Posts Tagged ‘Bones’

I Believe In Temperance Brennan

This is my personal narrative essay about my beliefs and philosophy.

Because it was supposed to be in narrative form, i made up some of the details. storytelling is after all, a form of lying to tell the truth.

I believe in Dr. Temperance Brennan. Her attitude, her philosophy, and her demeanor in life is both admirable and beautiful. As a believer in Bones (her nickname) I am an atheist, I find naturalist explanations for everything and certain fundamental ideas of society are often lost on me, or refuted by me. Like Bones, I do not believe that fear is a motivator, I do not have faith in psychology and I can over explain everything with amazing success. Like Bones, I have a small band of faithful friends and a long list of people who I do not remember, but who remember me as the one person who they really dislike because of his arrogance, intelligence and cold and often calculating attitude.

My first connection with the Fox Network character was during the ad for the pilot episode. One quote stuck with me, and I have used it often enough: “oh, you mean people with high IQs and basic reasoning skills?” This is often after an accusation about how ‘you people’ are different or odd or downright wrong. I believe, as Brennan does, that people are intimidated by intelligence, or envious of it, and seek out to find something wrong with those who are better than them. It may be a very un-American thing to say, but honestly, all men are not equal, some are better, some are smarter, faster, stronger or something that sets them apart, Bones often points this out, as do I, and I take a nice amount of nasty glares for it too. Once people realize this, perhaps we will be able to achieve something in life, intelligence is often mocked and scientists are feared by the public. In Bones, the FBI agents refer to the scientists as ‘squints’ because “you know, that’s what they do, they squint at things in labs and have no notion of the real world” as Booth (Bones’ partner) put it in the first episode. So as part of believing in Brennan, I believe that people are too separated from reality, they embrace a hopeless fantasy and deny anything outside of it. Anything that has science backing it up will be mistrusted and anything involving blind faith will be embraced, because people naturally assume that men like Einstein and Darwin are really no better than them, they are after all, only men, and “all men are created equal”

A part of believing in Bones is never drawing conclusions before analyzing, in one episode, Bones’ grad student, after sorting though a victim’s belongings, mutters “a picture begins to form” to with Bones replies: “No Zach, we are scientists, we never draw pictures or conclusions without all of the evidence.” So in my life, I never draw conclusions before knowing like I have enough evidence to back it up, hunches are just hunches, not anything to trust in. In a more condensed way of saying it: we are scientists, even in everyday life, using logic and reason to discover the world, conclusions muddle our vision, we dispel evidence against our preconceived notions and even forge evidence to support whatever conclusions we drew, regardless of how fallacious they may be. Sometimes being a scientist has its drawbacks, in my life the one example that sticks is the following:

My best friend Nikki (who often compares me to Bones) talked me into seeing The Dark Knight, she used the argument that it’s a culturally acceptable tradition to go with friends to movies you do not want to see, in order to make them happy and strengthen the friendship (she also begged). I agreed and went to see a movie that was on my ‘never watch list’ (yes I really do have one) There I found a guy with who I had a close but long distance friendship with, as always we flirted for a while, and while Nikki watched we fell back into old patterns, which drew glares from men and women alike in the hall. After he left, Nikki turned to me and asked if I was ever going to actually ask him out rather than go on with our somewhat subtle unspoken relationship. I smiled, and recalling a scene from Bones I answered:

“You know how Bones looks at human remains and analyses it before making a decision?” after she nodded I continued:

“He’s like human remains, and I haven’t made a decision yet”

She smiled and took me to the worst movie experience of my life, and in good old Bones style I asked her to refund me.

After that I started to apply the concept of everyone-is-human-remains to everything and everyone. I did that already, but I never related it to Bones.

A believer in Bones believes that plastic surgery is barbaric and primitive. In one episode, Bones explores her relationship with plastic surgeons and she states:

“How arrogant do you have to be to believe that you can do better than millions of years of evolution?”

As expected, I agree. Plastic surgery, outside of reconstructive surgery, is in my opinion, evil. Not many things get to be labeled as evil by me, other than religion. But Plastic surgery (circumcision included) is one of those things. Notions of beauty change, and they do so from culture to culture, and generation to generation. I believe that someday we will some to see non-medically needed plastic surgery with the same distain that we see the use of neck rings to extend the neck and male circumcision with the same rage that we have for female circumcision and other forms of mutilation.

Bones is a beautiful woman, which in de facto patriarchal societies is a sign of weakness. In order to break that idea and in order to be able to back up her threats she is an experienced martial artist and an incredibly good shot with a small caliber gun. I am a Mexican in a predominantly white society and I am the opposite of what a good male is considered to be in our culture. In order to back up my threat and avoid being beaten for other certain codon differences (seen with disgust by ‘normal’ members of this superficial society) I am a martial artist, with some training in aikido, tae so do, tai chi and very rudimentary ba gua. Like Bones, I am also good with a gun, much to the pride and help of my dad, whose job for thirty some odd years included a gun and a badge. I don’t own a gun, but I can use one if the need ever arose (hopefully I never will)

Bones is blunt and does not know when to lie. I could recount in innumerable amount of stories when I was too blunt or not subtle or kind enough to lie. One instance that is engraved in my memory is the one time I made someone cry in a classroom debate. Her name was Rachel and the topic was culture (as an anthropologist without a degree, this was my subject area) we were discussing ethnocentricity and although I am an ethnocentrist, I draw the line somewhere (where exactly I’ve never been able to test). She believed that it was right for one culture to completely assimilate and consume or destroy another, not only that, but that it was the obligation of one stronger culture to destroy another one (she is Mormon, so this idea is central to her faith) I disagreed, I challenged her to compare her beliefs and give examples of that idea in practice. After I while a named a few: Nazi Germany, Emperor Hirohito’s Japan, The Dutch Congo, Apartheid South Africa. Clearly she did not take well to my examples. But I was angry and I needed her to understand what she was saying, so I went on a discourse about the Rwandan and Darfur Genocides (something I feel strongly about, also something reflected in Bones). After a while, past the point when my usually higher pitched voice lowered and my volume rose (entirely subconsciously) in anger and dismay, she began to cry, and I went on, comparing her, her beliefs and her family to Stalin’s Soviet union and other less pleasant examples. Later I apologized and we still manage to get along, despite the fact that she’s at BYU and I am at ASU, and the obvious disagreements in philosophy. But since I’ve begun to practice the Buddhist concept of ‘active self-restraint’ and so far, I have proved to be very good at it.

The last parts of believing in Bones are multiculturalism and multilingualism. Bones speaks English, Chinese, French, Spanish, Latin and German. And she understands the social structures and cultural norms of various cultures and peoples. Something that I believe is essential to the survival of our growing global community. I myself speak English, Spanish, and French and am learning Latin and Italian, and I also understand the social structures of several groups and nations, something that will come in handy when I rejoin the United Nations after specializing in Human Rights and Social Justice in my Doctorate (after a Master’s in Forensic Anthropology) So as a part of being like Dr. Temperance Brennan I believe in interaction and mutual respect in diplomatic relations between countries and even between individuals. I may not believe that you are right, and I might draw the conclusion that a certain person belongs locked up, I will still get along with them, respect them and in return I expect the same.

Obviously, I have some errors to work out, but you get the idea, no?

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