Just a short post today. I have so many deadlines over the next few weeks that I’ve hardly been away from my keyboard. So when I give myself a break from all the essay writing, doing even more writing doesn’t fill me with much joy!
The last few episodes I’ve really found myself wondering: why do all of Shin Sekai Yori’s viewers side with Saki, Satoru, and the other villagers? I mean, from what we saw, the queerats weren’t treated well at all! They were pretty much the villages’ slaves, forced into hard labour and carrying out various other jobs by their fear of being eliminated by the cantus-users. It doesn’t seem unreasonable for them to want liberation at all- and I’m sure the crazy PETA people will agree with me!! Up until this episode I was sure that we only side with the oppressors because they’ve spent the most time on our screens, and we identify with them as humans. If it were the other way ‘round, i.e. the humans making a bid for freedom by taking out the queerats, I’m pretty sure we’d be behind them 100%… But now it’s not just a question of fighting for liberation, this is conquest, and they’re bringing helpless babies and children into it, I almost have no choice but to think the queerats despicable!!! I don’t know if you men out there feel the same, or if the show is just trying to appeal to my nurturing, maternal instincts…
Something I’ve always liked about SSY is that, even though it’s a science fiction show, set in the future, with mutants, and psychic powers, a lot of it isn’t that far removed from our world. For example, I was just sitting through a lecture on mental illnesses last Friday when my lecturer began to talk about how many young American soldiers developed post-traumatic stress disorder after fighting in Vietnam. According to her, they had been conditioned by the US Army to kill, so pulling the trigger on an enemy soldier was no problem. But once the war was over, and they had to begin adjusting to normal life back home, many of the soldiers began to unravel. Post-traumatic stress disorder was fairly common amongst this group, and many sufferers turned to crime, or even committed suicide as a result of it. This kind of reminded me of death feedback. Whilst the American soldiers didn’t immediately die after killing a Vietnamese soldier, as a character in SSY might after killing someone else, there was a high chance of their lives slowly unravelling as a result of the trauma associated with the action. But anyway, what reminded me of a real life concept in this episode was the fact that Squealer had been able to raise his own fiend. In real life, if a child is not raised within society and socialised (almost a process of indoctrination, where we’re taught to adhere to all of society’s norms and values) by its carers or school, chances are, they’ll turn into a sweet little psychopath (take that with a pinch of salt). At the extreme they’ll become a feral child, more animal than human, as a result of severe neglect. All this supports the nurture side of the nature-nurture debate, in other words, how we turn out isn’t decided biologically, but by how we’re raised. It was pretty cool to see SSY allude to this psychological debate, having Squealer- the SOB- separate Maria and Mamoru’s child from other humans, preventing him from developing human reasoning, having morals taught to him, or the psychic barriers that would have kept his powers in check put in place… Yeah, that’s the kind of stuff that interests me!
Wonder what kind of mind-fuckery we’ll be treated to next episode?