Think Responsibly

21 03 2008

PlugsIt seems that I have been subconsciously watching dreams of similar natures recently. Among them are Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Memento, both of which deal with memory loss.  The implications of not knowing what happened this morning, yesterday, of ten years ago give rise to a great deal of controversy, mostly because people choose to dream of only the advantages and not the disadvantages.

Both movies suggest that memory is an integral part of living.  Without it, we can never move forward from experiences.  We just get stuck in repeat, making the same mistakes over and over again.  However, this brings in to question what everyone who presently has their memories fully intact are doing.

People are constantly making repeated mistakes: diplomatic mistakes, relational mistakes, physical mistakes.  These two movies show us how embarassing it can be to not know the same reality as another.  You don’t think you’ve met this person before, but others know you have, and you are left being forced to laugh at yourself because you look ridiculous.  But occurrences like these aren’t reserved for those with broken memories.  Since we are lucky enough to have more or less complete knowledge of the things we do and the choices we make, shouldn’t we feel compelled to not follow in the footsteps of these people?  Don’t we have a responsibility to use correctly the only thing that allows us to know who we are and what we’re doing?

I believe too many people take memory for granted.  They throw it away with drugs or simply choose to make choices based on instinct or irrational thoughts.   With alcohol, people often throw around sayings like “Drink responsibly.”  How about a new one, “Think responsibly.”

Both movies are absolutely fantastic and definitely worth seeing once, if not multiple times.

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You can’t handle the truth

1 03 2008

NewsRecently, the Belgian author, Misha Defonseca, admitted that her best-selling auto-biographical work, Misha: A Memoire of the Holocaust Years, is actually not auto-biographical at all. The story tells of her orphanhood during World War II, her adoption by a pack of wolves, and her slaying of a Nazi soldier in self defense. Many people had questioned the validity of the tale long before now, but anyone who had seen her in person and heard the tale as she told couldn’t do anything but believe.

Misha

“This story is mine. It is not actually reality, but my reality, my way of surviving,” she has said. It is true that her parents will taken and killed by Nazis when she was a young child. She was forced to live with her adoptive uncle and grandfather, who treated her as the daughter of traitors. Her memoire is meant to recount her real story, perhaps in a metaphorical manner. “There were moments when I found it difficult to differentiate between what was real and what was part of my imagination.”

Her story reminds me of the acclaimed fantasy movie, Pan’s Labyrinth, about a mistreated girl in war-ravaged Spain escaping via her own imagination.

Personally, I think more people should write fictional works under the guise that they are non-fiction. For many people, this book was inspirational, poignant, and captivating. Why would we want to rob people of those? The only failing here was letting the guise fall. Misha had a rare chance to completely change the reality in which we all live. She had the power to change history as we know it and get away with it, for the good of all.

I truly believe that her determination to make this book auto-biographical deserves commendation. The dedication it must have taken to live your life as you wish it had been is unbelievable.

Unfortunately, now the only word that will continue to be used with this book is “fake.” I linked to the book on Amazon.com earlier in the post. Notice the first review reads “Too bad it’s not true,” and gives one star out of five. That is probably the worst reason to dislike a book I have heard in my entire life. Last time I checked, fictional does not equal worthless. Furthermore, the book can still be read as somewhat metaphorical non-fiction, although clearly most people can’t handle that. So the author made a mistake. Why can’t it be seen as a good mistake?

The most important thing is that the story comes from the author’s heart. Why can’t people find value in that?





Happy Safer Internet Day!

12 02 2008

HolidaysToday is the fifth annual Safer Internet Day across Europe. Public events and school programs took place across the continent warning both children and parents of the many dangers on the internet. A large part of the programs warned about virtual friends and online acquaintances who may not always be who they pretend to be. Unfortunately, they all fail to recognize the biggest danger of the internet: the internet itself.

The internet is known far and wide as a killer of at least three South Koreans who remained online until their deaths, a stealer of time and money, and an unequal replacement for live social interaction. I thought it was fairly obvious that there are bad people in the world. I also thought it was fairly well-known that there are bad people on the internet. A government shouldn’t have to have a day dedicated to encouraging parents to control their children. If the parents wanted all the information they could have… well… just looked it up on the internet. What European continent (because Americans aren’t involved in this) needs to understand more is the negative effect the internet can have on the population as a whole. After all, governments should be focused more on the whole than the individual. It’s up to the individual to realize that a stranger on the internet isn’t any different than a stranger in the real world, unless of course the stranger on the internet is controlled by a computer, in which case the individual needs to learn to differentiate between reality and fantasy.





Because reality makes much less sense than it should

26 01 2008

ArticlesThat phrase was the spur-of-the-moment tagline for this blog, but I had not yet directly referred to it. While I believe the world makes much less sense than it should in multiple ways, here are solid examples of coincidences that test one’s capacity to believe. People themselves may be stranger than fiction (as is the title of my last post), but some of the things that happen to them are even stranger yet: Ten Strange Coincidences





Heath Ledger: The shattering of reality

23 01 2008
Heath Ledger

NewsEvery person lives inside of a thin glass bubble we could call our sense of reality. Inside, we hold the things that make up who we are: the people we love most and the memories we have of them. Things happen outside the bubble all the time – people kill, earthquakes occur, rainforests are destroyed – but none of it really shocks us, because it doesn’t affect us and our sense of reality. We are content in knowing that this sense of reality is foolproof, and the bubble is safe from the outside world.

Sometimes we subconsciously let other people into our bubbles: people who write books we love, people who create music that inspires us, people who act in memorable movies. We accept that the books, the music, the movies will always continue coming because, without them, we are not the same. Without the things in our bubbles, we have to alter our expectations, our anticipation, our sense of hope.

I don’t know when or why it happened, but Heath Ledger had entered my impenetrable bubble.

He was not supposed to die.

But now it’s too late; the glass has been shattered. I’ll pick up the pieces just like the last time, because that is what is required of us. We must live with the hope that everything we need and everyone we know will always be there for us, even when we know they won’t, because otherwise we could never be happy and free. Any person who lives with complete recognition of the pain, suffering, and injustice in the world must truly live in Hell.

News Links:
CNN.com
BBC News
hollywoodrag.com

Horrific Links:
jossip.com
bestweekever.tv
bestweekever.tv (part 2)