“To feel...it's as vital as breath. And without it, without love, without anger, without sorrow, breath is just a clock ticking.”
How do you stop a conflict? This is a question that puzzled lots of politicians, pacifists and terrorists alike. Different people have a different answers to it. Some choose to yield; some propose eradicating those who conflicts against them; some evade from conflicts by making scapegoats out of others instead of solving them. We all know, by historical examples, that all three cases wont give us long lasting peace. Well the movie Equilibrium offers us another solution to this conundrum, to eradicate the source for all conflicts – hatred. The catch is however, in order to eliminate hatred, we’ll have to give up the ability to feel.
The movie’s assumption is that emotions is a package and can be removed or suppressed by disabling our ability to feel emotion. In order to eliminate hatred, we have to also give up other emotions as well. I can’t help but to consider if an individual is functional without emotion? How would they make choices? As seen in the movie, they don’t. They just obey. Like machines, following orders that are given to them. But machines can’t function without command from human. Which makes sense because the ‘father’ still retain his emotion and is making all he choices on behalf of the country. Advocating stripping of emotion yet not obeying his own rule somehow makes him a big fat hypocrite. Well it is necessary. But is it the best way to do it?
A world without emotion is unimaginably dull and cruel. The society becomes one, or shall I say appendages for the head of the country (pun intended). Which is really depressing. The saddest part is that you won’t even get to feel depressed. The society has also become merciless and cold. It is ironic. The aim of eliminating feelings is to create a better world for everyone, and all they achieve is a even more hostile world where people is trapped in the system where they will never find out that they are trapped.
It made me realised something about myself as well. Living in a sugar-coated environment had dulled my ability to feel emotions. A much too ‘colourful’ life has a numbing effect on the brain to the point where sometimes I even felt that I had mimicking emotions of people around me just to blend in. Sometimes I really thought that I have lost my ability to feel. I guess that’s the reason why my favourite playlist consist of all the slow, sad songs. I guess that is also the reason why I like to board a random bus to a random place where nobody knows me. I guess that’s the reason why I like going to West Coast Park in the midnight to watch the silently twinkling stars and listen to the rhythmic ocean waves crashing on the beach. Well I’m an individual with a low threshold to overloading of anything. (Which explains why I get bored easily.) I’m like a buffer with very low buffering capacity. This is the part of me that calibrates me back to the point of maximum buffering capacity. This is the part of me that takes me back to the equilibrium of my emotions.