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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Fictional Reality: A Review of the Movie, "Life of Pi."

Would you rather have a fictional story be true, than a true story being fictional?  I ask myself this question now as I uncover deeper meaning in the movie "The Life of Pi."  If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it, if only for the stunning cinematography.  Usually I catch things in movies, like the symbolism.  In "Sixth Sense"; I did not catch onto the fact that Bruce Willis was actually dead, until the ring rolled on the floor.  But you look back when they are showing things, and it made absolute sense.

In Life of Pi, it was somewhat different.  Now this is a spoiler alert, so if you do not want to find out, then don't read from here...though even so, you might not get anything from what I'm about to say.

And was it that I am trying to say?  Well, this movie worked on several different levels for me, there was the "Man vs. Nature," where Pi had to fight with the animals and himself to survive.  Then there was "Man Vs. God," where Pi from a very young age, tried various different paths to God.  But that is not really where I'm focusing the point of my "review."

Which is that I ended up liking the fiction better than the reality.  And I came to the conclusion that the first story was the fictional one, because when the storm first hit and the alarms sounded, I believe his family would have been able to get to where the lifeboats were; except for maybe the father, who had polio thus a pronounced limp.  So I think the part about the alarms etc was true, it just was changed in Pi's mind slightly, perhaps to forget the reality.

I do think that making him divulge the "Truth" to the Japanese Inspectors was horrible in the extreme.  I say allow him his fantasy, because the  "truth" he told them was just too terrifying to bear.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Power of Words

I love words.  I love the sound of them, the smell of them, the feelings of profound attachment that I have to them.  Which comes in handy as I'm a writer you know.  But there were two words that made me cringe every time I heard them.  For a long time, if someone were to say the one, I would wait for the other shoe to drop for the other. Now granted, these two words did not come up in every day normal conversation.  No, they were more out of the ordinary.

But when I did hear them, it made me clench up in revulsion and disgust for a long time.  The reason behind this is a long story.  But the shortened version is that a friend of mine, fell in love with her roommate who did not have feelings for her.  Though you could have fooled me.  Anywho, be that as it may, he had very limited experience at 27 with the opposite gender, more book learned then common sense learned.

So he thought by saying these two words would push her away.  Instead it had the opposite.  She started working out, trying to match the looks of the girl he had lost (well, never really had).  But the two girls were just way too different, it would never have been possible, but she tried.  She would say those two words as a mantra, so much so that I grew sick of hearing them.

He then threw the teenage affair at her to push her away, that really backfired.  Then he said something so hideously stupid, that I had to step in.  He was my friend as well, and even though I had to break a rule of mine...never get in the middle of two friends, I did so.  I told him off first of all, and told him all he was doing was putting hoops in front of her, so that if she jumped through, she would win his affection.  The last one was so unfair to say, it was insurmountable.  I slammed him good for that one.

So I told him, "Look, just say NO.  Tell her, no, I'm not, I am not interested.  She'll get it."

So he did, and it worked.  She stopped trying to beat herself up about it, and trying to browbeat him into being with her.  She's doing okay now, and sees that they never would have worked.

It took me around 15 ish years to get over the revulsion to the two words, and I think it was a gradual lessening, though it was also so out of the ordinary that I didn't hear it as often, so that might have had something to with that.

ARGH...yea, I hear you, I still haven't said the two words....and maybe I shouldn't...why inflict pain upon my readers?  Why tell you the 2 words that had me cringe in revulsion every time I heard them together....well, why not.  Maybe I should share the wealth.

"Aesthetically Pleasing."

There, I've used them....enjoy!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Years Resolutions...Why I Hate them with Every Fiber of my Being! Well, maybe not EVERY fiber of my being...Just most fibers.

        Who am I kidding?  Why do I even bother even THINKING about making these things called, "Resolutions?"  And who's bright idea was it to make such things, that are doomed to failure even as I write them down?
So I did a bit of research, through my faviorite research tool (and no, it is not Wikipedia).  I pulled up Google, and was very surprised at how old this tradition is.
Before 153 BC early Romans used March as the beginning of the year as it was Spring, and planting season.  In 153 BC.  King Janus (mythical), was purportedly able to look backwards on past events, and forward to the future.  During this time, many Romans sought forgiveness from their enemies, and exchanged gifts before the new year.  To seek forgiveness was looked upon favorably by Janus.
Fast forward to Julius Caesar in 46 BC when the Calendar we use today was created, which more accurately reflected the changing seasons (The Julian Calendar).  This was when January 1, became the New Year.  Before then, it had changed many times depending on who was Caesar at the time. King Janus, well he was promoted to God status.  He had two faces, one on the front of his head, and one on his back.  On December 31 at midnight, it was believed that God Janus could see both the last year just passed, and see into the future simultaneously.  It is on the 31st that Romans made promises to him, so that he might help them with those promises.
If that was not enough of a position, he was also the God of beginnings, and guardian of doors and entrances.  January is named after old Janus.  Early gifts included branches off of sacred trees, then nuts and coins were embossed with the face of Janus.
In the middle ages these practices were stopped by the rise of the Christian faith, and the change of the first of the year to Dec. 25 (the birthdate of Christ).  This was changed later back to January first by Pope Gregory XIII, but the Catholic Church eradicated all traces of Janus from the celebrations, though the return of resolutions emerged.
Though I will not go into the other cultures of the world, I find it fascinating that different cultures celebrate the new year differently at different times.  So the next "New Year" I will do a blog for it as well.  This will be the Chinese New Year.
Oh, and my resolutions?  Well, the only one I'm going to say is that I resolve to get one of my Nano Novels finished, and to do a blog every week, at least once a week.