I think horror movies are one reason I’m so creeped out by hospitals.
There’s also the idea that your perspective on hospitals reflect your disposition. Some see it as a place where people go to get better. Some, like me, see it almost exclusively as a place of hurt and death: you show up only when you’re hurt and, even if you don’t die, someone else in the building surely is.
So, hospital based horror freaks me right the hell out and Alphas made me uncomfortable and squirmy this week.
Abandoned halls. Flickering lights. Visions and voices, all menacing. They even laughingly acknowledged the “black guy dies first” trope. Rachel struggles with Nina. Cameron struggles with an institution. Bill struggles with himself.
The only one who doesn’t struggle is Gary, not at first. He hallucinates Anna, walking and talking, and fairly readily accepts it. His struggle comes at the end, and is with doing the right thing: if he lets Rosen save the comatose boy, Anna goes away. Having just come from her unveiling, Gary would rather have a vision of Anna there, even if he knows she’s just a projection of himself.
Anna’s and Gary’s use of the term neurodiversity indicates that Alphas message is in tune with what I’ve believed for a long time: the disorder isn’t the problem. The world we live in, the world which demands it’s inhabitants occupy a narrow range of “normal” is the problem.*
We’re all different. Why should our brains all work the same way?
As for Gary’s foray into becoming an Alpha revolutionary, I can’t say he’s wrong. I can’t definitively say that Anna and Red Flag were wrong either, although I disagreed with their methods. His friend was fighting for equality for Alphas and he saw her get shot in the head – that shook his beliefs about everything. Being chipped and detained in Building 7 for actions unrelated to his ability shook his beliefs, too.
And I wonder if that’s something the disability industrial complex ever worries about: differently-abled people examining their treatment, deciding it’s unjust, and rising up.
Next week’s episode is titled “Alphaville”. I hope that there are awkward recitations of Paul Eluard poetry and a computer with ennui.
*If you are or know an individual with autism, I’d encourage you to check out the Autism Self-Advocacy Network and Aspies for Freedom. Unlike Autism Speaks, these two organizations or operated by and for individuals on the autism spectrum and do quite a lot more than turn on blue lights in April.