Thursday, January 28, 2010

Lack of Posts

Sorry about the utter lack of posts here. I blame my involvment with Sunday Screenings, which has seen me making silly little videos instead of writing silly little informational paragraphs. Also, I've been helping start a blog for The Hollywood Theatre (where I volunteer). I have loads of stuff I want to write about here, but my inspiration to write has been lacking (just ask my short story I haven't returned to since Thanksgiving). And let's not forget my month of Weird Al over at my Facebook page. I hope to kick myself in the butt to get myself going again. As an apology for my absense, I give you Mike Birbiglia:

Monday, January 11, 2010

Articles of Interest

My buddy Marty posted two very interesting articles on Twitter/Facebook that got my mind tubes working overtime, so I thought I'd share them with you and some of my thoughts.

The first is an article regarding the behemoth Avatar. I still haven't seen the film, and I'm sure many are tired of hearing me rationalize why, so I won't go into that here. Anyway, this article from details the post-viewing experience of certain film-goers. For days and even weeks later, these people have been incredibly depressed that they don't live in Pandora (warning: I'm going to oversimplify the article, so you should just read it and come back...). The visual experience was so intense, and the lives of the natives so harmonic that the world around them, as one person put it, looks "gray." They even have pseudo-support groups on message boards to work through their disappointment in the real world.

My initial reaction was the meathead-ish "nerds!" But after a few moments of thought, it occurred to me that there is something much deeper going on here (I know, I'm practically Sherlock Holmes over here [the old one who thinks, not the new Action Jackson Sherlock]). The people who are going leaving Avatar feeling depressed clearly yearn for an escape from their lives. It seems to me that their experience is due to them not coping with real issues that may be to daunting to face.

People have been fighting against violence in films for a long time, stating that it causes violence. I don't agree with this and believe that anyone who is inspired by a film to commit violent crimes would have done it anyway, just with a different trigger (if you'll excuse the pun). The reaction of the people leaving Avatar depressed seems to be the same sort of situation, to me at least. You may find my argument specious, and if so, tell me in the comments.

The second article is about people in New York (and elsewhere, I suppose) who are reverting to a "paleo" diet of food items that cavemen (and women) would have access to. As far as diets go, it's kind of a neat idea, but doesn't hold water in my mind. The people practicing this diet are operating under the assumption that we are the same beings from 12,000 - 15,000 years ago. While a short period geologically speaking, that's a LONG time in human years (in case you didn't realize that), so the idea seems to be inherently fallacious. We have different dietary needs and lead different life styles, no matter how much you try to recreate the workout regiment of a caveman. Sure, they may have been a lot stronger, but aside from being physiologically different, the article also points out that they were lucky to live to thirty! Not a great trade off in my mind. And fasting for 24-36 hours AND giving blood more regularly than needed (operating under the assumption that cavemen frequently lived a pint short of blood due to day-to-day hardships) both seem like horrible ideas to me.

With modern medicine, as good and as bad as it can be, I don't think this diet will end up doing anything bad to people, but it just doesn't make sense.