By the time the final episode “Fall Out” was being conceived, the tug-of-war known as Influence had shifted slightly over to the U.S. because of Vietnam. Most people believe the The Prisoner was influenced by the peace movement. We can sense McGoohan’s writing mood very different in the last episode than the time in which he wrote, say, “Free For All”. However, we can claim that all episodes share one theme in common, and that theme is rebellion.
The series focuses on the relentless attempt to be free from the tie-downs of society. It is the human quality in each of us to live independently, which is why The Prisoner appeals to us as a cult classic. It involves retaining one’s own identity in a vast sea of peer pressure. We live in a society with over 5 billion people, and it becomes increasingly difficult to exist as individuals in a society without people telling us how to live. McGoohan attempts to show us that, in a society where we must learn to rebel or conform, we have been conforming much more than rebelling. We have let government ‘watch over us’ (as in the George Orwell book 1984) to the point that we have let it control our lives. We have let other people’s actions influence us to the point that we, as individuals, mistakingly conform to these other people’s ideals, and idolize these people as a result. McGoohan’s message is to abolish this conformity.
On the other hand, by the end of the series, we have learned that we cannot rebel against society to the point of destroying it. We cannot coerce other people to ‘wear bells on their toes’ simply because it’s a ‘rebellious statement.’ Moreover, 5 billion people cannot exist in a political state of anarchy if everyone rebels against authority. The point McGoohan is trying to make is that we need to rebel against society, but it should be our own personal way of rebellion. We must not assume that everyone else has the same needs and desires as we do, so we must learn to retain our individualism by ourselves. Thus, rebellion is an inward struggle, not an outward struggle.
©1996 Reed, Kent, and Kirby Meyer. Last modified: May 30, 2010.
Google street view is a marvelous thing. You can cruise around the world at your leisure.
Today I went to
Do you have a dream? Is there something which is going to make your world complete? I have made that mistake a few times in the past and then when getting near to fruition it slips out of your hands. Perhaps its a lack of ambition, but there is no holy grail I am looking for. But I should be striving for something, everybody tells me so.Maybe I would be content just sitting on my arse all day? I do a lot of thinking, which others call daydreaming. I am more aligned to the concept of human beings as opposed to human doings and I believe that this approach has some merit to it.
I thank you all 🙂
OK, little electro-chemical impulses form the stuff of our thoughts and so presumably our very consciousness is a bunch of electrical patterns, so my thoughts and my feelings are the software running on the squishy bits inside my skull. So could my consciousness exist outside my body? If it could would it be able to reside somewhere else.
Could it ever end up matrix style in a machine? If what I know as me, that which gazes out through the windows of my eyes is not the body but the body is just the house my mind lives in then could mind travel on its own to other places? Would I have anyway of knowing that what I perceive as real is the same reality as others experience?
When I shuffle off the mortal coil is all that information lost as the electrochemical stuff powers down. Who knows. There is no beer in the fridge either. With this amazing human mind perhaps I could imagine a beer then imagine drinking it which would certainly be more economical though less satisfying than fizzy liquid from a cold place. I am trying that experiment as I type and so far its not working other than I am getting rather thirsty. Yet an imagined beer ought to taste as good as an actual one surely?
In places in the universe where time runs at a different rate would our little electrical patterns live for ever, perhaps orbiting a rotating black hole?
Unsolicited sales calls. They always start with silence. They don’t tell you what company they are calling from. If you try ringing back to see if they legitimate, you just get a recorded message at best.
I checked up one company that keeps calling, they even give different names. Companies House often show the company as dormant or having been struck off. A lot of them seem to be based in Birmingham.
It occurs to me that frankly that the banks themselves should be automatically refunding this money if they are in error, but with the present bunch of cunts in government that’s not going to happen is it.
From the year I was born till the date of this post there has been a war (or more often several wars going). A slightly depressing thought.
Philosopher Bertrand Russell in his 1957 essay “The Value of Free Thought” wrote
What makes a freethinker is not his beliefs but the way in which he holds them. If he holds them because his elders told him they were true when he was young, or if he holds them because if he did not he would be unhappy, his thought is not free; but if he holds them because, after careful thought he finds a balance of evidence in their favor, then his thought is free, however odd his conclusions may seem.
Fred Edwords, former executive of the American Humanist Association, suggests that by Russell’s definition, even liberal religionists who have challenged established orthodoxies might be considered freethinkers.
In the 18th and 19th century, many thinkers regarded as freethinkers were deists, arguing that the nature of God can only be known from a study of nature rather than from religious revelation. In the 18th century, “deism” was as much of a ‘dirty word’ as “atheism”, and deists were often stigmatized as either atheists or at least as freethinkers by their Christian opponents. Deists today regard themselves as freethinkers, but are now arguably less prominent in the freethought movement than atheists.
Lets be bland, lets be anodyne.
Safe as milk , but feeling slightly sick.
Let’s be filtered, all germs removed.
Edges buffed smooth and polished.
Above all let’s be boring.
If we try hard enough we can be.