Dove descending interior old Augustus Lutheran Church Sanctuary, founded by Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, c. 1743 Providence (Trappe) PA, 18 Sept 2012.

01 October 2007

"Into the Wild" Parent-Child Crisis

In Into the Wild director Penn has a moment occur before our eyes as the boy's eyes in death cut to an imaginative reunion with his father and mother with the imagined query "whether if this reunion happened would they see the same thing I do (as he dies)?" This is all ironic, since Penn shows that the boy poisoned himself by using the wrong plant and because he couldn't cure a moose he had killed, these together cause his dementia. Abstracted these are ignorance and weakness.

Ignorance and weakness describe the young, which is all the more ironic since the body was discovered in the middle of August by moose hunters, adults who knew what they were doing, but two weeks after the boy died. Keeping the boy alive is a history of parenting, it is being in the right place at the right time. He was not. Penn says in his interview that this victim of himself had thus reached the wisdom of middle age, that is, he got to the level of Sean Penn one supposes, but it is all talk that he learned that happiness is sharing with another person. He didn't learn it. He didn't do it. He went to live in Alaska by himself, away from his family. Learning is changed behaviour. These are just words, no realization of being. He died alone.

To make us feel better about it, that all is not sacrifice and deprivation, the film is also about twirling in the cosmos. The boy raises his arms at least four times, twice on top of the bus. It looks like a substitute for praise. He is worshiping the universe? Con trails show in the sky, again and again, his answer to "prayer?" But the repeated images of the gold wristwatch on his arm are saying, "I may be a hippie, but I'm holding on to my watch." Time and material are not wisdom. Wisdom is knowing you don't know. Who said that?

In this romance at the end he wants to cross the creek to go home again, but it has become a river that traps him "in the wold" (Anglo-Saxon). Survival instincts need health and strength, prudence and a care for detail not the high skeptic. So many others are blamed for our own misery. Why not blame yourself? "No," the class said, "it was my dad."

Maelstroms come with a context and change of scene, these children found dead in their rooms at night OD'd, boys siphoning gasoline with a vacuum cleaner who receive third degree burns over 40% of their bodies, rear ending cars in front of them in the right hand lane when they check their cell phones. The noise in their heads, the bottom-deafening depth charges that steal their consciousness as they turn  those who love them into deadly rejection for the gifts they have been given. There is no silence here but noise. It is media generated. One goes to China, buys a dress, is kidnapped through a door in the dressing room and has her kidney stolen. It is the noise. They are unaware, ignorant and weak.

Another drives downtown with a friend, listening to Itunes from the garden of Eden on the box. All is one. We are safe. Two "immigrants" approach at a light, guns drawn, pistol whip them. These are the true events happening around the boy I protect. Med techs inoculate for bacterial meningitis from shared spit, but not for late night texts in bed, vid games, emails and photos of the flesh. Listen to baseball, a radio or read, but make your bed offline, silent.

Here is a postscript on parenting. We have pretended we didn't know how. But we do. Compare it to a neighbor who runs a limo company and fills your parking lot with his overflow. Your lot is not posted. It has never been. One wants to operate on a neighborly basis. So go over to communicate this, but met with calumny, put up signs real fast, contract a towing company and see to it cars get towed. Guess what? They don't park there anymore. That's respect. The way to demand respect for boundaries works in the real world and in families. Idiots run the psychology department. They are afraid you will “alienate” your children but so  if they are injured they get to treat them and if they die the psychology department gets even more money. Stand up. If the children don't like it they can let you know. You can be tested. After all, mortgage rates won't rise. You can make thousands, millions on your home so don't hold back. Buy now, save later. This means die now, pay later. Another take of this on The Road.

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