Fury’s Nugget: “Loneliness Can Make You Stronger.”

Nuggets April 6, 2012 15:52

Fury Young on Set

by PenTales Pundit Royal Young

Often, you don’t realize the importance of people until they leave you. My younger brother and I really got close after I left for college. Of course, as kids growing up on the Lower East Side, we shared pillow fights and comic books, Hanukah candy and awkward family functions, but not until I went away to school for a torpid, depressing year in Vermont did we really bond. When I dropped out of college, returning to run wild in Manhattan, my hometown my brother was my best partner in crime. I was just discovering whiskey, Marlboro Reds and drugs. He helped me navigate that world. I was 20 and he was 16. We looked like opposites. Me: tall, thin, grey eyes and brown hair that streaked lighter in the sun. Him: shorter, muscled, black hair and eyes. I was outgoing, he was surly but our rebelliousness and angst was the same and we stomped around our downtown streets haughtily, convinced of our impending fame—for what was unclear. Over time, we both shaped up, but my brother took the lead. He has a more rational head and fiercer resolve. From premiering his experimental films at the Maritime Hotel, he went on to study at New York Film Academy and build movie sets. I began writing. We collaborated, but more and more I saw him as his own person, a strong, willful young man who believed in working hard. Then, he left. Last summer, he decided to drive cross-country to Los Angeles with his girlfriend. Not to pursue film, but to pursue life, to go back to school, immerse himself in politics and study, different geography, no overbearing Jewish family. After seven months in California, I spoke with my brother on the phone about his drive through America, the changes from coast to coast, wanderers, loneliness and the shape of his new world.

ROYAL YOUNG: What was your journey like from New York to L.A.? What was it like to see America on the way? What’s different about the West Coast?

FURY YOUNG: A lot is different about the West Coast. But America is really very similar everywhere you go. People always told me to stop and buy gas when you’re a quarter under, because you never know when the next gas station is, but I found that to be completely false. There were fast food places and gas stations along every major highway. I didn’t really go to historical sites, I went places I felt like going. There were no plans. I didn’t see any exotic things. If I did it again, I would look at more unique things per state.

ROYAL: So did you feel like America all blended together after awhile, or did you know when you were crossing state lines? Was there a definite shift in culture as you moved away from the East Coast?

FURY: There were shifts in culture. Kentucky was probably the most felt. The further you go into the states, the stranger people look at you, but even in Pennsylvania we were the kooks. That was the look on people’s faces. Nothing harmful. When it’s a young couple, no matter how nuts you look, people just think ‘oh, it’s just another young couple traveling across country.’ In terms of scenery, of course, when you get to the mid, it becomes more flatlands and the sky just opens up. Especially in Texas the sky was incredible, there was a thunderstorm unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Once you get out West, Arizona, New Mexico and California it really changes. The plant life becomes way more exotic.

ROYAL: Did you feel like more of an American after seeing the country?

FURY: Personally I didn’t feel like more of American, like I had gained points or anything. In terms of how I view America, definitely, but not necessarily in terms of how I view myself as an American. Definitely being out here, you encounter other types of Americans than you would in New York. There are a lot of strange people here, but that could also be because I’ve been more open to talking to people since I don’t know anyone. But I think people in New York keep a straighter face.

ROYAL: A straighter face?

FURY: Yeah, they come off as more on top of things, more understanding of what they want to do in life, what is their profession, what is their objective. I’ve met a lot of wanderers out here.

ROYAL: What do you think about the geography of New York versus Los Angeles? In New York, I feel like you have so many really tall buildings.  When you’re on the street, you’re always looking up at the top. It makes people feel like they want to climb and that contributes to the sense of hustle, determination, objective and goals. In L.A., since it’s so sprawled out, you’re seeing so much through the windshield of a car, like a movie screen. You get more of an ambivalence, vastness, sense of wandering or openness.

FURY: There’s definitely more of an openness here. That’s not to say there aren’t actual things you can fucking climb with your hands and feet which are mountains. I’m seeing that right now and that makes me want to climb more than a damn skyscraper. But I do think the openness, lay out of the land and also the weather might lead to people that might not have a direct path. Maybe they are just living. That’s what they’re doing.

ROYAL: Do you think living without goals is acceptable?

FURY: Yes. We live in a society where you’re forced to work. Is that a good thing? I think it is, but maybe it would be good if we had a program where you didn’t necessarily have to work for money, you could do community service and give something back. I think it’s important to give something back to the community in some way or at least not to damage or tarnish it in any way.

ROYAL: How has your perspective on life changed since moving to the West Coast?

FURY: I absolutely value people differently. In the past, I was less open to meeting people or realize how important people are in terms of happiness. I really mean friends. People you can trust, people you can talk to and just relax with. It’s very different not having that.

ROYAL: What is it like?

FURY: It’s slightly sad. It’s really hard to make friends you can vibe with a lot. I’ve gotten better at talking to people, but actually maintaining some kind of friendship or trust, I do not have with anyone I’ve met here.

ROYAL: Why do you think it’s so difficult to connect with someone else?

FURY: I don’t know. But it must be me as well.

ROYAL: What about you?

FURY: Maybe I come off too strongly. Everything I’ve done here I’ve initiated myself. Every party, book reading, movie, Occupy L.A. I’ve done on my own. I think I give off a weird vibe. I was fired from this movie because I said “There are a lot of shitty Jews out there,” and someone got offended. But I was just talking about Henry Kissinger and Paul Wolfowitz, corrupt Jews in government positions, which I think is interesting because we have a pretty benevolent history.

ROYAL: Do you feel like loneliness is making you a stronger person?

FURY: I never knew what loneliness was until I moved here. I have to say it has made me a stronger person, and for that reason. I’ve learned it’s pretty hard to stay strong while lonely. But I am. What makes me a stronger person is when I attempt to counter it. Last night I stayed up late practicing guitar and reading about politics. During the week when I’m in school I’m fairly outgoing, I talk to people, I’ve been drinking a lot, I’m having a barbeque tomorrow, which feels kind of like a charity event [laughs].

ROYAL: How does it feel to be away from your family?

FURY: That’s a very weird feeling to name. It blends in with the feeling of not having anyone to trust. I don’t have any allies. That’s the hardest thing about being here.

This is “Fame Juice” the last short film my brother and I collaborated on before his move, a satirical look at our celebrity saturated culture.

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