flight or fight?

Ali’s photo for Earworms reminded me of two fantastic videos – The Hidden Camera’s video is so powerful it takes over the brilliant song. Based on an old comic Joel wrote – it’s been a live favourite for a while. The short film has been shown at festivals in Berlin and Canada to much acclaim. The freedom of the birds over the field at the start is rather significant.

Another film that uses the flight of birds as a metaphor for escape is Leonard Cohen’s – First We Take Manhattan, their flight is deliberately juxtaposed against the songs beat to discombobulate.

cheery Tuesday post, eh?

12 thoughts on “flight or fight?

    • It’s an incredibly powerful bit of film making, using a standard ‘rewind of events’ technique – I think it’s amazing, I do find it difficult to watch again.
      For me, too many points of alienation in my life (and now the thought of my children’s lives) to distance myself from is core message – felt it needed the widest audience possible.

      • The song has been a fan favourite live for a couple of years now, so it has a solid foundation – the film has been shown in niche film festivals around the world rather than just being released to youtube, so the song and video have separate lives.
        (don’t start me off, I’m now having fatherly anxiety emotions hoping the ‘song and film siblings’ are coping okay!)

  1. I worry about young Munday all the time; he has been so ill it’s hard to see how he can get back to ‘normality’, even assuming that it’s a good idea. So glad I’m not a teenager again.

    • It’s got to be so overpowering the worry for your son Ali. There’s nothing I can say that would change that – but our thoughts are with you.
      I do have huge positivity for teenagers now, the opportunities and ability to find niche things and likeminded humans to interact with (face to face or on the internet) is amazing. Scare stories are fewer than the headlines suggest – I liked Saturdays article:


      I’d despise the emotional grief of the age though – very pleased I’m past that and thankfully been lucky to come out still in one piece (took until my mid 30’s though).

      • I think most ‘kids’ are great, it’s just trying to squeeze them into stereo-typical moulds that doesn’t work – no change there, really, I guess it was the same for us and those before us. At least we don’t have conscription (yet).

  2. Shane, I don’t know why I’m telling you this but I thought the Hidden Camera piece was so powerful, but also so depressing. A day earlier my wife, a high school teacher, had told me about a student who’d confided in her. he was confused and wondered why he was so disliked: she told me that he had pink hair. Today when she came home she told me that one of her exceptional girl students, straight A’s, had committed suicide last night. She’s the second or third in the last few years.
    I don’t know why I feel the need to share this.

    • I can’t think of any reason why you wouldn’t want to share such clear examples of children being failed and in need of help.

      What struck me about the video was that the pain the boy suffered most was that of rejection and lack of support from those who should have helped. In interviews here with victims of bullying in Finland it is not the bully who is always singled out for blame it is those who stood by and let the bullying happen, be they teachers or classmates. In the anti-bullying programme here In Finland it is stressed that not giving the bully support, not laughing, and saying “No!” to their demands isolates the bully and takes away the base they have for operating. Peers making the bully realise that his action is wrong and denying the bully a platform to work from is what is not tolerated here and what is taught. Practical advice is given.

      The kids are also taught to tolerate difference between people and not to form strict in-groups and out-groups. From what I see the programme is successful and I see have seen kids sticking up for each other here when what I would have seen when I was a child was people being glad that they weren’t the bullied and keeping their heads down.

      It’s an amazing song and video and I hope it makes public the sort of debate that is needed in schools everywhere and a change in our attitude to our bullying.

    • Norway has brilliant ideas on the control and watering down of bullying. Our schools here are trying too – the Junior school has friendship benches with older children always on hand to help.
      The odd thing is that younger children have no idea about the differences in people – or at least they do, but they don’t care – the more extreme pushing out of those that are different are learned – usually from parents/adults… the children mimic what they overhear and act on that, when questioned why they are pushing out a ‘different’ child they can only repeat what their parents/older sibling has said.

      Those that work on prevention of such feelings/exclusions around here work on the core reasons – this can be anything – but the work is NOT to focus on that, it’s to build a reason for the children NOT to give up. So a pink haired child will be directed into groups with likeminded people, finding their interests or developing something that consumes them. Rather than being consumed by self doubt and inner turmoil.
      The trouble is – say the straight A student has other core issues – I lost a decade and a half to manic depression, but that boiled down to a friend going to bed with a headache and never waking again due to a massive brain haemorrhage .. these things happen, death happens – but I failed to say ‘goodbye’ because I was drifting at the time. These thoughts spiralled until they had overpowered any normal thought. It was a trigger not the cause.

      There’s an amount of bullying on the net – but there’s also very easy ways to find help without the face to face ‘fear factor’ of explaining why you are that distressed – there’s also ways to keep yourself busy – RR is/was a saviour to me, a trivial ‘focus’ each week, maybe, but it really does distract from dark thoughts. It IS that important to someone with difficult mental issues. Finding similar things to obsess over externally, rather than inner panic is extremely recommended.

      • I use RR as a break from real life. It helps me get by. It’s a place where I step out of the real world. I find it’s less and less important now as I’m able to get out a bit more.

        I imagine my children will have such games, I recognise some (lots) of myself in them.

        The thing at the moment is that the schools are doing a great job with the young kids and it seems to be working as they advance through school. There are still scraps and disagreements and dislike but no sustained systematic bullying and everyone seems supportive. Wish I could say more but got to go now X-Rust 20

  3. That was a real downer. Makes laughing Lenny full of the joys of Spring by comparison.

    Thought it was powerful, but a little clichéd. Depressed kids can look like any kids. Those that choose an individual or outlandish style, in my experience, tend to be more comfortable in their own skin than most.

    The remaining Shoeteen had a year of hiding out in her room. Seems to be over it now, but still tends to mood swing between everything’s great to everything sucks. & Still not sure how best to deal with it. Teenagers are tricky; wait & see.

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