My energy wasn’t up tonight, as I had a cold, but I forged ahead because I wanted a martini. And I can’t have communion unless I share it with you. The Crown (the Netflix series) is a metaphor (as I use it) for our persona or self image in which we live as a suit of armor protect our vulnerable humanness. The Crown plays out this tension between being human and being a Role, a myth, a self image, a persona and a god.
Right now I’m listening to the taking head on TV discuss the role of the FBI. Right here there is tension between the Role and the Human. Can an FBI agent be just the role and not have human or individual preferences, like politics preferences. We trust the Role but do we trust the human who fills the role?
And there is the role of the Casting Director or doctor who takes advantage of someone who trusts their role. So I’m looking at the breakup of the integrity of the Role in our society. We trust professionals, like doctors and policemen, because we assume they have surrendered their personal preferences and inclinations to their role. They have died to their role, become their role. The perceive us from their professional role. So we can take off our clothes (so to speak) for the doctor, but not the man on the street.
Virtue used to be defined by the surrender to your role. The movie the Butler was about this. Being a Butler is a role, and our character surrendered to his role, being the perfect Butler. Whatever our chose role, photographer, wife, husband, carpenter, our virtue is in performing the duties of our role perfectly, and perfection lies in the degree to which we surrender our personal desires, like wanting to take off for lunch before the job was finished.
Our modern age seems to be defined by this violence clash between Social Roles (duty) and personal desires. The Crown really brings this modern conflict into focus. The 60s brought this conflict to social movements. Do you duty, go to Vietnam; I don’t believe the war is right, so I’m not going.
So now I look at the conflict between Liberal and Conservative. The Liberal leans towards individual revolt against socially assigned roles, like black being in the back of the bus, or women being chained to the kitchen, or gays to closets. These were assigned social roles that kept the lid on personal choice.
Even today this conflict has been brought to the White House as Trump refuses to surrender to the Role or Office of the President by not giving up his personal interests, like his business. And his followers say respect the Office and give him a chance. He’s the President you know. Respect that.
Our age is a confusion of roles, which is social chaos, beaus no one knows how to act and respond. Authority has lost its respect. Institutions and roles of authority (like teachers) is breaking down. We can see this break up everyday in our news. Respect for the Office of the President, the FBI, the Press…on down the line…the world where roles of authority were respected is breaking up. No wonder everyone wants a gun to protect their last refuge of sanity from the “barbarians” at the gate.