I’m a nice guy. I’m good with saying that. I really do wince at the thought of inflicting any physical pain on anyone. I’m a law-abiding citizen. Well, I don’t break what I consider the natural laws of being a member of the human species that is. I don’t steal. I don’t feel a need for power, and I don’t believe that owning more material things elevates my status in life or indeed makes me look any better. Having said all this I really love watching TV series about gangsters and mobsters and while I find most of the stuff that the characters get up to abhorrent I do find myself drawn to them…..
Gomorrah, an Italian TV series, is a particularly gruesome and unglamorous portrayal of criminal life. It’s set in Naples around the activities of the Camorra, a mafia type institution dating back to the 17th century that is still very much in operation today. It follows the various battles for power at the top of the organisation along with the struggles of the people down at the lower ends to rise and progress through the ranks. Every character seems to accept that they will eventually either end up dead or prison and that they will all have to do things that they don’t want to.
There are hardly any good times in it for all the players, maybe the odd drug fuelled orgy and a couple of lavish meals with their extended families sat around gold gilded dining tables in garishly roman themed dining rooms but that’s about it.
There is no ancient moral code observed or any loyalty to one another, in fact they all agree that they are only in this for what they can get for themselves. They double cross, triple cross and will kill in an instant someone that they were only seconds before entering into a deal with. They kill family, including children like when one of the main characters Ciro kills his own wife plus his friend/rival Genny’s mother whose dad in return kills Ciro’s daughter which results in Genny eventually being complicit in helping Ciro shoot his dad……
It’s all horrible, so why am I like millions of others drawn to watching these shows. I also like the Sopranos too by the way……… I have thought deeply about it and it’s simple ….
We haven’t go it and we perceive that they do have it. Even through the gut wrenching violence and sordid abuse of people we see them in control of their own destiny. They ignore the Police. They are living on their wits and determining life and death situations without thought. They are not concerned with normal trivial life stuff like us and no matter what riches they acquire it matters not as they always strive for more and more and more……
When I analyse it like this I see the stupidity of it really and understand that it’s not what I like about their life but perhaps what I dislike about my life. I can’t shoot my boss in the face and then take over his position for example and although that’s not what I actually want to do is kind of nice to think about the fantasy sometimes. The thing is Freedom is demonised now and we are all indoctrinated to believe that we need to be controlled and looked after and told what to do. It makes us feel safe, provides structure and gives us the power to tell the authorities about anyone that we don’t like.
Now the need for real freedom is burning inside us all, I believe. Centuries of conditioning has left us not knowing what real freedom could even remotely feel like and that really is a travesty. Some people do get glimpses of it and some people despite all the hindrances live relatively free lives outside of the system and many many people are happy anyway without true Freedom, but this piece is not going to go any further into that one. (that’s another topic for another day)
I get this feeling of freedom when I go on stage or I’m watching a great band or I’m with a person I truly love and maybe also when I’m watching Tony Soprano having intense sex with a hooker high on endorphins after a kill …..
Who knows how these feelings manifest, but I do know one thing about modern life …
“FREEDOM? THERE AIN’T NO FUCKING FREEDOM”