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Life:Is:A:Frequency :: Movies

Chapter Ix:

This Is What I think about

Movies

I feel as if I am somehow living out all of my favorite movies.

I think there are more hidden truths within movies than people seem to recognize.

If you haven’t seen these movies, beware of a spoiler alert.

American Beauty

American Beauty is one of my favorite movies because, simply put, it is beautiful,

which is a quality heavily foreshadowed by the title; in addition, the movie features

Kevin Spacey, a man I would consider my favorite actor. The movie features a story of

an average dysfunctional family desperately attempting to spark any form of progress in a

seemingly joyless life. Kevin Spacey’s character, Lester Burnham, upon meeting one of

his daughter’s popular and beautiful high school friends, named Angela, and upon

overhearing her twisted interest in him becomes inspired to change his life for the better; he begins living out all the dreams he always wanted; albeit somewhat disturbing, his

dream included being with the young eighteen-year old Angela. Lester feels trapped in

his ordinary life where he is plagued with a failing marriage and a dead end job. He

continues to look back at a past point in time where he had his whole life ahead of him,

which leads to desperate attempts to find ways to feel like a kid again. Lester is given a

golden opportunity when his boss attempts to lay him off, at which time he blackmails

him for $60,000; he was able to complete this task because of company secrets that he

discovered that would destroy the companies reputation, and quite possibly put them out

of business. With his new fortune he decides to buy his dream car and work at a fast food

restaurant where he is granted the least amount of responsibility possible. He spends his

spare time getting in shape, smoking marijuana, and living the stress free life that he

always dreamed of. Although some may disagree, I derived one of the main themes

behind Lester’s transition as, live everyday like it is your last. Additionally, this movie shows that it is never to late to change your life around and live out the dreams that never came true, regardless of what those dreams may be; after all, the hardest part of a dream

is making it.

American Beauty expresses the dynamics and perspectives of young adults,

whether considered perfect or imperfect by societies standards, walking among the

various demographics of a high school campus. The movie portrays the lives of two

friends, Angela, and Lester’s daughter Jane, who feels she is not and will never be

normal. As the movie progresses it becomes apparent that both of these individuals have

different imperfections, however they lie in different areas. In essence, within this world, no one is perfect; perfection is in the eyes of the beholder. I suppose the goal of

relationships is to find someone who recognizes your perceived flaws, and sees them as

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strengths rather than weaknesses. Whereas the popular one lies to make herself appear

like she is everything that she wants to be, and everything that would make people

jealous. Janie remains honest and becomes comfortable with the person she is; in

addition, she finds that her new neighbor, Ricki Fitz, shows interest in her, as he himself is seen as strange to society. The message here is that it is better to live true to the person you are then to pretend to be someone you’re not. With so many people on this Earth, it is

probable that one could find a partner who finds beauty within all aspects of their

personality.

Ricki Fitz spends a majority of his time with a video camera, as he is looking for

all things of beauty in his reality; he never goes anywhere without his camera and he is

more awakened then most about the simple things in life; he finds beauty in ordinary

events that most people would not even recognize as having any importance. I relate to

his character in that I constantly look between the lines at most situations, as I believe

there is always a message that can be learned, or a sign that may show more significance

than what meets the eye. I do not think I am alone, but I always look for number patterns

in everyday life; when I see a series of three or four like numbers, I often make a wish

and analyze what is happening or what I was thinking, as I feel that some external force is trying to teach me a lesson. Ricki videotaped two events that he perceived as beautiful

that are worth mentioning. He watched a plastic bag dance with him in the wind

gracefully for fifteen minutes, never losing sight of it; he described it as the most

beautiful thing he had ever filmed. I believe I see the beauty in this event as he did.

Considering how unpredictable wind patterns can be, and how easily a bag can be blown

away, it appears pretty spectacular in the rarity that event could happen for fifteen

minutes, following the path of the wind tunnel present in that environment. While

showing the video to Jane, he provides this analysis:

“It was one of those days when it’s a minute away from snowing, and there’s this

electricity in the air, you can almost hear it. This bag was dancing with me, like a little kid begging me to play with it, for fifteen minutes. That’s the day I knew that there was

this entire life behind things, and this incredibly benevolent force, that wanted me to

know there was no reason to be afraid, ever.”

Ricky Fitts finds very twisted beauty in death; he makes a reference to filming a

homeless lady after she had recently perished. As he tells Jane about the experience he

expresses the phenomenon of looking into the eyes of the deceased; he describes it as

being the closest thing to seeing the other realm, or looking into another dimension if you will. Upon showing the video to Jane he remarks, “It’s like God’s looking right at you,

just for a second, and if you’re careful, you can look right back.” Whereas I have only

had rare experiences with death, I can see how this could be perceived as the closest thing to seeing God; death is the transition from one world to the next and if we see the world

from our eyes, then God must be looking out through our third eye. I can see through you

like a two-way mirror.

American Psycho

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American Psycho is a portrayal of a 27-year old man; who makes his money on

Wall Street for a company named Pierce and Pierce. Bateman is a character whom often sulks in a deeply rooted hatred of himself and everyone around him; his self hatred

appears to stem from the realization that he is exactly the same kind of shallow and

empty person that he is disgusted by in his society. Bateman possesses a superego based

on twisted morality, which allows for him to act out all of his most depraved fantasies.

This movie shows how the superego can form a perverse capability of producing

gruesome violence, and how it can lead to a loss of distinction between reality and

fantasy. Through his behaviors and thoughts, Patrick Bateman appears to possess both

borderline and schizophrenic personality disorders; a disturbed view of self is often

typical for these types of disorders. Bateman focuses his aggressive behaviors on people

who threaten his sense of success and masculinity and additionally the ones who he feels

are a disgrace to society.

Bateman actively hates minorities, homosexuals, the poor, and the homeless; he

also has a generalized hate of women, which is displayed in his particularly brutal actions to the ones he brings home. Throughout the film Bateman murders more than a handful

of people, and he narrates each murder in exact detail with little to no emotion. Despite

his detailed record of narration, almost every act of violence is essentially imagined; he

progressively degenerates further into hallucinations and erratic behavior in his reality,

which would agree with the borderline personality disorder. This ultimately culminates

with a series of violent events, delusions, and a confession to his lawyer’s answering

machine of such violent acts, which to the outside world would appear to be nothing

more than a sick joke; all these events are real to Bateman and he remains persistent in

his life. The line between fantasy and reality is blurred and perhaps nonexistent.

Bateman’s delusions and sick fantasies lead to a complete absence of reality, as he truly

believes that he is committing these murders and gruesome sexual exploits. The life of

Bateman is not one that gives hope for recovery, safety, or adequate explanation for how

he has become the way he is. Bateman has no desire for recovery, even when facing the

fact that significant portions of his life have been lived entirely in fantasy; this shows a desire to either perpetuate the fantasy, or perhaps make that fantasy a reality. The is no

exit from the delusional world of Patrick Bateman, which makes him a prisoner of his

own reality where he cannot escape his pain or desire for violence. To say that Bateman’s

personality is nonexistent within our society would be a mistake, given the history of

serial killers and evil leaders that have possessed the same attributes. Patrick Bateman

lives in the reality he creates for himself; almost all of his perceived actions are fictional.

This movie presents the dangers of these disorders, as there is no separation between the

conscious and unconscious mind.

Whereas it is implied that all of Patrick Bateman’s murders were merely

imaginations, where he portrayed these fantasies in a notebook located in his office, it

does not imply that he is not extremely dangerous to society; however, I feel that

regardless of what is real and what is imaginary, these types of individuals are a danger to society and therefore need to be treated accordingly. If you kill in one reality, and

constantly have twisted gruesome fantasies, and cannot tell the difference between

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unconscious and conscious reality, then you would murder in any given situation that you

had an opportunity to murder. Whereas most of the crimes were imaginary, if he did find

himself in true reality in his apartment with a woman he did not respect, and those violent thoughts enter his head, he may be inclined to act on his intuition, which consistently

leads him to slaughter in incredible brutal fashion. The story of Patrick Bateman presents

a real life issue and many people suffer from certain personality disorders. Whereas these

people for the most part can function in our society, it is hard to predict their behavior, as well as feel safe that radical thoughts are only being lived out subconsciously. American Psycho addresses a problem that needs to be corrected, and hopefully more efficient cures can be created in order to minimize risk and allow these unfortunate individuals to live a

normal life.

FUCK YEAH I GOT IT……. IF YOU KILL IN ONE REALITY, THAT IN

ACTUALITY IS A DREAM STATE, AND YOU DO NOT KNOW THE DIFFERNECE

BETWEEN STATES, THEN……. YOU WOULD MURDER GIVIN ANY

SITUATION THAT YOU COULD INVISION COMMITING THE CRIMES THAT

YOU LOVE, THEN ….. YOU WOULD KILL IN BOTH DIMENSIONS.

I will wait for you. Love, wifey. ! I love you…

THOMS

Back To The future

Back to the Future, starring Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly, is a story about a

mad scientist named Dr. Brown who created a time machine out of a DeLorean, and a

young teenager who mistakably uses it, sending him back to 1955. The movie addresses a

few key points about the possibility of time travel and its consequences if not utilized

correctly. When Marty McFly goes back into the future he meets his mother at her old

high school where she met his father; unfortunately, Marty’s presence in this situation

begins to alter future events. If Marty’s mother falls for Marty instead of his father, the future would present a situation in which Marty could not have possibly been born; in

fact, in several parts of the movie he carries a picture of his family and sees his image

begin to disappear further as time passes. In Back to the Future Part II, Dr. Brown provides this analysis to Marty about time travel: “Whenever a time-traveler alters key

events occurring in the past, they effectively bring an alternate timeline into existence at their point-of-entry, and their original timeline is erased, even though its events are not forgotten by the time-traveler.” Every time travel leap into the past destroys a current

timeline and creates a new one; events from later timelines do not make their way

backward into previous ones. This movie presents just one of several time travel

paradoxes that I feel should be addressed; here are a few problems with time travel.

The concept of traveling into the past becomes murky as soon as the idea of

causality is applied. In the universe, cause comes before effect, and this presents many

problems. For example, if you traveled back in time several hundred years, you would

emerge in a time before you were born. In the flow of time, the effect would exist before

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the cause. To better understand what we’re dealing with, consider the grandfather

paradox. Let’s say you are a time-traveling assassin, and your target happens to be your

own grandfather. First you would hop through a wormhole and walk up to the teenage

version of your grandfather. You raise your pistol and prepare for the consequences of

your actions. You have not been born yet, and neither has your father. If you kill your

own grandfather in the past, he will never have a son. That son will never have you, and

you’ll never have the opportunity to travel back in time. You would not exist to pull the

trigger, thus negating the entire string of events; this is referred to as a inconsistent causal loop.

On the other hand, we have to consider the idea of a consistent causal loop; while

equally mind bending, this theoretical model of time travel does not have a paradox and

deals with future time traveling. Let us analyze a scenario with a math professor who

travels into the future and steals a groundbreaking math theorem. The professor then

gives the theorem to a promising student and that promising student grows up to be the

very person from whom the professor stole the theorem to begin with. There is also the

paradox of the man with no past. For example, let’s say that a young inventor is trying to

build a time machine in his garage. Suddenly, an elderly man appears from nowhere and

gives the youth the secret of building a time machine. The young man then becomes

enormously rich playing the stock market, betting horses, and sporting events because he

knows the future. Then, as an old man, he decides to make his final trip back to the past,

and give the secret of time travel to his youthful self. Where did the time machine come

from?

There is a paradox of the man whose own mother, Jane, is left at an orphanage,

abandoned by her parents. When Jane is a teenager, she falls in love with a drifter, who

abandons her but leaves her pregnant. The disaster strikes as she almost dies giving birth

to a baby girl, who is then mysteriously kidnapped. The doctor finds that Jane is bleeding

badly, but oddly enough, has both sex organs; to save her life, the doctors convert Jane to Jim. Jim subsequently becomes a roaring drunk, until he meets a friendly bartender,

actually a time traveler in disguise, who sends Jim way back into the past where he meets

a beautiful teenage girl and accidentally gets her pregnant with a baby girl. Out of guilt, he kidnaps the baby girl and drops her off at the orphanage. Later, Jim joins the time

traveler’s gang, leads a distinguished life and has one last dream, which is to disguise

himself as a bartender to meet a certain drunk named Jim in the past. Who are Jane’s

mother, father, brother, grandfather, grandmother, and grandchild?

Not surprisingly, time travel has always been considered impossible; after all,

Newton believed that time was like an arrow in that, once fired, it soared in a straight and non-deviating line. One second on Earth was one second on Mars. Clocks scattered

throughout the universe beating at the same rate. Einstein gave us a much more radical

picture. According to Einstein, time was more like a river, which meandered around stars

and galaxies, speeding up and slowing down as it passed around massive bodies; one

second on Earth was not one second on Mars, and clocks scattered throughout the

universe beat to their own distinct frequency. However, before Einstein died, he was

faced with the problem, as Kurt Goedel found a new solution to Einstein’s own

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equation’s, which allowed for time travel; the river of time now had whirlpools in which

time could wrap itself into a circle. Next there is the problem of stability. The Kerr black hole, for example, may be unstable if one falls through it. Similarly, quantum effects may

build up and destroy the wormhole before it is entered. Unfortunately, mathematics is not

powerful enough to answer the question of stability because we first need a unified theory

of everything, which contains both quantum forces and gravity; at present, superstring

theory is the leading candidate for this predicament. Interestingly enough, Stephen

Hawking once opposed the idea of time travel and even claimed he had empirical

evidence against it. He stated that if time travel was possible, we probably would have

been visited by tourists from the future. Since we see no tourists from the future, time

travel is not possible. The enormous amount of work done by theoretical physicists

within the last 5 years or so, Hawking has since changed his mind and now he believes

that time travel is possible, although not necessarily practical.

The last paradox I will mention was taken from Stephen Hawking’s _Into the _

Universe documentary on time travel. He presents a situation where there is a time

machine in which you can look directly at your past self after you travel to the future. The individual enters the time machine, is sent to the future, where he looks back onto himself in the past. He then takes a gun, points it at his prior self, and takes a shot, hitting him directly in the chest, through the heart, killing his past self instantly. What then happens to his future self? If he shoots his past body he cannot possibly exist in the future, as he is now dead before he entered the portal. This is an interesting cause and effect situation.

Stephen Hawking’s paradox is very similar to the grandfather paradox, but they both

express interesting analysis towards time travel.

Fear and loathing in las vegas

The more I read about Hunter S. Thompson, the more I realize that _Fear and _

Loathing in Las Vegas, both the movie and the book, are an exact replica of the events that occurred when Thompson traveled to Las Vegas for an article on a motorcycle race

held. On the book cover it states, “A savage journey to the heart of the American

Dream.” To further emphasize my point, my favorite quote of Hunter S. Thompson is as

such: “I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve

always worked for me.” In a way, I feel as if this is an accurate description of my life,

however I do not have sufficient funding. I will take just about anything to the extreme if given a chance. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a depiction of two men, one an author, and the other an attorney, who take a trip to Las Vegas, loaded with any drug imaginable,

in an attempt to cover a motorcycle race. Here is an indication of what the two men were

able to get their hands on:

“The sporting editors had also given me $300 in cash, most of which was already spent

on extremely dangerous drugs. The trunk of the car looked like a mobile narcotics lab.

We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered

blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers … and also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of

Budweiser, a pint of raw ether, and two dozen amyls.”

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I am honestly jealous. Although I wouldn’t do most of those drugs, a fantasy trip to Vegas sounds amazing. I guess I would know about that; my friends and I, usually a

group of ten or so, used to have an annual Vegas trip until we started getting to old to

handle four days of constant drinking, combined with not sleeping at all. Typically, I still have a very high tolerance but when I drink the same amount as when I was 21 I have

essentially a two-day hangover; this often involves random depression and fatigue. I will

say though _that I wish I were still in my glory days. _

_ _

Social psychologists have found that people will always underestimate the time it

will take to complete a task. Students were found to vastly underestimate the time it

would take them to complete an assignment that was due. The two men on the adventure

are always speeding to make it to a deadline, check into a hotel, or get a press pass. It is universal that people overestimate the time it will take to complete a task, but under the

influence of drugs it is much different. In the beginning of the trip while he is covering

the motorcycle race, Thompson’s character takes a copious amount of LSD while driving

to check into the hotel. He gives himself 30 minutes for the drugs to take hold, while he is clearly much further from the destination. He checks into the hotel as a drugged-up mess,

unable to communicate or think clearly, but is luckily guided by his attorney. One of the

main themes that drives the film is the internal thoughts of Johnny Depp, who portrays

Hunter S. Thompson in the film. This offers the viewer an idea of the brilliant, but

sometimes irrational, thoughts of the writer. Thompson is always trying to control his

thoughts when they speed out of control and fear takes over. He uses self-enlightenment

and thought suppression to overcome his fear and irrational thoughts while talking to the

manager of the hotel while still on acid. Thompson’s character is a very introspective

man throughout the film in his sober times. He is always questioning how he feels and

what he is doing, and why he is doing it. At the end of the novel he has a very reflective

and introspective moment at the typewriter. He realizes that unlike what Timothy Leary

espoused, drugs are not a way to enlightenment. He recounts that psychedelics lead to a

generation of, “failed seekers and permanent cripples … who thought they could buy

Peace and Understanding for three bucks a hit”.

The final two social psychology principles that are involved in the movie are

magical thinking and the optimistic bias. The paranoid delusions of excessive drug use

led to thinking that did not hold up to rational scrutiny. Depp and his attorney were

confident that things would turn out fine when they were driving on drugs, breaking laws,

and skipping out of bills without paying. A prime example of this occurred when

Thompson’s character was pulled over by a cop while drinking and carrying a large

collection of drugs. He states that,

“Few people understand the psychology of dealing with a highway traffic cop. Your

normal speeder will panic and immediately pull over to the side. This is wrong. It arouses

contempt in the cop-heart. Make the bastards chase you. He will follow”

He speeds ahead, signals one way, flips his car around violently the other way, and

finally pulls over to the side. The cop angrily realizes that he is drunk, but does not find his collection of drugs and only advises him to stop at the next rest stop to sleep. To

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much comic effect, his magical thinking, and optimistic bias holds true, as he believes he

dealt with the cop correctly.

The city of Las Vegas is referred to as Sin-City for a reason; it is plagued with

irresistible opportunities to sin. The streets are filled with a wide demographic, consisting of everything from college students and gamblers to strippers and hookers. Las Vegas is a

place for people to leave everything behind and go wild for an indefinite amount of time,

in a city filled with sin. The typical advice for travelers is, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” In the midst of Thompson’s drug binge full of constant law breaking, he

shares his thoughts with the reader, “In a closed society where everybody’s guilty, the

only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity.” Of

course this expression doesn’t just have to apply to in Las Vegas, as sin exists far outside that city. I like to look in terms of crime as a risk factor or playing odds if you will. I never understood people who attempt to rob small businesses, such as restaurants or gas

stations. I would imagine that a small time robbery like this would only net you a few

hundred dollars, but you are risking your freedom; there is a big time federal penalty for

armed robbery. Is that several hundred dollars really worth the risk of going to jail for

several years? We are all guilty of something, and some of us never get caught due to

critical thinking and careful, delicate planning. Before you commit any crime, think about

both the cost and the benefit.

I think that Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas has an underlying message of live

everyday as if it is your last. We will never know the time in which we die; however, what we can do is make the most of the time we are granted on this earth. People use these

types of vacations as an excuse to cut lose and do things that they would like to cross off the bucket-list. In the midst of it all, these escapes from reality might often be the path to discovering philosophical enlightenment. Thompson reflects on his Las Vegas vacation

and he describes his lesson:

“And that, I think, was the handle – that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would

simply prevail. There was no point in fighting – on our side or theirs. We had all the

momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave.”

I think Hunter S. Thompson would agree that all life is energy, or that life is a frequency if you will. These two men looked danger right in the eye during their vacation to Las

Vegas, always feeling as if it would work out despite any circumstance; they wanted to

come out on top. They took it to the limits in all aspects and did not end up in jail, or

dead. They were simply riding an energy wave, going wild in a city that not only allowed

sin, but encouraged it; they had all the momentum. Even if the positive energy was an

effect of the drugs, they still were radiating it, and this unexplained force allowed all the pieces of the puzzle to fall into place. They were not fighting against or for anyone; they were in a medium where the outside world was silenced and positive experiences were

the only thing that had any significant importance.

Fight Club

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Fight Club was originally a novel by Chuck Palahniuk and was made into a movie

a short time after the book’s success. Palahniuk’s contemporary and often vulgar writing

style has made the author not only a good fortune but granted a huge fan base. In all of

Palahniuk’s books, a great deal of psychology theory and ideas are present. In the movie,

the main character’s name is somewhat of a mystery. Though various clues, the

character’s name is Jack, as seen on a check he holds in the movie. Jack is a rather

disturbed individual, who suffers from insomnia. Jack sees a doctor who tells him to visit

a support group to see what pain really was, as well as declined to give him medicine; he

finds an ability to sleep after going to these support groups, often of which he ends up

crying to relieve stress from a common office job, common apartment, and a dull life.

Jack meets Tyler Durden, who is a strong hater of common culture, and

considered to be an extremist; the two form more of an involved friendship after Jack’s

apartment explodes. Tyler and Jack end up fighting outside a bar in a parking lot, solely

out of curiosity, and end up forming a fight club. Throughout the movie, Tyler and Jack

start to drift apart, as Tyler forms a project to attack popular consumer culture, which is referred to as Project Mayhem. Near the end, it is concluded that the goal of Project

Mayhem was to blow up several corporate credit card companies, essentially putting

everyone back to zero. In the midst of trying to stop Tyler from going through with it, he

discovers that Tyler is actually himself, and he is nothing more than an apparition or split personality: “All the ways you wish you could be, that’s me. I look like you want to look,

I fuck like you want to fuck, I am smart, capable, and most importantly, I am free in all

the ways that you are not.” Although I used to be an insomniac, I never lost touch with

reality; in Jack’s case however, he never slept and lost touch with reality. When you

don’t sleep, your body releases DMT and melatonin into your system regardless. In his

case, he envisioned the person that he wanted to be, and given his condition, was able to

do so. Tyler was everything that Jack needed to make a difference, and although his

methods may not have been ideal, Tyler had a point to his madness.

Tyler’s initiation of Project Mayhem was fueled by his hatred of modern society,

in which people live their lives blind, spending all their lives in ignorance. In some ways I agree with Tyler, although I do not agree with his methods for implementing his

movement, using terrorist acts to prove his point; it started with Fight Club and ended up

in a nationwide terrorist cult; a place where morality was no longer an issue. In

describing his motivation for creating Fight Club, Tyler states the following:

“An entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising

has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need.

We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War.

No Great Depression. Our Great War is a spiritual war; our Great Depression is our

lives.”

In essence, Tyler is saying that we are all drones, falling in line, following the pack, and never thinking outside the box. We are slaves to the wealthy, completing their tasks

because they can get away with it. I have never had a career and it’s for complete lack of

trying. I would rather be poor and free, than wealthy and enslaved. We need more free

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thinkers and less worker drones. I think the message I am trying to express is that just

because society leads you to believe that when we get older we have to possess a career

to gain status granted based on wealth. I don’t do things because society thinks it’s

correct, I do things because they make me happy, and I don’t see too many of my other

friends with the freedom I think we all deserve.

One of the first thing’s that you find out about Jack is that he is an insomniac and

has been suffering with serious depression; he feels trapped within societies grasp.

Eventually when he finally snaps, and becomes Tyler, he describes how he became the

legend he became; when describing how his new life began, he expresses how it

happened, “And then, something happened. I let go. Lost in oblivion. Dark and silent and

complete. Found freedom. Losing all hope was freedom … only when you lose

everything are you free to become anything.” When you hit rock bottom, there is only

one way to go from there, and that is up. At that point, you have learned your lessons and

understand the consequences of past actions. Once he lost everything, and left his old life behind, he became incredibly successful, setting up Fight Club’s nationwide and gaining

a cult following of individuals in almost every field. In addition, when you lose

everything you become more motivated to become successful, acting out of revenge to

become the person you always thought you would grow up to be. As Jack begins to lose

hope in his life, he builds up an army, a cult of followers, who would sacrifice themselves for the greater good.

Clearly Tyler has an extreme dislike for modern society, expressing that we are all

slaves for the rich and the powerful. We have been blinded from the truth and through

Tyler’s terrorist activities he tried to wake society up, and get them to think for

themselves, as well as get out of the depressing rhythm that the middle class is expected

to fall into. Tyler states the following towards the progression of humanity:

“We’re consumers. We are by-products of a lifestyle obsession. Murder, crime, poverty,

these things don’t concern me. What concerns me are celebrity magazines, television

with 500 channels, some guy’s name on my underwear. Rogaine, Viagra, Olestra.”

Why are most people more concerned with celebrities than themselves? Most people are

more concerned with the lives of the famous than the issues that need more attention. We

are constantly told when we are growing up, that once we get out of high school or

college, we need to get a career so we can make money. The people who are really in

charge do not want people breaking from this system; it is the way that they can keep

people under control. Tyler had a point to his madness, and in a dark twisted way, he

changed his world for the better, becoming the type of person that is feared by the upper

class.

Good Will Hunting

For those of you who haven’t seen it, Good Will Hunting, written by Matt Damon

and Ben Affleck, is a story of a young adult living in Boston who has amazing

intellectual abilities; however, giving his background on the streets of Boston, he is

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constantly affiliated with crime and violence. Throughout the entire movie the main

character, Will Hunting, reaches out for help and begins to find his role as an intellectual.

I enjoyed this movie very much because the story is very motivating. As I am a scientist,

I look up to any tale, fiction or nonfiction, that provides a message that anyone can

achieve success from any background with a little guidance and hard work. The young

man was never able to exercise his abilities due to his involvement with lower class

Boston street dwellers. Will Hunting begins to find his place while being guided by a

respected professor and a willing psychiatrist; it was Will’s ability to find help that

allowed him to begin seeing the world from another perspective so that he could live up

to his full potential. While in the rebuilding process, Will meets a gorgeous graduate

student. As he is afraid of commitment, it took him a little bit longer to open up to her.

So, of course like most movies, there is an underlining love story. Sometimes it is hard to put school or work as a priority because there is love in your life. In the end, Will leaves his hometown to search for the woman he fell in love with. My favorite quote from the

movie is in the ending; as he leaves his world behind he says, “Sorry doc, I had to see

about a girl.”

I think I like this movie even more because I watched it for the first time with

Leah Fabrizio. At this point, I was a junior at UCSC, but I did not feel as if I had established anything worthy of praise for my dedication to school. When I watched this

movie it absolutely inspired me. I began to realize my full potential, and that I could acquire vast amounts of knowledge and grow up to be a very successful scientist of my

own. In a time where I was still searching for answers, this _movie _ essentially pushed me towards the right direction I needed to take to become the person I am today. Sure, I

haven’t ever held a full time job, and I never had any career position, however I wage my

success on my accomplishments in education; that may not be success for some but it is

success for me.

Hunger Games

“And so it was decreed that each year, the various districts of Panem would offer up in

tribute, one young man and woman to fight to the death in a pageant of honor, courage,

and sacrifice.”

Hunger Games is a sickly twisted movie about a free for all fight to the death, in

honor of the independence of each of the districts in the region. In the movie there were

12 districts, each of which had a man and a woman sent to the battlefield upon random

selection among the population. There were twenty-four individuals who entered the

battlefield, and only one could win; only the strongest would survive. Although the

statement, “and may the odds be ever in your favor,” inspires more confidence than they

should have, the odds are in nobody’s favor. Before the two individuals from District 12

enter the ring, their mentor, Haymitch Abernathy, provides this inspiring advice,

“Embrace the probability of your imminent death, and know in your heart there’s nothing

I can do to save you.” There were 24 unfortunate souls that were chosen for their

sacrifice and it proves that given the certain situation it is either kill or be killed. In the face of death, people will throw away almost all morals to survive. In a way this reminds

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me of our modern society in that the lower class are often sacrificed for the benefit of the rich. Although it is a financial sacrifice, rather human sacrifice, this movie further

portrays the problems within the society that the higher classes have taken all control; we will be slaves until we allow ourselves to stand up to the higher power and realize what is really happening in our society.

I suppose there is a fine line between hope and fear. In a way, hope is often

inspired through fear, as fear drives individuals to find hope in the most dangerous of

situations. As the District 12 members continue through their challenge, they begin

breaking away from the normal, inspiring hope to their districts, and trying to rebel

against common law. The moderator of the Hunger Games; named President Snow,

describes how hope is dangerous in large quantities:

[*President Snow: *]I mean, why do we have a winner? I mean if we just wanted to

intimidate the districts, why not round up twenty-four at random, and execute them all at

once? It would be a lot faster. Hope.

[*Seneca Crane: *]Hope?

[*President Snow: *]Hope. It is the only thing stronger than fear. A little hope is effective. A lot of hope is dangerous. Spark is fine, as long as it’s contained.

Leaders of nations do not like to see their citizens have hope, as it can begin to threaten the ones in control. In a society where everyone has discovered hope, their fear of

common authority can drive them to break free from their control. When individuals are

granted fear from their authorities, it makes it harder and harder to break free, and there is fear of being made an example. Fear can act as a trap, keeping everyone in line, which

allows the individuals ultimately in charge to run all of their evil agendas; we are

conditioned to fear breaking free from their power.

Inception

“I’ll tell you a riddle. You’re waiting for a train, a train that will take you far away. You know where you hope this train will take you, but you don’t know for sure. But it doesn’t

matter. How can it not matter to you where the train will take you.”

It does not matter where the train will take you because you will never be able to

see the future; hence, it is easier to ignore the destination of the train and just go along with the ride, accepting and adapting at every stop of the train. Inception is a movie about a group of individuals with the ability to enter a host’s dreams in an attempt to plant an

idea deep inside the dreamers mind, and idea that eventually will grow like a virus; in a

long enough time period, an implanted idea can effect a dreamers future decisions. The

dream does not have an external reference, it is not an illusion of reality, but rather a

simulation not based on anything real. Leonardo Dicaprio’s character, Cobb, is specific

about this while teaching dream architecture to their newest member of the team named

Ariadne, who becomes wrapped up in the mind of the dreamer; his advice to her was to

not use memories which reference reality. What becomes real for Cobb and every other

dreamer is the simulation, as the dreamer merges their memory of reality with the

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architect’s imagination into the symbolic. Only death is beyond the scope of the

simulation. Cobb had the same catharsis; he dreamt four levels down, to a dream with his

wife that never actually happened in reality, but was a reality lived out with his own life, deep down in the fourth level, where they could build an entire life together; by keeping

his wife secret in the fourth level of the dream, he could make a reality with her long after her death.

The dream within a dream process puts one into a deeper state of dreaming. The

deeper one goes, the further removed your mind is from reality; in actuality, the deeper

you sleep, the harder it is to be woken up and the more vivid and real-feeling a dream

becomes. If you’re in a deep enough sleep, not even the usual physical tendencies to

wake up effect you, such as the sensation of falling, or “the kick” as they refer to it. By the time you reach the limbo state, it can be so difficult to wake up and the dream can feel so vividly real that the mind stops trying to wake up at all; the mind accepts the dream as its reality, much like slipping into a comma. When you wake up in limbo you don’t

remember that there is such a thing as the real world; as in any dream, you wake up in the

middle of a scene and simply accept it for what it is. Time is the other factor. The deeper one goes into a dream, the faster the mind is able to imagine and perceive things within

that dream state. This process is described in detail by Cobb, as they attempt to venture

into a third level dream state to plant the important idea. Going deeper into dreams turns

minutes into hours, into days, into years; the time scale of each dream is described by the following dialogue:

[*Yusof: *]Brain function in the dream will be about twenty times to normal. When you enter a dream within that dream, the effect is compounded: it’s three dreams, that’s ten hours

times twenty … it’s a week the first level down. Six months the second level down, and

the third level

Ariadne: “.. is ten years! Who would want to be stuck in a dream for ten years?”

[*Yusof: *]it depends on the dream

In a dream state of limbo, the mind works so fast that actual minutes can be interpreted [_as years gone by; a dream state essentially has infinite time. _] In my experience, a dream can last as long as the dreamer can control it, and if one can learn to lucid dream, the

dream will essentially last in a dimension where time is undefined. When Salto almost

dies from the gunshot wound he received on level 1 of the dream, his mind falls into

limbo, and he remains there for the minutes it takes Cobb and Ariadne to follow him into

limbo; those minutes in one dream state feel like decades to Salto in his limbo state. By

the time Cobb deals with expelling Mal’s shadow from his subconscious, Salto has begun

to perceive himself as an old man.

In order for the dream process to begin, roughly a few members, playing different

roles, have to be present for the scheme to work. In this particular instance, there was one member for each of these roles, and in addition, they had some other entrees; they were

essentially just along for the ride. The following is the list of the necessary roles that must be performed for the extraction process to work:

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[*The Extractor: *]The extractor is a master con man, a person who knows how to

manipulate a dreaming mark into revealing their deepest mental secrets. At heart, the

extractor is an individual who creates a false set of circumstances that manipulate the

mark into revealing his secrets. Cobb uses the same type of scheme, as he knows how to

literally do his work on a subconscious level.

[*The Architect: *]The architect is the designer of the dream; they construct the

environment for the extractor to manipulate his mark. Think of an architect as a video

game designer, except in this case they create the levels within a dream, complete with all the aesthetic and tactile details. The mark, also referred to as the subject, is brought into the dream construct and fills it with details from their own subconscious, which

convinces the mark that the dream built by the architect is real. The architect can

manipulate real world architecture and physics in order to create paradoxes like an

endless staircase, which makes the dream world function as a sort of maze. The dream is

constructed as a maze so that the mark doesn’t reach the edge of the maze and realize that

they are in an imaginary location; the mark runs the maze, leading the extractor towards

the goal.

[*The Dreamer: *]The architect and the dreamer are not always the same person. The

architect designs the dream world, and can then teach that maze to a separate dreamer.

The dreamer is the person whose mind actually houses the dream, and it is the dreamer’s

mind that determines that the mark is ultimately brought into the dream in order to be

tricked by the extractor. The dreamer allows the mark to fill their mind with the mark’s

subconscious, and unless the dreamer maintains the stability of the dream, the mark’s

subconscious will realize it has been invaded by foreign minds, and will try to locate and

eliminate the dreamer to free itself. When you begin getting into the whole dream within

a dream aspect, identifying the dreamer can be difficult; this is especially true when Cobb and his team start running their con using three separate levels of dreaming. Once the tri-level dream sequence starts, one good way to keep track of the dreamers is by noticing

which team member stays awake, not following the team down to the next level of the

dream; a dreamer can’t enter a lower dream state because their level of the dream would

end.

[*The Mark: *]The mark is the person who the extractor and his team are trying to con. The mark is brought into the mind of the dreamer, and since the mark is unaware that he or

she is dreaming, they perceive the dreamer’s world as real, while simultaneously making

it feel real to themselves by filling it with details and secrets from their own

subconscious. The extractor uses those details and various mental prompts to steer the

mark through the dream world maze, towards the mental secrets the extractor wants to

steal. The mark thinks he is still awake, perceives the dream world as real, and reinforces that notion by projecting his conscious view of the world onto the dream; this is why the

projections populate the dream cities. Due to the extractor’s manipulations, the mark goes

along with the reality of the dream, ultimately reaching the point where they either realize it’s a dream, or they open their minds and reveal their secrets.

[*Projections: *]Dreams feel real to us when we’re dreaming, and part of the reason for that is our mind’s ability to construct a real-world setting for us to interact with in dreams;

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often, that dream is something like a city or any populated area, which has other people

walking around in it. In Inception, those people that the unknowing mark populates

during the dream world are known as projections. Projections are not part of the mark’s

mind, but are rather manifestations of the mark’s vision of reality. If a mark has been

trained to defend themselves against extractors, they have a part of their subconscious

that is always on guard against mind-crime in the form of militarized security; they

attempt to attack mind invaders. In Cobb’s case, Mal is a projection based on his need to

remember his deceased wife. Throughout the film, Mal wanted Cobb back in limbo so

that they could continue their dream together; however, his own subconscious tries to pull

him back to a place where he could still be with her even after her death.

[*The Forger: *]The forger is a master of imitating people’s handwriting and mannerisms; in the dream world, even their very appearance is key to the whole operation. In the first

stage of the dream, the forger impersonates the marks closest advisor in order to extract

information necessary to enter stage 2 of the dream. The mark conjures in his

subconscious, and it motivates him to run deeper into the con’s maze.

Although the necessary roles are described fully in the film, it still becomes

difficult to determine their roles as they go further into the various dream states. Listed are the following stages and the individuals who act as the dreamer:

[*Stage 1: The Rainy City *]

  • *

Yusof the chemist is dreaming on this level. Yusof is drinking a lot of champagne in the

real world on the plane, so when he goes to sleep he has to pee, which initiates the

rainfall. Since Yusof is the dreamer of Stage 1, he has to stay in that level of the dream, which is why he has to drive the fan.

Stage 2: The Hotel

Arthur dreams the hotel scene, and that is why he has to stay awake when the rest of the

team goes down into the snow level. When the van Yusof is driving goes off the bridge,

flying through the air, Arthurs body is suspended in air, which is why gravity in the hotel level of the dream is nonexistent; as the dreamer’s body is shifted and moved, it effects

the physics of the dream he’s dreaming, since the mind and inner-ear register the change

in gravity.

[*Stage 3: The Snow Fortress *]

  • *

Eames, the forger, is dreaming during this level of the dream. A question could be

presented regarding why the gravity in the snow world doesn’t go haywire when Eames’

body starts floating in the hotel lacking gravity. It is possible that Eames’ body isn’t

being shook up or shifted in any way in his mind, or inner ear, would actively register

that being so deep in a dream state cushioned Eames from the effects of gravity.

Stage 4: Limbo

Limbo is essentially unconstructed dream space; this represents a place of raw, and

random, subconscious impulse. The extractor team can bring elements of their own

subconscious into the dream levels if they are not careful; since Cobb has spent much

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time in limbo, and has a strong subconscious, the limbo space is the location they enter

includes his memory of the city that he and Mal built for themselves.

I recently began trying to condition my mind to lucid dream, so as to live in

another realm where I have complete control of my mind. If you try hard enough, you can

create dreams that feel as if the whole entire plot was three days worth of activities. The ironic thing about my dreams is that I cannot control the location I am presented with,

however, when I end up at this certain place I can have complete control; while training

Ariande in their trade, Cobb describes his experience in dreaming:

“Well dreams, they feel real while we’re in them, right? It’s only when we wake up that

we realize how things are actually strange. Let me ask you a question, you never really

remember the beginning of a dream do you? You always wind up right in the middle of

what’s going on.”

Dreams do feel real when we are in them no matter how strange the dream becomes.

Dreams tend to be a projection of the different action’s one had experienced recently. In

essence, your brain is using your dreams as a way to recycle, so to speak, all the

experiences one had during recent memories so that it can make room for new dreams. If

you look very carefully, you can begin to notice the similarities between your dreams and

your reality, even if it is represented as a strange collage in your mind.

The official description of Physics is that it is a part of natural philosophy, and a

natural science, which involves the study of matter and its motion through space and

time, along with related concepts such as energy and force. Just given this definition we

can assume that the natural order of physics does not completely apply, but it could

potentially be present in a dream or even altered to do things that are not possible in

reality. Ariande expresses her interest in warping the dream state, as she presents the

following philosophical question upon learning how to extract information through

dreams; her statement was, “I guess I thought the dream-space would be all about the

visual, but it’s more about the feeling. My question is what happens when you start

messing with the physics of it.” We can see the altering of physics in the paradoxical

staircase that is used; it is a single path that ends up back on itself. A picture of the

paradoxical staircase can be seen below.

The staircase defies geometry because it is fixed in a single perspective; if you alter that perspective the illusion is revealed. This allows for Arthur and Ariadne to be able to walk 89

infinitely up the stairs passing a woman in real space that had dropped her papers; in

addition, Arthur could then sneak up on his attacker by going down the stairwell. When

the perspective was changed, Ariadne and Arthur had to stop walking continuously; only

then could the surprised attacker be thrown off a ledge. Each of those times required a

choice by Arthur to see the staircase from another perspective; seeing it from a different

perspective changed the reality of it. Cobb is not trapped in the maze, he is trapped within a paradoxical staircase, in which he covers the same ground over and over.

In Inception, the goal of their business is to plant an idea deep within the

subconscious so that it can manifest into a bigger influence in reality; of course with

anything, this could be either a good or bad thing. Whereas we do not have dream

extractors in our reality, an idea still does grow in a manner that is described by Cobb in this film:

“I’m going to improvise. Listen, there’s something you should know about me.. about

inception. An idea is like a virus, resilient, highly contagious. The smallest seed of an

idea can grow. It can grow to define or destroy you.”

Humans have both good and bad ideas, however, the goal is to eliminate bad decisions

and make the most out of the good ones. It is often difficult to distinguish between the

two, as often times there exists a very fine line. The idea with the most gain is often the right choice, but since we cannot tell the future we just have to make decisions based on

the information present, and hope that with logic and probability that these decisions

were the best ones. Understand that whether you made the right choice or not, conditions

still present themselves often times as a problem; the main problem lies within having to

deal with the consequences of your actions, regardless of whether or not it was the right

decision given the situation.

Memento

The psychological thriller Memento, directed and written by Christopher Nolan in

2000, was inspired by his brother’s short story Memento Mori. Nolan is known for his dark psychological films that often have non-linear timelines; in fact, the timeline for this moving presents a reverse time scale when the film is in color, and a chronological time

scale during the scenes that are black and white. His films usually begin with the stories

end scene, and conclude with characters resolving or describing issues or events

presented in the film, but never fully explained. Nolan also has a recurring theme of

justified dishonesty and vengeance for the death of a loved one; in Memento, the main character, Leonard Shelby, searches for the person responsible for his wife’s death, but

his memory loss condition proves to make it more difficult; he can only remember things

at the present time, forgetting what has happened just minutes after it occurred. Due to

his condition he takes photographs in which he writes down his notes before he forgets.

In addition, Leonard gets the known facts that he has discovered, or thinks he has

discovered, tattooed on his body.

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Leonard Shelby was a former insurance investigator who suffers from anterograde

amnesia, a short term memory loss where he cannot make new memories; he was injured

while trying to stop two men from raping and killing his wife in their home. After he

awakes to find one of the intruders, he later confirms through his investigation that his

name was John G. and that he would not stop looking until he kills the man who

murdered his wife. The pursuit of revenge and justice is extremely difficult for Leonard,

who has to use aids such as Polaroid’s, notes, and extensive tattoo’s to help him keep

track of things; he looses his memory roughly about every 15 minutes. These tools

remind him of where he is, where he is going, and the purpose of his investigation.

Leonard expresses his difficulty of his task of getting his revenge and dealing with his

short-term memory:

“I have to believe in a world outside my own mind. I have to believe that my actions still

have meaning, even if I can’t remember them. I have to believe that when my eyes are

closed, the world is still there. Do I believe the world is still there? Is it still out there?

Yeah. We all need mirrors to remind ourselves who we are. I’m no different.”

The world outside of his mind does exist, however, Leonard’s perception of what is real

is often different than the reality that exists outside his mind; this memory flaw will never allow him to make new memories, and he can easily be manipulated. If he decides to do

so, he can write notes he knows are not true at one instance, only to forget and make the

reality he chooses to create; he exists in a dream state that is left to his own imagination and critical thinking; he knows very little in his life, besides the story of his wife that is in fact a false description of reality.

Clearly most of us do not suffer from Leonard’s condition but it does not mean

that memories do not get distorted over time. If I look back on some of my favorite

memories, the important parts are not blurry and small details can be hard to remember.

In addition, although your brain projects the images of the memory; it is almost impossible to know whether or not your brain is playing tricks on you. A clear example would be a night of binge drinking where you reached a state of blackout drunk; a

position where you remember certain details once the story of the night is mentioned in

conversation. Of course in Leonard’s case this is much more serious, as through his

actions and series of notes can create a completely alternate reality where he believes

someone else killed his wife, instead of his wife’s death being his own fault. Leonard

describes his theory of memory as he states, “Memory can change the shape of a room; it

can change the color of a car, and memories can be distorted. They’re just an

interpretation, they’re not a record, and they’re irrelevant if you have the facts.”

Ironically for Leonard, his loss of memory actually distorts the things that he believes are facts. Considering the fact that he cannot remember anything more than fifteen minutes at

a time, he can never know what he was thinking at the time he wrote the notes; we could

conclude that even the things that he believes to be facts may not have truth. In Leonard’s case, all he has to go on is his notes, so the only thing that is truth in his reality is what he chooses to write down, given that even the events that he remembered before his accident

could also be distorted.

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Christopher Nolan uses the theme of vengeance for the death of a loved one the

most frequently in this film; it is the driving force behind the entire non-linear narrative.

In true Nolan fashion, the end of the film reveals a large character flaw in Leonard in the form of justified dishonesty. The plot reveals the story of Sammy Jankis, a man like

Leonard, who has no-short term memory after an accident; in the film, Leonard knows

the entire story of Sammy, as he investigated his case specifically. Leonard uses Sammy

as a way to explain his condition to those he meets; he uses Sammy as a crutch because

he feels like he handles his situation better than Sammy, as he knew his condition before

his own accident. One of Leonard’s acquaintances named Teddy tells him that he has

been lying to himself to be happy, and that he is constantly chasing a man who he

believes is John G. even though the man is already dead. Teddy tells Leonard who

Sammy Jankis really is, and how Leonard in reality was this person. Teddy implies that

Leonard created this alternate reality, one in which he pursues John G. so he does not

have to cope with the fact that his illness killed his wife.

After the truth is revealed, Leonard admits that he does in fact want to lie to

himself to be happy. He would not know what to do with himself if he had not found

another John G. to pursue. He makes Teddy his new John G. by creating a fact on his

Polaroid that would suggest he is a prime suspect while in reality Teddy did not do

anything wrong. Before Leonard allows himself to forget the truth so that he could

continue looking for his wife’s killer, he has the following thought to end the movie:

“I’m not a killer. I’m just someone who wanted to make things right. Can’t I just let

myself forget what you’ve told me? Can’t I just let myself forget what you’ve made me

do. You think I just want another puzzle to solve? Another John G. to look for? You’re

Jon G. So you can be my John G. Will I lie to myself to be happy? In your case Teddy,

yes I will.”

Considering as Leonard cannot make new memories, and can only remember the hatred

for the man that he believes killed his wife, he essentially would be in a constant state of limbo, as he can only remember Sammy Jankis and not his wife’s death. In order for this

to happen, he could easily alter what he believes, as his Polaroid’s and tattoos are the

only things that he knows as facts; however, if you make yourself believe something is

true, even though at the moment you discovered the truth you refused to accept it as the

ending, then the reality he perceived is much different than the one that exists outside his mind. Leonard’s primary weakness is that he can easily be manipulated by people; they

can exploit his condition in order to achieve their own personal gain.

Religulous

“The irony of religion is that because of its power to divert man to destructive courses,

the world could actually come to an end. The plain fact is, religion must die for mankind

to live.”

-Bill Maher-

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For those of you who have not seen this movie, I highly recommend it; Bill Maher

is excellent in his debating, and he did a sufficient amount of research before going on his quest to find the truth, or lack of truth; he exploits the flaws within the religion’s creation myths. Although the interviews are much more informative, I will discuss five of the

following centers that Maher visited, and why I either despise or agree with these

different religious views; for the most part, I was disgusted by the displayed religions

across the country. Here are a few thoughts about the places I feel are worth mentioning.

[*Truckers Chapel: *] Raleigh, North Carolina

Out of all of the places that Bill Maher visited, I believe the Truckers Chapel,

located in Raleigh, North Carolina, hosted some of the most genuine religious people

influenced by religion. The Truckers Chapel is a small church in a mobile home park,

located at the center of a truck stop; there were roughly a dozen men in attendance. Bill

Maher begins asking questions in the beginning that offended one of the members, but

the rest of church were very open to him and tried to answer them as much as they could.

One member stated that there has been discovered proof that Jesus existed; clearly there

is not. The most interesting man there described how he knew that there was a God

through the things he had seen; apparently he walked as a Satanist priest for 30 years, and through this process found the true God. The most notable part was that they pray for Bill

at the end, and ask their God to help him find the answers that they could not answer. I

could tell just by this one scene that these were the most genuine and honest people

displayed throughout the entire movie.

[*Ezra Center: *] _Raleigh, North Carolina _

_ _

One of the first comments that you hear Jeremiah Cummings, a member of Harold

Melvin and the Blue notes who turned to the ministry, is that Jesus was rich and dressed

in fine linens. Although this is absolutely ridiculous, he also mentioned that Jesus never

preached against being rich. I think this following dialogue proves how the ideals in his

teachings protect him from getting away with this type of ridiculous bullshit:

[*Bill Maher: *]And I see you’ve got a lot of bling.

[*Jeremiah Cummings: *]I like gold. The people want you to look well.

[*Bill Maher: *]That’s what pimps say about their women.

[*Jeremiah Cummings: *]Okay, but now, things like houses, and cars, and clothes, and

money, they come as a result of my seeking God first.

[*Bill Maher: *]I don’t remember that in the New Testament specifically.

[*Jeremiah Cummings: *]But it’s there. I remember it.

I just recently read an article on ABCnews.com entitled _Jeremiah Cummings Blames His _

Misfortune on HBO Host Bill Maher, in which Preacher Jeremiah Cummings says his life was changed forever, and not in a good way, after the documentary; there was an

additional quote by the preacher that expressed how Bill Maher ruined his life.

Personally, I am glad he finally got exploited. To believe things so ridiculous, such as

Jesus being rich and that he never preached about hating rich men, and still have acquired

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that many followers is a mystery. This guy was using religion to become wealthy and sell

DVD’s. In addition, when put on the spot, he could not even recite one bible verse

correctly; this absolutely scares me.

[*Exchange Ministries: *] Orlando, Florida

John Westcott, head of Exchange Ministries, is a former homosexual male, who is

now living a heterosexual life. He believes homosexuality is not just wrong but not even

a genetic trait. On their website, exchangeministries.org, they describe a brief explanation of their services:

“Exchange Ministries has been serving men and women and families in the Orlando area,

and across the nation for 30 years. Our mission: Offering hope and help to individuals

and families affected by homosexuality.”

In the film, John Westcott expresses that he believes homosexuality is sin, and that there

is no ‘gay gene’, as he put it; his goal is to try to help people who are homosexual to lead a heterosexual life. My favorite part of the interview is when he mentions that most

people who come into his ministry go back to the things they were doing previously;

sounds like this is a very effective organization. There is a book entitled The God Gene, in which physical scientific proof was discovered stating that there is a genetic trait for homosexuality; if that isn’t enough evidence to go on, read my chapter on homosexuality.

[*Creation Museum: *] Petersburg, Kentucky

The Creation Museum, founded by Ken Ham, is probably the most ridiculous out

of all of these places, and some from other perishes think that he is the second coming of

Christ. In this museum, filled with millions of dollars of animatronic figures within

biblical scenery, Ken Ham, through his museum, is attempting to prove to the public that

the Bible is true, all the way from Genesis to Revelation. The interesting thing about this museum is not only are there robotic humans, but he displays feature robotic dinosaurs

living together with people. I don’t recall the passage in the Bible specifically regarding the existence of people and dinosaurs living together. What I find even more disgusting

about this museum is how much money is put into it; if I recall correctly, he pointed to a

single display and mentioned how it cost roughly 24 million dollars to build. I don’t even

want to imagine the amount of displays in the museum and how much money this man

put into his creation; a little research into the ability of carbon dating wouldn’t hurt.

[*Growing in Grace Ministries: *] _Miami, Florida _

_ _

Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda, the Pastor of Growing in Grace Ministries, based in

Florida, claims that he is the second coming of Christ. He claims to be both Jesus Christ

returned, and the Antichrist, and he even has a 666 tattoo on his arm; he has referred to himself as Jesucristo Hombre, which translates to “Jesus Christ, the Man”. Here are a few of his beliefs:

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[_Anti-Christ _]

_ _

In early 2007, Jose Miranda claimed that he was the Antichrist. He states that the term is

appropriate because people are no longer to follow the Jewish Teachings of _Jesus of _

Nazareth, but rather to follow the Apostle Paul’s teachings through De Jesus. According to De Jesus, the meaning of Anti-Christ means that they no longer follow Jesus of

Nazareth.

_666 Tattoo _

_ _

Most recently, followers have shown their support by getting “666” tattoo’s on their

bodies. Jesus Miranda says it is not a sign of the Devil, as he preaches that the Devil was destroyed, but it is the number of the Anti-Christ.

_Christmas _

_ _

Miranda and his followers celebrate Christmas each year on April 22nd, as this is the day

he was born, and therefore they claim it is the real Christmas.

_Transformation _

_ _

On transformation day, members would have supposedly been able to walk through

walls, and pass through fire without getting burned; Miranda wrongly stated that his

transformation, and that of his followers, would occur on June 30th, 2012.

One of my favorite quotes by Bill Maher regards how prophets are always told in

secret, instead of talking to the world all at once. While in the interview with Miranda,

Bill Maher says the following to the second coming:

“It seems that if God wanted to communicate something to the world, he’s all powerful,

he would just talk to the whole world. It always seems he picks out a prophet in private

and tells them, ‘Ok, you’re the prophet. Now you go tell the rest of the world’, so we just have to take it on faith.”

I hear religious people constantly talk about faith and how it is the way to reconcile the

lack of evidence for the existence of God; however, if I was going to go on faith, I would

probably want a little more of a detailed explanation of the stories in the Bible. Bill

Maher does have a point, as prophets are only told in secret, and if God is all-powerful,

what is his reason for this? The one thing that makes me especially suspicious is the fact

that he mentioned the second coming of Christ being in the bloodline, as Jesus Christ’s

seed went from Nazareth to Puerto Rico. Bill Maher instantly comments how most

people would perceive the second coming of Christ being a reincarnation of another

body, one not present in his actual bloodline.

I at least admire Jose Miranda’s dedication to be faithful towards whatever entity

called upon him. His story is that two Mexican guys named Angel, came down from

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heaven in a dream and told him that he was the second coming of Christ. I do enjoy the

idea that he is both Christ and the Anti-Christ. Jose Miranda says the following after he

explains his God given gift:

  • *

[*Jose Miranda: *]You know, if I discovered that I was Satan in person, I would do a good job too.

[*Bill Maher: *]As Satan?

[*Jose Miranda: *]Because I would be faithful to my calling.

[*Bill Maher: *]It’s how you do your work, isn’t it? You know, at the end of the day,

whether you’re the messiah or you’re Satan, it’s loving what you do and giving it a

hundred percent.

[*Jose Miranda: *]I give hundred percent.

At least it is implied that he will always be faithful. I don’t know if I would be faithful to my calling if it was from Satan himself. I think the ability to know the difference between right and wrong when offered the opportunity is a crucial skill. I just hope that this

church isn’t all about exploiting innocent men for money.

Shrink

“Happiness. Happiness is a word for a feeling. Feelings are rarely understood; in a

moment they are quickly forgotten and misremembered.”

This movie is not as abstract as the others, however, I think it addresses a very

serious issue, one which would be depression; although this can be in several different

forms, the primary cause of depression in this movie would be relating to suicide. Dr.

Henry Carter, played by Kevin Spacey, is a psychiatrist that deals with mostly movie

celebrities in Los Angeles. Dr. Carter is given a patient named Jemma whom had recently

lost her mother due to suicide; Dr. Carter’s father, who is also a psychiatrist, gives

Jemma’s case to Dr. Carter in the hope that because his wife also committed suicide that

this could be used as a plot to allow him to heal from his loss. In addition, the movie

follows several other characters that are also patients of Dr. Carter. The movie displays

how they all deal with their everyday problems that lead them to depression and other

psychological disorders.

The underlying theme for the entire movie is suicide, and how it affects everyone

that has even the slightest form of relationship with the deceased. Dr. Carter and Jemma

lost their wife and mother, respectively. In a way, they both use each other to help them

through the grief, as a way to finally move on and continue living life. Essentially both

characters make much progress in being able to live with reality, but still possess a void

that will never completely go away. I suppose that in dealing with suicide, religious

intentions may help the healing process; as most all of the religions deal with a superior creator, a creator that has designed a system for the afterlife. If this is what you believe, then I would suppose it would be easier to deal with grief of a loved one, and you would

go on faith that they are in the afterlife looking down, instead of completely non-existent in the ground. I suppose that most people who believe that there is no life after death

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cannot use this method to reconcile grief. I’m sure that most people on this earth have

experienced a slight period of depression, perhaps with thoughts of suicide, but never

thought of acting on it because of how it would permanently effect the lives of everyone

with any form of relationship to the individual upon passing. If there is only one thing

that can be taken from this movie, it is that in committing suicide one can hold way more [_of an effect on people than they think. _] I would not say that committing suicide is always cowardly, but in every case it is selfish. If you are having thoughts of suicide go get help.

The second theme I see that is presented in the film is that no one is completely

perfect and each and every one of us a different set of problems to handle. We see

business executives, actors, writers, students, and even psychiatrists that have to see a

psychiatrist to function normal within a society. I think the overall message is don’t feel ashamed to seek help if you feel like you need help; there are ways that one can get help

and talking to someone might be all that is needed to decrease depression; in this regard,

one would attempt to live a normal life with joy instead of anger. I go to a psychiatrist for my bipolar disorder and I am not ashamed; those medications that were recommended by

a true professional essentially took my life out of a tailspin and into a world of infinite possibilities. If you are suffering from depression or insomnia, seek immediate help, as

you will not be able to properly function while attempting even the simplest tasks.

The Matrix

“If real is what you can feel, smell, taste, and see, then ‘real’ is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain.”

The Matrix contains a great deal of religious and philosophical parallels; which have been noticed by philosophers and academia. Although many are fixated on the fight

scenes, there is much to be gained from the film on both intellectual and philosophical

levels. The movie projects the idea that the world we see is just a mere shadow of what

truly exists, and that we do not ever see the world for what it really is. As the Matrix is a computer program that humans are plugged into, the world they view as real is not what

it appears to be. In reality, those living within the Matrix had never seen the real world

that exists beyond their perception. Only those who have been unplugged or removed

from the Matrix have ever truly seen the real world. It is suggested in the film that people need to be unplugged before they reach a certain age because there are some who will

never be able to accept the reality of the world around them. If an individual is too old or otherwise set in their manner of thinking, it is highly unlikely that they would be capable of understanding and believing that everything they have grown to perceive as real has

been nothing but an illusion. The Matrix is essentially a whole other form of reality, and

despite its existence as a simulation, the actions people perform within the Matrix are

perceived by the mind as real. If you are killed within the Matrix, you will die in the real world as well because the mind perceives what occurs within the Matrix as real. The

mind views the actions taking place within the Matrix as real, and despite the fact that the characters have the ability to bend the laws of physics to perform superhuman feats,

because they know that the Matrix is a simulation, they cannot defy the perception of the

mind through personal injury or death.

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The Matrix also has another interesting parallel that could be referred to as the

concept of double consciousness. The character Neo is an excellent example of the

concept in that, from the beginning of the film, he struggles with leading a double life. In one life, he is Thomas Anderson, a white-collar computer programmer, and in his other

life he is Neo, one who has been awakened to the real world to live in a constant state of

dual consciousness; this concept could be explained as two selves existing inside the

same soul. Morpheus presents Neo with the choice of the two pills and it can very well be

interpreted as an example of Neo’s double consciousness; his acceptance of the red pill is

the first step towards becoming a singular individual.

There are notable similarities between the prophecy behind “The One” and

biblical prophecy; these are made quite apparent in the film. In The Matrix, it was believed that long after the uprising of machines there existed a man who was born into

the Matrix specifically designed to bend the rules of the Matrix itself and rebuild it as he saw fit. He freed the first people from the confines of the Matrix program, and long after

his death he was said to heave been reincarnated at a point in the future; this coincides

with the belief of the second coming of Christ. The film presents the notion that we as

individuals have grown too dependent on machines in our everyday lives. At some point

in the early 21st century, prior to the beginning of the film, humans created the first truly independent artificial intelligence. This artificial intelligence gave rise to the very

machines that would later create a war with and eventually enslave mankind; Morpheus

expresses this idea to Neo as he says, “That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else you

were born into bondage; into a prison that you cannot taste or see or touch. A prison for

your mind.” The Matrix system was a way for the machines to further control the

humans, in a world where there was no escape, where there were only the rare few that

were aware of what is really going on; Neo and his crew are the rare few that have the

ability to stop this. If the humans are all plugged into this machine, and are never

awakened during their lifetime, then this dream they experience is the only reality they

will know; they will remain slaves until they are either saved or unplugged, and the evil

will try to destroy, whereas the good will try to save.

In my mind, The Matrix applies religious messages, as well as makes connections

to how we are being controlled by the government; they want us to remain unaware. Our

society operates best for the powerful if the middle to lower class individuals are kept

under control, constantly being told that everything is alright, ignoring the simple fact

that knowledge is power. Morpheus explains this disturbing reality to Neo as he says:

“The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you’re inside, you

look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very

minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system, and that makes them our enemy.”

The blind public is our enemy; people need to read again. We live in the technology age and now almost anything relies solely on the internet. The bright side is now it is easier than ever to shy away from network news and find the answers that are present if you

look. Until we can all do this we will not see much change in this system, and we will not

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be able to take back control through literacy. There is hope in that fact that more and

more people are starting to express this knowledge, in an attempt to shine light on the

thought of a revolution. The government is in control, and we all live in the Matrix.

The religious aspect of The Matrix comes in the form of Neo being referred to as

“The One”, a person that will free mankind from slavery. Neo is their messiah, and he is

the only one who has the power to defeat the many evils in the Matrix, as well the evil

outside of it; before Neo is aware of his abilities, before he has discovered this truth,

Trinity tells him these words of wisdom:

“I know why you’re here, Neo. I know what you’ve been doing … why you hardly sleep,

why you live alone, and why night after night, you sit by your computer. You’re looking

for him. I know because I was once looking for the same thing. And when he found me,

he told me I wasn’t really looking for him. I was looking for an answer.”

We are all looking for answers, and some know where to look more than others. I still

believe the answers are out there, even if we cannot see into the next dimension; until our passing all we can do is derive the best explanation for existence based on the

information available to us, and make a leap of faith that what you believe is in fact the

truth. In search of the answer most people turn to God, where a leap of faith is required,

because there is no way to discover scientific proof for his existence, and there is no way to ever know for sure if what they believe is right. I also constantly hear the term, “God

works in mysterious ways [_.” If mankind was created in the image of God, and Jesus was _]

[_ 50% God and 50% human, then surely we could be able to analyze his actions in a _]

[_logical fashion; if there was a supreme being, he would probably heavily rely on logic. _]

Ironically, what most of us perceive as God is a supreme being whose ultimate goal is

love; what could be considered God to humans in the reality of The Matrix is an army of machines whose goal is to keep their creators blind, in attempt to eliminate the possibility of mercenaries that they fear will be a danger to their slave agenda.

For the artificial intelligence to regulate the Matrix, there are entities called

Agents, that dress in black suits and have much stronger abilities than standard

individuals within the Matrix; as the prophecy projected, Neo would be the one that could

finally rid the Matrix of the Agents, as he is their messiah. The head of the Agents,

named Agent Smith, shared the following analysis with Neo regarding the humankind:

“I’d like to share a revelation that I’ve had during my time here. It came to me when I

tried to classify your species, and I realized that you’re not actually mammals. Every

mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding

environment, but you humans do not. You move to an area, and you multiply and

multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to

spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same

pattern. Do you know what that is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this

planet. You’re a plague and we are the cure.”

Whereas Agent Smith made this statement referring to the Matrix, it easily refers to the

functionality of humans in our society. Having a world population of roughly seven

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billion, we have proved that we do multiply on an exponential scale, whereas the United

States, and several other countries have the money to invest in discovering a way to limit

the consumption of natural resources. Throughout our history we have unfortunately

depleted the earth of many of its natural resources, as we were not always aware of the

severity of this problem. We will be a plague to this earth if we do not begin to advance

technologically, a process designed to eliminate this from being a catastrophic problem;

unfortunately, a great deal of damage has already been done, and with vast amount of

individuals on this planet, we are almost at the point of no return.

Vanilla Sky

I would say that Vanilla Sky is probably my favorite movie, and with so many

movies out there, that is quite an impressive feat. The movie, which stars Tom Cruise and

Penelope Cruz, is a love story of one man named David Ames who suffers from the

effects of a brutal car crash; after the crash, David’s face becomes so disfigured that he

no longer goes out, but still finds the time to run the magazine company that his father

built before he passed. David, who owns 51% of his company, lives the life of a typical

executive and experiences the joys of wealth and artificial love; this love becomes real

when he meets Sofia, a lady who becomes his motivation to emerge into the real world

again. Throughout the course of learning David’s story, we see that very odd and

unexplained events have been occurring in his life, including living his life in a prison,

and being accused of killing his love. We understand through the movie that David had

signed a contract with a company that specializes in a process of freezing bodies,

allowing him to permanently live in a dream where he can be the soul creator. Upon

talking to a prison psychiatrist assigned to his case, the two discover what is really going on and realize that David had signed a contract with that company. This proved that his

nightmare had officially occurred, and he realized how to correct it. Faced with this

knowledge, David was then presented with a decision by the tech support individual who

gives him a choice of whether he wanted to wake up in a real world, long into the future,

where his face could be fixed, or a dream world where he could still live in fantasy with

Sophia; in the end, he chose to live a real life again.

Before the viewer discovers his dream world, the movie portrays an example of

how David’s life was before his dream splice. One of his good friends named Brian, an

individual who is a writer for David’s company; the company is paying him to write his

book. Brian initially met Sofia, but upon bringing her to David’s birthday party Sofia

becomes attracted to David; the two spend there whole night together. Before Brian

disappears from the screen he says the following statement about love, “You can do

whatever you want with your life, but one day you’ll know what love truly is. It’s the

sour and the sweet. And I know sour, which allows me to appreciate the sweet.” I can

accurately say that I have experienced both the sour and the sweet, but I am still not

100% sure I believe in this statement; I could make a few arguments for it however. If

you experience the sweet, even if you did not realize it at the time, makes you appreciate

it so much more when you are often plagued with the sour; this effect is derived through

the analysis that describes the fact that under the influence of the sour one then can

appreciate how important the good was. One can then ponder all the feelings of joy they

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experienced in that time. Vise versa, if all that has happened in your life is the sour, when you finally experience the sweet, it is like a whole new realm, allowing you to begin to

appreciate the life is no longer sour. This is unfortunate, but it is just simple fact, some people are luckier than others. And some people are lucky enough to always avoid the

sour.

Essentially, in every decision I make I over analyze both options, which could be

healthy in some cases and dangerous in others; either way you are forced to deal with the

consequences that are presented by each situation. Whereas you can’t always make the

right decision, nor even know if it was the right decision, you can realize that every

decision or action you ponder could alter your life drastically. In this regard, it is

absolutely essential to at least analyze all the options before you arrive at a conclusion.

David relates this message in the film by telling Sophia, “Do you remember what you

told me once? That every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around.” Life is

far too short to be passing up on opportunities that would change your life for the better; you can either utilize this or disregard it. Every moment, any decision, or any idea, could manifest into something great, or conversely, something detrimental. If you have created

a dream you shall not give up on that dream; understand that every decision you make

alters your fate, and affects all of what the future has to hold.

One of my favorite quotes from Vanilla Sky essentially addresses the possibility

of reincarnation existing after our physical bodies fail to function further. I often see

individuals relate reincarnation to only human form, but what if two souls who were prior

humans with large brain capacities were converted to animal form in the next life; these

creatures would still be living among the world but in a completely different form. Upon

discovering that Sophia is no longer alive in the real world, but only in his lucid dream

state, he states a quote that was original from Sophia; he shows that there was hope for

reconciling with Sophia when he states, “I’ll see you in another life when we are both

cats.” I could see why some souls would like to take animal form as the lives of animals

remain way less complicated than our own; maybe certain souls would prefer to keep it

simple. If we analyze the possibility of parallel universes, who is to say that one soul

could be reincarnated into a human and an animal simultaneously? Or maybe it could be

that one soul has the ability to partially remain as a human and partially become an

animal in the same reality. We will never know the full truth, however, with all of the

unexplained phenomenon existing on this earth, and with the amount of galaxies in the

universe, I do not disregard any explanation of existence to be more farfetched, as it is no more ridiculous of an idea then the common accepted model of the universe.

The concept of death for an individual in reality is up for debate, but the existence

of one within someone else’s conscious is quite interesting. In Vanilla Sky, there were only several nights in which David actually was with Sophia, but in his dream state she

was the center of everything. The interesting thing to note is that when David is living out his nightmare, Sophia had been long gone, as he had been frozen for hundreds of years.

Upon realizing that he is in a lucid dream, David turns to his unconscious image of

Sophia before awaking, and said, “Look at us. I’m frozen and you’re dead, and I love you

… I lost you when I got in that car. I’m sorry.” It is interesting to note that in this love 101

story both David and Sophia only existed together for a short time span, but in his lucid

dream he built a whole world with her. The idea of dreams and memories present an

interesting role once it is understood that they both were not existing in the real world.

Sophia had been dead for hundreds of years, and David had been dreaming for hundreds

of years. Even with this realization, David finds happiness in his reality, as if he knows

finally that awakening from his dream state would allow David to be closer to Sophia

after his life on earth; he could be with her forever in the afterlife.

Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind

“How happy is the blameless vestal’s lot. The world forgetting by the world forgot.

Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind. Each prayer accepted, and each wish resigned.”

In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Jim Carrey, who plays a character

named Joel, shows his range of acting, as this movie is far away from his typical comedic

roles. This movie very accurately portrays the mechanics of the mind, and how powerful

the subconscious can be. The movie is a portrayal of a company that specializes in

erasing memories, more specifically, the memory of certain people that they would like

to forget. Joel gets a procedure done and erases all traces of his ex-girlfriend, Clemintine; she initially got the procedure done to erase him. The movie is viewed in a randomized

order of both Joel’s reality and subconscious. While he is in the erasing process in reality, his subconscious becomes aware of what is happening, and it attempts to find ways to

keep the images of Clemintine untouched; he finds out that he does not want to forget her

in the morning upon his awaking. The erasing process described in the film includes

collecting every object in life that has some emotional connection to the person being

forgotten. Then through analyzing, brain waves of the individual responds as each item is

they mapped out; all the spots of the mind that trigger during these emotions and uses an

electrical signal directed at those spots to erase them permanently. Interestingly enough,

after the process cards are sent out to all of the friends of the patient with a note stating others should never mention the person forgotten, pretending as if she never existed at all.

I think one of the more interesting things in reality that we may not fully

understand is the process of memory storage. When does the read cycle end and the write

cycle begin? When do our bodies stop inputting data and begin processing and storing it?

It would seem impossible that our bodies would be capable of reading and writing

simultaneously. I believe that may be the answer in which why we must sleep. In your

waking life, you are constantly taking in memories and possibly writing them to some

sort of short-term memory bank, one that is capable of storing images until the

subconscious state. Once the human body sleeps, something that is absolutely mandatory

for full functionality, your brain processes these images and decides what locations each

memory is stored. I heard from a high school teacher that your brain essentially takes in

images all day, and then during sleep it disposes of them, making room for new images.

If you begin to analyze your dreams you will often find that most of the images that are

present in your dream were observed that day or that week, but they are often distorted

and put together in a randomized order. There are four dream cycles and only one of

them utilizes rapid-eye movement. I am proposing that the write phase occurs at the

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several select rapid-eye movement stages that are reoccurring in various cycles; it is in

these cycles that the body is exerting the most energy and is exhibiting more functionality than the other cycles.

This produces an interesting question about what is actually stored in memory

while your perception is altered in reality. I am referring specifically to various drugs and alcohol. What gets stored in your brain when you are intoxicated and interpreting things

differently than what actually occurred? Does the mind store what is actually there, or

does it produce the image of the perception of what the viewer is seeing in an altered

state? Let’s say that you are essentially blackout drunk in a binge drinking night

downtown. While you wake up, things that actually existed may not be perceived the

same way as the events that actually happened. Let’s also say that you observed someone

who you thought was your friend, but it actually was just a look alike; in your memory

you see the face of your friend instead of the face of the person. What then gets stored to memory if what you perceive and what is in existence are different? In addition, the

blackout left you with a few memories, but still a hazy interpretation of what really

happened. When a friend begins to describe an event that happened that was not

remembered initially, it triggers the picture of the event and the remembrance of

something that was not noticed before. This is essentially an induced memory of

something that would have been completely forgotten if not been brought to the attention

of the individual.

If this erasing mechanism existed in reality, what would be the dangers of such a

process? Wouldn’t this system be some sort of interesting way to cheat the laws of

nature? My first problem with the system is that in storing these memories with another

person there is a lesson that is effectively learned by the experiences with these people.

For this process to work, the lessons would have to remain learned, but the events and

people that lead to these lessons would have to be forgotten. In essence, people would

have changed without having any recollection of why they changed. How could your

brain possibly have one without the other? I do not think a supreme creator would agree

with human beings erasing what they wish from their memory because it alters the

natural order of things. Lessons are learned from life experiences, and it would be very

dangerous to have the effects of the experiences without the people in them.

Final thoughts

This is sad, but I have probably watched every book I should have read. If I were

to read one of these books I would probably read the book in which Fight Club was based upon. American Beauty is one of my favorite movies for obvious reasons; it tells a

beautiful but dark story about a typical dysfunctional family. In the end, Lester meets his fate and is shot; however, he died with a smile on his face. For one quick moment in his

dull life he experienced true bliss. As Lester was seen as a generally good individual, his fate begs the question whether or not there is an afterlife. Ricky thought death was the

only way to look God in the face and I would have to agree with him. The movie also

touches on the subject of discrimination against homosexuals. It displays why this hate is

dangerous to our society. Typically, discrimination leads to chaos and pain. It is now

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2014, shouldn’t we have learned this by now? I suppose we can end on the themes that I

thought existed within this movie: live life to the fullest, and stop the hate against

homosexuals.

One of the most brutal movies that I have mentioned is American Psycho. As

mentioned before, it tells the story of a psycho CEO who envisions the thought of

murdering on an everyday basis. Batman clearly has lost touch with his reality. He cannot

even understand the difference between dreams and reality. It is clear that this type of

individual would be very dangerous to our society. In his mind he believes he has

murdered several people, however, it is discovered that most of these murders were

solely written down in his notebook. There was no known separation between the two

sides. Batman was a very troubled individual, and he obviously was a victim of a

psychological disorder. There is great danger in a person who does not know the

difference between real and imaginary. These types of people walk among us everyday.

Such diseases make them either a lunatic or a genius. It would only be appropriate in this

case to describe Batman as clinically insane. As you walk among this earth, make sure

that you can tell the difference between consciousness and reality.

Back to the Future displays one of my favorite topics, time travel. Is it really

possible to create a time machine that can allow us to defy the laws of physics? Clearly

there are problems with the idea of time travel. All the paradoxes that were listed in this chapter lead me to believe that it is not possible. If time travel is possible, I do not believe that it would be probable to go back in time, but maybe jump into the future. But as some

of the paradoxes describe that if you went back in time and shot your prior self then you

would not exist in the future. Does this mean we would just disappear? It would

definitely be beneficial if we could go to the future and contact our actual self. We could obviously find away to increase our wealth in the future. You could just get yourself a

record of every sports game ever won, and you could use that knowledge to make a lot of

money. I am not going to say that I oppose the idea that time travel is possible; however,

I do see a wide range of complications arising.

Fear in Las Vegas is one of my favorite movies. I mean, who wouldn’t want to go

on an epic drug binge in Sin City? I have not done most of the drugs that they

experimented with, but I do find certain drugs fun. I have been to Las Vegas plenty of

times with my friends, and every time we make the trip it gets more and more fun. Hunter

S. Thompson is an amazing writer; I was so intrigued by the movie that I even bought the

book. He achieved so many things in his life and it is understandable why he has so much

respect. This movie really proves how out of touch with reality you can get with an ideal

combination of poisons. These men were clearly out of their minds. I have never done

anything so strong that I saw giant lizards in a bar like these men. I do not ever want to

become that out of touch with reality. I am scared of DMT. The high only lasts for

roughly five minutes but people have said it feels like a lifetime. It often triggers spiritual enlightenment. I don’t think my mind is strong enough to take this leap.

I like movies that spin you in a loop. It’s fun to try and guess what is going to

happen next when they have not presented enough information; Fight Club is one of

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those types of movies. Just as in American Psycho, this man has lost his touch with reality. It describes a man who has become an insomniac; I have been there and it is

awful. Lack of sleep can trigger many psychological conditions that limit ones ability to

function in a normal society. When you do not sleep you do not think. My brain had

shutdown so much that I thought I had a brain tumor. Although I have never actually

hallucinated from lack of sleep, it is still very possible that it impairs you. In the case of serious insomniacs, these hallucinations might very well occur. When you are about to

sleep your body releases DMT and Melatonin into your body. If you don’t sleep these

images which must happen through this process will occur during the day because they

have to be released somehow.

The movie that most clearly relates to my life is Good Will Hunting. As I am a

scientist, I also study complex mathematics in my major. It is a very hard degree to

acquire, however I believe it is worth the effort; if I graduate with a Master’s I will be

setup for life. I don’t really feel smart though. In school I actually feel incredibly dumb. I still try though because maybe I just have a different learning style and I can’t pick up

things immediately. It is just discouraging because most people in my classes can. I guess

if it wasn’t hard everyone would do it. Will was a man who did mathematics for fun, and

never fully realized his potential. As the movie progresses he does. I strive to be a

scientist and an engineer. I could not see myself doing anything different with my life.

Physics and mathematics are universal languages. If there were other beings out there,

they have probably discovered advanced mathematics as well. I am sure most people

would be bored with electrical engineering but I find it intriguing. To quote Einstein, “I

have no special talents, I am just passionately curious.”

I never read the books, but I did see Hunger Games with Natalie. I suppose she

may have forced me to go, but I would go anywhere just to see her. I still think about her

all the time and ponder why I ever let her go. The idea of this form of government

projected in the film is disturbing; I hope our society never sinks so low that this type of system is implemented. I guess one of the themes of this movie is sacrifice. The city

portrayed in this movie chose men and women from each town to fight to the death. It is

almost like Lord of Flies in that there is also a society of children who begin to turn against each other because desperate times lead to desperate measures. When these men

and women are sent into the battlefield it becomes a fight to the death where only one

will survive. Of course, given these conditions, that one is forced to kill despite the moral dilemma. It’s kill or be killed. Sacrifice has been a common theme in many civilizations

in the past, but luckily in our society we have no legal tender for it. If I was put in this situation I would try not to kill, but at a certain point it would be necessary. I think one of the closest things to this movie is ancient Rome and the Coliseum. The gladiators were

sacrificed during the games and only the ones who could kill would have a chance to

survive.

I like the advanced technology depicted in Inception. The thought of having a

device that allows you to jump inside in an unconscious state in another’s mind is

intriguing. I think this is a more realistic technology than time travel. Are we really more awake in our sleep than when we are awake? Why are dreams absolutely essential to our

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existence? Clearly there must be a reason. I find it hard to be able to assign a timetable to our dreams; when you are asleep you no longer have a concept of time. But does time

really slow down when you are in a dream state? I have sometimes had lucid dreams

where I swore I could account for about three days of reality. Maybe dreams are

necessary so that we may plant an idea in our head. I think it is possible that it is when we are asleep that memories are stored in our brain. I like to relate this to individuals that are in a comma, a permanent place of dreams. If there exists brain activity present in a

comma, then surely they would be in a dream state. So how long does this dream state

feel to the victim? Would an individual who has been in a comma for two years feel as if

he was dreaming for eternity? I think this movie very accurately predicted a timetable for

every stage within a dream.

Momento is a movie in which the dangers of memory loss are depicted. Here we

see a man who cannot make new memories and can only remember reality for fifteen

minutes time. He only knows who he was, not who he is. He uses an intelligent system

for remembering what has occurred. He takes photos consistently of his life experiences

and writes notes behind the polaroid’s. This is still seen as very dangerous. As we see in

the movie, he could easily write notes that are not accurate and he wouldn’t know the

difference. It is also shown how individuals with this form of condition can easily be

taken advantage of. It would be quite easy to be tricked into doing something that he

should not be involved with. People play him for a fool, but as he seeks revenge he is not

someone that you would want to mess with. He is playing a game and that is all he

knows. If he wasn’t playing this game his life would have no meaning, he would

essentially not exist. As we see in the end, he writes a wrong note on his photo in the

intention of forgetting reality and keeping the game going.

_Religulous _ is one of my favorite documentaries. Bill Maher is genius in his

attempt to understand the world’s obsession with religion. He also aims to expose the

ones who claim to be false prophets, or who use the church to make serious money. The

tenants of Mormonism describes several rules, including having black skin is a

abomination, and wearing special underwear to protect you fire. The most faithful and

genuine church that he visited was the Trucker’s Chapel. Although I do not believe in

most of what they believe, it was nice to see individuals so passionate about their

religion. The fact that a Puerto Rican believes he is the second coming of Christ is a joke.

He didn’t even know that the idea is that Jesus will return not in the bloodline, but in

another mans body. The Pastor wearing gold chains and nice suits also waives a red flag.

Clearly he is taking money from the church and the followers do not notice. In the end, I

think religion is good for some, but evil for many others. There are good religions out

there but I think it is very rare. I used to be religious, in fact I am a confirmed Catholic, but I haven’t been back to church since I was 18. I’d rather worship at home and watch

football than go to mass.

Shrink portrays the theme that many Americans suffer from psychological

disorders. I myself even struggle with bipolar disorder. I have to see a shrink roughly

once a month because otherwise I would be out of control. I think for some people

medications should not be taken, but others need medication to survive; I am part of the

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latter. Suicide is also a major theme in the film. It shows how suicide affects ones family and friends until the end of time. Some may even feel guilty and responsible for ones

suicide. This can be too much weight for ones shoulders. If you think about suicide, as I

am sure we all have, reach out and get help. Your life is worth more than you think, and

there is no guarantee there is even life after death. Don’t do that to your loved ones, they will never stop hurting from it.

I remember when it came out that the Matrix had much of an impact on most

people; it was abstract and beautiful. Is there going to be ‘the one’ that comes down and

saves all mankind? Are we really living in a matrix? I think it is possible that the human

race is a slave race, and we are being controlled by an outside entity. Are we just an

experiment for another civilization? I would like to believe that I am in control of my

own life and that this place is real. It has to be real. I live and breathe to survive, and I think. Isn’t that enough to consider this actual reality? Our world is in shambles. I do not believe in the second coming of Christ, but I do believe that there is someone out there

that could really change the world, something that would make our matrix safer.

Something needs to happen for us to survive for centuries to come. The damage is almost

done. There is no turning back. This is our life so find ways to make your life in the

matrix enjoyable.

Vanilla Sky is another movie that clearly emphasizes the power of dreams. Would

you rather live in a dream in which you can create everything you ever wanted, or live in

a permanent state of nightmare in actual reality? In real life he knew Sofia for only one

night, however in his dream she was his savior; love was the main purpose of his dream.

When his dream turned into a nightmare he tries everything he can to try and wake up

from his unconscious state. Let’s say your dream becomes a nightmare, then how can you

wake up? Let’s go back to the idea of a man in a coma. This man is in a permanent dream

state and it is very rare that victims ever wake up. Their fate becomes in the hands of his loved ones who are patiently waiting for their child to arise. What if his dream became a

nightmare? He would have to live in this reality until he is no longer breathing. I do not

think I would want to be in a permanent dream state. If the dream became a nightmare

this individual would probably wish that they pulled the plug. Whatever form the dream

comes in he is stuck with it for the rest of his life. I think that would be a nightmare.

I suffer from severe short-term memory loss; maybe it is a byproduct of how

much herb I have smoked in my lifetime. Regardless, memory is very important. Memory

is what allows you to be defined as yourself. Without memory we would all be the same.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind portrays a story in which memory becomes a key idea. If you could really erase the memory of anyone who hurt you would you do it? You

would be getting rid of all the emotions you feel when you think of a specific event. Even

though there are good and bad memories, I still feel as if I would never want to rid myself of those special memories, ones that were at one time very special to me. I would almost

want to erase Leah from my brain because I think of her way too much and she’s never

coming back. I never talked to her, I didn’t send her a happy birthday text, and I deleted

her number from my phone; I’m trying. I don’t think this type of memory erasing, if it

was available, would be a safe method to get over lost souls. I think you just have to

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cherish what you had, live in the now, and realize that sometimes it is best to let go. Leah [_if you’re reading this; I miss you. _]

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Life:Is:A:Frequency :: Movies

  • ISBN: 9781311625861
  • Author: Steven Borella
  • Published: 2016-04-15 00:05:07
  • Words: 20253
Life:Is:A:Frequency :: Movies Life:Is:A:Frequency :: Movies