So after a second viewing and reading this thread here are a couple thoughts that may pepper into what some of the rest of you have been saying.
*Verbal Vomit Begins*
I'll start with the dragon speech. Here's my best guess with regards to the film. We're programmed against monogamy with relation to our animal instincts. We claim that reason can dig us out of that hole, REASON IS THE LASSO THAT WRANGLES THAT BEAST IN AND ALLOWS ONE TO NOT ACT ON YOUR URGES AND INSTINCTS.
I don't think the fully explains the speech, but i think there's a lot to be said with regards to that, because dodd obviously struggles with this too, this is may have something to do with the questionable jerking off in the sink business and also that maybe his marriage was terrible before he made enough money to control his surroundings and thus problems. Once you harbor those you can focus on being civilized, it's tougher with strife and naysayers. Success has given Dodd the opportunity to stay fucked up, away from criticism and surrounded by people who look to him as a messiah of sorts.
With regards to Freddie beating up people for The Cause, and what this means; Well I tend to draw a parallel to the fact that he killed a bunch of "Japs" for the United states. I really don't see a difference in the two. This is showing what Freddy knows and tells a lot about his character. That he is a simple man or a, "silly animal," which is the line spoken after Freddy lets one rip in what is supposed to be a serious situation.
I'm not sure I find a need to discern what kind of animal Freddy can be interpreted as. There are plenty of species in the Animal Kingdom that can come to have the traits of a dog, my point is we've "civilized" many different species and built relationships based on loyalty, camaraderie etc all the same. Freddy simply put, is not a civilized human being. Through Dodd's perspective this means that, he's not maximizing his potential as such, and this is part of Dodd's why Dodd values Freddie as a subject or experiment. More importantly, Freddy is a psychologically damaged man, and Dodd is certainly aware of the post war, nuclear age, that he describes to John Moore. I mentioned this in my first post in this thread, I believe this is an important part of the film, although you're not constantly reminded of it, we need to embrace that he is psychologically unstable and this guides him through his journey, which can be shown when he goes and brags to the master about beating up john Moore, He's looking for confirmation about doing the right things in life, for the community that's taken him in, Again, he probably would've celebrated for his action in a militaristic context, that's why he's confused. Oh, and the master refers to him as an animal then too. I don't think this is too on the nose, or hitting you on the head. It's a statement of fact. We are animals, and sometimes we don't like to be reminded of it.
I do like what samsong brought to the table with this idea of Dodd being genuine. I don't see much sleaze or authenticity in Dodd and that's one facet of the film I find outstanding in its execution, yet PTA presents it so effortlessly. The honest and objective(ish) portrayal of a cult leader. Sure he's four parts charismatic etc, but Dodd has an understanding about the human condition and what we're prone to do, for better or for worse.
I believe that with Dodd's speech at the end saying, "when you've found out how to live without a master; any master, be sure to let US know, for you would be the first person in history to achieve this..." or something along those lines; This is the point of the film to me in a lot of ways, because Dodd is actually right about The Cause to an extent. The longest lasting religions adhere to Darwin's theory of evolution when it comes time to parish or prosper. Specifically in the cases such as Calvinism and Catholicism we see that over time they adapted their teachings to wider (poorer) audiences even if there were some contradictory changes made.
Dodd at least has figured out that people latch on to things, and this does include colonial attitudes, or civilized modes of being. We're all at the mercy of some kind of approach that was impinged upon us. The Cause is just like anything, with enough faith (or ignorance), you can let something rule you, and if it promotes positive living, then geez, it very well may be a good thing despite it being based on nothing sensible. We do this, all the time. What are our Masters? What is our Cause. Literally and metaphorically with regards to the film. The use of "cause" here is just brilliant.
The things that rule Freddy's are so simple that Dodd actually has a special project on his hands. Almost like he gets to start out with a man still in the state of nature. Freddy's obsesses over sexual desires and the film is spent balancing his masculine actions with tears linked to moments of self actualization and times where he is actually opening himself up to be vulnerable (from what i understand the 50's was a time when people were more reserved in their actions). Earlier while being interrogated by an officer about a crying fit, he tries to defend his actions, justify what had happened, rather than opening up to the authority figure, but in the processing sequences we catch glimpses of a different character.
I find the film to be very hetero-centric, and when the back drop is the 1950's, you contrast the normative behaviors of that time and how shunning Freddy's behaviors would be under the spotlight of that era and then you really start to see the dilemma of man; that the Hopelessly inquisitive is primal at it's core and this rage can surface due to the hopelessness sometimes ("PIG FUCK," PSH yelling at Dern-ski).
Think about how frowned upon our introduction to freddy would be to those rich women that Dodd is looking to get funding from. First, He talks about lighting on fire and stabbing his balls with an ice pick (THIS IS OUR INTRODUCTION TO THIS MAN (ROFL) to get rid of crabs and then he fucks a sand woman, masturbates then passes out next to her. SO much to be said about this, yet it really speaks for itself a great deal.
AS FOR THE MOTORCYCLE SCENE - Dodd says, "we're playing a game, it's called pick a point." Freddy Picks his point. He listens to Dodd. Freddy's point is Doris. It is pretty bizarre, and stylistically/aesthetically gorgeous, but is it really any more random than making Freddy pick two points and have him go to it and describe it? Freddy wants to get the maters approval, so maybe he's taking the "game" much more serious that The Master intended.
Geographically speaking, Where is Freddie cutting the cabbage, because isn't it some place in china? this may explain the, "gone to china," section and also why Dodd sings it. If I'm not mistaken, there is an outfit difference between when Freddy runs away from the oriental men because the alleged poisoning, and when he gets on Dodd's boat. I'd like this confirmed, but I payed close attention to his clothing on my second viewing and there's a lot to be questioned especially with regards to Naval sequences, and just the linear progression of the film by watching his outfits. There are these spaces and gaps along with references to Freddy traveling all over, not to mention he's a seaman etc. DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP.
That's all my nonsense for today folks.