“ Life is glorious, but life is also wretched. It is both. Appreciating the gloriousness inspires us, encourages us, cheers us up, gives us a bigger perspective, energizes us. We feel connected. But if that’s all that’s happening, we get arrogant and start to look down on others, and there is a sense of making ourselves a big deal and being really serious about it, wanting it to be like that forever. The gloriousness becomes tinged by craving and addiction. On the other hand, wretchedness—life’s painful aspect—softens us up considerably. Knowing pain is a very important ingredient of being there for another person. When you are feeling a lot of grief, you can look right into somebody’s eyes because you feel you haven’t got anything to lose—you’re just there. The wretchedness humbles us and softens us, but if we were only wretched, we would all just go down the tubes. We’d be so depressed, discouraged, and hopeless that we wouldn’t have enough energy to eat an apple. Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other. One inspires us, the other softens us. They go together. ”
“I’ve always liked what Thomas More said in Utopia, which is that in Utopia every person is allowed their own lifestyle and religion but no one is allowed to stand on a soapbox and tell others that theirs is right. I thought that was brilliant… Brilliant.”
Gummo is an interesting film on many levels. Because many of the characters are never introduced by name, their credits often read “Boy on couch”, “Skinhead 1”, “Cowboy 2”, etc. Many critics panned the film. The New York Times called it the worst film of the year a few months before the year had even ended.