Monday, July 10, 2006

Donnie Darko: Amazing


I saw the movie Donnie Darko today and I have one word for it: amazing. I've now discovered my favorite genre of movie for certain: the pyschological thriller. That list includes works like Donnie, as well as a movie I hold in equally high esteem, The Butterfly Effect.

I don't know what it was about this movie that just gelled with me. I suppose part of it had to do with the theme of the movie: how life really has no meaning at all, yet humans are meaning finding machines that must search and eventually come upon their own meaning.

At the same time, the movie parodies the self-help gurus that I all to often listen to and believe with a tad too much conviction. These men and women that offer perpetual happiness and joy, with no sorrow mixed into the lot. That promise a better tomorrow, if you'll just employ technique x, y, or z.

Maybe that's why at this moment in my life, I felt so attracted to this movie. I've been living in a "happy-go-lucky" world a lot as of late, and I haven't gotten a lot of the tragic into the mix. I find myself attracted to the tragic. Strangely attracted. Like to this movie, or to Butterfly, or to this poem from The Perks of Being a Wallflower. There's just something more beautiful about the uglier parts of life. At times I feel like those things are the more real. The only reality.

Very existentialist.

However, the important thing is to realize that neither the happy-go-lucky nor the tragic are what reality really is. Reality can't be put into words. It can be whatever you want it to be. But even that won't be reality.

I like this quote from UC, Irvine Cognitive Scientist Donald Hoffman: "There are no public brains, only my brain experiences and your brain experiences. These brain experiences are just the simplified visual experiences of homo sapiens, shaped for survival in certain niches. The chances that our brain experiences resemble some mind-independent truth are remote at best, and those who would claim otherwise must surely explain the miracle." In other words, the chances that we, or our instruments, or anything we use actually register actual reality is very small.

So no matter what you decide to believe, chances are, it's partial.

That being said, the partiality of the moment for me is the tragic side of life.

Mad World by Tears for Fears

All around me are familiar faces
Worn out places
Worn out faces
Bright and early for the daily races
Going no where
Going no where
Their tears are filling up their glasses
No expression
No expression
Hide my head I wanna drown my sorrow
No tomorrow
No tomorrow
And I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had
I find it hard to tell you
I find it hard to take
When people run in circles it's a very very
Mad world
Mad world
Children waiting for the day they feel good
Happy birthday
Happy birthday
Made to feel the way that every child should
Sit and listen
Sit and listen
Went to school and I was very nervous
No one knew me
No one knew me
Hello teacher tell me what's my lesson
Look right through me
Look right through me
And I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had
I find it hard to tell you
I find it hard to take
When people run in circles it's a very very
Mad world
Mad world
Enlarging your world
Mad world

2 comments:

Lord Ebon said...

I love both of those movies, and that song is good too... has a weird sound that I like.
--
The word of the day is dcxwjl.

Tallxcrunner said...

Mad World is by Gary Jules. But I supppose it could be from whatever Tears for Fears is.

Yeah... the trajic side of life does seem attractive sometimes. I think that's because like... we shut it out of our lives and don't talk about it, so that when someone brings it up, it all just comes out. When I read the poem, Perks of being a Wallflower, for example, I felt a rush because I knew how it was going to end. It kept getting slightly more interesting. Interesting the way our minds work, it is.