Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fear, Fear, Live in Fear! "Contagion" (film)

Wisdom Quarterly
"Nothing spreads like fear" -- Number One in the American box office. "Don't talk to anyone, don't touch anyone, stay away from other people," a mom cautions her child.

As one of the mental poisons, fear (bhava) is a kind of hate (dosa) in Buddhism. Both are forms of aversion. Aversion is a negative state that leads to unwholesome karma -- in thought, word, and deed. It is contagious. The military-industrial complex has a propaganda arm, the entertainment industry, and would like us to feel aversion. Why would Hollywood help fear- and warmongers?

Money helps, as does government regulation, private inducement. But privilege locks the cooperation in. Behind-the-scenes Hollywood has always been part of the problem (think of the 1950 "let's fear the alien invaders" craze) even if liberal actors are disproportionately covered by the media.

Fear cripples the immune system. This movie spreads fear and is becoming famous for laughs exulting in hating Gwyneth Paltrow.

"Swine flu" was released on purpose; the goal of the mainstream media was to keep people afraid -- in that way they not only accepted toxic, immune-weakening flu shots, they first begged and then demanded them. Those shots were no protection (as microbes evolve quickly). Vaccines build immunity, but additives (excipients) and multiple shots at once cause great harm. The heavy metal load alone causes more injury than over hyped flu strains.

Shots are particularly harmful to children and the elderly. Who is trying to injure/eradicate the most vulnerable? Big Pharma does not plan eradication campaigns; they just go along with them for profit, even if most employees are good, well motivated people who have no idea what their multinational corporation is motivated by.

There is a "shadowy government" that is neither elected nor directly dependent on Americans for funding. It appears to be multinational, elitist, and answering to another shot caller besides the Pentagon, CIA, NSA, NSC, and Homeland Security. But it has help from these agencies. The bottom line is that FEAR is a hindrance, a poison, a crippler of mind and body. And this movie does as much to promote and exploit our fear/hate as any organic contagion.

Demonizing the Chinese
Dr. Vic, Singapore
Contagion is yet another film that glorifies us (the Occidental) while demonizing China and the Chinese (the "Oriental"). In the US-centric universe created by this movie, the source of the problem is China. (Everything bad comes from there.) And the only country working overtime to do anything about it is the USA and its CDC.

The movie depicts China as a helpless bystander providing no assistance. Everything Chinese is cast in a negative light. A group of Chinese is shown kidnapping a World Health Organization health official because, of course, the Han Chinese government does care about Han citizens. In contrast, a sympathetic Caucasian later tries to rescue poor, helpless Chinese kids despite her kidnapping. It is ridiculous and racist; what about history?

If the directors are making a comparison to SARS, they are twisting the facts. Many Chinese and other Asian doctors and nurses in Hong Kong, China, and Singapore died and suffered every day while saving lives. As a doctor who worked in a SARS-infected hospital, I remember the risks and tragedy of friends and colleagues who died and suffered respiratory distress in 2003 after the first case was found around Nov., 2002.

Although Chinese health officials at best initially underestimated the threat with their inadequate (developing world) healthcare or, at worst, covered it up, they managed to contain the disease by July, 2003. The Chinese developed the first SARS vaccine to control this disease (CNN). This movie is insulting to Asians. – Vic, Singapore

And, guys, stop clapping at Gwyneth Paltrow's death scene. Cut her some slack; she's had a hard life -- her godfather is Steven Spielberg and she's married to that bad boy rockstar from Coldplay (who is not gay). Do yoga with her or read GOOP.com instead.

Transforming the Three Poisons:
Passion, Aversion, and Delusion

In Buddhist teachings, greed, hatred (often expressed as fear), and delusion are called the "Three Poisons," the three unwholesome roots, and the three fires. These metaphors suggest how dangerous afflicted thoughts and emotions can be if they are not understood and transformed.
  • Greed refers to craving, selfishness, lust, misplaced desire, attachment, and grasping for happiness and satisfaction outside of ourselves.
  • Hatred refers to our aversion, anger, fear, and revulsion toward unpleasant people, germs, circumstances, and even toward our own uncomfortable feelings.
  • Delusion refers to our dullness, bewilderment, and confusion, our wrong views of reality.
The poisons are byproducts of ignorance and self-view -- ignorance of our true nature, the awakened heart of wisdom and compassion. Arising out of craving and ignorance, these poisonous states of mind/heart motivate unprofitable, unskillful thoughts, speech, and actions. This brings all manner of suffering and unhappiness for ourselves and others and the world. But there are antidotes to these self-made prisons. More