Matsu Karasu (sin_agua) wrote in after_b,
Matsu Karasu

Just a whole buncha stuff...

Having just heard of it, I rented Instinct and watched it. Then I went into the bathroom and wept bitterly for twenty minutes or so.

Those of you who have seen this film know that the script was merely "suggested" by the book Ishmael, and merely hints at the larger concepts contained therein. Instead of a gorilla, this great wisdom is imparted by a feral primatologist who "went native."

I wept for the animals so brutally slaughtered. I wept at our own brutality against each other. I wept because we all live in prisons - of our own making. It was so easy to see in that film how the guards were just as much imprisoned as the convicts - they just didn't know it. And for many of us, even when the door is open to us, we no longer bother to try to walk through it. Because we think that nomatter how anxiety-ridden, how frightening, how stressful, how unhealthy our life is now, it has to be better than what came before.

How many times have you made some small but rational criticism of your government's judicial system, for instance, only to have someone leap down your throat with that tired old horse, "Well it may not be perfect, but it's the best system the world has ever produced!" *sigh*

No, it's NOT. There was something better, a long, long time ago. We've just forgotten. We all gradually fell asleep around 10 thousand years ago, and forgot we were sleeping. We forget we are not gods. And isn't that where all greed originates - wanting to have the control that the gods have? I'm not talking about wanting to feed your family - I'm talking about wanting to have MORE than you need to feed them.

I've spent most of my life obsessing and feeling this nameless anxiety, this strange but inexplicable sensation of fraud, of somehow sensing that most of what everyone was telling me about how things "had to be" were lies - but most people lying to me truly BELIEVED the lies they were telling me. I've spent so many years worried or convinced I had some sort of mental illness, and it was simply because I wasn't "tough enough" - or somesuch garbage. The first step in mental illness (as we know it today) is accepting the fallacy that we as humans are somehow different/better than all other life forms and we are therefore exempt from universal law that apply to everything else around us.

The life we've lived for the past 500 generations CREATES mental illness, CREATES desperation, confusion, anxiety, a sense of rootlessness, of disassociation with our surroundings, self-doubt, insecurity, fear, and disease. If I really am ill, it is because this Takers prison is all I have ever known.

A few miles away from my house, there are probably a few Native peoples who still remember the old ways, but so many of them are dead, sick, or busy staying drunk - and I don't blame them one bit. My ancestors stopped living in the hands of the gods thousands of years ago - theirs only stopped (comparatively speaking) last week. And some, mostly the old ones, still remember. And they don't talk much, generally. Wouldn't you stay drunk, too? It's the same thing the pagan/Catholic (but not Roman Catholic) Irish Leavers did after being overrun by British Protestant Takers.

We've lost so much, so much knowledge, that Mother Culture tells us is "new age" quackery - like herbal remedies, alternative medicine (okay some of it IS garbage, but let's not just toss three million years' worth of ethnobotany out the window, shall we?).

I would like to see a collective effort made by Friends of Ishmael all over the world - especially in urban areas - to make "urban field guides", letting people know what natural resources remain in their areas, including what plants are edible, useful, etc. and how to prepare them. Sort of a clearinghouse of practical "survival" information, divided by particular geographic areas.

I wish I could start my life all over again as a child, and be Jane Goodall's assistant... ;) I would've done so much better, spending years in the jungles of Africa, than on lots of medication and years of therapy and still that sense of anxiety, of fraud, of being lied to, whispers constantly in my ear. "This isn't RIGHT, this isn't RIGHT, this isn't RIGHT...I don't know what IS right, but this CAN'T be it...." That was the chief feeling I always had, even as a child.

Now I finally can find my prison's bars, but I'm still not sure I can step outside them. I do my best to live lightly, but I'm still immersed in all the noise, the garbage, the inefficient use of technology, the fast food, driving a car, all that stuff. It seems like nomatter what I do, it's either wrong or not good enough. I can't get outside the prison. At first, I didn't even know for sure it was there, and now that I know it, I can't escape. Or so it feels some days, like today.

And hey - two questions about the end of the movie. After escaping the prison, does the good doctor go back to Africa, and the jungle? And if so, how the hell does he manage that with no money or papers?
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