So here we are in Oscar season again and I can’t help but to think about what Will Smith did almost a year ago. Now I’m not sure if Will Smith ever used that phrase, “Living the Dream,” but I know many a person especially from the mid too late 90’s thought he was living the dream, I mean he wrote songs about it. Hello, “Welcome to Miami,”anyone? So what does this have to do with Will Smith slapping Chris Rock on May 27th, 2022? More than I think most of us are willing to consider but first let’s talk about dreams.
A licensed psychotherapist named Carder Stout, I read, wrote that he believes dreams play a significant role in our lives. Also no dream is arbitrary, I’m afraid to find out what my dreams are trying to tell me when I have acute bouts with anxiety and depression. Because basically Stout is saying that every dream has a meaning. So the other night, after I was four beers into a six pack, and came to the realization that my wife was probably leaving me, I fell asleep and I had the most wonderful dream. The dream was of a kiss, the kind of kiss that ignites possibility, purpose, yet it instills pause because you don’t want it to end. I woke up before the kiss ended sometime around 3:25am, as I tend to do because of my anxiety, but I walked around my apartment with a joy, and lightness. Now you maybe asking yourself who was the person you were kissing? I have no idea. I’ve never met or seen her before, but she initiated the kiss and it was a wonder. Even as I write about it now, and as I am in the throws of my confusion and self-doubt, the dream of that kiss still brings a little bit of light. Back to Stout, according to him and my research 50% of the people we dream about are strangers, and more often that not they are men, with aggressive characteristics, and in threatening situations. However the other 50% we dream about are people we know and when we dream about people we know they most often are revealing characteristics of our own selves, they are reflections of ourselves and they are in our dreams to reveal meaning. So basically you want to see in them what you want to see in yourself or maybe you see something in them that is rotten in yourself. When we dream of those we know, part of us subconsciously is playing the part.
One thing that I can say for sure is that dreams don’t seemed contrived. Good or bad dreams seem organic to the moment even if the dreamer can’t remember it, which is why often times I ask a dreamer, ‘How did it make you feel?’ Will Smith in my opinion is one of the most contrived Actors I have ever seen, and no I’m not knocking his craft as an Actor, but his choices. Almost every Hollywood move he’s made especially as an Actor, was contrived and calculated to produce a certain outcome. Now you can say every successful actor does that, maybe. However I didn’t see Daniel Day Lewis, ever doing a reboot of a tv show, and releasing a book at the same time campaigning for an Oscar. So am I saying Will thought about doing all of that with the intention of getting an Oscar? Writing the book rebooting,’The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,’ Absolutely! Yet Will’s dream was a dream of contrivance he had planned and worked on this for so long that any deviation would throw a monkey rich into the Oscar moment as he had dreamed. Enter Chris Rock, now is Chris Rock contrived even calculating at times? Of course but is he like Will Smith, no. Chis Rock has made some very suspect choices of film, but honestly more in the past than presently. So as a comedian Chris often riffs, you know improvises especially when he’s at the Oscar’s and that is why they, the Oscar’s had Chris on the night he got slapped. To be Chris Rock, is to be uncontrived. I don’t know how well Will Smith and Chris Rock knew each other, I mean they had to at least be familiar with one another. Regardless of their familiarity with one another, sometimes the worst thing you can do when someone is having a dream is wake them up. When Chris Rock made the joke about Jada, Will Smith’s wife, he woke him up from the dream of contrivance and that is a terrible dream to wake up from. For the simple fact that contrivance isn’t a dream and it isn’t organic. So Chris was “freer,” then Will Smith was at the time yet still we have to remember that anytime you are reacting to someone you know in a dream, you are reacting to yourself. So when Will Smith slapped Chris Rock he was slapping himself, for all the contrivances of the dreams that brought him there to that point. I hope in the aftermath that Will has found some emancipation but some of his contrivances still lurk out among living the dream, as he seems to campaign for another Oscar.