Culture and Film Analysis

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/aaron-hernandez-suffered-from-most-severe-cte-ever-found-in-a-person-his-age/2017/11/09/fa7cd204-c57b-11e7-afe9-4f60b5a6c4a0_story.html?utm_term=.0066107d6844

“Aaron Hernandez suffered from most severe CTE ever found in a person his age”

Sports with violent contact are a risky endeavor. I do not engage in heavy contact-sports, nor do I condone any of it. However, I would like to draw attention to a related topic- gender inequality in film. It could be said that The Rocky I-V series was a period piece about the Cold War-at least Rocky IV. But what is to say of the gender equivalent? Million Dollar Baby featured a German (East or West) Billie “The Blue Bear” Osterman and  Mary Margaret “Maggie” Fitzgerald. Perhaps it is a subtle nod to a world-series matchup of differing cultures. Or, it could be said that the protagonist- ostensibly, a proper Westerner, lost simply because she was the lesser-valued female. Perhaps screenwriters let the “dirty” “Blue Bear win because she was more liked by males. Has this theory been tested? In Rocky II, The American loses to Russia, but in the Rocky IV rematch, the American wins- it may have been just a symbolic gesture as an economic and political defeat of the Soviet Union, however, a male was able to win. It is almost imperative that a rematch of Million Dollar Baby occurred, with the proper minority winning a fair representation in her capabilities, or at least a “dirty” fighter be penalized or disqualified. The fighter, Maggie, did not lose the fight against the Blue Bear, but lost because she fell over an improperly placed stool in the corner of the ring and became a paralyzed paraplegic. Maybe it was a cop-out to avoid saying who should win when subliminally the male writer wanted the politically incorrect Blue Bear to win. This is not to say a movie can’t be realistic and depict those who win unfairly or by default, but there should be no conscious effort to glamorize them. The intersection of inequality also crosses minorities of other types, including gender, disability, orientation, and race. It would be fair to say some other movies have attempted to bridge the gap in providing equal representation, but not many.

http://dsq-sds.org/article/view/555/732

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The Pale, Sexless Life: Chapter 1

There is only one way I know of that is a path to success in life: delayed gratification. Freud considered psychological sublimation the only positive defense mechanism. The channeling of  carnal desires into socially acceptable works is not instinctual, but the result of years of education and practice. Every possible path of enjoyment that is tolerated in youth gradually narrows in adulthood, and the avenues for outlets converge into society’s norm’s and expectations. The developmental stages of youth can often be stunted, and result in maladjustment, preventing one from utilizing ones’ greatest talents and achieving one’s highest ambitions.

The long view is valuable in analyzing the true depth of delayed gratification, because the more delayed a reward is, the greater reward can be. With the exception of delaying gratification to the point of never being able to enjoy something, delayed gratification is a sound practice. It is also the only style of writing that I don’t consider smut. Delayed gratification is both extroverted and introverted- the stoic, cold confidence of a laconic writer may attract the anxious, whereas an enthusiastic and wordy writer may attract a sentimental reader. In either case, the laconic and the voluble reap the fruits of their labor, and the unclear fall behind.

Writing can be both social and personal, but seems to always an attempt to connect and establish an understanding with the outer world. The “inner world” could be a way to explore the mind’s deep psyche, in the form of an epic diary, and could also be a constructive way to identify oneself, by contrasting with the outer world.  The “sexless” life is cerebellum, the home of the inner world. While the brain experiences all of what the nervous system communicates, and while the brain determines when endorphins are released to appease the body, the logical center of the brain is the true ledger of one’s outlook in life. If one were to calculate each short-term gratification as a sum on an accounting book, one could say that each nerve is a both a wallet and a stomach. A nerve can spend its anatomy on stimulating the brain, at the expense of emptying part of its stomach. The physiological term is an action potential, where a signal is transmitted to the brain  to communicate a stimulus.

Sensory deprivation is a form of delayed gratification, if only it is used in moderation and rarely, is it actually experienced in its purer forms. Social isolation, alienation menial labor, are all forms of sensory deprivation, however this is often not necessarily a bad thing. Many people understand licit labor bears licit fruit. But few would word it in that way-someone who works in a greenhouse gets to enjoy ample window light compared to a nondescript office cubicle. The cubicle job could pay more, whereas the greenhouse job may have short term benefits such as happier work environment.  A creative balance of supplementing a spartan work environment with plant life and blue light could have a comparable quality of life index to that of a greenhouse job that is perhaps (not always) less lucrative.

Sensory deprivation is also in the eye of the beholder. One person’s sensory deprivation is another person’s sensory overload. One person may have a poor sense of smell, and be oblivious to bad odors in their wardrobe. Another person may think they have a pleasant voice, whereas others may consider it extremely irritating. The sexless life is the life of not spending the many wallets from the body’s many nerve endings, however they can be re-sensitized. The body learns and desensitizes where excesses are sought, and the brain adjusts and persuades the mind to tap other renewable nerve resources. The sexless life is the hermaphroditic life- feeding the body and allowing it to renew its cells, only for self-preservation, rather than for genetic recombination.  It is in this plateau stage that the adult body is free from the stresses of posterity. It is a way to focus on accomplishing goals. However, this is not to say that this the only stage where one can achieve. After all, delayed gratification is only practical if gratification is eventually redeemed or at least passed on to a loved one. Therefore, it must contain sometimes as a minimalist pit stop, or an oasis, in the middle of long journey.

 

Other religious communities party better than mine (politically incorrect)

Foreward: I am not drunk or high when I write this. My way of writing may suggest “far out” thoughts, but I have not drunk any alcohol in many months.

I was raised Catholic, and one of the cardinal rules is to feel guilty pretty much all the time. This prevents a Catholic from having too much fun, and many, many times is actually very useful for staying out of trouble.

That said, it has been hard for me to find a good Catholic community outside of family. I only need family, but sometimes I wish there was some sort of network out there in any town where you could just start a mini-party. I thought about a Catholic church, but then I realized they aren’t my kind of Catholics. [Drum roll]

In recent years, I’ve admired Jewish and Muslim communities. They seem to manage quite well, and seem to have more fun than Catholics, probably because guilt is not such a central focus. In no way am I suggesting that Jews and Muslims don’t feel the same sort of guilt, but there is just this sort of cohesiveness that seems to flow like a party.

Catholics who party can’t remember half of what happened the night before at the local Irish tavern, where I would imagine a Catholic would go to party. This is why I think Jews and Muslims drink less (or not at all) and seem to prosper from a well-planned party ethos. Partying seems to be against the beliefs of any religion, but with the right formula, it seems to strengthen the community, not weaken it.

Maybe Catholics need to rethink the concept of party. I’m thinking reformist- that would be too Protestant. Catholics seem to have popularity crises, even though the new pope is chill as can be.

If a Catholic community is really going to appeal to the current generation, I think the values that I think are important may change. But I think I might be forgetting the classic form of Catholicism that appears to be at odds with the current generation, and possibly the cause of that separation. I’m not sure what I believe anymore- I scavenge my past for values that seem to be rooted in Catholicism, and I search for beliefs in other regligious systems that Catholicism does not have but needs. At the same time, my ability to adhere to any formal set of beliefs appears to not be useful, while I seek to understand each religion without renouncing it.

I can’t say or know much much about other non-Abrahamic religions- there are many interesting concepts in other religions, and I have understood more recently. Eastern religions have a focus on family, almost to a higher degree in some ways, yet are also more environmentally focused while having aspects of asceticism. This is not absent in Western religions, but it appears more outwardly accessible to an illiterate. That said, why do some religions appear more visual/semiotic in absence of a language proficiency?

Eastern religions also seem a lot less into partying, even less so than Catholics, who seem to spend half-their time confessing in private and explains why they are often nowhere to be found locally. I guess the old Jesus fish is a way to ask for attention, although it can also invite unwanted attention. A grain of salt, this blog post should be read with, I should emphasize, but even a single grain of salt can’t be sprinkled on unleavened bread- if one were to interpret Passover literally. So, feel free to reject the premise of the post entirely. Surely there is a time and place for introspection?

 

A time to be better

The political climate of the United States is at it’s worst in my lifetime of over 30 years. I have not seen many decades or of course, centuries, but it seems that giving a platform to those who seek to deny the voice of others seems most counterintuitive. It seems that some are unwittingly claiming to be fair, and others are wittingly clear of their intentions. This clear conflict has many fronts across the entire country. But to minimize conflict, I feel it is best to redirect our discussions to forums and blogs, rather than physical rallies. Rallies accomplish nothing but stir the pot with fuel. Speeches also accomplish nothing. The issue today is an emerging capability of distributed media to be used not to communicate but simply to engage in thinly veiled warfare. A debate is not constructive. A dialectic allows people to reach commonalities and negotiate a peace. The problem with certain topics is that some cannot be negotiated for one reason or another. Yet, it is better to try than for others to isolate themselves and feel different. No one is much different than others. Hateful speech is like radioactive material. It must be contained to a a space where it can be handled by responsible and mature people, who can work towards equality. Hateful speech is all but a manmade mistake. Where it already exists, it must be cautiously avoided. It does not sprout like a nutritious fruit. It is cancerous, like tobacco.