I happen to love the movie Repo! The Genetic Opera. It may have been a box office flop, but really, what can Lionsgate expect since it did LITTLE TO NO marketing of it! All marketing was done by the originators, and their fans – much like Rocky Horror, and it has become a cult classic just like Rocky.
The thing is, the original concepts behind it was a sociological commentary on the obsession in LA, Hollywood, and by extension the entire U.S. of having physical perfection. The simple fact of Paris Hilton’s character, Amber Sweet, being addicted to plastic surgery (a common illness in Hollywood) is a perfect example.
We are a horribly sick culture. We have focused so much on our “public image” that we seem to have lost the art of developing character, of having integrity, of the value of the journey towards excellence not just perfection, of the basis of trust, of true interactive relationships and the value of compassion. Many cynics, in fact, see these core values of the human condition to be a fantasy of an “earlier time.”
It’s more important to LOOK good, than to be good. And that is the crux of the matter, and why many people actually are uncomfortable being who they really are. It’s also why I have chosen to live transparently, because I’m sick and tired of showing the world one face, and being someone completely different underneath in order to protect the perpetrators of hidden shame. So, while the movie disparagingly talks about how badly our society focuses on the external view, it also encourages you to be the exact opposite. It encourages you to BE DIFFERENT.
It’s true that in Victorian times, the image was more important than the reality. It didn’t matter how much of a degenerate scum you actually were if it was not publicly known or forced to be publicly acknowledged (it could be a “dirty little secret” that everyone actually knew, but no one publicly were forced to be aware of it). Hell, not just during the Victorian period, but through a good portion of history.
It’s not passé to want to embody those values. It’s important, not because of the respect from others that it may or may not bring, but because if you embody those values you can look at yourself in the mirror and acknowledge that YOU yourself are worthy.
The following is at the end of the movie. If you have ANY desire to see the movie, I might encourage you to skip the video – but I think it’s important to see the lyrics:
|Years, it’s been so many years,
Resenting the years,
And my heredity…
Oh, I have hated and loved you…
I have hidden behind you,
But I finally see…
|You, I’ve mistaken for destiny,
But the truth is my legacy
Is not up to my genes…
True, though the imprint is
Deep in me,
It will always be up to me…
Up to me…
|Oh, free at last…
Oh, I’m free at last.
We are NEVER just the product of our genetic imprint. No matter how many scientists try to ignore the impact that the psychological portion of who we are, it is not just simple genetics that define who we are or who we can become. It just defines the traits we have to deal with. Whether we choose to see them as obstacles or challenges to overcome is part of the psychology of life.
My genetics say I’m fat, make it likely for me to have hormonal imbalances, arthritis, diabetes, and any number of other illnesses and challenges in my life. But, I’m NOT defined by those physical issues. I may live in constant pain, but it only limits my finite time, NOT my imagination or determination. It does not mean that I should encourage myself to eat badly. It does not mean I need to hide myself away as something not suitable for public awareness.
But we ALL hide behind our heredity at times. We all at times blame our families and genetics for how crappy our lives feel. We all want to blame someone else for what we do with the life we are given on this Earth.
It’s up to YOU.
I may not be able to do what I want to do right now, I may have to live with certain limitations from MY own previous choices in life. But that doesn’t define me. I see a future in front of me that I NEVER have seen before. My path isn’t mapped out to the nth degree, I haven’t made any kind of 5-year plan. What I have is an awareness that from this current space and this current place, my future has an entire WORLD of options. The journey won’t be easy, it never is. There are always going to be challenges, obstacles, and other detours. But it’s not the final destination that is what I am searching for anymore. It’s the journey itself.