Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Into the Wild

This book was recommended to me by someone on a message board. About a third of the way through the book, my opinion of the subject, Chris McCandless, was pretty negative. He initially just seemed rebellious against his family and their wealth for no particular reason. He just wants to get away from their apparent control of his life and live his own path. Many young people, especially upon their 18th birthday, feel that they are ready to take on the world. Their youthful naivety leads them to believe they have all the answers, that they know a better way. I know I felt that way.

As I read on, however, I realized that he wasn't the typical young man. He may have been a bit too stubborn for his own good. He was probably too smart for own good as well when it came to his adventure. But I got the impression that this adventure was truly about trying to find himself, to find his true measure as a man, challenging every aspect of his being. Maybe for him, that meant to take on the adversities of the wilderness. Man against nature, is that the ultimate contest?

But in the end, nature proved to be a fatal adversary. Chris would not make it out of the wild alive. Many have called him foolish or crazy, going into the Alaskan in-country ill-prepared. Others have glorified his adventure, seeing it as the ultimate freedom.

I don't think that Chris was necessarily foolish or crazy. Just a bit stubborn. He knew he was risking his life. He knew that there was a chance that he wouldn't make it out of the wild alive. He willingly accepted that chance. I get the impression that if he didn't take this chance, rise to this challenge, then he would have went on with his life not really living or feeling his life. I know that there are many people in this world that can relate to this. Maybe their challenge isn't whether or not to go into the wild and live off the land. However, there's that one thing that you always wanted to do, that passion that drives you. But for whatever reason, real or imagined, you give up on that passion and live a rather pedestrian life because "it makes since" or "it's what everyone else is doing". Chris refused to live that life.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Resident Evil 3 - from a philosophical view

I saw Resident Evil 3 this past Saturday. I enjoyed the movie, however, not quite as much as I enjoyed the first two. That is sometimes the way it is with sequels, especially by the third one in the series. And from the way this one ended, the makers are not closing the door on the possibly of a fourth. Until the infamous Umbrella Corp is ultimately shut down, I suppose the story could continue, indefinitely.

In the movie, if you haven't followed the video game or the movie series, the human race faces extinction due to the rapid spread of a virus which turns its victims into flesh-eating undead. The few survivors left try to continue to be on the move to avoid infection from the undead creatures, to find supplies and other survivors. They also try to remain hopeful that human life can prosper once again.

That got me to thinking. In the face of pretty much certain death, in the middle of a wasteland, why would anyone want to survive? The United States, the world, was left absolutely wiped out of any form of intelligent life. No food, no water, no essentials to sustain life as we know it at all. And then, to top it all off, there are carnivorous walking dead looking for fresh flesh. Now, I would think that the likelihood that the undead would inhabit the earth is probably slim to none. But there are other threats in our world that could devastate our world just as quickly. Natural disasters, nuclear holocausts just to name a few threats the I can think of off the top of my head. I would think that the lucky ones died on the onset of the devastation, not the few that survive. The survivors are left to hell on earth, chaos and mob rule. Survival of the fittest would never be more true. If the human race was up for extinction, would there really be any reason to try to survive? I realize that there is such a thing as that survival instinct but what is the point if there is nothing to survive for? No food, no water, no companionship. None of the components that allow for human existence.

I realize that it is just a movie. I don't know why these thoughts get into my head.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The things that really matter

After my last post, the universe must have thought that I needed to reframe thoughts. I watched the movie "The Lookout" yesterday. It is a heist movie, centers around Chris Pratt, who, four years previous was in a car accident from which he suffered a moderate brain injury which affected some of his motor skills and his mental capacity. Before the accident, he was hockey hero in his town. He is having a difficult time accepting the fact that he may never have the life he had prior to the accident. He ends up getting mixed in with a group that use him to rob the bank where he works. It was a pretty well done movie. The characters were well developed and well acted. It's rare to get both in Hollywood these days.

I felt so drawn to the main character. I could not relate to him, in terms of the brain injury. However, I felt I could relate in his difficulty to accept change and to realize that even though things may not always go as planned, things can get better and that there usually things and people around you to be thankful for.

Friday, September 14, 2007

I'm having one of those moments,... of those self-pity moments, when I feel just plain shitty. I start thinking about where I am in my life. It's not exactly where I pictured I'd be right about now. I start thinking about all the paths that I could have taken, what could have been but knowing that I will never know. And everything time I start to feel this badly and down on myself, LMS haunts me.

LMS is the initials of a friend that I had in middle and high schools. We were pretty tight for some strange, unknown reason. She had, and as far as I know, still has a very stuck up, self-centered, materialistic personality. I'm pretty much plain Jane and practical. We had an oddball friendship. Opposites attract, I suppose. In 1996, the friendship pretty much came to an end after I choose to spend time with my brother instead of attending her graduation. Mind you, she didn't tell me about the graduation until a few hours before the graduation was to happen. I suppose I was to immediately drop everything and come racing to her graduation. Had she had some sort of emergency and needed me to help her in some way, I would have made any and every attempt to help her. But I know that she knew about that graduation in well enough time to give me more notice. So self-centered.

So, anyway, the breakdown of the friendship started a year before that over another incident. I shelter some of the blame in that situation, however, she was not blameless in her handling of the problem. Looking back, I still feel like we could have better resolve the problem. Instead, I really started to see things about her character that I didn't like. Her whole attitude towards me had a since of fakery. Things that other friends told me that they felt about her, it was all clear now. In my heart, I knew the friendship was going to end. I think that I just wanted to hold on because I wasn't ready for that change. And there were so many devastating things going on in my life at that time. I felt I had no one to talk to. I felt that there was no one there for me at all.

Whenever I weigh myself down with what ifs and shoulda, woulda, couldas, I always get overwhelmed with that dark period in my life. I start thinking about LMS and I start thinking that maybe I'm not a good enough person to get what I truly deserve. I hate thinking that way. I hate knowing that after 11 years, I still allow that bitch to enter my thoughts and make me feel as if I'm inferior, like I can never be a good person or a good friend.

In retrospective, I know that our friendship ending was probably a good thing. Continuing to be her friend would have probably required me to have virtually no life or friends outside of her. I still hate the way it ended. She didn't have to hurt me the way she did. It was so unnecessary. But if I was as selfish and self-centered, I wouldn't have given it a second thought either.

So here I am, sitting at the kitchen table, pondering my life, wondering what to do next. It seems so impossible to move forward to the that life, that happiness that I know that I deserve. But I can't give up now.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

What's the big deal with virginity?

I don't know why I listen to advice talk shows. Especially, Christian advice talk shows. I just don't get some of these callers. They call in with such ridiculous so called tragedies of faith. But the ones that get me are the ones on virginity, specifically female virginity.

A gentleman calls in, a bit distraught, that his girlfriend of four months was not a virgin. To his credit, this wasn't the only issue, however, it was quite a big one in the relationship. I didn't catch the exact ages, but I believe that they were both at least in their twenties. He has obviously made his girlfriend feel bad about her lack of virginity because he mentioned that she has apologized to him. I'm thinking "for what?" Why is she apologizing for something that happened before their relationship began? I am so sick of women being berated for not being a 100% pure on their wedding day. Most men definitely are not virgins when they get married. In fact, most women have resigned themselves to ever finding a man who is a virgin.

I just don't get it. Shouldn't we be the ones experimenting and discovering what we want? Let's face it, for the most part, it really doesn't take much to get a man off. Insert, thrust, repeat. Women, on the other hand, we require a bit more finesse. Way more finesse.