Filler Up With Rosebuds
By ice rivers
What would our lives look like if we eliminated all of the filler that we've forgotten anyways...all those times when we were busy doin' nuthin yet somehow headed in a direction as if towards an undetermined destination? Stop off at a college campus sometime and see how purposefully everybody is striding even though almost every one of those strides and the destination of those strides will be forgotten in time as will the words and promises of countless conversations uttered along the way.
Without all those steps , words and vague destinations, (without the filler )our lives would look like movies....all purpose and action. Every conversation meaningful. Every promise kept or forsaken.
One of the essential reasons we go to movies in the first place is to see what human life looks like without filler.
Let's consider Citizen Kane, arguably the greatest movie of the twentieth century. Citizen Kane begins at the ending, the death of the main character.
Surely, our deaths are no filler.
In Citizen Kane, right after Kane dies we encounter a "newsreel" depicting the major events of his life. The newsreel takes about five minutes.
Surely, the major events of our lives are not filler although some people's major events are more filler than other people's major events which are much fuller.
After the "newsreel", the rest of the film consists of a series of flashbacks as various witnesses try to figure out the significance of what Kane meant by his final word..."Rosebud". Flashback as a cinematic device removes a film from the unrealistic burden of linearity. Flashback was first used in Citizen Kane. Flashback is memory. Memory excludes the non-essential in order to function more effectively. Filler doesn't belong in memory.
Everything within a flashback is non-filler. The mere fact that we can recall a flashback turns filler fuller.
Since everything within Citizen Kane is either flashback or newsreel and since neither flashback nor newsreel contain any filler than we can say that the greatest movie of the last century and perhaps the most influential film of all time is 100% filler free.
That's one of the reasons why it's so compelling.
That's one of the reasons that great movies don't really resemble our lives.
Our lives are full of filler.
Remove the filler and we have movies.
The movie of the life of Charley Kane's life runs two hours.
The character of Charley Kane, America's fictional Kublai Khan, lived into his seventies.
Subtract two hours from 70 years or in my case 73 and counting.
What remains is filler.
That's a lot of filler.