And if your head explodes with dark foreboding too
I'll see you on the dark side of the moon
The lunatic is in my head
The lunatic is in my head
You raise the blade, you make the change
You re-arrange me 'till I'm sane
You lock the door
And throw away the key
There's someone in my head but it's not me.
And if the cloud bursts, thunder in your ear
You shout and no one seems to hear
And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes
I'll see you on the dark side of the moon

'I can't think of anything to say except...
I think it's marvelous! HaHaHa!'"


If I lost you with the Floyd reference, don't fret―catch our podcast this weekend discussing how Megan and I deal with our mental illnesses, and what it's like coping with them. And yes, I'll talk about this song there, too. 


I would love to hear your thoughts about Carrey's interview, nihilism, mental illness, or even your favorite Jim Carrey movie.


Like always, don't be shy―send us a message and drop by our Porch anytime. 


See ya on The Dark Side of the Moon, kiddos. 





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Be kind. 



Be tolerant. 





Put your feet up!


Leave happier than you came.

© 2017 by Megan Hill & Caroline Watkins

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