GRIZZLY MAN: Werner Herzog’s Worldview vs My Li’l Old Worldview

Okay, not versus. Werner Herzog is terrific.

Did you ever see Grizzly Man? I thought that was a great film. I was riveted, start to finish. Now it’s a given that Werner Herzog (the film’s director) is a brilliant filmmaker, and I just keep trying to do what I do with way less talent. But I once said the following about something Werner said in the film’s narration (he also narrated the film—and the perfect voice for it, melancholic German). I have no idea if I’m right, but I happened to read again what I had said, and I thought it was worth posting to see what anybody else thinks.

I saw recently Werner Herzog in his fascinating documentary Grizzly Man—which I really enjoyed—he said, “I believe the universe is based in hostility, murder and chaos.” Then when he listened to the tape of the guy being eaten by the bear, it terrified him, petrified him, made him shake.

And I thought if you [Werner] believe the world is truly based in chaos and horror and murder, you shouldn’t be shaking when that happens because that’s a natural state to be in. But it is not, and I don’t agree with Herzog at all in that. I think he is a great director but I don’t agree with that conclusion and I know that he doesn’t deep down agree with it either. Otherwise he wouldn’t shake when he heard someone being eaten by a bear, because we don’t want to be eaten by bears—bears being in that moment a metaphor for chaos or brutality or death or whatever.

There is a yearning for beauty and to connect and see that it is not just random and chaotic. Anybody can see that. Einstein said it when he said, “God does not play dice with the universe.” So for me, I do kind of believe in order on a certain level. Despite all this incredible chaos. That’s my bias.

I mean, come on. How can you even look at those bears, this stunning planet, the ‘Grizzly Man’s’ desire to feel loved, and think the world is all chaos? Where does the beauty come from, man? Ask that question.

Speaking of existentialism and love, here’s a little song called Jean-Paul Sartre.

Here’s to lots of love and meaning in a big ol’ world,

Pete

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