Wednesday, May 14, 2008

"Society"

One of my favorite movies of the last year came from one of my favorite books. Senn Penn made John Krakauer's "Into the Wild" into a movie and I really enjoyed it. I thought Chris McCandless was well portrayed as a bright and engaging young man but I also thought the movie did a great job of not glorifying him into a heroic figure. It's as if Alexander Supertramp stepped right out of a Greek tragedy: in many ways mighty and brilliant, but ultimately flawed.

Eddie Vedder does the entire soundtrack and I highly recommend it. My favorite song on the soundtrack is "Society", track #8. I can't get enough of it.

The irony is great. Here is Chris McCandless, saying goodbye to society and hoping it's not too lonely with him gone. In the movie it's McCandless, the Supertramp, who is "scared" and "lonely". That's the most haunting scene to me, because I see a lot of myself in McCandless: the wanderlust, fascination with nature, rejection of the "rat-race", infatuation with Alaska, love of Jack London and Russian authors. While all of that is great, it means nothing if we do not have others to share it with.

We are made for relationships; I truly believe that. From small interactions with the cashier at Target to friendships, family and love, we are not supposed to be alone. We can only enrich our lives so much on our own, but it's the relationships we have with others around us that ultimately bring us fullness.

Here's a clip if you have not heard the song, the lyrics are below. Get the entire album, it's worth the 15 bucks.


Oh it's a mystery to me.
We have a greed, with which we have agreed
And you think you have to want more than you need
Until you have it all, you won't be free

Society, you're a crazy breed
I hope you're not lonely, without me

When you want more than you have you think you need
And when you think more then you want your thoughts begin to bleed
I think I need to find a bigger place
cause when you have more than you think, you need more space

Society, you're a crazy breed
I hope you're not lonely, without me
Society, crazy indeed
I hope you're not lonely, without me

There's those thinkin' more or less, less is more
But if less is more, how you keepin' score?
It means for every point you make, your level drops
Kinda like you're startin' from the top
and you can't do that

Society, you're a crazy breed
I hope you're not lonely, without me

Society, crazy indeed
I hope you're not lonely, without me

Society, have mercy on me
I hope you're not angry, if I disagree

Society, crazy indeed
I hope you're not lonely...without me.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think it's the little conversations with people that make life so interesting. There is a quote that I love, "I am a little bit of everyone that I have ever met"

Emily said...

Thanks for sharing your blog spot I'll have to bookmark it on my computer so I can keep up with my NC biking buddy!

Nova said...

I love "Into The Wild"!! The whole time I was reading it, all I could think about was re-tracing his footsteps and to find that old bus too. A lot of people criticize him for being an idiot but I applaud him for following his inner dream. I know he did not intend to die, but what is so beautiful, is unlike a lot of us...he wasn't afraid to die.

Chris Knight said...

Our capacity for seeking out and nurturing relationships correlates tremendously with how much of our lives we surrender to God. I think that's part of the witness for Christ that we show the world. In some ways it's the best and even *only* testimony that we get to demonstrate of His love. If we are selfless, and do seek Him first, it's only natural that wanting relationship with others will follow.

I think also that our motives for those relationships depend much on our motives with seeking out God. Too much of this world is fixated on controlling others, with having power over them. But if our love for others really does come from God, then it's almost like it reverses and instead of "what can this person do for me?" it becomes "how can I appreciate this person's life for his/her own sake?"

Thanks for some good thoughts Heang :-)