They Call Me Mr. Pathos

Taken from the Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary
Function: noun
Etymology: Greek, suffering, experience, emotion, from paschein (aorist pathein) to experience, suffer; perhaps akin to Lithuanian kesti to suffer
Date: 1591
1 : an element in experience or in artistic representation evoking pity or compassion
2 : an emotion of sympathetic pity

When I was in college a guy gave me the nickname Mr. Pathos. The nickname says something about the way I view art and how I feel about creating art. It was my sophomore year in college. Most of the people in the broadcasting department knew me by this time. They had seen most of the broadcasting projects that I had done. I was starting to build a reputation as a reliable person to have on a video shoot. I had technical skills and I knew how to solve problems. These were important skills at a University where the equipment was out of date and never seemed to work.

I was also starting to build a different reputation also. I was taking Advanced Television production. My first two projects were very emotional. They were not like the projects being made by the rest of the class. the first project was one minutes about having an ear infection. The second was a poem that I had written. Most of the people in my class where playing with comedy. I was making one minute art films.

At the time I did not feel that I was good at being funny. I did not feel that I could make a good project that was light-hearted. I felt the best project I could make was too turn the emotion way up. I felt that I could make a really good project if I tried to get to peoples' hearts. It applied to my artist sensibility.

I received the nickname Mr. Pathos for an editing project. Everyone in the class was given the same footage of our professor kicking a 50 yard field goal. I took the score from Born On The Forth of July. I read a script of the kicker reliving past glory. It was best described as sappy. This guy Chris called me Mr. Pathos after that. I found that nickname both to be a but of an insult and a badge of honor at the same time.

I tell this story because I feel that I still have many of those same artist sensibilities It might be a little worse now because I am mostly writing about myself. I am not hiding the way I feel about things behind the veils or fiction. Everyone who reads Sad Salvation knows it is about me. There is no other persona for me to hide behind.

I feel good when I write something really emotional. It excites me to spill my worst emotions out on a page. Maybe I am using this web log when I should be going to therapy. It still feels good to get all these things out. I am not going to write about the times I feel happy. I do not understand those moments as well as I understand the things that make me upset.

With a title like Sad Salvation, how can I be anything but Mr. Pathos. I am going to keep writing things where my emotions spill out all over the page.


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