Don’t ask me why, but I’m a big picture person. I’m not sure exactly the reasons, I guess my mind just works that way. Much of this film that I’m pitching has to do with real life experiences…good, bad, sad, humorous, and indifferent. So, for the film purposes, whoever is going to help me move this effort forward, has to know some background information.
While working for the U.S. Forest Service I went back to college for three years in my mid-thirties while living in Pinedale, Wyoming during a mid-life crisis. I had hoped that by becoming a fish biologist, that that would bring meaning to my lackluster life. Although I was middle-aged, I was like a child full of wonder. I had more questions than a second grader about everything fish and fish-related. I was fortunate to have one acquaintance in Laramie (a biologist working on his PhD) and another with the Wyoming Game & Fish Department that were more than happy to provide direction and guidance.
BUT, I worked for a tormentor/supervisor who had Napoleon syndrome. Not only that, I just recently learned that he was bipolar! During the three years I went to school, I worked under him during the summers, then I spent another several working directly for him upon graduation. During that entire time, he psychologically abused me and set me up to fail every chance he could.
That was during a vulnerable period in my life when depression had me in a major funk from that mid-life crisis. I did little to put him in his place, hoping that he’d transfer and be gone. Unfortunately, his reputation preceded him…consequently, he wasn’t going anywhere.
Even for him, I had a lot of questions…I wasn’t going to let his tyrannical ways detract from my accomplishment and enthusiasm of being a biologist. More often than not, when I asked a question, he’d respond with, “Why do you want to know that?”. I’d then have to justify why I asked the question. Then his response would be, “You don’t need to know that.”, and he’d walk off with a smirk on his face.
One day I was in my office at my desk, and the tormentor/supervisor was out in the hallway talking to a colleague by the name of Megan; she, like me (and everyone else) didn’t get along with this guy. During their conversation, he raised his voice for my benefit and emphatically said, “What’s the matter Megan, don’t you have the big picture?”
The ultra-big picture as I see it – that is based both on my personal life and my professional career as a biologist with the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and several native organizations – is that we humans (i.e., Homo sapiens which means “the wise ones”) have got to live up to our moniker not only on the environmental front, but so many facets of our existence before our existence is unbearable. At the grandest scale, what we’re dealing with is the human condition, and a big part of that in my opinion is human dysfunction. But, you don’t have to take my word for it, here are quotes from two people much smarter than I am.
“If the structures of the human mind remain unchanged, we will always end up re-creating the same world, the same evils, the same dysfunction.” (Eckhart Tolle)
“Humanity is a magnificent but fragile achievement. We are an evolutionary chimera, living on intelligence steered by the demands of animal instinct. This is the reason that we are mindlessly dismantling the biosphere, and with it our own prospects for permanent existence……What I’ve come to learn is that humanity’s troubles are due substantially to the fact that we are a dysfunctional species.” (E.O. Wilson).
I hope to address that possibly insurmountable big picture item – and others noted below – on this website and eventually in the film that I envision…but, I do need help in moving that forward.
These links demonstrate the complex, big-picture dilemmas facing mankind and what The Don Quixote of Fish Biologists is up against in his effort to make a difference…something that he’s perversely driven to do.
The meta-crisis: climate change is only one of many crises coalescing into the gigantic conundrum facing our species; life’s complexities like these coupled with the fast pace of life is not a good combination.
A Crisis of Crises: What is the Meta-Crisis? (+ Infographics) (SLOWW)
How do you make a movie about a hyperobject?
Adam McKay said this about what he was trying to do with his film Don’t Look Up, “describe the indescribable“.