I spent most of my Sunday at the cinema park in Babelsberg, which is one of the oldest studios in the world (and so it looked liked a bit). Everything was fake, fake streets and fake houses, duplicated temples and a Karl Marx statue made of plastic and paper maché. When I laid down on the grass a bit apart from the attractions, a family came along and I heard the child say „Is this woman also unreal?“
I didn’t move, so I guess his question was justified. Still, it was interesting to see how we believed everything so fast to be unreal. I myself thought at some spots, the trees would be not real. There was a gingerbread house from Hensel & Gretel (the fairy tale by the Grimm Brothers) that looked very much as if the sweets were eatable.
We saw some real animals that were used for movies and all kinds of filming. They showed us how they trained them – with „Leckerlis“ meaning treats that must be yummy but the word seemed so bizarre to them. We worked with the psychological system of rewards and human beings worked just after the same pattern. Only that we also used the negative system of rewards how it’s called (Skinner) which actually means training behaviours with punishment and the absence of „Leckerlis“.
And then I thought how animals are actually treated most of the time, like the issue with „The Life of Pi“ where activists found out that the tiger has been beaten and punished. Think of all the elephants and camels who are being abused just to make a good picture or a good shot. Or a good income.
And then my mind flipped to an excerpt of a new podcast I listened to where two men came up with the question why we kept birds as pets. That question glued to my mind ever since, because yes, why do we keep birds in cages and hamsters and mice when they actually want to live there life? Not in a little space but in the world, just as we would like to.
We are a pretty odd species. I mean, we enjoy watching people fighting, especially when we know it’s unreal. Even children like to see fire and destruction. When I saw two friends of mine play video games where they fought against each other with funny characters, I asked „Is this actually also buyable by children?“ „Of Course! Haha“ He answered. „DOn’t you remember the Hunger Games Books? That was an absolute bestseller and what was it about? Young children killing each other in the most brutal ways!“ True. So true. And this is our culture where children learn that violence is normal and sometimes even a fake.