Saturday, March 12, 2011

Rite of Passage

This was such a good read I felt the unbearable need to write. And this particular paragraph made me both laugh and think at the same time (in that particular order):

Our supposed great heroes in movies always seem to walk off into the sunset at the end. In a discussion on men, Richard Rohr humorously asks, "Where the hell are these guys going?". Somehow it looks cool as they do their thing in the story line, and walk off into the sunset, but seriously where are they going?

Media scholars, anthropologists, psychologists, what-have-yous have argued that entertainment is the space within which our collective subconscious, as we practice (or deny) them socially, emerge. It is mundane and it is leisurely nature but at the same time it is difficult to explain why we voluntarily 'consume' them.

I am inclined to believe that this argument is valid. That whatever is repressed by structure, our responsibilities and conformation, will emerge in what we do in our free time. Because it's our means to regulate stress.

Assuming so, then these heroes that walk into the sunset is a result of how men are repressed structurally. The writer continues:

Rohr goes on to say that the fruit of any retreat, or travel, or whatever else you want to call it, is the return. It is when the person goes out, acquires something new, and brings it back to others. This is something that most people have no concept of these days, because we've abandoned meaningful initiation rites.

You can argue that this is a (post)structuralist view and that our (global) society is slowly leaving behind such rigidity. But, although I am not a man, my personal response towards traveling (I travel around 1 to 5 times a year for work) is similar. My leave is only as meaningful as the home that I return to.

I refer to my last post where I argue that I use my head most of the time. But when it comes to 'regulating stress', I think it's a universal virtue that all human beings seek for comfort. In the peak of depression, most of us go in a fetal position in reference to our pose in the womb. That after all of the adjustment, challenge, adventure, our 'rite of passage' so to speak, we have a need to feel secure.

But for some, although not myself, it may be for the sole reason of recharging for the next adventure.

[Insert shot of man walking into sunset here. To which I would ask, 'Dude, where the hell are you going?']


Ratri said...

Love this Mba! I knew you would have something to say, karena inget dulu pernah baca blog-nya mba Inaya yang tentang traveling juga, hehe. It's a nice feeling to know we can share the same ideas, even from a stranger ya Mba :)

colson said...

Catching idea and interesting perceptions.

I think I might have still another hypothesis to solve the riddle of the vanishing hero of the white screen. Since we are a species once coined "Homo Ludens" ( perhaps the answer to the last question in the post could be: "Home, to play another of our familiar cultural and political games" :) .

Inaya Rakhmani said...

Colson, really interesting. Especially that it creates order. I'd have to read to say more, though. :)