Posted March 8, 2006on:
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.