The Beast Within Us

What would you say to a rude fool who probed you about your personal life in front of a group of people?

Suppose these people were your friends.

Suppose you felt intense shame.

How would you respond?

I was thinking about that today.

I imagined such a person putting me on the spot, making me feel uncomfortable.

A long time ago I had an acquaintance named Bob who once embarrassed me severely.

So I will use Bob and pretend that Bob has put me on the spot.

How would I respond?

Of course I could always say: Well, it’s none of your business, Bob.

But since Bob is an ignorant individual without empathy, he’s going to make my life his business.

So how would I respond?

I’ve been thinking patiently about this.

I would quietly say:

You only think you want to know the truth, Bob, but you don’t really want to know the truth.

Because within each one of us lies a dark forest with a lonely road leading inward.

And there floating in the distance lies a pair of yellow eyes waiting for us.

This is what Ang Lee was trying to express in his movie, The Life of Pi.

Without going into too much detail, Bob, the film is a story about a boy named Pi and his search for God. His search is an educational odyssey for he and us. His faith in God is tested by the travails of catastrophe when his boat capsizes at sea and he loses members of his family. He must survive on a life boat with himself, three other animals, and, of course, a tiger named Richard Parker.

Well, we are led to believe Pi is accompanied by animals.

It’s a wonderful movie, Bob, and you should see it.

Well, perhaps you have.

What do you think the author was trying to tell us?

We are all different, and we take different interpretations from a work of art depending upon our life experiences.

Here is what I see, Bob.

The author is telling us that there is a beast within us. The beast is represented by the tiger, Richard Parker.

Richard Parker has a friendly name, but Richard Parker is a beast.

When we are young and naïve we do not understand this. Pi also does not understand.

Pi as a boy treats Richard Parker as he would a friendly kitten.

To teach him to fear the beast, Pi’s father has to show him what the beast is capable of. So he places a goat inside a cage with Richard Parker, and Richard Parker methodically devours the goat.

This frightens Pi.

This is the beast inside us.

This is the dark side of man.

There is little kindness to mankind, Bob.

We are savage beasts with sparse flashes of nobility.

In our souls, we are the Ton Ton Macoutes.

Rabid dogs with machetes.

All of us.

We are savages.

We will cannibalize each other to survive.

But our fragile minds cannot bear this, and so we write fables to compensate for our savagery.

It is the better story, the story we wish to hear.

And so Pi tells a fable to the owners of the boat after he is rescued at sea.

The harsh truth of humans eating humans is too extreme.

The beast is not our friend.

When the beast is done the beast turns away without saying goodbye.

The beast retreats into the jungle as Richard Parker did.

He is us.

He is always with us.

He waits and lurks at the end of that long lonely road within that dark forest within our soul.

He is not our friend.

He is a beast.


Archer Crosley

Copyright 2021 Archer Crosley All Rights Reserved

Bird Box

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Bird Box is a  truly stupid movie if ever there was one, and its popularity is a testament to the success of the New World Order in dumbing down America – which is why I am writing this review.

The movie would be better entitled America’s Got No Mind.

It’s difficult to believe that John Malkovich would agree to make this movie.  Didn’t he make The Dancer Upstairs, which incidentally is on my  list of all-time great movies.

I guess there was too much money to resist.

Of course, Hollywood has always asked us to suspend our cognition when viewing a movie, but c’mon, this movie asks too much.

Why can’t we go back to the 50s where a giant spider attacked a town in the movie Tarantula?

Ah, those were the days.

All one had to do was believe that a spider could grow to the size of a two-story house.

But with inflation and the passage of years, Hollywood has grown flabby and profligate.

Likewise the American people whose lazy minds demand evermore preposterous movies.

Bird Box is emblematic of that laziness.

Let us count a few ways.

Why can’t we see the aliens?  If the people who look at the aliens can see them before they succumb, why can’t we?  The fact that Ms. Bullock can see shadows of them through the blindfold suggests that they are indeed there, so then why can’t we see them?

How does one negotiate through forests and a river blindfolded?

Why would being insane confer immunity to the alien’s influence?

Why would a home for the blind necessarily be a refuge for sighted people?

Don’t the odds of Ms. Bullock’s gynecologist being at the refuge at movie’s end seem slightly greater than winning the lottery?

Why does Ms. Bullock not give her children names for years? Given that the children speak fluent English, doesn’t it seem logical that they might ask, “Mommy, why don’t I have a name like everyone else?”


Of course, I could go on.

But in case you think I couldn’t.

Why would a walkie-talkie reach a distance more than a hundred miles down river?  I can’t get mine to work more than a few hundred feet.

Were there no tools in the garage for Mr. Malkovich to hammer down the door leading from the garage to the house?

What would be the mechanism for an alien’s influence traveling through a security camera?

Since Ms. Bullock could partially see the aliens through the blindfold, shouldn’t she be partially affected?

Why are parakeets specially sensitive to the presence of aliens? Are other birds equally sensitive?  Aren’t we owed some explanation?

Why are the people in the refuge walking around beatifically as if they have discovered paradise?  Why aren’t they scared shitless?  How are they sustaining themselves if they can’t farm crops outside the refuge?

It wasn’t just the implausibility of the plot, though.

When I watch a scary movie, I’m not looking for character development.  Quite frankly I don’t give one rat’s ass about their angst.

Nor do I care about ethical issues.

Honestly, I was waiting for this movie to evolve into Sophie’s Choice as the boat lumbered down the rapids.  Was Ms. Bullock really going to choose which child would be compelled to risk life by taking off their blindfold?

Skip that.

I want meat and potatoes.

Just show me money.  And while you’re add it, throw in some wooden acting, campy jokes and plenty of stupid people who can be eaten alive.

Better yet, give me an intelligent horror movie like they used to make in the 50s.

Give me a giant tarantula that zaps everyone into submission.

That’s the America I know and love.