This episode of Dear MailBLAG comes from a loyal reader (I assume) who has kind of a bullshit white people problem that I think we can all relate to. Take it away:
It is not uncommon for me to sit down and watch TV after a long day of work or during the weekend when I should be exercising. However, whenever I sit down and begin to peruse the listings, I often find a crappy Nicolas Cage movie, and I HAVE to watch it. It doesn’t matter if it’s something that I have seen 6 times already or one that I have only seen once (lets face it I have probably seen them all), I HAVE to watch it. I dont even really like Nicolas Cage, and recognize that he is a horrible actor (come on really, he was in NEXT), but for some reason, I cant control the remote once I get to one of his movies. To clear something up, I am at least pretty sure that it is not a physical attraction thing, but thats about all I got. HELP! Is it just me that has this Nick affliction? What can I do to cure this?
– Concerned BLAG follower
A dark problem, indeed. Before we begin, allow me to present my bona fides:
I have a younger cousin who once had a very similar problem. At a young age, she found herself inexplicably attracted to Nicolas Cage, particularly his role in the film Gone in 60 Seconds. There’s no logical explanation for this phenomenon. Nick Cage is not a classically (or modernly) attractive man. At best, he could be a mildly attractive kid’s dad, if the mom was super hot.
Digression: Actually, his wife, Alice Kim Cage, is super hot, and they do have a kid, and that kid’s name is Kal-El (yes, after Superman). Which, if you think about it, sums up Nicolas Cage pretty well — in a way, kind of awesome, but also characterized by terrible judgment.
The reason this is related to your problem is that, while you may not realize it, you’re probably also attracted to Nick Cage. It’s a phase that some women go through during their adolescence, or that some men like you experience in their late 20s. I have a lot of friends and family that have been touched by Cageaholism.
It’s not your fault. Hollywood has been perpetuating the myth that Nicolas Cage is a virile, rugged and attractive man of action for years now. Nobody knows why. His real last name is Coppola, so those connections likely helped. His middle name is Kim, though, which never helps. Kim is a girl’s name. Another weird thing: If you say his entire name out loud, it sounds 66% the same as his wife’s name.
That said, there are legitimate reasons to respect Nicolas Cage. Leaving Las Vegas, Adaptation, etc. The man can act, when he feels like it. Just look at his mind-blowing performance in Face/Off — he became John Travolta for that role. That said, suicidal alcoholics and fictionalized Charlie Kaufmans are a much better match for Cage than ex-military badasses and the like. But these movies don’t get a lot of air time on basic cable. The problem you’re having is with movies like The Rock, Next, Con Air and City of Angels (ugh).
Now that we understand what we’re dealing with, what kind of man Nicolas Cage is, and acknowledge that you do have an addiction, let’s take a look at your options for getting clean:
Stop watching stuff
Nick Cage, according to the Internet Movie Database, has acted, is currently acting, or will be acting in 68 film titles. Shit, he’s got three in post-production right now. Statistically speaking, Cage is in most movies. He’s also played himself in 107 titles. You’re going to need to separate yourself from “triggers.” This includes any kind of modern American entertainment medium. That part of your life is over now. Get used to the idea of reading books, like a loser.
Let’s be realistic — not watching stuff anymore is probably not going to happen. More often than not, life is an exercise in empty repetition. Watching stuff is the brain vacation most of us need in order to remain complacent and domesticated members of modern society, unless you’re one of those annoying white people who likes to talk about how you don’t have a TV and/or cable (but still watch Hulu on your MacBook, so climb off your cross already). So, we instead need to change the way your brain processes Nicolas Cage. The repetitive nature of your relationship with Cage’s catalog leads me to believe that, aside from intense sexual attraction, the appeal is primarily one of nostalgia/habit formation. For whatever fucked up reason, your brain is releasing positive endorphins whenever you see a Cage flick pop up on your cable guide.
During World War II, the Red Army trained dogs to find meat underneath tanks. They did this so the dogs would see a tank and assume that they could find meat under it, following their previous experience. Why, you ask? Because the Russians would affix explosives to these dogs and detonate them while they were under the tanks. As a dog-lover, I’m disgusted by how Communist Russia was willing to treat their dogs almost as poorly as their people. But, there is wisdom in this approach (discounting the fact that the Russians trained the dogs using their own tanks, so that they often would not run underneath German tanks when the need arose). What we need is to develop a Pavlovian, Russian tank-dog response in your mind.
What I want you to do, right now, is find a bottle of milk in your refrigerator. Take it out and place it in the sun. In a couple days, go to a Redbox and rent The Sorceror’s Apprentice (or, just turn your TV on because there’s a Nick Cage movie on somewhere). Ready your milk. As soon as you see Nick’s face, start guzzling and don’t stop until more milk starts coming out of you than is going in. Repeat this process once a week for a year or more if necessary. You’ll start gagging every time you even think about Nicolas Cage, I promise.
I usually like to give a few more tips, but this is pretty much the only way. Otherwise, just make peace with it, man. Everyone else has.
*Actually, this reel makes me want to watch a Nick Cage marathon. I’m starting with The Wicker Man because I haven’t seen it and it looks like he fights a lot of women, which I think was a really courageous career move.