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Spoiler Alert / Joseph Dunphy
Chicago
WARNING: Do not read a review of a movie on my main blog until after you've seen the movie, because I'll be discussing what we saw. For recommendations, you should go to the flixster site you see linked to, if you should wish to take my recommendations.
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Popcorn is going to be published in bursts, with long periods of inactivity between the bursts. I certainly would not ask people to check in on a regular basis to see if anything new is present on a journal whose updates are so irregular, so I've set up a subscription option on Feedburner. Just go to this page. The link will open in a new window, but be sure to leave this window open, because when you're done, the new window will close. When you're done, you can just return to my microblog or my Typepad profile using those last... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2011 at Popcorn / Joseph Dunphy's blog
The gorge rises in my throat when I hear that line. It's bad philosophy, for one thing - if everything happens for a reason, then nothing we do matters. How do we measure the good we do in life, save by the impact what we've done has on those around us, ourselves included? But if "it's all good", as the saying goes, then no matter how those we've affected found themselves being affected, was exactly how they should have been affected. Morally speaking, we might as well sit down, grab a joint and puff away. Or grab an axe and start hacking people to pieces when they annoy us, because it's all good. If somebody is left bleeding in the street, that must have happened for a reason, too - if one insists on buying the premise, one is stuck with the implications, logically speaking, and can end up greatly diminished in the process. Taken to its logical conclusion, the belief that "everything happens for a reason" would leave the adherent a narcissist, well on his way to becoming unmotivated sociopath, something that I hope we'd agree to be a bad outcome. But is logic always the issue? Without giving a spoiler, I'm sure you remember the over the phone firing that doesn't go so well, in the film. Not really a completely fictional scenario, is it? There are people, in such situations, who are about to go to pieces, and if a little nonsense fools somebody long enough to give that somebody time to recover from the shock, and avoid doing something that she'll be glad she didn't do, later, is nonsense necessarily such a terrible thing? Maybe that's a little manipulative, but is it really completely wrong, under the circumstances? That's not entirely a rhetorical question. I'd answer the question with a "no", but not a resounding one. I do have misgivings about this approach, worries about what this sort of cure is doing to the prevailing level of sanity, but in the short run, no better solutions for dealing with the problem than the offering of the usual comforting words. So, at the moment I'd say offer such words to those who want them, as one might give medicine to the ill, and take it as a good sign when those words, like cough syrup offered to somebody whose cold has passed, are rejected - and would be very ready to be wrong about that one. As for how to deal with your own layoff - wish I had something useful to say, but do try looking up "long term unemployment". Very often, the "forced transitions" of which you speak aren't the beginning of anything other than the ruination of the life of the person forced into the transition. Sometimes, in real life, there aren't any options left, not because the person affected has done anything wrong, or made any bad choices, but simply is in the wrong place at the wrong time, dealing with people who don't feel like being reasonable, and whose consciences are never bothered by the harm they do because they tell themselves that ... yes ... Everything happens for a reason. Hence the moral ambiguity of the solution - what solves the problem, in the short run, is helping to perpetuate it in the long run.
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Posted Dec 22, 2009 at Popcorn / Joseph Dunphy's blog