At the end of my last post I mentioned that I wanted to watch again the movie, Apocalypto. On that particular day, the boys were out of school and Karmen was out of town. It really ended up being a rather perfect day. I did my long run that morning for my Ironman training, 14 miles. Then the boys and I went for a haircut. Following that we went to Dillons to get more peanut butter and jelly and Izzie, our staples when caring for ourselves. Of course, Karmen usually fixes lavish and elaborate meals for us when she is home, much like Nigella from the cooking channel. But that is too much work for us so PBJ’s will keep us alive just fine. Then we went to Horton Hears a Who after which we got Freddies hamburgers and took them home to watch KU in the Big 12 Tournament. After that we watched Star Wars 3, The Revenge of the Sith, and then I put them to bed and stayed up until nearly 2 AM watching Apocalypto on my Apple MacBook while on my bed. It was a good day. I can’t ever remember getting in 3 movies in a single 24 hour period. So I slept late the next morning before going to the YMCA for a swim workout while the boys played in the family pool.
I like Apocalypto. But it is not a pretty movie. It is in fact a brutal movie. Brutal in the violence it shows, something Mel Gibson seems to really thrive on, and brutal in the message that it sends about humanity. I think it speaks generally to how cruel we humans can be to each other when we get going down a path of self-indulgence and comfort. One jungle tribe is focussed on family and relationships and community. Another more urbanized tribe is focussed on the marketplace and comfort and luxury and has turned human sacrifice and cruelty into a sport and a false belief that it is necessary to sustain their way of life. The more urbanized tribe basically ahnihilate the more humble tribes. How does that mirror us?
There is one line in the movie, early in the movie, that keeps coming back to me, and I find myself pondering the depth of its meaning. When we are still being introduced to the more rural tribe and what they are about, before the destroyers rip them out of their existence, one father says to his adult son, “Fear is a disease.” We soon witness the father die with courage and without fear as his son watches and much of the rest of the movie deals with the son’s battle against fear and how he overcomes it so save his own wife and son and newborn baby.
So what do you think? Is fear a disease? Does it paralyze you? Does it paralyze us? Do we react to it too often? Is there really a healthy fear or are we just appeasing ourselves with that line? If there is a healthy fear, what is it of?
I think I believe that the father is right. Fear is mostly a disease.