‘Animal Kingdom’

Animal Kingdom is a film about family; and crime; and, most importantly, Melbourne.

I’ve lived in Melbourne for four years and I still can’t get a hold on it.  Is it beautiful?  Yes, on a sunny spring day, without doubt.  Is it ugly?  Absolutely, miles and miles of barren suburban wastes hold testament to that.

Many who hail from Melbourne regard it as one of the most ‘European’ of Australian cities.  Why?  The cafe culture, the sneaky laneway bars, the incessant arts festivals…

Google (in its Maps form) may belie that.  Melbourne, with its citadel of scysrapers, surrounded by a yawning sea of low-slung neighbourhoods, seems more like Los Angeles, or Houston, or Detroit.

In other words it is the city of the future: each allotted their home, and each restricted to it.

 Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft; Community and society.

It’s unfair to single out Melbourne; isn’t this the way we all live now?  When’s the last time, for instance, you said ‘hello’ to your neighbour?  Or offered to help with their chores?

Here we all are (I am right now) sitting on the internet and thinking they’re a part of a ‘community’.  But we’re not really.  We’ve exchanged effort for expedience.

In the words of Aaron Sorkin, the Internet is to socialising, what reality TV is to reality.  We deal in simulations and simulacra; and pretend we’re ‘keeping in touch’.

What has this to do with ‘Animal Kingdom’?  Not much, but, I think, it shows the kind of society in which we will all be rampant in chasing our freedoms, and equally imprisoned by them.

Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft.  When’s the last time you felt part of a society?

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4 Responses to ‘Animal Kingdom’

  1. ineke says:

    You should move to Geelong if you want some Gemeinshaft. We mind each other’s dogs, have progressive dinners, water each other’s plants, leave bags of lemons on doorsteps, beep and wave at each other in the “traffic”. My neighbour three houses up even has a key to our place. AND I ride my bike to the hospital every morning and wave at the same people I see each day. It is a kind of utopia here, you know.

    • ryan says:

      That sounds nice but I’ve always been a big city kid; born and raised (as are you).

      I guess my dig wasn’t so much aimed at Melbourne as Facebook, or this blog. It lets me and you keep in touch; but in an entirely superficial way.

      When’s the last time we saw each other’s face? I can’t even remember; you may have a wart now and I wouldn’t even know it!

  2. ineke says:

    You are starting to sound like an old man – “Things were better when I was young!”

    Does your avatar want to catch up with my avatar next weekend?

    • murderpolis says:

      What can I say, I see the skull behind the skin!

      My avatar is busy plugging himself into a flying horse but I myself would love to. Would ‘LL Cool J’ be able to get over his post-footie blues and attend?

      How’s Friday? Dinner?

      PS Warn me if you have a wart. Seriously.

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