Deep Rollers Part Two: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

(First published in February 2009)

In case anyone should wonder why it’s Inner Minds instead of Inner Mind, it’s partly because this blog isn’t all about just the one mind of the author, but the many minds of the readers especially those who share their thoughts. And it’s also partly because if we have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.

I believe some may think that my previous article was hanging, but that was just the plan (actually I ran out of juice) so that other minds could share their light. And how they shared, weaving our thoughts together in a cross stitch. And a cross stitch has two sides: one that is full of randomly overlapping threads, some crudely cut short while others run long; and the other that shows the beautiful pattern that has some sort of beauty and balance. While the outer mind sees the former, the inner mind sees the latter. And then there are shallow rollers and deep rollers.

So, what is a deep roller? In the film Hannibal, Dr. Lecter compared Clarice Starling to a roller pigeon, particularly a “deep roller”. So, what is a deep roller? As of now I cannot answer that so while I keep my mind rolling for the definition of deep roller, let me ask you, do you know how the movie Silence Of The Lambs got its title? You’ll know it when you read the book, which is of course better than the movie. (However, Red Dragon is the only movie I’ve seen that is better than the book because it expanded Dr. Lecter’s minor book role.)

In the book Silence Of The Lambs, the young girl Clarice Starling woke up one morning at dawn at the sound of their lambs being slaughtered, and even until when she was already an adult she would still hear the lambs crying in her sleep. This information was extracted by Hannibal Lecter in exchange for profile information of a serial killer (quid pro quo, Clarice). Lecter told Starling that the lambs will only stop crying if she catches the serial killer. And when she finally did at the end of the book, the last line was “…and she slept deeply, sweetly, in the silence of the lambs.”

Now back to deep rollers. What does it mean when a person is called a deep roller? Before we can answer that, let us first try to list what rolling for a roller pigeon represents about the behavior of people. And this is where it gets interesting because it represents a lot of things. One of the comments to the previous blog argues that there should be a scientific explanation for the rolling of roller pigeons, that rolling should serve some practical purpose. Another says that deep rollers are the deep thinkers. And I have said that it has something to do with dopamine. We all I can say for now is, let’s keep our inner minds rolling deep. And let us not try to box “deep roller” into a single definition because it will lose its meaning.

7 Responses to “Deep Rollers Part Two: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants”

  1. July 8, 2012 at 3:59 am

    I was just thinking about the correlation of people compared to the birds in that movie….for some reason that particular line in the movie stuck with me. I like to read between the lines and see what the other meaning of things are. I googled it and this came up but so did several other sites. I love the idea that there is a difference between people and their souls. This is what I came up with…My parents were both deep rollers I feel like they were very complex and like they were soul mates. They divorced when we were kids but they always loved each other. My Dad wanted to start dating my Mom again and they did. It was like they were back to where they left off. Except my Dad passes away soon after in a fire. We were all devastated. But it was like we couldn’t change our makeup’ my sister and I were destined to have problems. We went through hell and back and are still having problems finding love, being content and happy like everyone else, trying not to rely on drugs prescribed or not to make us whole. Just the concept of trying to understand why people put on a facade when in reality they are lost. I cannot understand the idea that some people are just better fakers or liars to always look in control like everything is going their way. I know that as people we need this skill because being vulnerable or naive we are more likely to be taken advantage of. I have the love department mastered as far as guys have no control over my emotions…my problem is finding someone who is like me, and who likes me for the real me. I find a lot of people like me because of my appearance and my personality but don’t even really understand me. I have found a few people who are like me and they too are having the same problems. All I can think is that they are deep rollers unafraid to feel, be different, think abstractly and outside the box, show their souls.

    • 3 JP
      April 15, 2013 at 10:02 pm

      Is it really mastering your emotions if you say “guys have no control over my emotions”? It seems more likely that you have succeeded in putting up a very strong wall to protect yourself from getting hurt. This is a defense mechanism that offers protection from pain, but it also shelters you from experiencing authentic love as well. As cliche´ as it sounds, until you are able to love yourself, it is impossible to genuinely love another. You are looking for someone like you because you try use other people to understand your identity, as if they were a mirror reflecting back onto yourself. Once you have made peace with yourself, you will no longer need to find someone “like you” or someone who “understands you”. I only say this because I speak form experience. The greatest love of my life was a deep roller like me. Needless to say, it didn’t work out because we both had too many personal demons. But over time, I realized I was subconsciously using that person to understand myself. After all, that is the purpose of ALL human relationships. I learned the most valuable lessons from her. Once I did a lot of growing, I eventually met the woman who would become my wife. She was full of love. She was NOT a deep roller. She helped me feel safe enough to trust that it was ok to have emotions for others and to eventually learn to deeply care for someone other than myself.

  2. 4 John
    August 8, 2012 at 3:50 am

    My personal feeling is deep rolling involves risk. The heart of the risk/reward equation. The shallow roller exhibits caution, but may be curtailing the pleasure (or purpose) of rolling. The deep roller has a more complete experience, but risks more. The deepest rollers become too immersed and cannot pull out of their “dive”, whether real or virtual. Deep rollers are more focused and more committed, though it may not be for the substantive pleasure we can understand.

    If we are to examine what he means specifically in Hannibal, you have three separate avenues of enquiry.

    1) What Hannibal means at face value. He is telling Barney that agent Starling is a very committed person, but her commitment might consumer her. As well, the components of her commitment are deeply ingrained via nature (and maybe nurture too).

    2) What Hannibal’s purpose for telling Barney is. It’s hard to be certain, for me anyways. Hannibal gave Barney respect and credit in the book, in response to Barney already doing the same for him. Hannibal did not see Barney as a kindred soul, but paradoxically, he did see him as a full human being and accorded him good will. Perhaps this was as close to friendship as Hannibal could get. And friends share things.

    3) What the author’s purpose for Hannibal’s musing is. Harris is setting us up for the eventual psychological battle that will take place between Lecter and Starling. In my opinion, it is also a hint that Lecter feels he may be able to eventually fully subvert Starling to his way of thinking. By mentioning this deep rolling, it is one more clue to the avenue of Lecter’s “attack” (heck, in Lecter’s mind, maybe he was saving her). I also think that Harris must have been in a quandary. He had a character that chilled audiences but was the main attraction. He would be writing a novel with him (at least for much of it) being the protagonist and anti-hero. He had to keep people liking the character to a degree, but not being able to empathize with him. Harris was about to pull off a literary slap in the face to a whole lotta people, but he was setting the stage for it. Jodie Foster hated Harris’ ending and refused to play Starling because of it. But it isn’t out of left field, and Lecter is a manipulative monster. I could even see a sequel based on the way he ended the book, because the battle was not really over, not in Lecter’s mind.

  3. 5 sandy
    October 2, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    I think certain kinds of people get bored with the day to day routines of their lives, or perhaps a certain kind of monotony that may have been brought on early in life created a restlessness, so it is in these peoples’ nature’s to shake things up and “deep roll” occasionally, or live that kind of lifestyle through a chosen career path or romantic lifestyle. I don’t believe deep rollers are bred as much as I think anyone can become one given the right circumstances.

  4. 6 Trevor
    June 12, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    I have to agree with john here.. I see the idea of a deep roller as someone who is committed or driven.. Has ambition that can’t be stopped easily. The idea that two deep rollers breeding has to do with both genetics and upbringing, causing the child to go passed driven or ambitious, into the realm of obsessed. If you have one parent thats a deep roller and one that is shallow, you are likely naturally driven, but know when to relax. If you have two shallow roller parents, you will likely be naturally relaxed or apathetic.

    Now as it pertains to the movie/book, Starling was clearly driven to understanding and catching serial killers, but could be possibly obsessed with it to the point she would go after wild bill on her own, which she does after she discovers wild bill at that house.

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Attempts at uncovering the underlying simplicity beneath apparently complex concepts as well as the core complexity within seemingly straightforward issues


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