Saturday, May 9, 2009
Last night, with no expectations, I went and saw the new Star Trek movie.
For the most part, I do not feel motivated, either positively or negatively, to write on this movie. I left thinking that it was a good time, and more importantly with art and entertainment, I left feeling the world is a good place and values can be pursued. But this is not saying much except that the latest Star Trek flick is better than a lot of the movies that have been made recently.
Even though, I do not have much I want to say on this movie publicly, I do want to point out Scott Holleran's recent review of the film:
New ‘Star Trek’ Movie is Bland, Not Bold
The only issue I have with Mr. Holleran's review is his one-line throw away about the new Kirk being a playboy. I totally disagree with this. The story in this latest Star Trek movie is as Holleran wrote, "the plot is formulaic, characters are too broad, and the conflict is the stuff of cable reruns", but I loved and responded to the new Kirk. I think Chris Pine did an excellent job as James T. Kirk. Similar in a lot of ways to what Robert Downey Jr, did with his Tony Stark. Pine did not do a caricature of the larger than life character, he played it as if it was important, as if it was a reachable ideal. These ideals of Kirk, and of Stark, contain a lot of passion, a lot of exuberance, and a lot of joy which to some can come across as a negative -- as a character who is not serious, who is not deep, who is nothing more than a party hound.
But both Stark and Kirk show continuously through their actions that they are productive, love what they do, and that their partying is not an escape from effort, but a celebration of their own values and view of existence.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Today, I was reminded of another one of my favorite Berton Braley poems.
What is the profit that men can find
In the frozen North or the jungle heat?
What is the vision they hold in mind
When they face the hardships that they must meet?
It cannot pay, yet they see it through
And the magic purpose that keeps them to it,
Is doing the work that they want to do
In the way that they want to do it.
It isn't money, it isn't fame,
That stirs the soul to a true adventure,
Or makes men stick to the grimmest game
In spite of ridicule, doubt and censure.
It's just the spirit that holds you true
To what you've started, and bears you through it;
It's doing the work that you want to do
In the way that you want to do it.
Oh, the weary souls who are chained by chance
To a treadmill track they must always amble,
Who never thrilled to a mad romance,
Who feared the risk of a mighty gamble.
They are the failures in life, not those
Who dreamed and struggled and risked and lost,
Who toiled and battled and baked and froze
But never flinched when the dice were tossed.
It's the thought that lifts us above the beast,
The dream that moves us to discontent,
The thing that's driven us west and east
And conquered ocean and continent;
And when we win to the heaven true
We'll find a place, when we come to view it,
Where men do work that they want to do
In the way that they want to do it!
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Principles and Practices put me on to two items that I would like to share.
The first is a great history and moral lesson on the events leading up to American bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki:
Jon Stewart, War Criminals & The True Story of the Atomic Bombs
The second is an article on the same subject by John Lewis, "Gifts from Heaven”: The Meaning of the American Victory over Japan, 1945