What is the significance of B pill in Maniac?
As the trial video in Maniac, A, B, and C pill represent agonia, behavioral, and confrexia respectively. Last week we just saw how pill A works: subjects are forced to confront with the trauma in past. After recognizing the trauma, how do physicians utilize the pill B to help these subjects? In episodes of this week, the trails disclose the function of pill B: subjects experience the distorted trauma of their minds. Dr. James uses the scores of “dissolution of defense mechanism” to evaluate the effects of the therapy, and I realize that B pill reveals the defense of the consciousness. According to Freud, to protect us from the agony of trauma, our consciousness will defend in consciousness, that is, consciousness will repress trauma and transform it to something we can accept.
The significance of pill B is that it demonstrates the true condition of consciousness: the only way to recognize the trauma is through our behavior, the reveal of consciousness. However, how can we understand the trauma, or the truth of ourselves, just from our behavior? Can behavior literally represent trauma?
I think the concept of phenomenology is appropriate to explain the meaning of B pill. In “Ends of Man”, Dirreda illustrates the connection between of phenomenology and consciousness:
“Consciousness, the phenomenological element, is thus the truth of the soul; that is, of that which is precisely the object of anthropology. Consciousness is the truth of man; phenomenology is the truth of anthropology.” (41)
Our behavior, our consciousness, just like the phenomenology, is the reveal of soul, the reveal of the truth of ourselves. The term Dasein—the act of being— explains such circumstance: our being is trough acting. Without acting, we are no longer being.
Baudrillard gives me the inspiration of the example of Dasein. In “The Ecstasy of Communication”, Baudrillard uses the car as an example:
“Vehicle becomes our capsule, its dashboard the brain, the surrounding landscapes unfolding like television screen…The fundamental issue becomes the communication with the car itself, a perpetual test of the subject’s presence with his own objects, an uninterrupted interface.” (127)
The dashboard shows the condition of ourselves, and it’s the interface of our intention. Only through acting are we being; only through the dashboard we can know the condition of ourselves.
Thus, B pill, like dashboard, shows the consciousness, shows the truth of ourselves, even though it’s the transformation of trauma. To know thyself is just to know what you do. Maybe that isn’t complicate as we though.