Episode 243: Hitchcock Railway

This cast is about low anthropology, or rather, hidden anthropology.

Have you been struck by the comments concerning the Austin bomber in which people near and dear to the young man say they saw no signs or external evidence of any kind that he was thinking about doing this, or about anything, for that matter, out of the ordinary, let alone murderous?

My experience of people, especially act-outers in life, is that what they do often takes one by surprise. They didn’t “advertise”, in other words, their deeper, let alone their deepest feelings. The internal preoccupations of the acter-out — or the surprise acter-out — are rarely vouchsafed in advance. They may give you a hint or two if you are really looking or listening — most people aren’t — but generally, as Jimmy Webb wrote the song, “I Keep It Hid”.

This is important, because it means there may be a ‘No Trespassing’ sign over the most serious, wounded, hurt, vulnerable parts of a person. A person can actually go all the way through their life — right through to the moment of their death! — without giving away what was really on their mind the whole time.

It’s odd, moreover, that you may feel more comfortable telling a perfect stranger what you are really thinking about, than telling it to someone who is close to you and intimate with you. Christianity, parenthetically, is the only religion that understands the hiddenness of the compelling and irrational part of a person. For that we have the Apostle Paul to thank, who in turn was simply verbalizing what Jesus demonstrated in his healings and his encounters “On the Road”.

My cast, entitled “Hitchcock Railway”, locates the low anthropology of the New Testament in the unconscious layer of our deepest drive; and states that only if that drive is surfaced, by means of someone else’s sympathetic hearing of it, will it not grow, metastasize, and finally … well, blow up.