First came Wake Of Liberty with its grand sweeping predictions about the state of the world at large, and then came Behind The Mirror (movie) with its take on today’s America. Both were on the money, with BTM — the more recent work — tapping into the birth of an angry shadow, an energy unwilling to be manhandled by the dysfunctional proprieties and broken rituals of a society rife with corruption, collusion and vested interest.
(If you’re unsure of what we’re talking about, look around, take in the birth of a menacing state of affairs, an unhinged force rising to take effect — a state of affairs all too popular in this age of ongoing political/economic crisis.)
Smaller in scope, BTM spoke of a world where colluded interests came together to drive a reasonable man insane, putting to question everything he believed in, challenging everything he said, even if it made sense. A voice in the heckling crowd, his story is the story of uprising, with all the dangers that it entails, with all the madness that accompanies both challenger and challenged. Rebels and loyalists alike are swept by rage, and the nasty feelings associated with friction boil over in the heat of the moment to create one hell of a situation.
The story doesn’t take sides, but it focuses on the establishment and how it bullies the lone voice in the crowd. The mechanics of one person disagreeing with the entrenched majority are explored, digging up a host of worms. If an opinion goes against the establishment, against vested interest and the will of the town figureheads and authorities, there’s no place for it in the grand scheme of things. Get out of town, bub, if you don’t like it. Shut your pie hole and do as the rest of us, or face the consequences.
BTM is such a story, the tale of a man bullied by collusion and vested interest, forced into the margins by the will of an irascible majority.
The first casualty is common sense. Everything is consumed in the flames of groupthink, in the fumes of its derivative madness and the backlash it creates.
The second casualty is innocence. Our main character becomes tainted, thrust into the shadows while the maniacs, the self-righteous Pharisees and their hypocrite minions, make their move. They want to run the show.
In that sense, BTM traced out the rise and prevalence of self-righteous populism (Trump anyone?) and the price that comes with it: the birth of a nation steeped in questionable choices, marching to the tunes of a piper hell bent on carrying everyone across the bridge, into oblivion.
Then there’s the shadow, the force that watches over all those who transgress, keeping tabs, kickstarting a process that drags the community through hell before heaven is reached and the situation normalizes, if ever. The prospect remains open to interpretation, as are the wounds suffered — wide open.
What is BTM about? The death of common sense and innocence; the rise of a renegade force; the coverups that preserve civilization and the lies that constitute it.
And, of course, the hard and paineful choices we have to make to defend what we believe in.
It begins with a man whose children are called away from him, a cicada husk, a dark basement filled with boxes, and a disembodied voice calling from above — a life going not exactly as planned. A situation ripe for change.
Watch this space for Part 7