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i literally hate when people always try to dismiss race and act like it “isn’t a problem anymore”
i’m mixed. my dad is a 6’3 black male, my mom is white w/ blonde hair and blue eyes.
you and your family have never been randomly pulled over by cops on several occasions just so they could ask your mom if she’s “okay”
there’s still a fucking problem
Before I saw Taxi Driver (1976), I referred to it as “my favorite movie I’ve never seen.” I watched it for the first time yesterday. Confirmed: it is my favorite movie.
I was diagnosed as a borderline personality in January of this year. My doctor recommended the book I Hate You - Don’t Leave Me, so I could read about my symptoms and behavior patterns. My multitude of tumultuous romantic relationships must’ve tipped her off to my identity issues and lack of emotional skin.
I love Martin Scorsese, I love Robert De Niro. But what drew me to Travis Bickle’s story was his character development. Widely speculated to be a borderline personality, Bickle stomps through the film controlled almost entirely by his deregulated emotions. Everything he does is because he cares too much.
When I first heard about the film and the character’s portrayal of my own similar diagnosis, I told close friends that I needed to see it. “He’s crazy in that movie” was a response I heard several times from different people. My naive brain always thought “Yeah, Robert De Niro’s a pretty dope actor, I bet his acting skills are crazy good.”
This is not the type of crazy my friends meant.
Every emotion Travis experiences in this movie, he feeds. Obsessive intrigue at the mystery of another human being. Lack of identity, inflated by violent idealizations of everyday behavior. And conversely, hope for becoming a hero, even though his intentions are mostly selfish.
I’ve never dreamed of taking down a presidential hopeful, rescuing an underage prostitute, or buying a ridiculous amount of guns. But I have experienced the utter despair that comes from rejection and loneliness, coupled with an inability to cope. Travis Bickle and I have this in common: we try to fix things until we break them again.
My reason for writing this piece is mere conversation. We don’t talk about this thing called “crazy” in open context with the intent of understanding. Taxi Driver confronts mental illness in the way most current Hollywood movies are afraid of doing. Bickle’s not a one-hundred-percent good dude. But he’s not completely evil either. His behavior is not glamorous and it’s only rarely charming. But it’s there.
Confusing situations are a part of life regardless of our avoidance from them. I love this movie for its contradictions. Watch it. See how you react.
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