Practitioners of Drunkenness: Why ‘Gladiator’ was such a great movie

The aspect of the second-hander is the only one that makes sense when many of the world’s problems are analyzed.  My hatred of the intoxication culture stems from this division between second-handers and producers—which was elaborated upon as a kind of identifiable introduction in a previous article.  One of the primary reasons that I have enjoyed the movie Gladiator so intensely is because it deals squarely with this problem of producers and second-handers—as the Emperor’s son was a second hander, and Maximus was a producer.  When that same son—Commodus inherited the throne through treachery—and attempted to completely destroy Maximus by killing his family, robbing him of all his social connections, and leaving him for dead in a forest the producer lead Maximus rose up through the ranks of the gladiators to challenge the entire Empire not through any other effort but sheer tenacity.  Commodus could not understand how his old rival had managed to regain such respect and stature because as a second hander, he had to be given his value through others.  The new Emperor believed that because he stole away the life of Maximus that he destroyed the man.  But Maximus was a producer and therefore a great leader—it didn’t matter if it was among the best fighters in the world at the time of Roman legionnaires or the dregs of society as gladiators fighting for their life in the arena.  Maximus thrived because he didn’t know how to do anything else but generate success—as a producer which eventually destroyed the emperor.  Gladiator was a great movie primarily for this reason.

Producer types make their own way, and enjoy thinking.  They typically don’t pray to the gods for success, they don’t seek to live off the inheritance of their ancestors, and they don’t gamble or purchase lottery tickets hoping to be filled by chance of a draw so that they can wake up one morning filled by the efforts of others.  Everything they do is geared toward productive enterprise even when they are performing in leisurely endeavors.  That said producers would typically not be comfortable in social settings like bars where intoxication is the objective.  Producers do not wish to lose their mental faculties.  Second handers however do wish to lose their ability to think—as mentioned in the previous article about people who prefer electric shock over thinking.  The practitioners of drunkenness are second handers because they are surrendering thought to chance as relief from the responsibility of action.

Intoxication is one of the vilest activities that could be perpetrated against an active mind.  Yet second handers routinely abuse their thinking because they cannot allow the impulse of their own inner producer developed as children to reemerge to the life of choice competing with their adult decisions to remain a passive second hander waiting for others to fill them with thoughts and action.  When it is said that someone is “drunk with power” this is something to which they speak—taking the example of Commodus once again, the new Emperor killed the old one believing that his actions would settle the issue of who would lead next the Roman Empire after the conquest of the Germanic people of the north.  But Maximus interfered with this equation with a new set of rules—that of a producer who did not care for politics—because he did not need politicians or social connections to give him authority—he simply generated it.  Maximus didn’t need a god to give him authority or validation to be great—because he already knew that he was.  And Maximus didn’t need favors granted by those in a bloodline of leadership because he knew he was a natural leader functioning well as a producer.  So Commodus tried to have Maximus killed to preserve his illusion of power and right by blood to lead an entire region of people as if he had a right to the throne by grace of the gods.

The drunk does the same thing in essence; they drink to lose their minds from the observations of contrary reality which conflicts with their path of parasitic social behavior—that of the second hander who needs the approval of others.  A room full of drunks as a bar is a palace of second handers evading their destiny as thinking producers.  Instead they have surrendered their fates to being filled by others for their sustenance.  Getting drunk helps them not feel the conflict of thought which is always seeking to emerge.

A constant companion of dialogue in these modern times is the term “depression” which is thrown about so flamboyantly by second handers to explain their affliction—much of which is prescribed drugs to alleviate the pain.  The cause of depression is the desire for something which does not come to second handers by luck—such as love, money, respect, or general value.  When those things fail to come to a second hander by the grace of invisible rulers—people find themselves depressed and seek alcohol or other drugs to relieve them of that pain.    As alcohol is a depressant it often makes depression worse—but what is really sought is the numbness of thinking—not the affliction of depression which usually becomes more pronounced.  A producer generally does not feel depression because their thoughts are not out of alignment from their actions.  Producers are not let down because their IRS refund check did not come in the mail, or some perfect job fell upon them by social connections.  They make these things for themselves and are generally a happy lot of people because they are living authentically to their nature—as producers.

If you walk into any environment where large amounts of alcohol are being consumed you are seeing a temple of second handers seeking to suppress thought and responsibility for productivity.  As second handers they try to crush their inner Maximus so that their Commodus can speak to them.  And what Commodus says to them often exacerbates the tendency toward depression they feel, but without thought to measure against—they are free of the pain so long as they drink.  This is why second handers tend to drink to get intoxicated and producers do not.  Producers value their thoughts as second handers are running away.  This means that if anything is ever to be fixed in the world about us, it has to start with this tendency toward second hander behavior.  The world cannot be run and built by second handers—because they are incapable and are not equal in value to the producers of the world.  The issue is not one of race, sex, or even fate—it is one of decisions and mental faculties by way of focus.

Rich Hoffman