Karl’s On The Telly!
If you are in the UK, or even if you are not but have a sneaky VPN thing going on, you can see Karl spending time with neurosurgeon Henry Marsh. Karl comes across as a very nice, thoughtful, quiet man, and I almost felt bad for all the mean things I say in Knausgaard vs Zola, but I’ve recently picked up the next Knausgaard instalment, so that should set me right again.
I was super-happy to see this program, as I have Marsh’s book. About fifteen years ago I took an extended agency stint in a brain injury unit, which really messed with all my deep-rooted ideas of the soul and what-not. It was discomforting to be with people who due to various accidents and infections, had become different people. Spurned spouses, fallen deeper in love with spouses, charitable to mean, impatient to patient, coffee to tea, etc. Not always a huge change, sometimes just slight adjustments, but to those closest to them, it was a lot to deal with. I didn’t continually seeing like the way our tastes and personalities were so obviously biological, which shouldn’t have been such a big shock as we all know how chemicals and hormones affect the brain, but I did like to think if I had a spirit, it was allergic to the Bay City Rollers, but the chances are if the energy spark of animation has some kind of future, it has no firm ideas about sticky ginger cake , Emily Brontë and Scandinavian film and TV.
What I find comforting about reading books like Henry Marsh’s is that by knowing more about the brain and how it makes us who we are, it’s easier to come to terms with it’s fragility. If I am disturbed by an idea, I like to look into it as deeply as possible and know what I’m dealing with. And by that, I meant the big ideas and questions, as although I may also find the X-Factor, fake nails, microwavable burgers and holiday camps disturbing, but I really don’t need to look into them.