Missing the Point

Perhaps it will grow on me, but at the moment I’m underimpressed with the new Prisoner.

That link is to the Wikipedia entry for the original and what you don’t get from it, or it’s pale, tepid remake, is the urgency and energy of the paranoia.

This is a Prisoner on Quaaludes and Thorazine, vaguely aware of all the rampant wrongness around him, but unsure of what it is.

The real Prisoner is black and white, Patrick knows precisely where he is- an exact replica of his London flat, but not the same place at all.

Where am I?

In the village.

What do you want?


Whose side are you on?

That would be telling.

We want information…Information…INFORMATION!

You won’t get it!

By hook or by crook, we will.

Who are you?

The new Number Two.

Who is Number One?

You are Number Six.

I am not a number.

I am a free man!

The Prisoner is born in rebellion- “Why did you resign?”  This Prisoner is born in confusion- “Why are you torturing me?”

The Prisoner has hope and confidence, panache.  He looks at the world and knows what it is.

This Prisoner?

He has no principles, just confusion and unease.

Perhaps that is a truer statement of the human condition, but I can’t relate to it.  I’ve never had any doubt.  I may die, but I’ll never surrender.


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  1. Phantom Limb is back.

  2. They used to be one of us.

  3. …is not confused nor uneased.

    I am fully aware of what is happening, and I refuse to acquiese.

    They have now yet tortured me beyond my limits, and I will not turn states’ evidence.

    And if they do torture me to that extent, I proclaim, in advance, that what I say is not correct, has been coerced and is not my true self speaking.  Because…

    …I may die, but I will never surrender.

    Anything I may say subsequent to this is coerced and invalid.

    This is who I am!


    • publicv on November 16, 2009 at 7:09 am

    I like the life is a movie,  themes are created and lived out kinda premise.  Trying to hold onto your authentic mind.

    • Miep on November 16, 2009 at 7:27 am

    this is neat. I don’t know anything about it, but my fixation on the Les Miserables music/play/videos available on YouTube certainly is related.

    Also, your writing here reminds me of 2666, by Bolano, which I am currently reading.

    I think Bolano is dead, but he could write. And what I like about 2666 is that he is never trying to prove anything, he’s always just illustrating things, in words. And he does it amazingly, but at the same time, surreptitiously. But not too much.

    2666 isn’t getting me all hot and bothered, so much as it’s getting me more and more gradually interested and impressed. It’s focused a lot in Mexico. Bolano’s writing here reminds me of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, to some extent. But at the same time, he’s beyond that.

    He originally wanted to publish all of it in five books, IIRC, because he was dying and wanted his family to get more money. In any case, I picked up a copy of the whole thing in paperback (three volumes in a slipcase), on Ebay, for about $15 with shipping. I’ll be done reading it by the end of the month, and if any of you Dharma bums want to buy it from me, please let me know, and we can arrange to send the money to DocuDharma and I send you the books.

    This is at least partly because much of what I’ve always wanted to do in life is start book clubs.

    However, I’m open to other suggestions.


    • Miep on November 16, 2009 at 7:43 am

    from people who care, now and then.

    Is “be kind.” Work on being kind.

    It comes up reliably. It comes up relentlessly.

    “Be kind. Try to be a little more kind.”

    That and music.

    It doesn’t have to be constant kind or constant music. But SOME kind and SOME music.

    SOME kind and SOME art.

    “Kind” and “art” aren’t oil and water. They’re more like honey and tea. More like music, a little bath, and a good friend coming over.

    Mind you, I don’t have any friends coming over here, and the bath doesn’t work; hasn’t for years.

    I didn’t have music for years. My family helped me with money some and now I have broadband and now I have music access.

    I also have a few musical instruments, which I should give away because I don’t play them. It would make me happier to have that connection of giving them away. I’m broken far as human connections. Not entirely, but a lot.

    Maybe somebody would like to buy my muffle flute and send the money to DD?

    Or my Artley student flute, that more or less works?

    Or my really nice drum?

    My heart is broken. I don’t know how to fix it. I get scared all the time, to be honest.

    Because what does it matter, about fear, when your heart is broken?

    So you don’t pay much attention to fear, but still you are scared. You want connections, but you can’t find it enough.

    That’s my life. And I’m lucky. I have a lot of good things, but I just can’t feel them, I just can’t work with them, because I never have a conversation with anybody anymore, except at the store. I have no people. I am of a tribal species, and I have no conspecifics except virtually.

    And I am so grateful and appreciative of all of you, but still; I am a body. There is no one here. There are no persons.

    It goes well beyond lack of sex.

    Still, thanks. Entirely.


  4. but the original just finished showing on Comcast this week, the final episode was better then I remembered it.  It was a great series and held up well. It is artistic, mod, stylish and existential. The big ball thingie is terrifying. Don’t think I’ll watch the new as the remakes or sequels of great stuff usually bums me out. Another  favorite from my youth, The Avengers was terrible in remake form. Also I am grossed out at torture as entertainment, 24 really pissed me right off. Is this one filmed in the same Welsh village?

    • Miep on November 16, 2009 at 8:19 am

    oh nameless one

    that you’re workin’ for me.

    I cannot begin to tell you

    how kind that feels

    after all the hail

    and other fallout.

    The broken stuff here and there

    the confusion

    and the lack of love.

    The wish, always,

    that somebody would see it

    see what I was seeing

    at least a little bit

    and then I could stop

    being in the dark so much.

    Oh, sure.

    Nobody should ever have ALL that job.

    But sometimes

    there’s an option

    to fix it a little

    and that’s where the choice is.

    You go in through the door.

    And you know that you decided

    That it was you that did it.

    And you decided to be kind

    and you did it and then

    It got kind of better after that.

    And then maybe more and then..

    all of a sudden

    the light came out again.

    But this time you realized

    that the light was YOU

    that the light was of your making

    and of your responsibility

    It was something you made

    but also something other persons helped you make and then

    you could try to do something

    more difficult, but at the same time more calm.

    Miep Rowan O’Brien

    November 16, 2009

    • Miep on November 16, 2009 at 8:42 am

    From the song:

    “I love you, and I love what you do; c’mon do your thing!”

    • Miep on November 16, 2009 at 8:52 am

    John Fahey, On The Other Side of the Ocean

    • Miep on November 16, 2009 at 9:00 am

    • Miep on November 16, 2009 at 9:01 am

    • Miep on November 16, 2009 at 9:02 am

    this is a real one.

    • Miep on November 16, 2009 at 9:05 am

    this is nice.

    Thank you, E.K.

    It’s not just anybody who is up for staying up nights with me.

    You rock. Love. Miep.

    • TMC on November 16, 2009 at 10:57 am

    II got involved with more pressing issues. I’ll catch it when they repeat it. I watched the original series back in the 70’s after I had gotten out of the military. I was fascinating and it is still relevant today. I’m usually disappointed with remakes.

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