Captain Fantasic
1 min read

Captain Fantasic

What is a good life?  What are your responsibilities as a parent?  How much do you need to conform to society?

Captain Fantastic is a movie about a family of eight that lives on the edge of society.  Captain Fantastic and his wife are against many social norms, like eating sugar, consumerism, and the education system.  They believe in self-sufficiency, radical candor, and rational thought.  The family lives in a remote forest in Washington.  They have “training” - intense physical workouts.  They hunt their own game and read advanced books.  They have impromptu music sessions.  The father teaches from a socratic, empathic method.  The parents want to raise their kids as philosopher kings in the platonic ideal.  

On the other hand, since the family is extremely isolated, the kids lack social grace and have awkward interactions with outsiders.  The eldest son can’t look a girl in the eye.  The kids are also often pushed to their physical limits and forced to push through injuries.

Do you think this is ideal?  Or would you call Child Protective Services?  What happens when a family’s ideals run up against society’s opinions?

I’ve always thought that I would figure life out eventually.  When I was a kid, I thought when I graduated college, I would know what to do.  When I graduated college, I thought when I turned 30 I would figure it out by then.  By the time I turned 30, I didn’t know what to think.  Now I think that no one knows, you can only make your own way and live with the consequences, good or bad.  

But your decisions have consequences on other people.  Are your decisions for their benefit or your benefit?  And the consequences include the judgment of other people.  How much should you care about them?  How much of your decision making is due to ego?  I guess I still have some thinking to do.