Life of Pi is a fantasy film that is dramatic and also philosophical in nature. The film covers a lot of ground. It begins as a chronicle of one boy’s life and how he grows into a man that decides to believe in God. The God part of this film makes it somewhat predictable. It certainly wasn’t written by Ernest Hemingway who seemed to hint at an atheist reality. Instead, this film, which began as a bestseller book, takes us through the fantasy story of a man who survives a shipwreck and over 200 days at sea with a Bengal tiger. We are given two stories and offered the choice which to believe. In that way, minus Pi’s God theme, it reminded me a lot of K-Pax, which wasn’t a “God” themed film but also a fantasy film with 2 options to believe. K-Pax led you closer to the truth of the dual story In my opinion. In K-Pax, the fantasy option is a lot more easily swallowed (pardon the tiger pun). We are actually told by Pi in the end that if the fantasy story is preferable to the real story by a listener, then that listener is choosing to believe in God. Hmmm.
There is a touching and romantic scene where “Pi” asks a girl what her dance symbol meant. She tells him it was meant to show a Lotus flower in the jungle. When there is an allusion that God will enter the story, that would have been a perfect chance to include a Lotus flower. Sadly, we get an explanation more suited to Tim Burton’s Big Fish: Nonsensical albeit human. Believing in God is such a personal activity I certainly don’t think a fantasy film can help me perform it. If one is looking for emotion and fantasy to believe in, church and the Life of Pi will fill that desire well. On the other hand, if one wishes to look at things as they are, neither church nor the Life of Pi will open any heavens.
While it started out intriguing and the middle scenes were nothing short of cinematic beauty, Life of Pi failed to address the real question which is: “How can a man have faith when he is alone against nature?” I would have liked to see that study continue throughout the film. As it is, it stops half-way through. Those who believe in God will find a warmth in this film that may strengthen their beliefs. At the same time, despite the amazing cinematography, atheists and shades in between will enjoy only that: a big screen version of Nat Geo HDTV. All will be entertained but no philosophies will be turned.
As a disclaimer: I respect all lines of work no matter how “small” or unnoticed they may be. An honest day’s work wins huge respect with me. Having said that, I think about people all day long. It’s a weird fixation. Sort like a spy I see sad stories all around me and I am often consumed by them. They are probably not always as sad as I perceive, or imagine, but I’m positive some are even worse. I am rich by some standards. My wife and I both have jobs to pay back our university loans. Together, we make a fairly decent income but would be considered struggling by some people’s standards. Really, I know people who make half of what we make but have low overhead so they actually have more disposable income. Anyway, I’m simply noting that I’m not complaining. The fates or luck or God, whatever your world view may be, have all been pretty good to me so I am in a sense content. You’ll always find tons richer and tons poorer than any given person and I am no exception. The most important thing you should know about my finances is that my peace is not dependent upon wealth or fame.
But once in a while I find myself highly ambitious. I feel like I am still pushing broom after all these years of adulthood. In those moments, I don’t want to be a millionaire, I simply want a bit more than what I have now. I don’t think that is a bad thing. If I see a tablet PC better than mine, it would be great to hand mine off to a friend and go buy another one. Even though these cost $1500-4000. Many people seek to do this by mixed means. I would like to achieve this wealth through writing on my blog. I seek out ways to make that happen. I look into traffic building measures. I implement them. Most of all, I set up routines where my moody mind can sit and produce writing that is of value to you my readers. So far, the rewards have been pretty skinny but I can’t imagine giving up. I can’t imagine losing my periodical ambition. But this is just me. I know someone who is ambitious about her quilting. Another friend is a poet and a writer and he holds ambition well above the life support level. Then there are my waiters and people who scan my Pepto Bismol at CVS. What’s going on with them?
Does every person on earth want more than what they have or is the true gift being content? I think a combination is in order, for me anyway. I can say at my age, I’ll be 44 in June 2013, I am content with little or much. If I learned anything in my years with the church I learned that was how I was supposed to feel. I can say, Paul’s words took. I have learned to be happy with much and with little. Someday soon, I’ll give you my concept of God but this is not the place. I hope everyone out here in the High Desert is keeping ambition alive. Whether pushing broom or asking, “Hi there I’ll be taking care of you today, do you need a minute more with your menus?” these folks all need dreams. I want my blog to ramp up, what do you want? If you can’t think of anything, you really should get in the lotus position or even just take a walk and figure that out. There is no greater high in life than love and seeing ambition realized.
Posted in High Desert, Inspiration, Journal, Motivation, Opinion, Personal Growth, Productivity, Psychology
Tagged controversial topics, culture, pop culture, self improvement
We went to Denny’s today and when I saw this retro photo hanging in our booth I immediately saw an opportunity to make my entry to Sprockets’ Germany’s most disturbing home video. What you see here is a still from my entry. My story has probably become tiresome. “Now is the time on Sprockets ven vee dance.”
Every time I get together with my parents and siblings it’s like a Bob Dylan concert. We eat overly healthy food, visit and talk about life, and most of all … We jam guitars. I had the fortune to lead 6 guitarists in several hip tunes like Neil Young’s “Keep on Rockin in the Free World,” rem’s “The One I Love,” and “Losing my Religion.” It is always a hootenanny and today was no different. Here’s a few photos:
One of the reasons I identify with poets is because they reduce consciousness down to the smallest point. William Carlos Williams gave us “The Red Wheelbarrow” in which he illuminates an images of a red wheelbarrow. It is so short, so simple and yet it is one of the most beloved poems of all time. Could it be we crave simplicity? Perhaps simple things are the best connectors between people. Maybe all the religions got big because they are based on such a simple premise. Sure, people try and make them complicated but the golden rule for all religions (as far as I can tell) is this: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” That’s pretty simple and yet profound.
One day I went out running and my mind was already racing. As I got halfway through my run, I stopped with a side ache and hunkered down in crouched position. I saw ants carrying sand into their ant hill. Grain by grain, one ant at a time. I thought of the simplicity of the “Red Wheelbarrow.” I thought about how my racing mind was taking in way too much. Work, home, money, writing, people … all too much. I saw the universe in a grain of sand. I saw the wisdom of being able to meditate on a grain of sand as if it were a gigantic boulder or a mountain or even … an earth! Meditation is not always sitting in the lotus position contemplating the cosmos. Sometimes it can be done in a very ordinary way on a very ordinary journey like a run. As I focused on the ant and his solitary plight, I found my head muscles relaxing. I realized I would benefit by focusing on one project, one grain of sand so-to-speak. My anxiety was greatly relieved in that moment. Have you thought about your universe in one grain of sand, or whatever it may be in simple way.
Another good title might have been: “What do you bring to the table?” Every executive job search, band, team, group assignment all requires career preparation. In fact, if you are competing for a contract or other competitive job assignment in the business world, your skill set can make or break the job at hand. So how can you be competitive in the marketplace? It’s more than just a pretty resume these days. Anyone can make one of those.
People at a young age should be expanding their skill set to include not only things they are passionate about but also things that set them apart to be useful in the marketplace. It’s not enough to just go to college these days. You need skills in a variety of things like music, computers, programming, HTML and web design, social media, literature, the gamut. If you have a bag of tricks, you will be more competitive. I encourage my students to pursue any interest they may have. If you love eating out, for example, start a blog at wordpress.com and unleash a review every time you eat out somewhere. You can also review movies as I do. After several, you will develop a template for doing it and you can become naturally good at it. If you don’t know what you want to study and college doesn’t appeal to you, try a specific trade school for a few years. You will discover your calling during that time. Even if you don’t, you will have added much to your skill set. Even a free job search will yield better results.
I think our youth generation today is very flat and mundane in what they know how to do. They play Xbox games and value their levels on Xbox. The sad fact is that employers will likely not give a rip about Xbox skills. As a result, they will not find jobs. I encourage all job seekers to spend time developing new skill sets. Getting yourself above the pack is really the only strategy for getting a good job results on your chosen job search site.
In Silver Linings Playbook Bradley Cooper plays a manic bipolar who is fixated on getting back with his wife who has cheated on him and secured a restraining order. Meanwhile, Jennifer Lawrence plays an admirer with issues of her own. There is some trouble here, the movie starts off clearly being about bipolar and metal illness and later waters all that psychology study down making it like a low grade Hangover or other romantic film Bradley Cooper has starred in. I was hoping for a more realistic portrayal of mental illness. I don’t know why, Hollywood is never good at that. Maybe it shouldn’t be expected to be. It was still highly entertaining as a romantic comedy.
The film was Directed by David O. Russell known for The Fighter. I liked this film because it portrayed people in an unflattering state, as they are. Many times movies try to sugar coat families and individuals to make them seem superhuman. I don’t think this really helps humanity. This movie starts out portraying bipolar disorder in a believable and textbook way but later veers from the realistic path. I think if they would have made this a movie about bipolar disorder it would have not had been as interesting. Still, it would have been educational which might have made it better. As it stands, Silver Linings Playbook is a romantic comedy about a form of bipolar that doesn’t exist telling an offbeat story that could never really happen with characters that are not realistic. Despite all that, it’s still an entertaining 2 hours.
Woke up this morning at the Rio in Las Vegas. As I went down and entered the casino, I saw this giant woman Mardi Gras head. Creepy yet sexy, mysterious, and cool. Sort of a symbol of Vegas for me.
I went to the cashier and she asked me what my team was. I had forgotten it was Super Bowl Sunday. “Practicing my guitar.” I answered her. I explained my guitar was more interesting than football. I think she thought she’d offended me but she hadn’t. I told her some have referred to me as “unamerican.” She said that was baseball. Anyway I’m sure glad I’m different in some way. Great Vegas weekend thanks to my wife Sarah.
A blues song it is and for good reason. When your honey on your arm catches you lookin’ at the eye candy walking by, it can be a bit offensive, depending who you are. Then again, it can be fun sharing what turns you on. In a perfect world, it doesn’t cause a stir but of course people’s feelings should be considered. This kind of stuff can potentially hurt someone. If you’re the wandering eye, be careful.
I’ve always been in relationships where it’s ok to look and not get smacked in the head. Making comments within the safety of a couple can be both fun and (dare I say this word never before uttered on this blog) foreplay. When two people are secure enough to “get caught lookin” it can stimulate the relationship and the friendship as long as feelings are respected and stop means stop.
I really have no idea why this blogging topic came up on a trip to Vegas? Just remember, you can’t get caught lookin when you discuss it, it’s mutual, and, you can joke about it. Also remember its not always the right time.
Ice cream rocks my world. One of the coolest parts of being in my family is that we take “night runs” to Sonic and buy large amounts of ice cream.
BAM! inspiration was achieved tonight! with hot fudge and nuts. I recommend it if you have the means ;)