24 September 2008
The Curse Of Reality (Or A Post That Wasn't)
Here's a post that never was. I was flicking through some old posts on the blogger dashboard and found some that I never published, due to forgetfulness or loss of heart or whatever... since this blog has recently re-animated I figured I might air a few of these (and there are others that I swear I've never written - anyone own up? That piece on Nico?) in their original, unfinished, unvarnished form...
This one comes from three years ago when the world was very different. I think I still believe what I was saying but some of the phrasintg and the spelling is just... well, maybe something told me back then that this shouldn't be out there, not without thought and research and rigour but, I dunno, research and thought and rigour is never what this has been about and won't be. It's about half-remembered events and theories and ideas and songs, it's about knowledge as it's actually used; half-arsed, semi-thought, attenuated:
So, several things coincided.
I was re-watching Children Of The Stones with 8 year old middle Loki, sorta discussing the pagan/christian war (add in delusion and minus proud Dadness here for detail; his grasp on pre-Christian theology isn't as good as it could be...) and then I came upon this post from the ever-synchronous Kek and everything started to slide together...
When did film-makers, producers, directors etc start demanding that people needed TV and films that were about something? When did they suddenly feel the need to explain everything? Nowadays it's like we're slowly retreating, returning to midperiod Hitchcockian values where every little psychological detail is neatly tossed off at the end, just in case we missed it...
Actually, that is more or less true in Hitchcock except from The Birds. They don't explain about the birds do they? Wonder why? The film is very explicit about there being no apparent rationale behind the attacks - I seem to remember the characters discussing that vrey issue - which perhaps suggests that Hitchcock regarded the Freudian motifs sufficiently out there to render further explanation uneccessary. Certainly, my experience in A Level teaching suggests that Freud is best experienced intuitively and that the understanding can be clouded slightly by looking too closely... but that might be just because I'm shite at explaining things...actually, this is probably a post in itself: Freudian Themes of Goddess-baiting, Oedipal blindings and the immanent chaos of femininity in The Birds...
(perhaps - but it sounds like something that has already happened)
Anyway... I don't want reality to start intruding too far into my entertainment; the nasty pull of the real has a terrible, analgesic effect on viewing; I can happily spoil an hour and a half's senseless fun with a badly placed "but they'd never do that" or "can the Doctor be so lonely when he simply has to go back before The Time War began..." etc and I can't see how this can be good.
I want to shake Rationality off a little but people keep insisting I need it because I'm human.
Rationality, the need to know, to understand (I can hear colleagues whining Verstehen behind me, even as I type) is a terrible addiction because it gets you gripped so deep that it's only very rarely that you even think to surface. Before you know it, you're watching Donnie Darko and you're thinking: Is this internally consistent? Can I find the flaw? Where is it? and then, too late, you remember it's a film, an entertainment, a kind of brain-stretch that doesn't require an answer.
Rationalisty is a form of Schizophrenia. A nagging auditory hallucination that doesn't seem to want to go away.
Who is it that wants us to have all these answers? Why does the guy in Life on Mars have to be in a coma? Why can't he just fart around in the 1970s having the time of his life? I mean, the least mysterious sections of the whole series so far is the mystery is-he-isn't-he elements, the ghost sections, the spooked-out Testcard girl... you wanted to skip those bits too didn't you?
The end of Life on Mars lets us come full circle. We always knew it would. The story circle, not the character arc is all in film and TV. Or maybe the arc is a rainbow...
The curse of reality permeates through everything, even football matches have to be endlessly explained, as if they could somehow be controlled or manipulated by the ultra-expensive software tactical mapping packages that the major teams seem to use. Reality clings to a game when chance can take everything away because the blandness of USA style batting averages is eating away at the pleasant misunderstanding of belief. We know that Chelsea will win. It is all over.
And yet, there is still the lure of the dionysian, the abyss of the FA cup, the beautifully empty myth of the impossible underdog - a myth that every fan clings too as if it were a Pagan Goddess... "it's only 11 vs 11. Anything can happen...."
We need more of this ridiculous belief. I know that Yeovil Town will be destroyed by pretty much whoever they play but that doesn't stop the almost certain knowledge that will rise within me, a Warp Spasm that nevertheless makes me believe despite everything.
It's as if there's an unknown seat of consciousness, just beyond our measuring devices, an electrical