The Terrible Hunger
Coming to in the opium den. Injecting cocaine to wake up. Zipping through operations high on liquid lightning. Infectious energy lifting everyone else around. Dignified walk out of the hospital. Opium at night to sleep.
White shoes. Red hands. Gray soul.
Immigrants, trying to make do against a xenophobic populace, the previous wave of imported labor concerned that the current batch is taking their jobs.
Racism. Pragmatism. Subversion.
Is this period piece a commentary on current day America? Race? Healthcare? People avoid going to a doctor at all costs, can't afford to convalesce, don't want to be treated by a “dusky coon”.
The Knick was a couple-three years before its time. Now, when half the country has stopped pretending there has been much social progress, and the other half that they wanted any, it would be incendiary.
Its procedures are barbaric, more guesswork than medicine. The best you can hope for is to get the patients to die slower, so you can have time to sew them up. Drugs, corruption, rampant.
Death. Commonplace, quotidian.
Whores and syringes. Alcohol and anger. Greed and malfeasance.
Introduce noise into your environment so that it distracts you, turns off the bickering voices, lets the inner you speak. Consume yourself for inspiration. Burn at your own pyre.
Watching someone invent the future. Flying too close to your heroes. Guilt, the great brain scrambler.
This is it. This is all that we are. All blood and guts, exposed for your entertainment. Playing brinkmanship with ourselves, trying to scrape away as much of the system 2 as we can so that the system 1 can do its thing. Surrendering to our worst selves so we can become someone else.
Release. Frustration. Self-immolation.