Eden, and the power of isolation
I've been fascinated by a TV series this week. I'm not an enormous fan of TV(have to say I prefer a book, or the radio), but Eden: Paradise Lost has had me completely gripped.
I remember reading about it ages ago, at the time only several episodes had been broadcast, but broadcasting then stopped. So I was pleasantly surprised to see five new episodes would be screened every night last week.
Here's the premise; 23 people have chosen to spend a whole year living in the remote Scottish highlands. They are cut off from the outside world, with no contact with friends or family for the duration. I have to say I don't think I could do it. Even though I don't live near my family, regular contact makes missing them easier. I also enjoy city life too much, while I love nature and a good walk, I also love the buzz and vibrancy of a city - discovering a new coffee shop, spontaneously dropping in to a new art exhibiton.
I didn't really know what to expect from Eden: Paradise Lost, maybe some comedy gold, people panicking over rations, a case study of the human condition.
What transpired was a fascinating, often dark experience, with huge divides between the group. It reminded me a lot of when I read Lord of the Flies in Sixth Form. Not all of the group stayed for the whole experience, and I can't say I blame them.
A lot of conflict early on was between boatman Anton and the others, Anton did isolate himself from the rest of the group, but I did feel he was unfairly picked on at times. Eventually Anton and his friend Rav were voted out by a majority.
After they left, an even bigger rift grew between the self-styled 'valley boys' and the others. The valley boys had all the characteristcs of school bullies. They made homophobic and misogynistic comments, which although I was shocked to hear them, sadly I wasn't surprised.
I was a huge fan of Katie who stood up to the boys, the way they treated her was horrible. They were very intimidating and the very early on dividing of boys' jobs and girls' jobs again was primitive but unsurprising. In my old job - which was an amazing place to work, and the company was very pro-successful women and equality - my training group went on a charity day where we were due to do some painting. I was fairly horrified when the guy running the event - not in my group - said 'so is it alright if the girls do the cleaning, and the guys do the painting.' Um, no! It was 2016 not the 1950s.
So how can this be fixed? Someone I know from poetry events recently posted they were unhappy when their son didn't name a pink toy his favourite as he felt it would make him look too girly. Even at a young age, subliminal messages in advertising affect young brains, without them even realising. Can sexism and homophobia ever be eradicated?
Maybe as humans we will always find things to divide us. Maybe some social groups are just too different to get on. Is it just human nature? I'm sure part of these attitudes stem from education. People have to be taught it's not ok to segregate people for their differences. Something I'll be pondering when I take part in the Chester Pride parade with work next weekend.
Going through a period of isolation at the moment, and although I like time to myself, there's such a thing as too much alone time. Going to force myself to get out and go to a poetry night this week. It's hard sometimes to put yourself out there, but always worth it when you do. And with that in mind I'm going to work on some more writing. Peace and love blogosphere