A Stand Up Life: On Feeling Like an Outsider
We found an interesting article by Colin Ryan about Seth Rogan, outsiders and the movie Superbad.
UNMASKED: “You really, very effectively captured the perspective of the outsider. I mean, you guys definitely write from that outsiders point of view.”
SETH ROGEN: “I think most people are outsiders, which is a weird thing to say, but I feel like that’s how most people feel. There’s very few people who feel like insiders. I don’t know any one who writes from the perspective of the rad guy. We were the guys who no one liked, but we secretly thought we were cooler than everyone, and I kind of think that’s how everyone is.”
It was kind of a throwaway comment, and the interview moves on quickly to other topics. But it lingered in my mind. Because here’s this very successful guy portraying the high school experience I watched from the outside, saying that he felt like an outsider too. That most people do. And that this includes the characters in the film who I thought, just like my own peers, were braver than me, and were more free. Who I could now see were just as worried as I was that they might not belong.
I mean think about it: one character gets a fake ID in order to literally create a cooler version of himself.
It strikes me that feeling like an outsider is a really common experience. Which really begs the question: if everyone feels like an outsider, then maybe there is no outside? And more importantly, maybe in this way we’re all more alike than we are different. I mean, we can’t all be outsiders. Or maybe, just maybe, the feeling of being an outsider is not the same as actually being one. Maybe it’s just part of who we are. Everyone just wants to fit in. But it’s not really about being one or the other, about fitting in or not fitting in. It’s more of a spectrum we find ourselves on. Some days you feel like you belong, some days you don’t. In some groups your expertise and your skills make you a star, in other groups you feel like you don’t even understand the basic terminology.
And isn’t it comforting to know that this experience of feeling like an outsider is one that we all deal with? And isn’t kind of a cool moment when you see life in a more clear way thanks to this guy?