Comfy enough in your flatline?

Wednesday 28 August 2013, 12.21am HKT

SOMEBODY suggested that I write about the movies I’ve watched or loved. Since I don’t do movie reviews, I’ll try something slightly different.

I’ve only ever blogged 4½ movie reviews (this one, this one, and that lovely one, or the 1½’s under label “Three” in this one). Then again, I’ve never even done a book review in my life either — even for homework or school.

coma 1978 movie poster

(via Wikipedia)



(Not in any particular order, just like lifehacks tend to come in.)


(1978, United Artists)

Directed by Michael Crichton

Geneviève Bujold, Michael Douglas, Elizabeth Ashley,
Richard Widmark and Rip Torn

supported by

Tom Selleck, Lois Chiles, Ed Harris and Lance LeGault

The movie’s plot is in this Wikipedia entry, so I need not rehash, regash and resplash.

No matter what, you’ve got to ‘Do The Decent Thing’

Just because you’re in an exclusive or privileged position or profession doesn’t actually make you exclusive or privileged as a person. You ought not do wrong — however defined — even though at the time you happen to think (or being told) that to Do The Decent Thing just wasn’t a practical hard or soft option. Rationalisation takes you only so far, and then you fall off the cliff…

I advise you, coming on the experience of reading and memorising over 2,000 legal cases, that those who tell you the fake maxim “It’s not always possible to do the decent thing” aren’t the type who’ll Do The Decent Thing when it’s your turn to be in trouble…

“A king may move a man, a father may claim a son, but that man can also move himself, and only then does that man truly begin his own game. Remember that howsoever you are played or by whom, your soul is in your keeping alone, even though those who presume to play you be kings or men of power. […] you cannot say, ‘But I was told by others to do thus’ — or that virtue was not convenient at the time. This will not suffice. Remember that.”

— King Baldwin IV “the Leperous” of Jerusalem (died aged 20, 1161–85)

When a mediaeval 20-year-old skinhead knew this, why not the modern sensitive you?

Use your own gumption to take back some control

Those with the money muscle have control and are in charge. We know this fact of life already.

Take some sort of first step to regain control of some kind, for yourself and preferably for others while you’re at it. If you don’t (or won’t), you won’t ever be allowed to make even a tiny squeak.

Nobody wants to see anyone rocking the boat, stopping the gravy train, making waves, leaping about, causing all sorts of disruptions — “choose the words you like best,” as Marc Antony said to Cleopatra. But are you the sort who just sits there and watch the world burn?

Even if you DO manage to get in a word edgewise, the rich and powerful will still have a disproportionately higher level of control and influence. Draw your own conclusions.

Knowledge is power, but it isn’t always for good

If you prefer the Spider-man version, it’s “With great power comes great responsibility.” For the educated among us, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” But I prefer this one:—

“Power is for degrading things. You too are a ‘thing’.” (Grandpa)

I’ll get down to brass tacks. Professional knowledge, if and when used for (or in) wrongdoing, goes into the obscenest of criminal activities. (Organ theft/harvesting comes to mind because of the movie, but also from horrific real-life events such as criminal organ theft in Kosovo and state-sponsored organ transplantation in China.) Professional people have the necessary knowledge — and the wealth and social networks stemming from that knowledge — to disguise or hide those activities of theirs. Simple as that.

Nothing grand … merely fairness

“Do no evil. But don’t be too good either.” (Grandpa)

We all talk the goddamn Big Talk about Justice and “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité” and all those abstract nouns of altruism that begin with a capital letter till the cows come home.

How’s about just down-to-earth, simple-as-they-come, straitlaced, polyunsaturated fairness, eh?

Not knowing much, can’t ask for much; not expecting much.

When it comes down to things, most of us aren’t asking for those Nouns With A Capital Letter anyway. But if simple-simon fairness can’t even be had even as a pretence unless it was at great (or great-ish) price, then your attitude should then switch to the world is not enough.

Demand fairness “now, not five minutes later” — and push the start button on that higher form of genocide known as Justice and Equality on ‘them’ lot.

‘They’ should’ve just done kindergarten-level abject fairness in the first place just to avoid this nuclear-warhead-up-the-anus bellicose stance from you…

Fraternity goes only so far; just timed out.

‘Activate’ once in a while

No asking anybody to act like the town’s lawman. By nature, most of us become quiet as a churchmouse when it comes to Things That Really Matter. It’s not that we’re wusses (which we are). We just Don’t Want To Get Involved.

Simple-minded we are, fear the hurt too much; too much to lose.

Let’s be frank here. Let’s not pretend (because there’s no point otherwise) the naivety that uninvolvement means off the hook. It just postpones the inevitable misfortune on our respective selves. If we can’t take care of how we’re BEING run, we’re going to be in desperate trouble with eye-opening rapidity.

Not asking anybody to be the private, civilian version of the National ‘Insecurity’ Agency. Just maybe once in a blue moon, stop waiting for some someone in the crowd moronic enough to ask unsavoury questions first. Quit stallin’.

Stay silent, be silenced next. Like silencers and bullets, ‘they’ too are quiet but unnervingly indiscriminate about who gets it. Do the maths for your children if you can’t for yourself.

If you need your job to define yourself, you’re not worth any job

Defining yourself takes goddamn lots of guts, stretching from that orifice near your eyeballs to that other orifice that you do the daily morning paperwork for.

It takes some kind of ‘quiet.’ It takes some kind of cooperative spirit from those hovering around you like vultures waiting for carrion. It takes some kind of credible independent-mindedness that you could sell out with.

You can’t do that if you need a distracting crutch like a job and the fuggin’ walking carcasses you’ve been involuntarily volunteered to work with (or for).

Not born head first, ass came before the head; can’t see things properly since.



© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2013. (B13279)

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