Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Road - An Honest to OMG Movie Review...not really

I spent some time tonight watching The Road. It's a film starring Viggo Mortensen. Viggo gets a chance to really act in this movie, which was pretty awesome. He did a great job overall. The film is a classic post-apocalyptic film which successfully puts the cause of the apocalypse on the back burner to highlight what these films are really about -- that is, a sociological experiment. It's about a civilized primate living in a world completely devoid of civilization. We are people who require the existence and cooperation of other people. Without it, we become savages. We become people no better than the animal kingdom we take such pride in being above. This film really highlights that fact like so few post-apocalyptic tales really do. The Walking Dead is an exception to this statement, though as I mentioned in a previous post.

I won't put any spoilers in here, so it's safe to read on, but, consequently, it's important to note that I won't be talking about anything near the end. Nothing spectacular happens whatsoever, but it's still no fun to hear about a narrative conclusion before you come to it. The film, overall, is about a man and hisson surviving in a world without the comforts you and I experience every day. It's about human intimacy and the practical experimentation of moral axioms that we've come to rely upon. It shows the challenges of the moral "good" and moral "evil." In short, it's a great apocalyptic film. Strong acting and good cinematography really support the script here. Anyway, you have my vote to see it, but I wouldn't bring the wife. It's the sortof tale that seems most applicable to the anthropological role of protector, which is often most psychologically suited for the fathers out there.

That's pretty much it. Conclusions are for papers. This is not a paper.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I'm Too Awesome To Be Modest

I don't intend my hatred for certain things to be a re-occurring theme on this blog, but it appears that it will make more appearances than I originally planned. So the object of my scorn on this blog? Modesty. F modesty, man. Modesty is an invention of those less cool than you are. Imagine this scenario. An Olympic runner #1 (O1) is sitting next to Olympic runner #2 (O2). O1 says to O2, "Hey, I run a 3.5 minute mile!" He makes this statement with pride in all of the hard work he's put in to achieve, frankly, an amazing human feat. O2 says, "Good Lord, that's awesome! I run a 3.5 minute mile as well!" He also makes this statement with a similar motive. These two equals smile and continue talking about the challenges and glories of the road to this feat. This leads to the forging of a lifelong friendship. This is good.

Now imagine O1 sits next to Not A Runner #1 (NR1). O1 says to NR1, "Hey, I run a 3.5 minute mile!" His face is beaming, still aglow from the miraculous human feat he just accomplished. NR1 says, "I don't run at all, and I feel inferior now." This is considered to be bad. If O1 makes a habit of this, he's an immodest person.

My official stance? That's retarded. So, contextually he's a good person and contextually he's a bad person. Forget that. I think the morality falls on the listener. I have strived to rid myself of jealousy so that when I encounter an individual that is better than me at something, and he/she makes a statement like this, I admire them. It's amazing that when you get rid of the jealousy, suddenly you can create infinite amounts of good from meeting an individual that shares his/her achievements with you. You evaluate each one and think, "Why, I'd like that achievement as well," or "I have no desire to have that particular achievement, but good for them." It's sad that if you follow the morality of modesty, you may never know how amazing the people are that surround you. I found out that one of my professors is published on a literary commentary on zombies. O. M. F. G. How long would I have been robbed of this "bragging," if he would've remained modest on the subject.

In short, there are entirely cogent moral systems that include pride and immodesty as their core beliefs. Hellenistic morality had it as one of its core fundamentals. All Grecco-Roman heroic figures were overly-proud, but it inspired competition. Competition bred excellence, and excellence bred an overall better society.

There you have it. My rant on Modesty. So F modesty. I'm too awesome to be modest. I'll bet you are too. And, damnit, I want to know that about you.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My Comic Rendez-Vous: Like Re-connecting With an Old Friend

Rain. I hate the rain. It's a funny thing about humans. We like to be a little wet or a lot wet. Anything imbetween just pisses us off. If you've ever been splashed by the side of a pool you understand. You're in a bathing suit, but that little bit of water is just not cool.

Friday was one of those days. The rumors of the slightest drizzle is just enough to make you carry an umbrella. You tote that thing around all day waiting for it to rain, and the clouds just decide to hold back. It's like the weathermen and precipitation are in a comedy club together. At any rate, it was overcast, and overall depressive. When class lets out at the university, though, it's like waking up on a Saturday morning. The sky's the limit for the rest of the day. It's always a big secret that you'll just squander the day away, but for that singular moment, you could solve world hunger.

So, there I was. Umbrella in hand, still dry. Heart full of promise. I get in my car and start driving home. Then I see it. Lo and behold...an undiscovered treasure in the otherwise unremarkable strip mall near the University of Arkansas. A comic book store. Well, it's been a while since I've enjoyed a good comic, so I carpe-freaking-diem. I go in and make a purchase after much talk. I get The Walking Dead, promised to be THE zombie epic.

After a 35-minute drive home, I walk in the door and throw myself on the couch. After kicking off my shoes, I open the picture-filled wonderland and get started. I have to say that it was everything it was cracked up to be. See, the thing about zombie stories is not the gore or the threat of being bitten by a zombie per se. No, it's the sociological commentary on how humans behave in a society that is without enforced rules. It's virtually Lord of the Flies, but with a more pressing danger. You see, zombies are too slow to be a real threat. Zombies don't kill people. People do. It's the decisions they make or the decisions others make for them that eventually gets them killed.

Moral of the story? Get that comic and check it out. You may just find yourself a new convert.