I loved Whiplash.
Being a musician myself, I recognize that Whiplash is a wonderful movie that teaches you that jazz is a beautiful form of music built on a foundation of people being assholes to each other.
If only I had been lucky enough for someone to be as big an asshole to me in my formative years as JK Simmons is to his students in this film, I might be one of the world’s greatest musicians. But unfortunately I had the shit rotten luck that people were generally nice to me growing up, which means my entire existence is now worthless. The director of Whiplash has my sincerest gratitude for leading me to this epiphany.
It is clear to me now that I will never achieve true musical greatness because I haven’t felt so pressured to perform that I would literally refuse to go to the hospital after a car crash and instead go straight to the amphitheater covered in my own blood without even bothering to wipe any of it off, and try to slyly take my seat with the band as if nothing happened.
I was particularly struck by the scene in the bar in which JK Simmons calmly waxes philosophical about how none of his students ever went on to become great, but then of course arrives at the inevitable conclusion that it’s because he still isn’t being a big enough asshole to them. After all, everyone knows that literally the ONLY REASON Charlie Parker ever became a great jazz player is because his teacher nearly decapitated him with a cymbal (on purpose), and therefore being a violent asshole is the ONE AND ONLY TRUE METHOD to make anyone achieve greatness. I mean why hasn’t anyone tried to decapitate ME with a musical instrument? I wanna be like Charlie Parker. And now thanks to Whiplash I know that all it takes is a willingness to continue to take music lessons from a man whose course syllabus includes attempted murder.
Oh, and the student he drove to suicide? Fuck that pussy, jazz isn’t for sissy ass quitters like that.