The Man From Earth

March 16, 2010

When I was in college, I wondered what exactly would qualify as Science Fiction. There really is no strict definition of what qualifies as science fiction. There’s the face value (a phrase very important in this entry), a word of fiction involving some piece of science – biology and physics, outerspace and under water, new dimensions and what’s in the head. It’s all science fiction. The definition that stood out to me however, is one that goes “Fantasy is making this impossible probable; Sci-Fi makes the improbable possible.” The reason I like this is basically that science fiction could happen, but it won’t necessarily happen.

The basis of the movie, The Man From Earth is basically What If A Caveman Happened To Survive To The Modern Day. Now, before we get technical, this basically means someone lived to approximately 14,000 years (as discussed in the movie). Would this happen? No. Could this happen? Maybe…

As a whole, I enjoyed the movie. I’ll admit; I believed his story (although, my story telling philosophy kinda accepts it as just that, a story; life). But there are so many little flaws (SPOILERS!) that I don’t like in the movie.

To begin with, the character who may be a caveman is extremely passive. He’s thoughtful, kind, and very civilized. This doesn’t bother me, as he had those 14,000 years to become passive. But there’s a part where a character points a gun at him – we later learn it wasn’t loaded. But think about it. A caveman who would be very primal and easily scared with full knowledge of what a bullet can do. I’m surprised he didn’t jump out the window or take a club to try and beat the man. That would probably be his most likely plan of attack (how modern day are guns?).

Further, he tells some others a few things about his outlook on life – one of the most favorable of mine is The Lord or The Lesson. He flat out says that should someone not even believe in Jesus (not God), to believe in what he preached. To be honest, I agree with that outlook, but he’s also lived much longer than I have. Does this mean at my ripe old age of 25 I’m more aware of things – or that a 14,000 year old caveman who has studied with The Buddha has nothing better to say? He had time to study Plato, Neitzsche and others, and all he has to say is be passive and think about God’s lesson? Gimme a break!

There is one final thing at the end of the movie that also bugs me. He gives into love, or I guess a fondness he has for another. Now, don’t get me wrong, I understand companionship on the most basic level. Friends are what is most important to me in my life. But he gives this speech in the beginning (to this lover in question) about how he’s gotten over love so many times and he’s going to leave. I realize the two of them have an understanding, but still, he gives into it! I would imagine that to a caveman he would need companionship moreso than most of us these days, but if he’s moving on because he won’t age, there’s no reason to keep others in your life if you’re just going to leave them again. Companionship is nice; desserting is horrible.

So, now that this has become a long rant no one will ever read, and I’ve ruined the story for those who are curious about the film, go see it. It’s much more of a drama than a science fiction film, but it could happen. And I guess, that’s the point of the movie, if not story telling as a whole. You can only get so many to believe you, no matter how long you live.

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2012

March 5, 2010

I didn’t like it.

It did what it had to – humans overcoming the odds, powers beyond our imagination. Great special effects. Actually, the plane disaster/train disaster part was pretty cool. But I get it Roland – you like disaster, humans are resourceful, Hollywood ending. NEXT!

You’re supposed to read that as O-M-G/X-T-C/Ripped-Off/The-Mon-kees

Anyways, watch these two videos…

0 for 10, maybe?

July 13, 2009

Can’t even get there…

My Two Cents

July 10, 2009

“What backs our money?” I was asked this over a message board, and I replied with “Our Labor.” I then added “Perhaps both those words should be in quotes,” for example – “our” “labor”. I don’t know what made me remember this earlier today at work, but it bugged me. I work in retail, which also bugs me. And a lot of kids right out of high school also work in retail. I don’t know what minimum wage is, but let’s say they make $2/hr less than I do. That’s right – 2 dollars an hour less than I do.

How much work do they really do? How excited are they to be working? How many hours are they putting in a week? Does this damper their attitude? How much are they really making? And, how does that all compare to what I put in at work? Not that I’m terribly excited about working there.

What probably made me think about the question posed in the first paragraph was an overage I was charged last month. While I don’t earn the most money, and definitely don’t put the most effort into my work, an overage is still an overage. And putting 40 hours of my week into a bank account, and just barely putting in more than the overage was very disappointing. I may not love my job, but those 40 hours to break even could’ve been put to better use, and I’d be happy not making any more money from it (as long as I wasn’t losing money in the first place – although, I was). But that money could have also gone to hanging out with friends. I was lucky to pay for lunches the rest of that week.

So, what really does back our money? If the bank can charge me for an overage, where does my money really go? Did I earn it? Or did I just make up for what was lacking? I see the bills in my hands, but if I put them in and I’m still in the negative, was it like I even had money to start with? So, did I put labor into the ATM machine? Did I put gold in the ATM machine? Did I really have anything to start with?

The other side of the coin, however, is the barter system. Personally, I have nothing against the barter system. It makes more sense to me, on the surface. I don’t see how paper or a piece of silver really accounts for my hard work. But let’s say I’m a farmer and I grow corn. And I give you an ear of corn. That’s my hard work. Now, I can’t put an ear of corn into an ATM machine and have money, but I can sell it and have money. But, how much do I charge you for an ear of corn. FURTHER, if I were to trade an ear of corn to you, what’s it worth in…lumber, for example? That’s even easier than trying to trade corn with furniture.

So, what does back our money? The truth is this – our greed backs our money. Our desire to want things. Now, charging money for food is something I can understand. I would rather work all week and buy a thing of steak rather than buy a cow, wait for it to mature, kill it and clean it and cook it myself. But still, I’d be buying a cow from the start. And as much as I dream of owning a farm with solar panels and growing my own food, a steak’s a steak. I mean, c’mon.

So, if greed is what backs our money, are we truly in a recession? I remember hearing last summer how billions of dollars weren’t being used on airlines. I don’t see how greed can pay for a trip somewhere, but how many of you would like to see the Rocky Mountains or the Great Lakes or Great Britain or China? I guess to an extent I can see how greed would pay for a trip – “I NEED TO SEE IT FIRST!!! I NEED TO SHOW YOU PICTURES!!!”

And the truth is that, yes we are indeed in a recession. The proof with greed – it’s my time I sacrificed all week, it’s my hard labor, so it’s my money. I’ll spend it on what I want. And right now, not too many of us are spending it, so we aren’t getting out this anytime soon.

As much as I wanna believe I’m different from people, and don’t need money and don’t worry about social stats, it comes down exactly like my problem was earlier. I wanna work to use money for my friends. And when I’m in the negatives, why can’t I hang out with friends? I did indeed work all week, and sacrifice my time and labor.

Kids From Vassar Sell Out!

Okay, whatever. I don’t know the people. I don’t overly like the band. But I mean, that song is off their debut album. And already got money from a hotel.

P.S. The Dodos also sold out to Miller Chill. The video can be found here, but I can’t embed it.
I must listen to the best music, cause those two songs were on my best of ’08 mix…

A Sign Of The Times

March 28, 2009

Would you keep that job after rubbing a talking oven with a shammy? Lemme put it to you this way. A TALKING OVEN. RUBBING WITH A SHAMMY. Apparently BOTH OF YOU ENJOYING IT.

It’s a sign of the times. The job market is tough. Not only is it a dead-end job, but there is an innuendo spouting oven. And he has to put up with it daily.

Minimum Wage for that? No way.

P.S. there is also apparently an “after 9pm” version of that commercial, which can be found in the related videos. If this one wasn’t “ambiguous” enough…

Watchmen

March 16, 2009

So, about three days later, I finally understand it and know how to review it. As a whole, it’s a good movie. Definitely not great, and not great for its duration. Oddly enough though, it rarely drags, and touches on many topics, instead of trying to fill its total time.

Trying to summarize it will be nearly impossible, but it basically tells the story as the characters go from human to superheroes, and now where they are now. It is an alternate time line story, set in the 70s but doesn’t feel dated. It ponders human existance and shortcomings, without being too pompous. Too pompous.

But oddly enough, it still fails. By overloading the story with about 5 stories nearly simultaneously, you feel informed but lost. By leaving all the characters with personal triumphs and losses, you’re both confused and entertained. By filling in little gaps, retelling history and trying to be philosophical, you’re either overloaded or lost.

However, it is very nice to look at. Lots of very good effects. Lots of interesting points. Unfortunately it’s points only seem to last for the scene in which they take place. The visual effects are nice, but aren’t substance. The story seems to go nowhere, and it definitely leaves you off nowhere, after everything that happens.

As a general movie goer, I wouldn’t recommend anyone see it. For a comic book fan, I’d suggest they see it (it’s supposed to be quite loyal to the graphic novel). But anyone looking for an entertaining movie they can forget a few days later or an all-time favorite, look elsewhere. Somehow this movie is neither forgettable nor changing cinema forever. It just is, and it tries to be a lot more.

A Quick Change Of Pace

February 21, 2009

I dunno if I’m going out to take pictures of farms today (and tomorrow’s supposed to snow, bummer).

BUT, don’t buy chocolate! Well, stick with Russel Stovers or Cadburys or something organic (!). Hershey’s is moving to Mexico. And took 300 American jobs away with it.

First it was Budweiser to Belgium, now Hershey’s to Mexico.

Is this what they call globalization?

Animal Farm

January 15, 2009

It’s funny; you buy something cause a store is going out a business. You watch something to spend time with a friend. You realize exactly what it means, and how it relates to today.

It’s been a while since I read the book, but please, everyone, watch Animal Farm. Read the book. Think about the situation we’re in today…

To the animals, it now seemed that their world, which may or may not someday become a happy place to live in, was worse than ever for ordinary creatures. And another moment had come, when they must DO something about it.