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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Review: BUCK Reading Through Nietzsche and The Inscription of the Body

Here's Ebert's review which has committed the sin of entering the psychological swamp of interpretation, which misses the secret of the film and reduces it to just another warm and fuzzy documentary. Very ho hum review. If you still like a standard review try elsewhere. Google will help you.

Me, I'm in ecstasy over it. It is an enthralling film for the intelligent viewer. That means if you don't love it then you are probably stupid.

Nietzsche's The Genealogy of Morals traces the genealogy of torture and the Inscription of the Body, a crucial concept that Foucault ran with, but that Ayn Rand overlooked to her great loss. Cronenberg's long obsession with the body and its interfaces understands perfectly.

Reading through Nietzsche: Torture throughout history, and especially with early man, was the means to inscribe memory, to create a consciousness that can only come with a memory. Ghastly, but true.

How does one create a memory for the human animal?

How does one go about to impress anything on that partly dull, partly flighty human intelligence - that incarnation of forgetfulness - so as to make it stick? ... in fact, there is perhaps nothing more terrible in man's earliest history  than his mnemotechnics. "A thing is branded on the memory to make it stay there;  only what goes on hurting will stick" ... Whenever man has thought it necessary to create a memory for himself, his effort has been attended with torture, blood, sacrifice. ... the most repulsive mutilations, such as castration; the cruelest rituals in every religious cult (and all religions are at bottom systems of cruelty). (Nietzsche GOM 192-94)

If you have a level of unbelief here, then go ask a person about a particular tattoo they have. They will tell you when, why, how, what, who, in other words, all about it. They remember all theses things that are now Inscribed on their Memory. A voluntary and paid for acceptable torture.

Of course Nietzsche has been condemned for stating this, and ignored for his own hatred of it, while at the same time seeing its necessity for early man's consciousness to come into being. Our present hatred of this practice concerns female genital mutilation. If you bring your full understanding of Nietzsche with you when you consider this practice, you will become aware that it has nothing to do with human rights. It is a sacred practice to control the sexuality of women. (But the sexuality of the feminine will never be controlled, however they or we pretend that it is.) Middle eastern men will never give it up. It is the cornerstone of the fundamentalist Muslim adherents, much as confession is for the Catholic church.

First time director - Cindy Meehl
Back to Buck whose alcoholic father so abused him that a sports coach who forced him to take a shower saw the deep horrifying scars on his back and buttocks from being terrorized and beaten that was ongoing for years. The sports coach called the sheriff in and Buck went to a wise and wonderful foster home, that increased his understanding of what he needed in life and what horses need in life. Children and adults also. And even Buck himself, the Horse Whisperer so sensitively presented in this film, will say in it, that his horribly abusive childhood was the cornerstone of his perfect empathy with horses. And people BTW. 

"Your horse is a mirror to your soul. Sometimes you will like what you see and sometimes you won't." - Buck Brannaman

Torture and The Inscription of His Body - and always the Mind with it - created a consciousness in him, a memory that is now indelible. 

His horse training clinics for which he travels 40 weeks a year testifies to his mission in life. ($20 to watch) His clients speak about the effects changing their behavior in all other parts of their life and how they raise their children and interact with other people. This is the real beauty of his work. And we can extrapolate how certain humans were inscribed with a memory that was then communicated without the torture the first ones endured.

We need to be more mindful and appreciative of that lonely German genius Nietzsche, who has given us the rudimentary tools for this quality of understanding. We meet it again in Temple Grandin, who has designed slaughter house circular chutes that are now standard operating procedure in 50% of slaughter houses in North America. I keep wondering if the increase in autism is not an increase in a particular focussed intelligence to advance mankind. Temple Grandin does not think linearly. She thinks in discontinuous pictures like Alice Cullen. And since we are no longer in linear time.........Is this the new mind for humanity coming into being?

Robert Gordon - Deborah Butterfield
Hi Robert!
Deborah Butterfield
Deborah Butterfield has made sculptures all her artistic life on just horses, and she practices dressage with her own horses. She began with twigs and now casts. Some of Buck's clients have taken up the practice of dressage with cattle horses, saying that it is perfect for refining their skills, and they do not end up in a dead end practice for its own beauty, but apply it to their work with cattle.
Deborah Butterfield

Deborah Butterfield

Politically in this film we see people of great integrity, self-reliance, courage, intelligence, and desire for learning. We do not see people who are ever going to champion universal health care, universal government intervention in their personal lives, but not only that, they are not going to tolerate it in any form. Neo-liberals, watch out! 

I would like to say that the pictures of Buck in childhood, before his mother died, show a child with a beautiful sensitive mouth. The mouth of the man is still beautiful.

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