Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Harold and Maude

Alright so I guess I will start by saying that some older films really can be awesome. This coming from the guy who typically doesn’t like older films even ones from the 70’s and 80’s. Anything pre- 90’s to me is considered outdated, typically. I happened to love this film yet I have never seen it before. The entire concept of it was simply brilliant, and I can understand why it is so highly followed as a “cult” film. It was hilarious, and I often found myself cracking up constantly at the absolutely ridiculousness of some of the events and behaviors that took place within the film. The overall message of it was also very powerful, and I enjoy and respect it all the more for it. It was one of those uplifting movies that makes a person want to just get up and live their life to the fullest like Maude did. She was a character that I think each and every one of us would try to be at least in some form. Hey at 79 I would love to be able to run around and do half of the crazy stuff she did. She was like the perfect ideal elder woman. I sure hope my hopefully future wife, whoever she may be is half as exciting as that batty old woman. To me everyone instantly falls in love with her character because she just represents a freedom that so many of us strive for yet never attain. In a way Maude reminded me of my own grandmother, who is the most upbeat energetic elder lady I have ever seen. Then we have Harold, and all I can say is how sad. I would hate to be near the guy, simply for just how miserable and morbid he is. It was as if he was Maude’s total antithesis. If there was some type of fun to suck out of life I would call Harold and he could leech it from me. Although there were times I appreciated his horrific dedication to reenacting his own attempted suicides, I thought he was a bit messed up in the head. I personally am a guy who can’t really imagine ever killing myself, or at least have yet to even have a sliver of thought towards that direction. This is not to say that like is wonderful and doesn’t have its ups and downs, but to me Harold personified the guy who only lived for the downs, never the ups. Overall I thought this was a great film and I am glad it was chosen for this lecture night because it probably would never have been brought to my attention otherwise. Safe to assume if it hasn’t happened in the last 20 years that it won’t happen tomorrow I guess. Everyone around me should only want the best and live for it. I’d like to think I take life with a grain of salt but at the end of the day I turn every single frown I have ever had upside-down.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Is Love a Disease?

Last week I attended a lecture by a guest speaker named Dr. Ealy. I must say it was very interesting, although I was not fond of his particular chosen mode of delivery. He was extremely knowledgeable about our topic of the week and I certainly felt as though my Tuesday night was well spent. He spoke of the Spanish play Celestina and that was the major focus of the discussion, yet it was actually something else entirely that captivated my attention. Dr. Ealy essentially associated love with disease or an illness. This is something I have never actually thought about yet in a peculiar way it makes a bit of sense. I have been in what I call love, or at least love in my definition of the term, yet I never actually looked at it as a negative, such as to tie it with words as sick, ill, diseased, etc. I find it inconceivable that someone in love would not enjoy it if in fact they received the same pleasure back from it. From what the professor was saying it is true that love is indeed a form of infatuation that can easily be associated with an OCD disorder. When a person is in love they sometimes simply cannot stop thinking of the other person making them obsessive. Is it normal to call a partner about ten times a day? I would say no but this happens quite frequently among couples. Sometimes, at least in my previous relationships I have found myself acting completely out of character. Looking back I am unsure if that was right. Has anyone honestly thought about their partner from the moment they wake up to the second they fall asleep, I am sure they have. Is this not a bit sick? To become so wrapped up in a love affair. The professor brought up another point that I found absolutely true. People in love sometimes say or do things they would never ordinarily in order to please their partner. Now why would someone do something they would never in a million years dream of doing unless something was wrong with them? Could love in actuality make us run on less than all our cylinders? These are but a few of the questions that I began to mull over during and after that lecture. Could love actually be a negative? Could love really be a form of mental sickness? I wonder……

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Rape is Funny

First off I wanted to say just how shocked I was at the turnout for this specific lecture. I had no idea it would generate such interest within our university. The topic of tonight’s discussion was rape and why we as a society portray it in our media as comical. I can safely say that in reality I do not find anything about the actual act of rape to be funny, yet there are certain times when someone for the sake of being ridiculously witty shoots out a comment or something that evokes a reaction from me. This is either one of disgust, admiration, or a laugh. I cannot explain why I find some of these jokes or commentaries to be funny but I simply do. The underlying reasoning of it is typically because I find people worthwhile and enjoyable to converse with if they are in fact quick on the uptake. Tonight’s lecture got me thinking of that; although it focused on pop culture portrayal and movies etc. internally I focused on a different aspect. I wanted to reflect on why I in fact admit to finding some portrayals of rape to be funny. It is actually rather disturbing to be able to say that about myself upon reflection but none the less it is the truth. I know that I’m not alone as I watched countless individuals snicker or grin as our professor made a comment or showed us something on the screen. The question is why do we find this funny? Well I think the reason is because like one of my classmates said we have become desensitized to the thought of rape as an actual real life occurrence that takes place all around us on what is probably a daily basis. On our campus alone there are so many groups and organizations that help fight the realities of this issue and yet we still walk around as if they don’t exist. It’s not as though we read in our universities newspaper that someone was raped the other day, which in my opinion is both good and bad. It is good because it doesn’t raise an unwanted response of panic within the student body and yet it is also bad as well. If we are not told that these things really do happen right under our noses or perhaps right beneath our dormitory floor in the room below how are we not expected to not be desensitized? Our school publishes a safety report annually and I have read it. Unfortunately I cannot even remember if it includes rape incidents or merely robberies etc. it is true that our university is numb to this reality. As a senior I have gone to countless parties where there is so much alcohol involved that it’s no wonder that certain individuals have things happen to them, or do things themselves. I have seen both men and women put themselves in harm’s way because there is an element of fun derived from it. I suppose rape is not only a numbingly real factor in all our lives but we in fact seek the HUMOR in it, the FUN.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Requiem for a Dream

So first off, DRUGS ARE BAD… this was the first time I have ever seen this film before although it debuted in 2000. All I can say is what a mistake that was on my part. I have seen so many movies throughout my life and very few will ever be remembered in the vivid detail that I have assured myself this film will be. I found that Requiem for a Dream was a brilliant depiction of the human condition. The movie itself followed the perpetual downward spiral of four individuals all linked in some way or another to each other. All of which were addicted to drugs of various types. I became entranced and at the same time painfully ensnared by this film. I have known many people who have done drugs and whose lives have been left completely changed by the devastatingly strong grip of their addictions. This movie was said to be dangerous in its depictions, of the truths that we as humans seemingly cannot accept within our society. Within that realm of society we enjoy being in a bubble of sorts, oblivious to the terrible and harsh truths that envelope our lives. This bubble however is merely semi-permeable and its films like this that break that barrier and challenge the normalcy of what we are so very use to. This film was about that, and what challenges drugs can present. Everything one does in their lives is a decision, a conscious choice. This movie merely chose to depict four individuals’ choices. I found it to be very powerful and quite moving. The way Darren Aronofsky chose to direct this was nothing short of brilliant. It was from this that I gained a respect for this director even though I have not seen any of his past works to my knowledge. I am certain that I will see many more now that I know just how good of a director he is. This movie was done in such an eerily precise manner, every scene cut at the right moment etc that made it what it was. I was a bit confused upon hearing that people found this film dangerous. From that am I to assume that depictions of truth itself are dangerous to us? If so how can we ever truly believe what we are being shown? Who gets to decide what is dangerous, who gets to choose what truths we immerse ourselves in……