Personal Films: Office Space


by dante

I watched "Office Space" for the first time alone in my parents' room on a bright Saturday afternoon whilst trying to avoid weekend weed pulling.

"Office Space" goes down in the canon of my personal history as the movie that almost changed the course of my life.  Almost.

Subsequent to that famous Saturday afternoon viewing, I made a decision.  Up until that fateful moment in my adolescence, I thought I wanted to be some kind of writer; a novelist, perchance.  I have from my youth, invented stories that I acted out in my backyard as a growing yearling.  So, if given the opportunity, why not choose that as my profession?  I was to be a writer.  Get paid to imagine up stories.  It made sense.  So I thought.

But to dream of being a writer is quite a queer concept.  If you dream of being an astronaut, you imagine skipping on the moon or hopping about on Mars.  To dream of being a sports star clearly brings forth heavenly thrills of game winning catches and miraculous saves.

Yet to dream of writing is to imagine being so enamored with a realm whose existence doesn't expand passed the depths of your mind, that you are driven entirely by an internal monologue within one's self.  It's only a romantic image when viewed with an idyllic lens of what the 'tortured artist' should look like.            

To dream to be a writer is to dream to choose to live your life inside your head, rather than to share your action-life with the outside world.  To write is to invite others into your mind, whereas to be something cool like an Air Force pilot, is to boldly romp into the world and proclaim, "Hey, I want a piece of this place!"

"Office Space" taught me that to live in a suburban cage is to not live at all.  To allow yourself to follow that path is to step aside and watch the hours squeeze your vitality ever so slowly from your marrow.  Peter Gibbons' life gave me an example of a personal revolution.  He turned aside from the world that became darker and bleaker with every endless-computer-staring day, embracing the likes of Hypno-therapy, Jennifer Aniston, massive embezzling, and finally, good old construction work.

On that Saturday afternoon I drew a line in the sand.  I would not watch my life be gargled on by bureaucratic cubicles.  I was going to live, Doggonit!  I decided then that I would become a pilot or something.  I would join the Air Force.  "Office Space" inspired me to experience the great outdoors by showing me the depravity of four walls.

So close.  I didn't get into the Air Force Academy (which was perhaps a blessing considering my ever growing pacifism).  I failed to reach that zenith of freedom from consumeristic eventuality.  Fortunately, I'm not working in an office today. Still, I probably spend too much time wrestling within the confines of my mind.  I should be out amongst the animals, committing my body to far awesomer tasks than writing a blog, like climbing epically tall trees and battling angry Iguanodons. 

And still I wonder, if Peter Gibbons, the savior of the American Suburbanite, examined my life today, would I come up failing, or get a "F-ing A"?