Ok. Are you up for some really thought-provoking ideas that will exercise those grey cells?! There is a documentary maker called Adam Curtis who over his career has made some of the most interesting films I have ever seen. He specialises in unearthing obscure or forgotten figures who have exerted a powerful influence on the way we live today. His series Century of the Self, for example, explained (amongst many other things) the impact Freud’s nephew has had on our world – and it makes for a fascinating story. You can watch all four episodes on his blog site here.
Recently I watched F**k you Buddy – the first in his series The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom. You can find all the episodes on Youtube. In this first one, he makes links between the Cold War, the mathematician featured in ‘A Beautiful Mind’, the psychiatrist R.D.Laing’s work, and how the ideal of freedom has become distorted in our times. You don’t have to agree with his assertions, but by the gods your mental faculties get a good work-out!
And for me it affirms that adage that I used to see printed on a card at the local garage every time I took the car in for a service: ‘If you think you know what’s going on, you really don’t understand!’ (It had a better punch line but I can’t remember it. If you know it please tell me! An internet search brings up the same idea expressed more graphically by Robert Anton Wilson: ‘If you think you know what the hell is going on, you’re probably full of shit.’