Wednesday, February 28, 2018
To your own dear self be true...
The deeper question behind PERSONA is about how we can be authentic human beings.
It's there in my absurd compulsion to hide my infirmities. It was there when I first saw the film all those years ago and was tormented by that secret need to become a girl.
It's there in every aspect of our lives. We think of ourselves as decent human beings yet we do nothing about, say, the atrocities happening in Syria.
"Your silence is killing us" says the teenage boy vlogging the siege of Ghoula.
And the questions of "How can we speak?" and "What can we do?" are so huge and so painful that we cannot even truly ask them.
I carry my loose change to give beggars in my pockets, I have my banker's orders to all manner of good causes, but is it enough?
I try to make sure that each word I write somehow offers maybe some kind of alternative to the capitalist nightmare we all inhabit.
But is it enough?
Elisabet in the film is obsessed with the image of a Buddhist monk burning himself to death on the streets of Saigon. A man convinced that the only real response to the horror of the Vietnam war is to offer up his own life to try to help end it.
And then later by the photograph of the young frightened Jewish boy holding up his hands as he's herded into a train to take him to the death camp.
One victim alongside millions of others of a collective need to turn away because it is too painful to look.
I write all this after a day in my flat because it is too cold, and also they say too dangerous, to venture out.
An event connected no doubt to the unprecedented fact that the temperature is above freezing in the Arctic.
And so connected in its turn to climate change. Another fact we cannot bear to look at and so, far too often, pretend it just isn't there.
But I won't judge us. I'm sure we all do what we can.
But I know we will not escape the consequences.
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