Skip to main content

Sturm und Drang

Broadchurch is a TV crime drama about a community in Dorset, UK. I watched series 1 and 7 of 8 episodes of series 2, before I decided not to watch any more.

The crime was committed in the first episode of the first series. 11 year old Danny went missing and was found murdered, and I thought the series would be about who killed him and why. Most of series 2 takes place in the courtroom, but most of the focus is on the trauma visited upon the families and neighbours of this small community. By the fifth episode I begin to wonder why the drama is drawn out so long.  There are long scenes on beaches, in homes, in caravans, including screams, shouts and accusations as just about everyone is blamed.

In fact as I look back over the series I would say this drama is more about whose fault it is. Our need to accuse others for making us miserable rather than giving compassion to our loved ones who have survived, seems to upstage all else. Pulled into an eternal power struggle with the world, viewers may well sit on the edge of their  lazy-boys clenching teeth as tears and blood spill out across the screen while the coastal tide rolls in and out.

But rather than knit the plot together, the show kept giving us more characters, violence, spite and despair, and I found I had forgotten the original plot, and the question of who killed Danny and why. I become suspicious of the intentions of the drama and suspicious of my own addiction to wanting to find out how it ends. What is the point of all this sturm und drang?

There is plenty of evidence in the world that we suffer from the harm done by those who we think we should trust but who get caught up in their own struggles. It's beginning to look like a predictable Punch and Judy show played over and over again.  In the news, on radio, on television, on social media, at dinner parties, and in the bedroom.

From here it looks like our brains are wired for destruction, rage, and disappointment. But the program is funded by corporations who have their own agenda. Is it beneficial for the market when TV dramas show humanity as being dysfunctional and powerless?

On a parallel issue I think of national security and how we deal with threats. Brahma Chellaney in the Globe and Mail article "How to shut down jihad factories" gives us a brief history of the rise of jihadist organizations that have attacked unsuspecting citizens in the Middle East, Europe, and America from the 1970's. "With Western support, tyrannical oil monarchies in Riyadh, Doha and elsewhere were able to ride out the Arab Spring, emerging virtually unscathed. Saudi Arabia has faced little international pressure, even on human rights."  But rather than look at the role our military industrial complex has played, we are urged to hate and turn away from the causes, we are urged to remain in a state of collective powerlessness, leaving the task to "experts". 

Pretty much like the people of Broadchurch who are groping for ease of pain but who cannot find it from one another or the professionals who are there to fix it.

Surely it's our ignorance that perpetuates injustice, war, terrorism and violence, whenever we vote for politicians who offer false but easy answers that allow us to repeat the mantra "It's all your fault". Were the characters of Broadchurch somehow guilty of looking for the scapegoat rather than piece together the events that led to Danny's untimely death?


Popular posts from this blog

The Ultimate Goal of Patriarchy is the End of Life

I want to clarify the line between men in general and patriarchal values propagated and imposed on human society.

In order for patriarchy to succeed, it had to kill more efficiently than the nine months gestation it took for a woman to give birth.  So the craft of war  became more than simply defending territory. It became the ritualized erasure of our human nature for the rule of centralized power. 

And no, it hasn't succeeded in diminishing the human population on this planet but it has succeeded in sustaining an ideology of what it means to be a man. 

Civilizations built on myths of great conquerors. Histories about the exploits of the greatest killers. Inventions of race, religious ideology and ritual that transformed the teachings of thoughtful prophets into crusades. Endless games of winning and losing.
Men who celebrate life through medicine, science, education, art, philosophy and poetry must be dismissed as soft, shamed as effeminate. 

Men who have been raised with love, love …

Anonymous Sources

Where does "Greatness" come from? The imagination? Facts? Confidence? A willing suspension of disbelief in a slogan that makes us happy? A capacity to judge well? An ability to observe and find solutions that benefit most if not all? Taking responsibility for the community? A masters degree from Oxford or Yale?

Let me offer the opinion that greatness comes from extraordinary effort or talent.  Greatness as it may exist in our anonymous ambitions does not win fame except in isolated circumstances.  That is to say, fame is not a realistic goal for an individual.

Greatness is like a dove in the imagination, an angel, a temporary insight, a fleeting epiphany. Something aspired to in the privacy of our minds.

Greatness was an ambition I held when I was a teen and had no proof that I was good at anything or useful to the world at all. After repeated criticism and dismissal from the community around me where I attempted to win something, anything, like a medal, a competition, or a…

Torturing Youth is Okay with us?

“More than two-thirds of Canadians feel Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the wrong choice in awarding a $10.5 million settlement to Omar Khadr, according to a new poll by the Angus Reid Institute.” CBC News
But we don’t see the survey questions in this article. How was the poll actually worded? Reading one article might make us believe we are well informed, but how does a single poll actually tell us how people feel?  
“And while the survey shows that a majority of Liberals and New Democrats are opposed to the government's decision, how the numbers compare to previous polling suggests that views on Khadr have hardened over the last decade — and that he remains a divisive figure.”
How can a single poll tell whether Khadr is a divisive figure or not? What information do respondents have to make such a claim? 
The article then switches to a former US special force soldier who was blinded in one eye during the 2002 firefight in Afghanistan involving Khadr.  Of course he would be critica…