Friday, February 29, 2008

Mouth Sounds and Movie Quotes

I have several friends who can make amazing noises come out of their mouths. I’ve also got a bunch of friends who occasionally live life through the lens of movie quotes or TV quotes.

Why do men do these things?

Many of my friends quote liberally from the Simpsons. Now, I think the Simpsons are funny. But I’ve never found it to be the cultural barometer that my friends have. Just different tastes, I suppose. But I’m guilty of this too. I love to bring out a quote from Fletch or Blues Brothers or Animal House when appropriate. I have stolen words from a variety of people from Robin Williams to Steve Martin to Steven Wright to The Famous Mysterious Actor and adjusted them to make them my own.

One of my friends can make extremely accurate animal sounds; monkeys and even a bear. To see him do this is frightening as the bear sound is very physical. Another friend makes super realistic bird sounds and phone sounds. So much so that when you’re out at a crowded restaurant he’ll send out a ring and people all around check their cell phones. It’s super harmless fun. I, of course, will roar like a Wookiee from time to time. Go figure.

But why do we do these things?

There’s a theory that men and women seek out different things from media: books and movies. The theory goes that women read to discover the dynamics of relationships. How people communicate and relate. The theory also states that men seek out role models and heroes. They’re looking for a guide to life and how to live it.

As I’ve thought about this I don’t disagree with it. Just about every guy I know watches a movie or reads and tries to identify with the character. If they find something appealing in the character they like the book or movie. If they don’t find some redeeming quality then they’ll likely have a poorer opinion, even if the other elements we’re fine.

I think that’s why I struggled with The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. I did not find anything to absorb from the main character.

But I’m pretty sure it’s why we quote from movies. We want to be that funny guy. That heroic guy. Using their words allows us to live their life, just a little bit.

I’m not sure why we make the sounds, though. Or even why I associate the two.


1 comment:

Lucas said...

I'm a human beat box.