Some people are irritated by the alleghorical character of “Forrest Gump,” while I just love him. And the film. From what I’ve heard from the crowd that recoils about the film and the character, they find them, well, “dumb” and the like…stupid in a bright-yellow-happy-face fodder story about, more or less: nothing there, less or more.
Which is what I loved about the film, the story and particularly the character of Forrest Gump: sincerity as light as a feather, as sure as a stone, as adept at the right things at the right time as rain on a thirsty field. Nothing stupid about about that.
Politics not aside here, it comes down to, not who is “smartest” as to intelligence quotient, but who works, what works and how. Misleading, forging, denying, the politics of “attack“: not the smartest behaviors going, often not the offering of solutions, often not what works to solve, but what makes the tallest walk, perhaps, if you need to look that way, or think that that’s where people are looking so you’d better be there and be tall when they see you. No, that’s vanity and that’s exploitation, that’s not the harbinger of solutions.
Solutions aren’t good things in and of themselves or even trustworthy just because they solve a problem, however, so, the issue of smartness only is as smart as the solution is peaceful, kind and full of hope. Solve a problem smartly that doesn’t bear those characteristics, and, it’s just change. But, solve a problem smartly or even stupidly that is peaceful, kind and full of hope — relative to the starting point, I realize — and you’ve outsmarted from even a point of stupidity.
Problem with solutions like that is that many other people who rely on the “smart is an intelligence quotient” or “smart is a very huge income,” or even, “smart is looking good, being tall/thin/pretty/cute/rich/best with a great education” can’t stand the alternatives. Their idea of “smart” is based upon social acceptability, which defies a real solution but often works well among those more concerned with moving on than solving problems. Pretty clothes, nice looking words, sites that are designed well, achievements that are brighter and shinier than those of others, these things are all well and laudible in and of themselves, but, they aren’t as an assumption superior in idea or even ideal when there’s a problem to solve and the solution isn’t among those shiny objects, those exterior aspects that impress and soothe and even impress but aren’t as a factor the salve that closes a wound, the tool that fits the leaking source, the fat cow full of milk in your field when you have hungry babies and no husband to bring home the groceries.
So, Forrest Gump as character and the film that was based upon that character, both worked for me, offered solutions to my life at the time they were first available — and even still now — because they soothed a search for subtle, peaceful statements in a heart that needed those: simply, characteristically, even, hard-edged in fictional definitions and even at times all bright-yellow-happy-faced as clarity of points made, but, it was that feather that had me at hello. And, even at goodbye.
Solutions and smartness are like that: they float, they’re gentle, they’re perfectly downy and suited to a problem, they wrap up and provide, they are…“right…here, Jenny.”