Brian's comment about why he became yearbook photographer

General discussion about the nineteen episodes of "My So-Called Life". Note: Our episode guide can be found here.
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Nicky Driscoll
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Joined: May 27th 2010, 10:46 pm

Brian's comment about why he became yearbook photographer

Post by 411314 » May 27th 2010, 11:23 pm

In Life of Brian, Brian says he became yearbook photographer because he liked the idea that he could watch life without being part of it, but then he seems to complain about not being "in the picture". Assuming his comment about not being in the picture isn't meant to be taken strictly literally, this seems like a somewhat contradictory statement. It's like he's saying "I didn't want to be part of life, but the problem is that that means I'm not part of life", and he even later complains about how nothing happens in his life (what else can he expect, by definition, if he chooses not to be "part of" life?). Is he saying that he once liked the idea of being an outsider but doesn't like it any more, or that he wants human closeness (i.e. "to be in the picture") without having to work for it (i.e. socialize, i.e. "be part of life"), or is he saying something else entirely?

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Re: Brian's comment about why he became yearbook photographe

Post by Browland » Feb 12th 2011, 2:46 pm

His comment makes me think of Mark from the show "Rent." He too is criticized for hiding behind his videocamera, witnessing but not participating in his peers' lives.

Brian may seem contradictory here, but it makes sense for someone who is lonely and cut off from his peers. He probably craves social interaction but is also afraid of it and doesn't know how to achieve it. When he comes across as socially awkward, the embarrassment he must feel further impedes his efforts to connect with others. In some ways capturing life around him through the lens of the camera lets him comfortably view others through a safe, socially accepted medium.

On a personal note, I can relate to Brian's feelings of isolation and social awkwardness. I'm really introverted and usually feel more comfortable observing those around me rather than directly participating. I can carry on with others one-on-one, but in a group I feel overwhelmed and overshadowed by others who are more gregarious. I hope others don't see me as aloof--I really do want to talk to and connect with others, but like Brian I sometimes feel socially dumb and anxious.

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Liberty High Student
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Re: Brian's comment about why he became yearbook photographe

Post by 4alifetime » Feb 23rd 2011, 10:48 am

I don't think he doesn't want to work for it. I think he truly can't help himself. He is the way he is despite who he wants to be or would like to see himself. I always liked Brian and forgave him his repeated stupidity because he was, if nothing else, self-aware. He tried to be who he thought he should be but often ended up being Brian! But he was self-aware enought to be annoyed with himself later!!!!! I loved that about him....I think one time he even says "I truly sicken myself, WHY am I like this?" Classic! A lot of people don't realize their flaws and always think they are right and just go on being themselves and never consider when things go wrong the problem might be them. Don't we all know someone like that?

I agree with Browland, Brian wants to be "in the picture" and have social interaction he just doesn't have the social skills to make that happen.
There's so many different ways to be connected to people.
There are the people you feel this unspoken connection to,
even though there's not even a word for it.
There's the people who you've known forever, who know you in
this way that other people can't, because they've seen you

they've let you change.

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