Archive for November 19th, 2021

Reunion on the Bounty

GC Myers- Reunion on the Bounty

GC Myers- Reunion on the Bounty

Was this how a mutiny was sparked? In a moment of heedlessness, so that one became a stranger to the person one had been a moment before? Or was it the other way around? That this was when one recognized the stranger that one had always been to oneself; that all one’s loyalties and beliefs had been misplaced?

― Amitav Ghosh, The Glass Palace

The painting above is called Reunion on the Bounty and is headed to the Principle Gallery for their annual Small Paintings show that opens in early December.

It’s a piece that has a little humor. Or so I think. The idea of a reunion between the mutineers from the Bounty and Captain Bligh and the other crew members who remained loyal to him seemed to have a certain degree of absurdity that appealed to me.

It might be something like the Capitol Police and the seditious Insurrectionists of January 6 having a picnic to commemorate that day.

When I thought of that comparison it brought to mind something a lot of people say when faced with the consequences of their actions, such as those insurrectionists now facing criminal charges and prison time. After doing horrible and often violent things, people often say that this was not who they really were. They often add that they are good people.

I find those interesting things to say. The passage at the top from acclaimed Indian author Amitov Ghosh sums it up well. Was the horrible action an aberration? Or was it a revealing of their true reality?

After all, everybody thinks they are good people. Who truly thinks of themselves as being awful, as being thoughtless, selfish creeps?


We have built-in mechanisms that rationalize and justify our own actions that sometimes, in effect, blind us to how those actions or our true natures appear to others. Unfortunately, we seldom acknowledge the faults in our actions or express any remorse.

Well. at least, until we’re in custody. Then, of course, we claim that the person who committed the atrocities wasn’t who we really are.

But maybe that was who we were all along.

I don’t really know. I’ve done and said plenty of things that I regret. But I admit that I was that person in those instances, at that time. Hopefully I learned, grew, and evolved. Maybe became a different person who was the real me as a result.

But I don’t know if I will ever know for sure which is the real me.

And I am sure that Captain Bligh or the Capitol Police wouldn’t give a damn if that was or wasn’t the real you because they had to deal with whoever it was on the day in question. If Mother Teresa or Albert Schweitzer came at them with a sabre or a can of bear spray, all their previous good works would mean little to them.

Mother Teresa with a can of bear spray? Hey, maybe that could be a future painting…

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