Wednesday, February 20, 2008
1) Blair Underwood, on the couch with his doctor, Gabriel Byrne.
2) In Shakespeare, characters develop rather than unfold, and they develop because they reconceive themselves. Sometimes this comes about because they overhear themselves talking, whether to themselves or to others. Self overhearing is their royal road to individuation, Harold Bloom, Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human.
3) HBO has a new series titled In Treatment and I spent yesterday and today watching 20 episodes from this first season, over a ten hour period. A friend, who is a therapist, said it was very good, so I wanted to check it out. It is brilliant. First it has an outstanding format and incredible engaing actors. Every weeknight we sit in on a therapy session of one character for half an hour. The half hour feels much longer and I have found myself checking the clock because it feels like so much has transpired it couldn't really be a half hour program. There are five episodes a week, I suppose a little like the programming of a soap opera. Every night a different patient and sometimes, insights into the doctor's life as well...with his wife or children. On Friday's episode the doctor goes for therapy himself.
4) It's funny that I find myself questioning the time elapses and the clock during this program because not only is the structure of the series referring to time, the patients appointment schedule are the titles of each episode, but there are a couple of clocks in the office, the doctor and patients are almost always consulting how much time they have left during their visits. The nature of time and emotions is rather what this program is about combined with the idea and reality that saying things out loud releases their "power" and reveals subconscious motives. Time is most relative because recalling memories and feelings are beyond time constraints. Often the characters ask "how much time do we have left" which is also a metaphysical question, isn't it?
5) Psychology is most tangible as a science when we understand that the therapist is in the process of recognizing patterns.
6) Underwood plays a overacheiver jet pilot back from a massacre in Iraq...he has a fatwa on his life. He is unlikable and also extremely compelling at the same time...he offers the audience a major transformative event.
7) As an audience we may find ourselves having the viewpoint of the therapist because we are outside of the patients and it is not difficult to start picking up on their stories and the patterns contained within their actions and memories. This is a rewarding position to be in as an audience and fascinating. Gabriel Byrne plays Paul, the psychologist, and he is a compelling listener and character especially held against the intense characters we watch in therapy sessions. I am not sure how much I can emphasize what an incredible tv program this show is already and the idea of what it might explore in the future is terribly exciting to me.
8) That for which we find words is something already dead in our hearts. There is always a kind of contempt in the act of speaking Nietzsche, The Twilight of the Gods.
9) Melissa George plays a lonely doctor who uses sex as a way to make friendships or company.
10 )Blogging is somewhat like an episode of this program. Especially visiting blogs that are personal and the bloggers who post about their own lives, jobs or politics and family. Sometimes, like a character in Shakespeare we can see a development in a bloggers life or self realization and it's quite wonderful. Also, some bloggers seem oblivious to how much they reveal about their subconscious and their own patterns...it is a delicate situation to find oneself in when visiting such a blog...do we say something? What? Do we kindly leave a comment, say we understand and hope they see their own patterns? Can we see the patterns in our own blogs?
11) I believe that the pleasure and attraction of blogging lies in this primal aspect that Shakespeare explored...that we learn by listening to ourselves speak...by overhearing our own comments on others blogs...by our own posts or reading along to other blogs whether we participate or contribute ourselves.
12) The past few weeks I've seen and been a part of several "feisty" blog discussions and I wonder what have I learned about myself from blogging? I believe I've learned that there are benefits and drawbacks to all formats of conversation...either blogging...writing...or in person conversation...but they all entail risk and all offer enlightenment.
13) Have you learned anything about yourself from blogging?
Visitors and commentors will be linked here: 1) Pop Culture Dish 2) Bridget Jones 3) A Gentleman's Domain 4) Nichtsuzugen 5) Four Dinners 6) Fond Of Snape 7) Ladybugs And Cows