Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tuesday Musings

Sorry, no musings yesterday. Musings today instead! This is great all the way around.

Did anyone else catch John McCain dissing ethanol last week? That's awesome. More awesome? He was doing it in Iowa, a swing state that would be a nuclear storage facility if not for corn demand. I have never bought into the "McCain is above politics" narrative, but I'll take straight shooting where I can get it.

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On the other side of the aisle, the Obama campaign plans to declare victory over Hillary Clinton on May 20. Doesn't the whole declaring victory before everyone has voted thing seem a bit, I dunno, totalitarian? Would he like to make himself president for life while he is at it? How about the voters decide who gets to be the nominee, clingy though they might be?

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I recently caught "Into the Wild", the Sean Penn directed, rich-kid-runs-away-from-home-and-finds-himself-and-other-people-too, saga. I found myself more impressed with Eddie Vedder's work here than with the maudlin film itself (incidentally, is Penn capable of any note besides Maudlin?).

Whether you really enjoy the film probably depends on whether you would enjoy the company of the films protagonist, who evinces Henry David Thoreau with mild Attention Deficit Disorder. I find him slightly unbearable, which casts a pale over a film in which every secondary character is instantly in love with him. The film is schismatic, idolizing the kid while simultaneously unfurling his doom. Watching this film, I was left as cold as he was.

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I guess I'm unsympathetic to rich kids who do stupid things, generally. Forgive my impertinence.

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I'm planting peas this year, dammit.

3 Comments:

Blogger Ted said...

I will lend you the book, in a couple of years, when Gina is finished reading it. As always the book was much better.

12:11 PM  
Anonymous Clint said...

Peas are over-rated. You should look into sweet potatoes.

3:44 PM  
Blogger Jerad said...

It is hard to be sympathetic for rich kids with opportunities handed to them that we might never have had, but I didn't see that as the thrust of Into the Wild.

I Liked the movie more than the book, although the book leaves more room for the possibility that the kid has a mental illness. The book is also too infused with the author's own experiences.

I loved the film, though. It wasn't about thinking the kid is a new messiah for me, it was about identifying with the time in your life when you were convinced that everything around you was sinful and broken, but somehow there was some way you could change it on your own, or re-make it. You need to prove you can do it yourself, that as a young man you are an island.

Eventually you learn that you aren't capable of that radical independence, no matter how much others buy into your image. What was his deathbed realization? [spoiler alert] "Joy must be shared with other people." It's like how Contact (a much worse movie) ended, with the aliens telling the human that "the only thing we've found to fight this vast emptiness that we feel... is each other."

And these may as well be referring to Jesus, the body of Christ through whom everything was created. For people who see life as a continual journey of relationship with God, which manifests in relationship with others, the movie speaks to the emotional truth of salvation.

I like the movies where characters develop.

10:14 AM  

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