RhetoricLee Speaking

Rock Bottom Girl + Brittany Runs a Marathon

March 16, 2020

This is RhetoricLee Speaking, Episode Five. Brittany Runs a Marathon... and I run into real trouble believing she only ran it because she hit her rock bottom.

Nothing demonstrates the seduction and disappointment of the rock bottom cliche better than the movie, Brittany Runs a Marathon, released last year on Amazon Prime. The movie tells the story of a hot mess millennial who, “hitting her rock bottom,” turns her life around and runs the New York City Marathon. The problem with the narrative is that there’s nothing about a “bottom line” that inherently motivates people to change. Why? Because bottom lines are RHETORICAL constructions; they’re made up. My bottom line is your Tuesday and there are heroin addicts shooting up blown out veins who are like, “bottom line? Where.” 

We keep the rock bottom fantasy alive because it allows us to believe that if we just keep doing what we’ve always done--which is precisely avoiding practicing new ways of thinking--we will eventually fuck up badly enough that the rock bottom will arrive and that will just MAKE us run the mile or put down the bottle or call the lawyer. 

Read the blog version of the episode

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