The life of Mason, from early childhood to his arrival at college.
Nicole: You know how everyone's always saying seize the moment? I don't know, I'm kinda thinking it's the other way around. You know, like the moment seizes us. Mason: Yeah. Yeah, I know. It's constant - -the moment. It's just... It's like it's always right now, you know? Nicole: Yeah.
Dad: [Mason Jr. bowls a gutterball] Alright, don't worry about it. Mason: I wish I could use the bumpers... Dad: You don't want the bumpers, life doesn't give you bumpers.
Mom: [Mason is leaving for college] This is the worst day of my life. Mason: What are you talking about? Mom: [Starts crying] I knew this day was coming. I just... I didn't know you were going to be so fucking happy to be leaving. Mason: I mean it's not that I'm that happy... what do you expect? Mom: You know what I'm realising? My life is just going to go. Like that. This series of milestones. Getting married. Having kids. Getting divorced. The time that we thought you were dyslexic. When I taught you how to ride a bike. Getting divorced... again. Getting my masters degree. Finally getting the job I wanted. Sending Samantha off to college. Sending you off to college. You know what's next? Huh? It's my fucking funeral! Just go, and leave my picture! Mason: Aren't you jumping ahead by, like, 40 years or something? Mom: I just thought there would be more.
Samantha: [as the family leaves their house for the last time before moving] Goodbye, yard! Goodbye, crepe myrtle! Goodbye, mailbox! Goodbye, box of stuff Mommy won't let us take with us but we don't want to throw away. Goodbye, house, I'll never like Mommy as much for making us move! Mom: Samantha! Why don't you say goodbye to that little horseshit attitude, okay, because we're not taking that in the car.
Mr. Turlington: [Enters the darkroom] How long have you been in here, Mason? Mason: Not sure. Mr. Turlington: I'm sure: All class. Did you complete your image diary? Mason: Not yet. Mr. Turlington: Completed your digital contact sheet? Mason: Not quite, but, I mean, it's not gonna take me long. Mr. Turlington: "Not yet." "Not quite." Darkroom time is extracurricular. I mean, technically, you don't ever have to be in here these days. And certainly not until you've completed your assignments. That's the deal. Mason: [Sarcastically] Sorry. Mr. Turlington: I'm worried about you, Mason. Mason: [laughs] Why is that? Mr. Turlington: I'll tell you why: The images you're turning in, they're cool. You're looking at things in a really unique way. Got a lot of natural talent. Mason: Thanks. Mr. Turlington: Yeah, but that and 50 cents will just get you a cup of coffee in this old world. I've met a LOT of talented people over the years. How many of them made it professionally without discipline, commitment and really good work ethic? Mason: [Shrugs] Mr. Turlington: I can tell ya. I can count it on two fingers: [Makes A-ok hand gesture] Mr. Turlington: Zero. It's not gonna happen for you, Mason. The world is too competitive. There are too many talented people who are willing to work hard; and a buttload of morons who are untalented, who are more than willing to surpass you. As a matter of fact, a lot of them are sitting in that classroom out there right now. Hm? You know what they're doing? They're doing their assignments. Which is what you're supposed to be doing, but you're not. You're in here. Now, why is that? You're special, Mason? Mason: No, but, I mean, the things you're talking about, like, work ethic or whatever, I feel like I do work pretty hard. I spend the hold weekend taking pictures a lot of times. Mr. Turlington: You like football, Mason? Mason: Not really. Mr. Turlington: Yeah, I know you don't. That's why I've just assigned you to shoot the football game tonight. Okay? Starts at 7.30, I want you to get there early. I want you to shoot a full card, 300 images. I want 'em downloaded, I want 'em sorted, and I wanna see 'em very first thing Monday, okay? Wanna know why I'm doing this? Mason: I guess. Mr. Turlington: Who do you wanna be, Mason? What do you wanna do? Mason: I wanna take pictures. Make art. Mr. Turlington: Any dipshit can take pictures, Mason. Art, that's special. What can you bring to it that nobody else can? Mason: That's what I'm trying to find out. Mr. Turlington: Try harder. Hey, maybe in 20 years you can call old Mr. Turlington, and you can say: "Thank you, sir, for that terrific darkroom chat we had that day." [Walks out of the darkroom] Mr. Turlington: Get back to class and do your work.
Mason: So what's the point? Dad: Of what? Mason: I don't know, any of this. Everything. Dad: Everything? What's the point? I mean, I sure as shit don't know. Neither does anybody else, okay? We're all just winging it, you know? The good news is you're feeling stuff. And you've got to hold on to that.
Mason: I just feel like there are so many things that I could be doing and probably want to be doing that I'm just not.
Mason: Dad, there's no real magic in the world, right? Dad: What do you mean? Mason: You know, like elves and stuff. People just made that up. Dad: Oh, I don't know. I mean, what makes you think that elves are any more magical than something like a whale? Yoy know what I mean? What if I told you a story about how underneath the ocean, there was this giant sea mammal that used sonar and sang songs and it was so big that its heart was the size of a car and you could crawl through the arteries? I mean, you'd think that was pretty magical, right?
Dad: [while canvassing for the 2008 Presidential Election] Hey, grab that McCain sign, would you? Mason: Dad, isn't that illegal? Dad: Just put it in the car. I'm being patriotic.
Mason: I finally figured it out. It's like when they realized it was gonna be too expensive to actually build cyborgs and robots. I mean, the costs of that were impossible. They decided to just let humans turn themselves into robots. That's what's going on right now. I mean, why not? They're billions of us just laying around, not really doing anything. We don't cost anything. We're even pretty good at self-maintenance and reproducing constantly. And as it turns out, we're already biologically programmed for our little cyborg upgrades. I read this thing the other day about how When you hear that ding on your inbox, you get like a dopamine rush in your brain. It's like we're being chemically rewarded for allowing ourselves to be brainwashed. How evil is that? We're fucked.
Samantha: [after leaving Bill's family for good] Why couldn't we take Randy and Mindy with us? Mom: Because sweetie, I'm not their legal guardian, that would be kidnapping; it's against the law. Samantha: Couldn't you talk to their mom? Mom: I tried their mom, but I can't reach her. Samantha: Well, what's going to happen to them? Mom: [starts crying] I don't know... Samantha: Why are you crying? Mom: Because I don't have all the answers.
Mom: [Driving Mason Jr. home from school] Your teacher said you're behind on your homework assignments. Mason: No, I did them, they were just sitting in my backpack. Mom: So, why didn't you turn them in? Mason: She never asked for them. Mom: Well, honey, she's not supposed to ask for them. It's your job to give them to her once you've finished. Mason: Oh. Mom: She also said you destroyed her pencil sharpener. Mason: No I didn't. Mom: Then what did you put in it instead of pencils? Mason: Rocks. Mom: Why were you putting rocks in the pencil sharpener? Mason: Because I needed them for my arrowhead collection.
Mason: I just feel like there are so many things that I could be doing and probably want to be doing that I'm just not. Sheena: Why aren't you? Mason: I mean, I guess, it's just being afraid of what people would think. You know, judgement. Sheena: Yeah. I guess it's really easy to say, like I don't care what anyone else thinks. But everyone does, you know. Deep down. Mason: I find myself so furious at all these people that I am in contact with just for controlling me or whatever but you know they are not even aware they are doing it. Sheena: Yeah. So, in this perfect world where no one is controlling you. What's different? What changes? Mason: Everything. I mean, I just wanna be able to do anything I want, because it makes me feel alive. As opposed to giving me the appearance of normality. Sheena: Whatever that means. Mason: I don't think it means much. Sheena: You are kinda weird, you know that? Mason: Yeah? Is that a compliment? Sheena: I don't know. Do you wanna be weird? Mason: I mean, I don't wanna scare kids at the park, or anything like that. Mason: I really like talking with you. I don't usually even try to like vocalize my thoughts, or feelings or anything, just I don't know it never sounds right. Words are stupid. Sheena: So why are you trying with me? Mason: I don't know, I guess, I feel comfortable.
Mason: [while canvassing for the 2008 Presidential Election] Hi, I was wondering if you'd like an Obama sign on your lawn? No Obama Man: No. Do I look like I'm voting for Barack *Hussein* Obama? No Obama Man: [Mason starts leaving] This is private property, you know! I could have you shot!
Nick: [Mason Jr. returns to class from the darkroom after talking with his teacher] What's up Mason? You're walking a little funny, there... Mason: Fuck you. Nick: Hey, I'm just saying. You were in there for quite a while...
Mom: [Mason Jr. and Samantha start fighting in the backseat] Hey! What's going on back there? Stop it! Put a barrier up! Come on, make a barrier with your pillow! Mom: Okay, we're going to play a game: Whoever can stay quiet the longest wins. And, go! [Samantha and Mason Jr. start tickling each other, instead]
Mason: Do you still love dad? Mom: I still love your father, but that doesn't mean it was healthy for us to stay together. Mason: What if after we move he's trying to find us, and he can't?
Mason: You know, Jim, you're not my dad. Jim: No, I'm not your dad. You know how I know that? 'Cause I'm actually here. I'm the guy with the job, payin' the bills, takin' care of you, your mom, your sister.
Mason: [Finding his mom lying on the garage floor next to Bill] What happened? Professor Bill Welbrock: Your mother had a little accident and now she's being dramatic. [to mom] Professor Bill Welbrock: Get off the fucking floor.
Randy: Hey Paul, tell us a joke! Paul: Fuck. Damn. Go to Hell. Ass.
Dad: Top of volume two, first four tracks. You've got "Band on the Run" into "My Sweet Lord" into "Jealous Guy" into "Photograph." Come on! It's like the perfect segue. You've got Paul who takes you to the party, George who talks to you about God, John is just "No, it's about love and pain" and then Ringo who just says "Hey, can't we enjoy what we have while we have it?"
Professor Bill Welbrock: I hate squash!
Professor Bill Welbrock: You don't like me much, do you Mason? Professor Bill Welbrock: That's okay, neither do I.
Mom: I've spent the first half of my life acquiring all this stuff and now I'll spend the second half getting rid of it!