Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Genius: there's no other word for it - Part XXXXII

I think this movie runs Blade Runner a very close second as my all-time favourite. I think it's because, however unlikely, it's still possible that Robert Porter really is Prot, from K-PAX, given the information that we're given. It's also unusually sympathetic (even insightful), as to what causes people to think the way that they do, and what changes their perspective (eg, Howie and the bluebird task).

It leaves an unanswered question, though: how is it that Prot/Robert Porter is able to change the lives of everybody around him for the better, but is apparently unable to do the same for himself? The answer, I think, as I realized last night, is that what he does relies on interaction, and nobody can do what he can do, or they decline to do what he does, at least. Anyway, Spacey and Bridges in top form:


Stephany said...

I think your insight to the answer is spot on target. I also think people underestimate themselves, and think (maybe subconscious and not exactly thinking)they can only help others. I suppose it's all tied to self-respect. Respecting one's self and treating one's self the same as others can often be difficult for those with negative tapes running their minds.(like I tend to do)

Radagast said...

Yes, although if one has a certain mindset (way of thinking), with regard to oneself, then thinking differently about oneself is difficult. Let me put that another way: if one has been "taught," by others' conduct towards one, that one is not valuable, then thinking in a way that propogates the idea of one as a valuable human being will be a challenge - what does one do, if one regards oneself as excellent? Does one treat others as less than oneself? That doesn't work, I've found, because I don't think more of those who have treated me badly.

No, treat others as though they are excellent, and provided that they're not programmed to take advantage of that "generosity," then they'll reciprocate, and one will regard oneself as valuable. Robert Porter was no delusional, even if he wasn't really Prot (which alter ego may have been a dissociating device that he created to protect himself), because everything else about him was about as sane as one could be, in the circumstances.


Mark p.s./Mark p.s.2 said...

Great movie I agree!

Ana said...

One of my fears: repeating over and over again.
Please don't!
I have many issues with eternal retorn.
Deleuze and others claims it comes different.
No please!
Really, really scares me.
Why are we not able to help ourselves and we do it for others.
As always you deal with the important issues.
I also think that catatonic people can understand. I believe we all do.

"You only have this chance Mark."
It brought tears to my eyes.

Radagast said...

Ana: I don't know if Prot's right, or not. I know that we can learn extraordinarily quickly, and I know that we all know when the things that we've done haven't "worked," although we may not always understand why. Are we able to modify our approach, such that we're able to get it right, next time? Will people be motivated to permit us that opportunity?

Who knows? We can only try our hardest to rectify any errors that we perceive we've made. I know from experience that there are plenty of people who are not prepared to take that course, for whatever reasons they may have.


Ana said...

I wrote an answer yesterday!
Guess I missed the word verification.

I'm 50. Wowwwww! Yesterday I was 25!
I thought it was not going to happen to me but I cannot help looking back and saying "I should have done this or that."
Don't spend too much time on this.
The real issue is looking at my life an seeing that some of my problems are the very similar to those I had when I was 25.
And I'm not dealing with them differently.

Radagast said...

Ana: Well, I'm not really able to comment, in detail. We learn certain behaviours, which becomes habitual, or ritual. We learn early in life to deal with certain events in a certain way. We build our lives around these rituals, and continue to do those things, into adulthood, partly through familiarity and partly because other habits that we've developed rely upon those early habits both for validity and stability.

Does that very generic analysis make sense? It's easy enough to illustrate these concepts with an example, and I could take one from my own experience, but I don't see much point in that, seeing as the issue is yours, not mine. The real issue, I think, is not that one wishes to repeat the same mistakes, but that one cannot see an alternative, because to change one thing inevitably results in a bunch of other things being impacted in a domino effect, as is always the case when we seek to extricate ourselves from a given situation. When we start to look at the big picture, the sheer size of the job terrifies us, and we go back to the same old routine, even though we know that it's destructive. And then, fear of the unknown is also a factor - however destructive, we're familiar with our current habits, and so on.

Do you know what? I've spent my life trying to avoid bringing down the type of wrath upon myself that used to be a major trigger (my mother used to fly into red rages, and become violent - not because anybody had done anything particularly bad, but because she had been taught, through the administration of brutal violence, that when people did things "wrong," they should be punished, both abruptly and severely. I spent my life treading on eggshells, as people told me that the things that I did and said were crap, and stupid. Well, nobody noticed when I was trying my heart out to be considerate, in fact I was treated with derision, most of the time; and now it's payback time.