tatjna (tatjna) wrote,

Being a junkie = total freedom?

Last night we watched Sid and Nancy. Now, I was too young to catch much of the punk era, and I didn't know much about the Sex Pistols except their more famous tracks and that Sid liked to gob on people from stage, was a crap bassist and a junkie, and that he killed his girlfriend. So I went into this movie pretty blind.

Incidentally, xhile, I checked and Gary Oldman is from London, and Chloe Webb is from New York but was given voice training in Boston, which would explain the 'sounds like a pom trying to sound like a New Yorker' thing.

I'm told this movie is not historically accurate, and it probably isn't. It'd be pretty easy to check, but I'm inclined to just believe what people who were actually around at the time have to say. However, matters of fact aside, this movie is essentially about a relationship. You can talk about what happened, but when it comes to what the people feel, a lot is going to be an educated guess.

So I learned a bit about what went on in the Sid/Nancy trainwreck, some true and some not. They met, got stoned a lot, had adventures and slowly went the way that most out-of-control junkies go. Yadda yadda. But when the credits rolled and I stepped out of their world and started to think about it, I have to say I was pretty impressed with the way the whole thing was portrayed. How plausible it all was. The main feeling I got from the movie was that Sid was naive and sentimental, a bit emotionally needy, and that Nancy, while being a junkie before she met him and seemingly a deranged flake, was actually the one steering the relationship.

This seems borne out by the story around the way she died - the movie has her running into the knife he's pointing at her in the middle of a fight, yelling that she wants to die, while Sid sits on the bed not really understanding what's going on. They then go to sleep together, she wakes up later in a puddle of blood, staggers to the bathroom and dies there. It was one of the better death scenes I've watched, and was definitely moving. Mostly, I was right there with the people, and believed what was happening.

It could be that that was what the director wanted me to think, also.

In an aside, I had no idea Sid Vicious was hot. Or Gary Oldman for that matter.

On the topic of thinking what people want you to think... I've been reading about social contract vs social warfare and I find myself getting riled up about it. The idea of social contract being that at some undefined point in history, people agreed to give up some of their freedom in favour of governance, and social warfare being that it's an ongoing dynamic struggle for power of governance as one group then another attempts to be the one to run things - Marxism being the most obvious example of this theory. We never actually 'bought in' to being governed, we just buy into it because we're born into it and conditioned to believe that this is how it has to be.

Anyway, I get riled up because the more I study this stuff, the more I come to think that there's no such thing as individual, free thought. You know, we're all products of our culture, our upbringing, our education, etc etc forever and anon - meaning that nothing that pops into our head is without some kind of influence dictated by the circumstances of our arrival at exactly where we are at now.

Things I've been told that seem to back this:

Dr Science in a conversation about self-actualisation: "You are only able to be self-actualised because you were brought up in a culture that allows it."

The book I'm reading at the moment: "The most efficient form of monitoring is self-monitoring. Convince a population that eating well, staying fit and getting lots of rest is 'good', and people will strive to achieve the attributes that make them productive workers for capitalism."

Someone in a conversation the other day about prohibition: "You may think that by smoking a joint you are striking a blow to the 'powers that be', but in actual fact you are buying in to social control, because the illegality of what you're doing makes you vulnerable to marginalisation and giving up your rights."

To which I go "Oh FFS, I am starting to feel the urge to wear a tinfoil hat!"

And the voice in my brain goes "Hah! You got that idea because it was planted into your society by a movie. Movies are another thing that you think you are choosing to do, but really you are not because your culture tells you that this is a legitimate form of entertainment that is 'good' and will relax you so that you can be a productive worker. Everything is geared towards letting you think you are free to choose, while entangling you further into buy-in for this many-faceted manipulation."

I then rail against this by going "Damnit! Now I want to take off all my clothes and run naked through the streets yelling THINK FOR YOURSELVES! DON'T LET THE WORLD TELL YOU WHAT TO THINK!"

And The Voice says "You only get that desire because your parents taught you to think that way."

At which point I go a bit red in the face, mutter to myself for a while, and engage in the only avenue of sticking it to the Powers That Be that I feel is left open to me - being an Unproductive Worker by spending valuable work time blogging.

*shakes fist*

Oh the power! Take that, capitalism!

So now, after that wee thought, I have a question. If I study social policy in depth, will I slowly go insane and end up running round the bush with Tame Iti?
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