Film of the evening: “Carl Panzram: The Spirit of Hatred and Vengeance”

Tonight I watched a documentary on Netflix about Carl Panzram, a man who lived about a century ago in the U.S. and was convicted of various crimes, including murder, who as well confessed to raping and sodomizing an ungodly number of males. This film was produced by John Borowski based on the autobiographical writings left by Panzram as well as other writings and testimonials that corroborate his claims.

A free version of the film has been made available on youtube:

It may be of interest to others out there who are curious about criminology and the dark depths of the human psyche. This also serves as a timepiece for understanding a bit about prison conditions in the not-so-distant past, reminiscent of the torture afforded to slaves in decades prior. It also calls into question the way prison systems have been modeled, both yesteryear and still today in terms of lengthy periods of isolation as a form of punishment. And it also beckons us to consider the role society and environment plays in molding individuals and the development of their psychological constitutions.

Many of us out here are of the understanding that “bad seeds” typically aren’t simply born that way — they come into being over time by way of a process involving their own unique physiology and its interaction with everything and everyone around them. BUT, that’s not to diminish the importance of the faculty of choice and personal responsibility that comes by way of living as a sentient being in possession of some measure of free will. Needless to say, it remains a complex matter to assess, to say the least.

“Financial Terrorism Exposed!! – Thomas Sheridan (Psychopaths in Public Life)”

Just finished watching this video this evening:

“Depression is a disease of civilization: Stephen Ilardi at TEDxEmory”

I appreciate what this depression researcher is aiming to do here, and I especially like that he’s taking cues from past hunter-gatherer societies and aborigine Papau New Guineans. His recommendation for increasing Omega 3 fatty acids intake is one I’ve heard mentioned before and fully intend to look into going forward.

But, while I agree with the importance of exercise and completely appreciate his acknowledgment that exercise equipment seems so counter to honest productivity (as in humans used to exercise as part of their daily life operations — exercise wasn’t the goal in itself but rather was the means required to reach their ends, as was natural all throughout history for humans and every other species), I’m not sold on this idea of simply trying to turn exercise into more of a social endeavor so as to motivate us, because hasn’t that indeed already been tried? What are team sports then? Plenty of people do go on brisk walks with others or walk their dogs. I think right there we’re still going to come up against resistance because the activity in question isn’t actually contributing to the creation or perpetuation of something of greater significance (other than one’s own personal health, which apparently isn’t terribly motivating for many of us otherwise we wouldn’t be facing so much resistance in the first place). I do believe here we will continue to bog down because it’s missing the creative and/or operative component that serves something outside of or greater than merely oneself. Hence why these activities naturally were socially carried out—this was about the performance of tasks necessary for the well-being of themselves and others in their tribe/community. Whereas today exercise has become a largely selfish activity intended for the betterment of only oneself, mostly for aesthetic reasons, which to a depressed individual is very likely to seem futile.

That is such an important point that I think really goes to the heart of the matter in terms of the civilizations we now live within and how our labors are being divorced from the creation and upkeep of our habitats, food production and/or procurement (e.g., hunting, fishing, gathering, etc.), self-defense and defense of our communities (police now perform this role on citizens’ behalves), and basic daily tasks and chores required to keep life functioning. We now live in a situation where many sit at desks all day in order to earn money that they then spend to purchase what they need, with very little physical exertion required. The focus nowadays is on conveniences and cutting corners so that less and less physical effort need be required, so we’re just moving farther and farther away from integrating our physicality with achieving our own ends. And this is absolutely one of the biggest downsides to modern civilizations, no doubt, because this drive toward comforts and ease is actually robbing us of the productive use of our bodily energies.

It’s very sad to consider, but also I can’t help but laugh at how complicated humans have made things for themselves. It is truly bizarre how through “advancements” we’ve actually undermined a great deal that historically has provided meaning for our lives and cohesion for our social bonds. So, while humanity has achieved so much in terms of specialization and gaining abstract understandings of natural phenomena, look at what it’s cost us. Is that not a doozy of a paradox to contend with?