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A Gumptastic Evening Of Thought

Matt Riggleman 1 Comment

I just got done watching “Forrest Gump,” which I hold up as one of the greatest movies of all time. The movie resonates with me on a bunch of levels and I can’t help watch it whenever it’s on. Of course, with me, the “Greatest Movies of All Time” list also includes the likes of “Commando” and “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” I’d forgive you if you decided to move on before I tell you why. But I figured I’d use Forrest Gump this warm Sunday evening to get all introspective and build some blog content.

The Forrest Gump “I just Felt Like Running” Moment

[youtube]One of the underlying themes of the movie is Forrest’s simple-mindedness. He’s programmed with a set of beliefs and morals and he carries those out..with little regard for how other things fit into life’s equation. I feel like I’m doing this right now with the “Biggest Loser” program at work. For the record, I don’t give a crap about losing weight…I’ve never weighed more than 175, like LMFAO I work out, and I’ve always eaten everything in sight…I just can’t resist a competition. 17 lbs. later..I’m going hard to the finish…with the chance to win $500 bucks. “I just felt like competin’.

The “What If Gump Had a Cellphone” Moment

Also known as the Seinfeld Paradox – pretty much every plotline of Seinfeld would have been entirely different if just 1 of them had a cell phone. Because I live in the 21st century (most of the time), and cellphones are ubiquitous, I always try to see if pre-cell movies can hold up. Unfortunately, I don’t think Forrest Gump could…unless you assume he’d be too simple minded to own one.  Just think how crappy it’d be if he could just pick up the cell and give Jenny a ring? Though it’d definitely be sweet to hear some Forrest voicemails…

The Forrest Gump “Simple Man” Moment

I always wondered why they never threw in Skynard’s classic “Simple Man” into Gump’s soundtrack…it fits the era…and the area..of the majority of the movie. But then, I guess celebrating Gump’s “Simple-ness”..kind of belittle’s the complexity of the character. For me, and a good portion of my family I think, we have to support a few “Simple Man” moments. Sometimes it would be great to just get out of our own ways (and heads) and do the things we know we want, and should, do anyway. Sometimes perhaps, ignorance is bliss.

The Bubba Blue’s My Best Good Friend Moment.

In lots of ways, Forrest Gump is just a lucky guy. There’s a huge list of events, totally out of his control, that totally make things go his way. In no paricular order (that sounded Gumpian) – Got wounded but not seriously injured in Vietnam, learned how to play ping pong in army hospital, was home when Jenny showed up, ran into Jenny in DC, got recruited to play college football after running across field, meets Lt. Dan in NYC, survives Hurricane Carmen…and, last but not least, he runs into a guy who is just as conventionally backward as him in the Army..thereby gaining a great friend and inadvertently setting up the rest of his life. So, my Bubba Blue moment would have to be getting to asked to be the best man at my “conventionally backward”  best friend’s wedding. Congrats to Matt and Christina..and thanks for the honor.

The “What the F is Jenny’s Last Name” Moment 

I know it now, but I will forget it. Every time I go into that movie I try to come out of it with this one useless bit of trivia..and I always end up forgetting it like a day later. They only show it once, and nobody says it. I’ll leave you the pleasure of finding it yourself..but no Googling..

The “Forrest’s Mom is Sick” Moment

One of the truly awesome parts of Forrest Gump is simply the quality of the supporting cast. Each one of them easily passes the “If they were going to do another movie, from (enter character)’s perspective, I would watch it” test. Sally Field’s performance in the scene where she tell’s Forrest she has cancer is powerful and (I think) she won an Oscar for it. For me, unfortunately, this kind of hits home. Another scenario where I’d like to be able to throw it on auto-pilot and not really dwell on it, but both of my Grandmas have experienced some sort of Cancer over the last few months. One had it removed, the other is battling pretty hard to kick it. Definitely a tough situation to go through..just have to keep hoping for the best.

The “Shrimpin’ Ain’t Easy” Moment 

Sidenote – I always thought this would make a great T-Shirt..and apparently so did somebody else  cause it exists here

This is kind of like the “Simple Man” Moment. Gump’s simple/single-mindedness drives him to continue to hunt for shrimp despite a toilet-load of crappy catches. His perseverance pays off after he survives Hurricane Carmen and Bubba Gump Shrimp takes off. My Shrimpin Ain’t Easy Moment has come over the last few months as I’ve basically forced myself to become a good cook. Not going to lie..right now I can crank out some pretty good stuff and I’m starting to dig cooking alot..after a pile of early failures.

The “Forrest is Everywhere” moment 

It’s kind of wild as you’re watching this movie how much history Forrest actually walks though. Like I said above, most of it could be attributed to luck…but nonetheless it’s pretty impressive. My “Forrest is Everywhere” moment has to do with Twitter. As a Marketer involved with understanding social media and the likes, it took me a long time to really understand the appeal of Twitter. I dabbled a little last year during Fantasy Baseball season..there really is nothing better to stay up to date on sports. I wrote here once that Facebook reminded me of how similar each person’s life really is, but Twitter takes this to another level. At this point, Twitter really is the world’s shared experience. It is what certain TV programs were in the 60s 70s and early 80s. Twitter allows you to tap into this shared experience in real time…and to participate in sharing it with people in all walks and status’. That kind of connection is powerful – and you could argue – world-changing. As we become more connected with every nook and cranny of the World English Muffin – won’t it be harder to do things like say…go to war with it? That’s the Egg McMuffin of thoughts from this blog (don’t know why I went all breakfast food on ya there..).

The “Greatest Gift Anybody Could Ever Get” Moment 

Not really sure why Forrest applies this title to a pair of Marty McFly Nikes…but since they are shoes I figured I had a parallel going on. I’m not one to buy clothes, shoes or really anything wardrobe related. As my friends will readily tell you I have a pretty regular cycle of clothes that gets washed as I run out of clean underwear. But, by the urging of my apparently extremely fashion-conscious roommate, I broke down and bought a new pair of brown shoes. Gotta’ say it feels pretty good to wear them…but I wouldn’t make the buy again.

Thanks for reading..and feel free to comment or hit me up on twitter @mattriggleman.