“No one has to do something he doesn’t want to do for the rest of his life. But then again, if that’s what you wind up doing, by all means convince yourself you had to do it. You’ll have lots of company.”
-Hunter S. Thompson-
Getting by is a forced smile and a pleasing nod to the insufferable.
What is Getting By?
It’s not a question without an answer as it is more a question with too many answers. Our perceptions, perspectives, and preoccupations with getting by are as wide and varied as the number of people who will tell you they are getting by.
What one perceives as getting by is perceived as getting ahead to another. Another’s perspective of getting by isn’t our perspective of getting by. While some are preoccupied with getting by others don’t give getting by much thought.
With so many answers to the same question concerning getting by the best we can do is not be too quick to judge people when they share their struggle of getting by.
Leaving work. Taking my dollar bottle On down the street. I gambled A suitcase of sorrow. Gonna put My past hurting on the shelf.
John Huston’s Fat City
What is your blood and sweat worth? This is the question Bill Tully, a boxer, asks his manager in Fat City. John Huston’s 1972 movie tackles a few serious topics, one of which is what it means and what it takes to get by.
Fat City is approaching fifty years old and it definatley has the look and feel of the early 70s, but the story (I am reluctant to use words such as theme and message) is as relevant today as it was when it premiered. The characters struggle with the everydayness of work, relationships, and a desire to do more with their lives than simply get by. The movie is a slow paced character study that peels back the layers of a man’s life and examines his efforts to do more and be more.
The movie has a collection of characters who struggle to get by, from the main character Bill Tully, Bill’s buddy Ernie, and Bill’s opponent Lucero. Without giving too much away there is a scene in the movie where Lucero walks out of the arena after the fight that is itself a study in getting by. Fat City is worth a watch if you are interested in a character study in getting by.
Fat City (1972) with Stacy Keach and Jeff Bridges. Directed by John Huston.