Archive for March 2006
… stop blogging and just link to this fellow already: “Mommy and Daddy” by Jim Kunstler. Here I’ve predicted the demise of Blue, as well as the implosion of Red. But I did so in boring, straight-forward prose. In the first link above, Mr. Kunstler covers the same ground substantively. But the manner in which he does comprises a clever, biting allegory that is well worth a read. (See, there I go again. Who the hell but patent lawyers say “comprise”? Somebody, anybody, please stop me before I slip a “res ipsa loquitur” in there.)
Well, since few of you comment on these postings, I figured I’d go ahead and offer an answer to the question with which I ended my last posting. My answer is this: the selection of Crash evidences the spread of enlightenment. The explanation for that answer is found in the previous posting.
But here I’d like to note that that much of the commentary emerging from the Oscars argues that insanity, or at least corruption or stupidity, informed the selection of Crash. What is going on here?
I suspect most people are missing this redemptive dynamic in Crash (not to mention American Beauty, and What the Bleep?). I suspect that most, if not all, of the people who criticize the movie as the “worst pick in years” have never experienced even a hint of this dynamic themselves. And trying to explain this dynamic to these people is like trying to explain the taste of Natto or the sensation of orgasm to a child who has experienced neither. All the child can do is to try, with futility, to fit the mysterious stimuli into the limited framework of her child’s worldview — one that makes room for neither pleasurable bitterness nor hormone fueled exhilaration.
This is not to say that those of us who see value in Crash “get” this redemptive dynamic either. I would guess that few do.
Still, I suspect that the release of fear and desire, and the resulting movement toward love and wisdom, is a human instinct or “itch”. That is, just as “fight or flight” (i.e. excessive fear and desire) are widely accepted human instincts, I believe that their opposites (i.e. love and wisdom brought on by diminished fear and desire) are equally instinctual. One key difference between the two is that, in our everyday world of social tugs and pulls, the former is all too common and loud, while the latter is relatively rare and quiet.
Though rare and quiet, I believe it is persistent and growing in this troubled nation. And while I have no interest in the domain of Entertainment (i.e. movies, big record labels, etc.), I am interested to see that, amidst a relentless sea of insipid fear- and desire-driven films, two recent movies — American Beauty and Crash — were plucked out as Oscar winners, and both happen to portray the redemptive instinct.
I further think that this unconscious movement (albeit a tiny one) of “Hollywood” leaders toward diminished fear and desire, parallels the unconscious movement of referees in the domain of Sports toward decentralized power — a dynamic about which I’ve previously blogged and podcasted.
So the movie Crash won the Oscar for best picture last Sunday. If you listen to my podcasts, you might remember that back in May of last year, I podcasted about Crash, and the commonalities it shares with the films American Beauty, and What the Bleep?.
Two Oscar winners paired with an obscure documentary? What could they possibly have in common? Well, perhaps you listened to my recent podcast on an approach for harvesting Truth. One aspect of that approach involves identifying commonalities between disparate, seemingly unrelated works.
In the podcast on the three movies, I explain that the two Oscar winners tell a story about a certain dynamic, while What the Bleep? is essentially a documentary about that same dynamic. That dynamic goes by the name “redemption”. Essentially, our persistent and recurring fears and desires drive us headlong into a crash, which can serve to wake us up to a broader perspective in which our fears and desires evaporate. Thus, from the dust and rubble of the crash emerges a step toward love and wisdom — perhaps even toward enlightenment.
Which brings me to my podcast last month about the fine line separating insanity from enlightenment. In that podcast, I speculate that in these days of the peaking American Empire, insanity and enlightenment are quietly spreading throughout this sleepy nation.
Is the selection of “Crash” as Oscar winner evidence of the former creep (insanity) or the latter (enlightenment)?
Responding to the suggestion of commenter Nick, I’ve gone ahead and uploaded HTML versions of the chapters of my draft book, Personality and the Brain. Now you can surf through the book on-line, as well as download the book in PDF form. One major trade-off between the two formats is getting to use the bells and whistle features of your browser (mine is Firefox), versus those of Adobe Reader.
Back in January, I podcasted about Jim Kunstler’s blog, “Clusterfuck Nation”. In that podcast, I noted similarities between his views and my own. Well, on February 13, Mr. Kunstler uploaded a posting called “Played“, the topic of which is, more or less, the coming People vs. Corporations battle. As you probably know, I’ve had much to say on People vs. Corporations. Now, while he didn’t actually use that particular phrase, his meaning was unambiguous. Check out the quote at the end of his posting:
When the public finally discovers how they have been let down or played by these [political] leaders [who act as agents of Big Business], there will be a convulsion more severe than the one that tore this country apart in 1861.
The U.S Civil War, begun in 1861, represents the American “double or nothing” crisis that preceded the same order of crisis known as the Great Depression/World War II. As Strauss and Howe have predicted, America is about to experience a crisis as dire as these two previous ones. The only question in their model is: What will be the nature of this crisis? I’ve said it will be a civil war defined as People vs. Corporations. Apparently, Mr. Kunstler agrees.