Sushi, Without the Extras

How do you think he got the ideas for the Prince? From his cat, of course.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Peach Schnapps revisited

Periodically, I get flashes of inspiration/insight/whatever from watching films. Today, War of the Worlds was playing at the gym while I was running today, so again I was struck by the portrayal of mass hysteria in the film. While Ray is driving his family to the Hudson ferry, the van that he stole as the best means to get away from the Tripods in his neighborhood is mobbed by men desperate to escape annihilation. The worst part is that the violence escalates, resulting in several deaths as soon as the two pistols appear, but while that's awful, it isn't what sticks with me. Rather, the image I have trouble forgetting is the man on the hood of the car using his hands to tear way the glass of the windshield. He's clearly bleeding, or at least Spielberg wants us to believe he is, but he continues to use his bare hands to tear away the remaining shards of glass.

It's hard to accept that human beings would be reduced to that level, to taking transportation away from children, but it's also frighteningly believable, and it all comes down to values. If one assumes that the ultimate value is the survival of the self, then such an action is understandable. If one puts the survival of the species or community before survival of the self, then it isn't rational or something that should happen.

I suppose finding oneself in those kinds of dire straights makes one evaluate what one's values really are and where one's loyalties really lie.

I found myself meditating on the treadmill. Had I been in that position, would I have been the man on the hood of the car tearing away at the windshield? I don't know, and on some level, that frightens me.


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