“The world would be happier if men had the same capacity to be silent that they have to speak” -Baruch Spinoza
Ludwig Wittengenstein infamously had a similar quote: “Whereof one cannot speak, one must be silent.”
This is true. There’s no use in filling the air with senseless chatter about things we do not understand.
Like I don’t understand why I got laid off. I’ll spend hours in the basement with a bottle of Jim Beam and a loaded 22. My wife will ask if everything is alright and I’ll respond with “whereof one cannot speak, one must be silent.”
I sometimes wonder: do people not know when they’re insane?
I mean, obviously if they did know they were crazy, then they wouldn’t be crazy. That makes sense, right?
But has society made insanity somewhat permissible? And has this become apparent to some people but not to others?
I grew up around rich kids. My parents weren’t rich. They liked to think they were but they weren’t. Everyone knew they weren’t rich…at least not as rich as they were…so everyone kinda patted my family on the head and said “nice try, but you’re not in the club”. So I had an unusual upbringing where I was at the bottom of a rather exclusive and rarefied ladder.
I’m not asking for pity, I had it pretty good overall, I’m just saying: I grew up on the outside looking into a party of insane, sociopathic people.
Now all my rich friends are grown up. I don’t talk to any of them, but I CAN Facebook stalk them and what I find is extremely gratifying: many of them have been arrested and/or have drug problems.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been in the same situation, but those were youthful transgressions by comparison. I didn’t have a career or family and people just kinda accepted that I was a drunk asshole. But eventually there came a point where I said: “this is not acceptable” (or rather, a judge said that).
But by looking at the Facebook profiles of a bunch of 30 and 40 year olds, that thought hasn’t occurred to any of them. I mean, how many domestic violence arrests do you need? They do know that bail and attorney fees costs money right? The police are “harassing” you? But you’re white and rich!
Like I said, reading this shit is like Christmas to me. Is my life much better? Maybe not monetarily. But at least I’m not in a state of denial about being an asshole and a menace to society. You can have sympathy for them, but these people contributed to my inferiority complex. So until I get an apology, fuck em.
But I guess when you live in that rarified atmosphere, you can double down on your bad decisions. Some smart guy supposedly once said: “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” And if you’re rich enough, you can afford to do that.
No I’m not bitter about being condescended to by rich people as a child. I have a lucrative job at the toilet factory and run successful blog. Why should I be jealous?
I swear that I don’t plan what movies I’m gonna watch. I sit on my ass and scroll through some app on my smart TV and find random shit.
Oddly enough, the two movies I watched back to back were Werner Herzog’s Woyzeck and William Peter Blatty’s The Ninth Configuration. Both films are about military personnel dealing with insanity and philosophy….not subjects that you find in most films.
This is probably not one of Herzog’s more appreciated films and I wasn’t entirely certain what to make of it. If you watch it, it probably wouldn’t come as a surprise to you that it was shot in 18 days. For a period piece, it’s very small scale and stage-like. But knowing this might help on a second viewing.
Klaus Kinski plays the titular character Woyzeck. He’s a lowly soldier that’s essentially being gaslit by his commanding officer and a quack doctor. He’s a loving father and husband, but his wife sleeps around with another officer and that officer publicly humiliates Woyzeck. Finally, he murders his wife.
Other reviewers called this an “anti-Enlightenment” film. I think that’s apt. The two men egging on Woyzeck’s decent into madness are obsessed with science and philosophy. The officer even mocks Woyzeck, stating that he lacks “morals” due to his status in society. Woyzeck defends himself, claiming that as a man without money or education, he simply does what’s “natural”. When viewed from this perspective, the Enlightenment ideals espoused by the Officer and Doctor come across as abusive, while Woyzeck is actually the only sane and moral person in the movie. The small scale of the movie contributes to the anti-enlightenment narrative, as it isn’t flashy or self-congratulatory like we’ve come to expect with these kinds of films.
Meanwhile, The Ninth Configuration couldn’t be more different. I could tell you what it’s about, but then I’d be lying. I just know it takes place in a castle acting as a psychiatric ward for Vietnam vets, Stacy Keach is in it, and there’s a bar fight. The movie is totally disorienting. At times it’s a psychological drama, other times it’s a comedy, and at one point it becomes an 80s action flick. The tone is all over the place. Perhaps that’s by design but I’m not totally convinced. Either way, this disorder contributes to the overall mystique of the film.
It should also be noted that The Ninth Configuration apparently exists in The Exorcist expanded universe. Not that it has anything to do with those films, except that one of the characters is in the first one.
To be honest, if I watched these movies in isolation, I wouldn’t be a fan of either. But they work very well in tandem. The military aspect of both films seems trivial, but when we consider the discipline and order that the military provides, it contrasts with the chaos associated with insanity. Additionally both films expose the problem of insanity in different ways. One is very plain and straightforward. The other is a complete fucking mess. Woyzeck proposes that insanity is brought forth by the imposition of morals, logic, possession, and science. Ninth Configuration says that it’s the absence of such ideals…or more precisely, the absence of God… is it’s true driving force. Woyzeck is nihilistic. Ninth Configuration is hopeful. Yet both might agree that insanity arises out of the eternal battle between chaos and order.
Come to find out that Mystery’s real name was Mr. Ree.
That was convenient.
We watched Maxwell for several days, plotting our trap. Unfortunately he strangled several more prostitutes under that watch. We did nothing about it. But we pushed forward with our plan.
One night, while Maxwell was cruising down Sunset, he fell into our trap.
“Hey sweetie,” Maxwell said while picking up a prostitute. “Wanna make some cash?”
She giggled and got in.
They drove up to the hills while I tailed them. They stopped in Griffith Park then Maxwell and his friend climbed into the backseat.
Maxwell started kissing his way up her legs before removing her panties. As he put his head between her legs, instead of a vagina he put into his mouth, it was a cock…Mr. Ree’s fully erect cock.
“Surprise surprise,” Mr. Rees said.
Maxwell attempted to stab Mr. Ree. The two wrestled in the backseat before I opened the door and ordered Maxwell out with my 357. Mr. Ree got out in full drag, cock still hard. Maxwell had his pants around his ankles.
“Alright, you caught me,” Maxwell said. “So what? They’re not going to throw me in jail.”
“Don’t be so sure of yourself,” I replied. “Hands in the air.”
Maxwell lifted up his arms. Under his sleeve was a detonator. His car exploded, sending the three of us flying through the air. Maxwell got up and escaped by stealing my Pontiac Aztec.
I laid in the street for awhile in a daze. I got up and saw Mr. Ree mortally wounded. He was laying in a pool of his own blood. I held him in my arms and attempted to stop the bleeding.
“I’m sorry Mr. Ree,” I said. “I want to thank you for your help.”
“It was….fun,” he replied. “It doesn’t look like I’ll be a registered sex offender after all.”
With those words, he died in my arms.
I hot wired a Kia Soul and went after Maxwell. I cut him off at the intersection of Franklin and Los Feliz. I rammed my piece of shit into his piece of shit. The shattered glass littered the road.
I climbed out of the wreckage. Maxwell was still in the Pontiac. He was unconscious. I walked up to the destroyed vehicle, 357 on ready. I checked to see if he was dead. At that moment, Maxwell fired his 9mm.
The bullet grazed my left kidney. Maxwell climbed out of the car and ran off. As I was on the ground, I fired off a couple of shots, missing him entirely.
I pursued him on foot.
He ran into a bean factory. As beans were falling off an assembly line into a hopper, Maxwell fired a few rounds into the cogs. The line went haywire and beans went everywhere, obstructing my path. I once again fired shots indiscriminately down the line, jeopardizing the lives of countless workers.
Maxwell exited the factory and ran onto the football field of North Hollywood High. A game was being played. I couldn’t get a clear shot. So I tackled the quarterback, grabbed the football and aired it out in an attempt to hit Maxwell. Unfortunately a DB intercepted it and I had to evade tacklers to get off the field.
Maxwell continued to shoot his 9mm. But he was out of bullets.
He chose Chuck E Cheese as his last stand.
Maxwell went in through the kitchen. He threw pots, pans, and pizzas as I chased him. Unfortunately I wasted several bullets shooting down the pizzas.
As he ran into the main dining area, I shouted “stop that man!”
Chuck E Cheese himself went in for the tackle. Maxwell fought him off, but he was cornered.
The jig was up and Maxwell raised his hands. I lifted up the 357.
“For LP,” he asked.
“No Maxwell,” I said. “For me.”
I shot him in cold blood and his body flew into the ball pit. As the screams of children echoed through the restaurant, I walked outside.
I could hear the sounds of police sirens in the distance. I walked down to the beach holding the 357. As I stared out across the water, I took one last look at the 357 and tossed it into the ocean.