Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Inglorious Basterd



I was mulling over the poem on Balan’s blog, ”The Funerals”. Leaving aside the stark facts the poem dwelled upon, what came into my mind was the opening scene in Terantino’s film, “Inglorious Basterds”. Those of you who have seen that movie would, I’m certain recall the cold scenes with which the film opened.
The stony soliloquies of the SS officer Colonel. Landa laced with feral innuendos, metaphors and sautéed with sadistic overtones still haunts. The lives of a rodent- a rat and his evolutionary cousin the squirrel! It is dramatically incomparable like the lives of twins or siblings from the same womb that diverges far apart in the real world. I downloaded the words of COL Landa from the script of the film.
The allegory can be noticed in many walks in this world. The strangeness of repulsion and fondness that are inexplicable -be it rats and squirrels, dogs and cats or human beings from the same stock or diverse. The injustice of perception! Food for thought nevertheless!
COL LANDA
          Monsieur La’Padite, are you aware of the nickname the people of France have given
          me?
PERRIER
          I have no interest in such things.

 COL LANDA
          But you are aware of what they call me?

 PERRIER
          I'm aware.

 COL LANDA
          What are you aware of?

PERRIER
          That they call you, "The Jew Hunter".

COL LANDA
          Precisely! Now I understand your trepidation in repeating it.  Before he was assassinated,     Heydric apparently hated the moniker the good people of Prague bestowed on him. Actually why he   would hate the name, "The Hangman", is baffling to me. It would appear he did everything in his power to earn it. But I, on the other hand, love my unofficial title, precisely because I've earned it. As "The Jew Hunter”.         

COL LANDA
          The feature that makes me such an effective hunter of the Jews, is, as opposed to most
  German soldiers, I can think like a Jew. Where they can only think like a German, or more precisely, a German soldier. Now if one were to determine what attribute the German people share with a beast,   would be the cunning and predatory instinct of a hawk.

        
 COL LANDA
   Negro's - gorilla's - brain - lips smell - physical strength - penis size.
   But, if one were to determine what attributes the Jews share with a beast, it would be
   that of the rat. Now the Fuhrer and Gobbles propaganda have said pretty much the same thing.
   Where our conclusions differ is, I don't consider the comparison an insult. Consider for a moment, the
   world a rat lives in. It's a hostile world indeed.  If a rat were to   scamper    through your front door
   right now, would you greet it with hostility?

   PERRIER
          I suppose I would.

   COL LANDA
          Has a rat ever done anything to you to create this animosity you feel toward them?

   PERRIER
          Rat's spread disease, they bite people -

    COL LANDA
          - Unless some fool is stupid enough to try and handle a live one, rats don't make it a practice of
       biting human beings. Rats were the cause of the bubonic plague, but that was some time ago. In all your born days, has a rat ever caused you to be sick a day in your life? I purpose to you, any disease a rat could spread, a squirrel could equally carry. Yet I assume you don't share the same animosity with squirrels that you do with rats, do you?

    PERRIER
          No.

    COL LANDA
          Yet, they are both rodents, are they not? And except for the fact that one has a big bushy tail, while the other has a long repugnant tail of rodent skin, they even rather look alike, don't they?

         
    PERRIER
          It is an interesting thought, Colonel.

    COL LANDA
          However, interesting as the thought may be, it makes not one bit of difference to how you feel. If a rat     were to scamper through your door, this very minute, would you offer it a saucer of your delicious milk?

     PERRIER
            Probably not.

       COL LANDA
          I didn't think so. You don't like them. You don't really know why you don't like them. All you know    
          is, you find them “repulsive”.What a tremendously hostile world a rat must endure. Yet, not only does 
          he survive, he thrives. And the reason for this, is because our little foe has a instinct for survival and 
          preservation second to none. And that Monsieur, is what a Jew shares with a rat.  Consequently, a 
          German soldier conducts a search of a house suspected of hiding Jews. Where does the hawk look? 
          He looks  in the barn, he looks in the attic, he looks in the cellar - he looks everywhere, he would 
          hide. But there are many places it would never occur to a  hawk to hide. However the reason the
          Fuhrer brought me off my Alps in Austria, and placed me in French cow country today,is because it 
          it does occur to me. Because I'm aware what tremendous feats human  beings are capable of once 
          they abandon dignity…….!

         
.

7 comments:

Shilpa Garg said...

Very interesting thoughts!

KParthasarathi said...

The conversation on instant dislike or repulsion for a rat and tolerance or may be sneaking admiration for a squirrel set me thinking.The rat or mouse as a mount of Vinayak does not evoke admiration or the squirrel with its celebrated three lines ascribed to Rama does not make it better.But the rat is dirty,wily pest and adept at escaping while squirrel, a vegan, content with nuts and fruits rarely enters homes.There is always a reason for dislike even amongst humans though it cannot be spelt out clearly.

Happy Kitten said...

You have rightly questioned as to why many hate a few. Reminded me of a certain politician in India. Our biases are aquired nd it fails to leave our sub consious.

BK Chowla, said...

Biases are very natural.It is upto individuals as to how we react ina given situation

Insignia said...

Balan's poem got me thinking as well. Why do we have an aversion towards something. If you start prodding, you will never find an answer. Its just that you don't like something for some reason unknown.

Yeah, why don't we like the grey littering rat but can keep a hamster as pet? Is it because hamsters are white? Bias here again.

The questions are so right, answers....

rudraprayaga said...

The question is very interesting,the poor rat has to suffer apartheid.Since their home is our home, they when rise in population will drive us away and will become the owners of the house.The squirrels if increase in number also will perch on their trees.No botheration for us.

....Petty Witter said...

We recorded this some time ago but haven't got around to watching it yet.

Interesting thoughts as always. I agree with BK Chowla in that in its the way we choose to react that matters,