rlbourges

Questions big and small

In as you see fit, Current reading, Film, Hautvoir, Revision, Sundays, Theater on April 26, 2015 at 6:52 am

Hamlet again? Yes, for one. Because the question is worth exploring: is the boy’s version of the facts trustworthy? He’s hurt and angry, disgusted by his mother’s remarriage to the man he claims killed his father. Well and good. But what if his father wasn’t as wonderful as the son claims. What if the uncle didn’t kill him and is outraged by the constant innuendo. What if his mother happens to love the uncle and her position as reigning queen. Considering the way Hamlet treats Ophelia – in his mind, his mother’s faithlessness implies this is the case with all women* – you have to wonder. Family tragedies happen every day, don’t they? A disturbed youngster who doesn’t get it that adults don’t always behave in honorable ways or that disliking mummy’s choices doesn’t make mummy the template for every single female he will encounter?

On another matter, after a second viewing of Laura Poitras’ Citizen Four. One of the speakers at an event she records raises the question of privacy and freedom. In essence, he says, without privacy, there can be no freedom. He elaborates by adding : “Without privacy, we no longer feel free to say what we think.” True? False? Undoubtedly, a state of constant and pervasive surveillance affects the way in which you express what you think. Anyone raised under the benevolent or malignant eye of a soft or hard authoritarian rule knows that. However, the exercise of freedom per se cannot be ruled out. How exercised? Where? When? A tricky question? ’tis that.

Given the pervasiveness of the surveillance dragnets, two things are apparent: for serious and specious reasons, you can, at any time, draw attention to yourself by expressing views considered inimical by the authorities – by phone, by email, by blogposts, Facebook postings, etc. If you’re addicted to thrills, eager for martyrdom  (or particularly unconscious of consequences), you might make a point of voicing loud protests at every turn. Or you may decide to be choosy. You may decide there are some issues you will not let rest because they don’t let you rest. At which point the exercise of freedom takes on its full meaning, as do the how and the where, and the when.

OK. Some small questions now? Tea or coffee? (There’s no juice left.) Breakfast or walk the dog first? Go to the park or up the hill? etc.

* which also raises the subsidiary question of faithfulness – its meaning, applied to whom and to what etc

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