Do you remember the 70’s film “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”? It starred Jack Nicholson and Louise Fletcher and won five academy awards. I loved that movie but at the time I didn’t fully appreciate the message writer Ken Kesey was sending.
In recent years, however, it has become crystal clear to me. Let me explain…
The story is about a mental ward occupied by a diverse group of male patients. Each one is afflicted with a different form of mental illness. Though pathetic, we all see a little bit of ourselves in them because we are hopelessly dependent on amorphous institutions to get through every day. The movie symbolizes our modern society, where most of us go about our business to provide for our family, but are constantly subjugated to conflicting information, insensitive rules and irrational regulations.
Nurse Ratched, the Head Nurse, represents the institutionalization of modern Progressive culture: She controls the narrative. She is what I call the FrankenMedia Monster. She manages the patients with passive aggressive intimidation, scorn and guilt.
Twice a day she makes sure everyone takes their tranquilizers and sends them off to La La Land. She rewards good behavior with treats of candy, cigarettes or doctored messages from relatives. But if anyone rebels or misbehaves, she drops the “Cancel Culture” hammer on them with hurtful diatribes or a session of shock therapy. She depresses their autonomy, and reprograms their values. Under her care they are helpless zombies.
Social scientists call her technique of coercive control “Perspecticide.” Which means the “murder of rational perspective.” If you know anyone involved in an abusive sexual relationship, you know how powerful this form of coercive control and identity manipulation can be.
Then one day, Randall McMurphy shows up.
He is a loudmouth, fun loving rogue who has committed just enough mischief in his life to be labelled a miscreant. During sentencing for a civil crime he chooses the mental hospital over hard time because he thinks it will be a “piece of cake.”
He immediately starts getting under the skin of Nurse Ratched. Her abusive manipulation of the patients angers him. He encourages them to “lighten up” and “think for yourselves!” She soon realizes he is a threat to the order of the ward and is frustrated when her usual control tactics don’t seem to work.
Here is what I recently came to understand about the film: Just as McMurphy was a disruptor, so is Donald Trump. Like McMurphy, he won’t accept Washington’s incompetency. He rejects the ineptitude of the Beltway. He resents how the cabal of academia, the media and transnational corporations use coercive Fake News to control the emotions of all Americans.
The mental ward is symbolic of what I call the FrankenMedia Cabal. For decades, a deceitful coalition of academia, entertainment and union affiliations has filtered every aspect of our information experience. Especially today, through the ubiquitous controls of social media, we only see what Nurse FrankenMedia wants us to see.
When faced with a loss of control, she lashes out and uses intimidation and fear of shock therapy and restrictions to manipulate the emotions of her patients. Nurse FrankenMedia uses perspecticide to control every aspect of her patient’s existence.
In the movie, McMurphy the Disruptor, inspires the patients to steal the hospital bus and go on a wild fishing trip. After a drunken night of revelry in Nurse Ratched’s absence, McMurphy is deemed responsible. The hospital administrators, the Deep State, want to neutralize him. They want their control back, so they have him lobotomized.
There was one character in the ward who silently watched the conflict. He never spoke a word. But he noticed that McMurphy made the sick people happy. He was outraged when officials destroyed the mind of his friend. Unable to watch his friend live in such a vegetative state, he smothers McMurphy with a pillow. Screaming in anguish, he throws a wash basin through a glass security door and escapes to freedom.
Watching this film in a theatre in 1975, the audience leapt to their feet and cheered! Most Americans relate to the 6’ 9” tall Indian “Chief.” He represents the Silent Majority. Like him, people that value fairness, empathy and human justice have a hero now, and we can’t stand by quietly and let the Deep State lobotomize him.
Rick Elkin is an artist, author, columnist and public speaker. All of his work including his most recent book, “The Illusion of Knowledge: Why So Many Educated Americans Embrace Marxism” is available at RickElkin.com.