Bryan Lindenberger

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Andy Griffith and the Anatomy of a Riot - Dream Blog

As a kid I began a project of writing my dreams down each morning, and that lasted for a summer. That led to lucid (waking, cognitive) dreaming and I tried it again in my 20s, once more in my 40s.

It helped substantially with my writing, reaching a point where most of my published work began with dreams. It led to dark places and insomnia as well.

Going back to much of my fiction from the 90s and early 2000s - both published and unpublished - at BryanLindenberger.com, I've decided to publicly resurrect this sort of project.


Here, from the second night. Second nature.




Watching the Andy Griffith Show in black and white, Opie and Andy come upon a boarding school in Japan to find rioting and carnage. A news report says there are 30 dead. I realize how many 30 dead actually looks like with other casualties mixed in; hacked limbs and broken bodies, I would have guessed 50-100 by appearances. A small group of youths with rimfires shoots fellow students, two covering, the other firing, while the 4th reloads in succession. A larger group marauds with baseball bats.


Opie asks Pa, "How can civilized people behave this way?"
"It happened precisely because they are so civilized, Ope."

This makes no sense to me so I enter the show. I can rewind to where this started. I feel guilty for making anyone re-live this horror but I sense that the rewind, at least, is not real.

The situation began with a disagreement between two people in a dorm room amid a handful of friends. One of them is depressed, the other telling him essentially to "suck it up."

1) I see the truth in Andy's words. As civilized people, this school focuses on attending to those in physical need whether due to sickness or hunger, while emotional needs of those often more privileged are viewed as signs of weakness, whining. This approach has created a pattern of psychological repression and resultant anxiety, hostility ready to break to the surface.

2) As per chaos theory / butterfly effect, precisely the right circumstances for the violence to spread rapidly. Hostility went viral due to unstated but pre-existing alliances among a few close friends of the first two combatants, with a small number jumping in, but similar alliances and compassions existed among their 3-5 each friends as well, thus spreading exponentially. This served as the trigger, with the repressed emotions serving as the combustible substance.

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