I’ve probably been saying this while holding a joint and putting the world to rights since about 1998 when Fight Club seemed to capture the mood of a generation. Is it any wonder why Xennials are so fucked up? I still get really excited and explosively joyful when I watch the end scene of that film. At the same time very curious about Helena Bonham-Carter’s particular role given her inclusion endorses the artistic aristocracy. Hypocrisy lives everywhere. (Just in case you hadn’t noticed). Do you need me to critically unpack this further?
All sorts of things seemed to appear when I start to explore the systemic. For the last 30 mins I’ve been watching Brad Pitt on YouTube talking about his career. Brad was one of my favourtie actors right up until Angela Jolie happened. Even here in a flat in 2020 it came as a bit of a revelation that my flatmate and I might be on the different sides of Team Jennifer and Team Angela. Luckily about 20 years has passed for passions to subside. It’s moments like these that you glad that time machines don’t exist and that we can’t walk through them, or god only knows where that discussion might have ended up. Anyways what has all that got to do with The System? Sadly everything, from the media you consume, to the films you like or even the books you read. Like Girl Interrupted for example. What might cause someone to end up in a mental institution and at what point did that become glamorous? Or indeed necessary in society? After all it was quite clear the main protagonist wasn’t nuts. That the system she was being asked to operate in was, even the nut house.
Culture and The System has been portrayed in literature and art for a very long time. We only have to look to Dickens, Oliver Twist or even Great Expectation to see how The System or societal pressure dictates how our lives may or may not work out… Before that Jane Austin with all her matchmaking prowess. Until we get all the way back to Asops Fables. Stories about the way things are, rather than how they should be. They all relate to the stories that we tell ourselves, endlessly. More than this, the stories that we tell ourselves to build an anti-human system based on control. How did I get from Fight Club to this? Hmmm curiouser and curiouser. Do you have a smouldering pile of ikea furniture sitting outside your apartment, that you blew up during a psychotic break down? Recently I’ve been getting more and more interested in Shamanism and not for the ways you think? Why the fuck I would presume to know what you think is a little beyond me… More than this given that I write about trauma a lot it is probably highly probable that I might at some point reach out to grab hold of the idea of shamanic illness.
So yes Shamanic illness. Guess what? Your ancestors are fucked up. Your geographic location is fucked up? Your relationship to land is fucked up? Your relationship with wealth is fucked up? Your relationship with family is fucked up? Your relationship with yourself is fucked up? And you are surprised that you are ill? It’s fucking obvious isn’t it? We are so controlled and dependent on The System that we outsource our own liberation to the next well meaning movement of our time. That some governmental organisation might actually skip to our aid and look to ‘fix’ everything that is broken. Yet they can’t because what is broken within that system is broken within us. Why would you outsource your power like that? We are the ones we have been waiting for and yes I still retain the right to stand with a joint complaining about The System.