Wednesday, May 04, 2005


It's Super Christopher

I was thinking recently (ha ha...insert your "did it hurt" joke here...done?!...let's move on) and, since Zhubin has commanded us to keep him entertained with our musings during finals time, I decided to let you all in on my thoughts.

We all want to be heroes!

That's it...what?...explain to you the meaning of this simple but deep sentence?...all right...but try to keep up.

The movies, books, stories, etc. that seem to capture our attention the most are ones dealing with, usually, rather archetypal principles (ie good vs bad, light vs. dark, Dr. Pepper vs. Diet Dr. Pepper...) I think this is proved in the Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Matrix, etc. type movies. They show a world in which the "gray"-ness of our world seems to disappear and the lines of right and wrong are clearly drawn. Self sacrifice and heroism is lauded and revered, the strong protect the weak, and pople are more than willing to give their lives in a heartbeat to protect an ideal that means more than life itself. In effect, they show a world in which virtues are prized above wealth and power and that compassion, love, and truth will eventually triumph.

And then you leave the theatre and come back to our world...

Now some would say that people enjoy this type of film because it simplifies the struggle that is so complex and "muddied" in the real world. When one side tries to take over the world with goblins and the other side tries to stop them to allow mankind to continue its existence, the battle lines are pretty cut and dried. If, however, you try to look into corporate America with all of its practices and activities, it is much more difficult to find the "good" and the "bad". Perhaps, then, this is why we enjoy seeing worlds in which a side can be chosen with little difficulty.

Now, I can agree with this to a degree, but I think this is only a point in the larger issue. I believe (and this is where many of you might disagree with me) that there is something imbedded within us as humans that causes us to crave virtue. I would call it a piece of my Creator, whereas others would call it a manifestation of true shared humanity, but regardless, it is a desire, nay, a yearning, for something that surpasses the mundane and reaches into the extraordinary. It is a yearning for hope, courage, and compassion. It is a need to have heroes and to see people acting in a way which goes counter to selfish human desires, surpasses petty wants, and reaches the pinnacle of human greatness, a greatness that is achieved through mercy and love, rather than ruthlessness and overpowering. It is a deeply held desire to live and act in a world that cherishes sacrifice over greed and caring over money. And this deeply held desire is rarely, if ever, recognized in the world in which we live in.

That is why I think there will always be a market for this genre of film and that it will always attain a popularity unmatched among other genres. As long as there are humans living in a selfish, petty world, the need and yearning for a world of virtue will continue.

Now...let's go to a strip club...

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