A Day in the Life

Homeschooling and Medieval Living

Connections

on July 4, 2014

It all started with the flu. About three days ago, I got a sore throat and body aches…this led to fever and an all-over crappy feeling. For the next three days, I only felt like sleeping and playing on my phone. Since I am not much of a game player, this means I spent an unsightly amount of time on Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Music, and Firefox (gotta love Googling stupid, fever-induced searches).

My addled brain made me choose things I might not normally choose. OK, confession time. In the past I have watched (and secretly loved) the Rocky Horror Picture Show, Brazil, Mr. Nobody, Twin Peaks, and Jacob’s Ladder. So maybe my fever had less to do with my choices than my odd taste in things that are…well…odd.

I chose to watch The Institute on Netflix. It is an odd “documentary” to say the least. This choice came well after my viewings of Tent city, USA, An Idiot Abroad, and Forgotten Planet. So, needless to say, I was expecting something that pointed out the dreaded wrongs in society. I was feeling a lot better off than all those people I had seen. I was not homeless, stuck in a foreign country full of disease and poverty, and I still had my home, community and loved ones.

I then came upon The Institute. Netflix’s description read: “Meet some of the 10,000 San Franciscans who took part in the Jejune Institute, a combination citywide art project and living game, from 2008 to 2011.” I love art projects and decided “Why not?” This is where my journey down the rabbit hole began.

This movie really opened my mind. From their website:

Welcome to the Jejune Institute, a mind-bending San Francisco phenomenon where 10,000 people became “inducted” without ever quite realizing what they’d signed up for. Was it a cult? Was it an elaborate game? Told from the participants’ perspectives, the film looks over the precipice at an emergent new art form where real world and fictional narratives collide, creating unforeseen and often unsettling consequences. Fusing elements of counter-culture, new religious movements and street art, THE INSTITUTE invites viewers down the rabbit hole into a secret underground world teeming just beneath the surface of everyday life.

This film mainly made me think of connections. Today, I think most people want to connect with others in some way or other. I know I do. I have been without transportation for a while. Recently, my illness even has me laid up in bed. So, I had a more pressing need to connect than usual.

This morning, I finally emerged from my dark lair of comforters, tissues and Netflix. My zombie-like body (with the dark eye-circles and runny nose) shuffled and drooled into the living room. My husband had left for a July 4th party. My teen-aged kids were still asleep. Cradling my NyQuil as an alcoholic nurses his drink, I managed to make it to my computer. I shut down Maple Story and logged out of my son’s profile. Once I finally remembered my password and logged in (thank you Microsoft), I was assailed by the last page I had viewed on Firefox. It was AT&T’s website. “Reach out and touch someone” immediately sprang to mind. So, I began my day as  I usually do. I Googled the current thing on my mind. This usually brings writing inspiration. Today, I put in “The Jejune Institute” and hit enter. Many links popped up (many of them blogs on the game and/or movie). I now have a plethora of ideas, all of them hinging on that all important word – CONNECTIONS. Now, if I can just move my half-dead extremities over that keyboard… nah. After writing all of this, I am more than half-dead. It’s back to bed I trudge. Now where is that NyQuil?

 

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