Postmodernism, Paranoia, and Psychosis.
Careful this is a bit of a “Simon’s top 100 films” rant.
There was a number of years ago a philosophy propounded and published in a book. I was informed that the only way you should receive this book was to be given it by someone else. I never actually saw this book, nor did I actually have the opportunity to study it. The only reason I mention it is because I was led to believe one of the major parts of the philosophy was that if you observed unusual coincidences that you were travelling on the correct path for yourself. Life path that is. I think it’s a rather convenient philosophy, one of these that I’m sure reassures those that follow it, as one can discern coincidences all over the place. Coincidence occurs more frequently for those looking for them, or attempting to discern them in order to get some positive meaning from what would be otherwise a soul destroying experience. I know I do it, but then I have been diagnosed as clinically depressed so I need, or tend to look for some sort of meaning in a lot of things as an almost backlash to the crushing despair I should really meet my life with.
Yesterday I happened upon yet another showing of “the Truman Show” on television, and it being one of the few Carey performances that he doesn’t completely mess up with the depressing overstated clowning and retarded buffoonery he usually indulges in, (see “Me, Myself and Irene” for the point in favour here, as apposed to say “Eternal Sunshine” for what passes as an almost palatable job of acting from the gentleman) I quiet enjoy watching it, in fact would go as far as listing it as one of my more recent favourite films. I get that horribly paranoid “it all makes sense” and “reflects so much of my own life” feeling when watching it. Much like the déjà vu feeling I get whilst watching “The Matrix” (That’s the déjà vu feeling you get from the first film as in the ”why does that seem familiar to my life?”, as apposed to the déjà vu feeling from the second and third film where you’re just thinking “Haven’t we seen this all before?”).
Ok there’s coincidence number one. One of my more favourite films repeated on TV just as I am sinking into mind numbing despair at the high calibre of crap the TV networks are pushing out yet again for christmas (small “c” there on purpose as I am a practicing Pagan, with a big “P”).
Why you may ask am I sitting in over the holiday period even contemplating UK Gold repeats of “The Two Ronnie’s”, “The Good Life Christmas Special”, and endless reruns of “Only Fools and Retards”? Easily answered, the foolish bank has conspired with the pit of disorganisation that is the company I work for, the former to charge me two hundred pounds for slipped direct debits, the latter to pay me for only three days wages this week (paying the balance after the holiday period, a policy devised by and approved by a small group of people who are obviously salaried therefore they will not actually be hit with any hardship). So two hundred pounds out and one hundred and seventy pounds in, in, out , in ,out, shake it all about. On top of my vast savings of two pence this places me in a rather unfortunate financial situation yet again. But no worry because the Gas Company (who also supply my electric) have already escalated my (unpaid) account to the point where they are going to (and I quote) get a court order to enter my house to cut my supply off. Yet another bunch of ineffectual morons who regularly post cards through my door saying they called to read the meter, but where unable to gain access. At this point I must explain my gas and electric meters are both on the front of my house, in the street, where a blind myopic badger with one eye could find the bloody things by bumping into them just by walking a few feet from my door where they have just posted the card to say they couldn’t find them.
Psychosis is an interesting thing. I am led to believe, by a work mate who’s mother was diagnosed as psychotic (coincidence two, I will elaborate later), it is an absolute and irrefutable belief that (hand in hand with paranoia) they are out to get you, they are in your house, your street, they move things around on purpose just to upset you and point out that they are messing with your life. Not to make light of the condition but this does remind me of a comedian I saw a number of years ago who used the line “my house was burgled last night!”
“They stole everything. Completely emptied the place.”
“Replaced it all with identical furniture though!”
I loose things. Though this is probably due to the over indulgence in mind altering substances (mostly alcohol). I have been advised by a friend a number of years ago (just to digress for a minute) never to take acid. I am informed there is a line between reality and where you go with acid. When you take it you never come back to the same place, you always return to a point slightly nearer the line. I was informed that I am so close to that line (no mention of which side) that if I where to take acid then I would never come back again. If ignorance is bliss is insanity nirvana?
As I was saying before I so rudely interrupted myself. I loose things. Mostly from the putting them down drunk, and loosing the short term memory due to alcohol induced lobotomy problem than the “oh my god the fairies have taken them” (another thread to return to). It once took me three days to find my glasses. Those of you who know me will realise I wear the things constantly whilst I am awake, so to loose them from the front of my face is quiet a feet. The constant worry is that I will take them off in some pub and leave them there, another seventy to one hundred quid expense I can not endure at the moment. I eventually found them three days later, after checking the fridge, the freezer, the toilet, and the spare room, sitting by the front door where I must have taken them off as I entered the house, and only by leaving the house (which I had not done that weekend). To quote “Dharma and Greg”, “Ice-cream”.
Sorry a particular episode of the above mentioned sitcom, Dharma’s parents are round and her father goes out for ice-cream. Only to appear some fifteen minutes later to ask what he had gone out for.
I also put things in safe places. My “O” level certificates for instance. Put them in a big book to flatten them. Put the book under a cushion in the lounge on the settee. Three years later I notice one of the cushions is actually harder than the rest and re-discover them. My birth certificate is somewhere in this house, safe I’m sure.
I assume these mishaps are myself though at times begin to wonder if it may not be other forces, sprites (not the drink, the goblin things). But then this is part of my animistic approach to Paganism, everything has spirit, the house, the chair, the computer. I see spirits regularly. Voices talk to me. If I am creating a piece I have a voice that dictates 9in a roundabout way) the narrative that I then attempt to capture and lay down coherently 9as near as possible to this stream of consciousness style)
Whilst watching a very informative programme on manic depression created by Stephen Fry (the programme not the mental problem), I realised how much of a problem I must actually have. There was a gentleman of Mr Fry’s acquaintance who was absolutely convinced he talked to angels and devils. I have had conversations of this sort with agents of who knows what. It is quiet amazing what people appear to be to the furtive (and fertile) imagination of the creative individual. I have at in Pubs in Portsmouth and looked down the bar only to see an exact recreation of one of Boz’s illustrations for one of Dickens’s novels. I have conversed with angels and devils, and demons from other pantheon. I have conversed with demonologists, rosecurians, mages, witches, and magicians following various schools. I worked in a restaurant that employed both a black witch and a white witch, they of course did not get on with each other, and I myself have always claimed the central (neutral) path.
It was only under the influence of the medication they gave me for my depression that my own voices subsided. I know this is actually more schizophrenia than psychosis but I think I am building a nice case to include as many problems as I can. I return to the point I was trying to make. As part of my religion it is particularity important that I have dialogue with these people on a regular basis. It was singularly the least creative period of my life whilst on seroxat. I spent eight months just lying on my sofa watching television that in the past would have had me ranting at it’s banality. My life on the whole is populated by spirits, fairies, trolls, angels, and deamon of all types. I return to a previous question. Insane people are not supposed to know they are insane. How do I fit this picture if people continue to tell me I am insane. If I believe them then logically I can not be insane because I would know I was insane? I have always known I have a somewhat alternative view point on reality to others and rarely find companionship and parity in others completely.
Coincidence number three, and the real reason I even began this diatribe. Over christmas I visited my friends and godsons hose (stayed over christmas eve through to christmas day). At one point my godson’s mother ,Jo , asked me to explain about essays. My response was to use the rue of thumb I was taught years ago about “Tell them what you are going to tell them. Tell them what you are going to tell them. Then tell them what you have just told them.” This was the structure to the “perfect” essay, report whatever. Why mention this? Again the reason that sparked this missive. I have just finished watching Guy Richie’s “Revolver”. I remember it being panned at the release. I had avoided it. But it is a very clever little piece of postmodernism.
I yet again stand by my statement that in a postmodernist world where everything is nothing but text, the dyslexic is king (twenty-nine before being diagnosed). Ladies and gentlemen you should see the mess this article was in before the intervention of word (actually the bloody software does leave me somewhat despairing at times because I spell badly in my own peculiar little way, and some words no matter how I try will resolve them will not reveal themselves in the MS spell mucker).
The clear statement at the beginning of the film where we are told exactly what is going to happen is only surpassed by that wonderful beginning to “Swordfish”. Where John Travolta explains exactly what is going to happen over a cup of coffee with the law men (excellent ball bearing head blowing up scene that follows).
“Revolver” actually lays it all out for you there and then, then does it again, and only finally brings it back together at the end where it reiterates the whole thing and counterpoints it by showing you exactly what it has done. “Tell them what you are going to tell them. Tell them what you are going to tell them. Then tell them what you have just told them.” Finally ending by playing one of my all time favourite tunes, the ever haunting “Gnossienne Number One” by Erik Satie.
So there you have it. Me. My problems (the three p’s of Paranoia, Psychosis, and depression). And my film obsession.