Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Joan Dark

I just watched "La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc", the original 1928 version by Carl Th. Dreyer, with an astonishing performance by Renee Falconetti. The lead actress is in tears the entire time, in stark close-up, with no make-up on her beautiful, lightly freckeld face. She is on trial for a few different things but cross-dressing seems to be the main one. The Catholic priests who are trying her are pissed that a young girl cut her hair short and put on a man's military uniform. They are also mainly pissed that she helped the faction of French royals who were loyalists to France  kick some English ass. (They belong to the faction loyal to the English.) So after a long and bogus trial, she decides to confess to save her life. Then she changes her mind and decides to remain the girlfriend of Jesus and be burned at the stake, knowing that she will join him that night for some sexy reconciliation in heaven. (She is a 19 year old virgin after all.) Jesus is her Justin Bieber, her Nash Grier ( I don't know who that actually is, I just googled "teen idols.") He drives her to commit all these outrageous acts of bravery, patriotism, and rebelliousness. He channels her sweaty, frantic, pent up sexual energy.
As I have asserted many times before and stand no chance of denying, all acts of violence, patriotism, religious fervor, violent stupidity, and foolhardy self-destructiveness are usually derived from misguided sexual frustration. I love the character of Joan of Arc. Or Joan d'Arc. She was so Goth. She was a very bold and passionate young lady who heard Jesus whispering to her to go talk to the King, join the army, fight the British, preserve the French throne, etc. In my mind she is absolutely no different from the American kids who play video games that make them want to go fight evil Muslims in Iraq or the kids in Syria who watch youtube videos made by Isis exhorting them to go kill the American infidels. It's all just disconnected sexual tension. Any kid who gets really well laid a couple of weeks before he's set to go off to war, and who gets told that he can keep having some of that good loving if he changes his mind and stays home, will stay home. The promises of war are the same as the promises of summer camp or going on tour with a band; you will have some good times with your buddies and you might get laid. The killing part is an unnatural by-product that has to be re-taught.
I say "re-taught" because I believe that we all start out as murderous, self-serving psychopaths. I see this in my three-year old twins. They are in a stage where they are pure selfish ego, they only want what they want, and they will fight anyone who gets in the way of their desires. Especially the boy. (The girl seems more developed and empathic.) I think we all start out that way, then we realize that it is in our best interest to be compassionate, to get along, to curb our animal instincts.  I think killing and fighting are very natural for 4 and 5 year olds. but for anyone over 6 or 7, it has to be taught. The only reason there are militaries in any culture is that we continue to successfully teach people how to regress to the point of infants. Is it any wonder that one of the branches of the military is called the "infantry?" Look it up, it's based on the tradition of child soldiers. Killing is completely childish.