Over this last weekend, Mr. and Mrs. Amnesiac walked over to Oakland's historic Grand Lake Theater, via the lovely Trestle Glen Ave., to take in a viewing of Paul Thomas Anderson's new film, The Master.
The film has been treated by some as a controversial telling of the early years of L. Ron Hubbard's Dianetics, but Disaster Amnesiac does not want to reflect upon that aspect. Instead, I would like to opine that the story of Freddie Quell, the film's main protagonist, reveals the necessary aspects of violence that any type of movement needs to harness in order to take its initial steps into the greater world scene. For this viewer, the L. Ron Hubbard figure was essentially incidental, compared to Quell's greater meaning. To wit, any movement, political or religious or media, needs the violence of shadowy figures such as that of Quell, needs their brute force and "thoughtlessness", if for nothing else than to act as foot soldiers as they gain ground within the world. Whether they actually physically assault real or perceived enemies, or simply provide the requisite intimidation, their harnessing and use by these movements is critical. Of course, once a given movement finds these mute, shadowy, violent forces to be of no further use, they are cast aside. The Movement can now begin the task of filing down its sharper edges, the better to seduce the greater mass, for profits monetary, psychic, or both. Hubbard, the man, is neither the first nor the last to have engineered that kind of action.