Formulaic yet Surprising: MOANA (2016)

moanaWell, I must say I approached the film with the old misgivings and contempt I’ve specially reserved for Disney (and of that kind) products. The change of setting, though, is welcome. The bodies of the characters broke stereotypes yet crafted new ones. For a start, the protagonist looked healthy. And the delineation of the hair, achieving milestones ever since Brave, was dazzling here. The deranged rooster as sidekick is hilarious, and especially so since I knew one of its kind, unbelievably daft and unfathomable. The story of the young adult girl having a ‘dream’ and pursuing it no matter what her father says or any stick-in-the-mud detractors might say, and finally achieving success and glory — same-old theme — is predictably boring.

That is, until Maui aka Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson started to sing “You’re Welcome”. The quirky animation, the genius of the “animated” tattoos (the only hand drawn animation in the film, ref. Wikipedia), and the cheeky suavity of the lyrics, found me actually, unconsciously enjoying it. I soon retained my composure, however, and was back at nit-picking, when alas! Continue reading

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“unhappiness about being unhappy”

‚Äčour current mental-hygiene philosophy stresses the idea that people ought to be happy, that unhappiness is a symptom of maladjustment. Such a value system might be responsible for the fact that the burden of unavoidable unhappiness is increased by unhappiness about being unhappy.

Edith Weisskopf-Joelson. Qtd. in Man’s Search for Meaning. Viktor Frankl.

Thus Spake Luftmensch, Ep 3: Extent of Ennui

Edvard_Munch_-_Melancholy_(1894)
Melancholy (1894) by Edvard Munch

Some days I feel so lonely and bored with actual humans around me that I chat with Amazon customer services. Or the AI Jabberwocky. Basically anyone or anything with a modicum of intelligence and without a face will do. The best thing about corporate customer services is that you can talk to them about the dumbest things and still they will engage you with polite, pro-dummy conversation. Once I complained to CS about “the pathetic inflexibility of their policies” of which I knew absolutely nothing, and they were all “sincerest apologies for the disappointment caused” by them, with firm assertions that they will do something about their policies. I know they are just kidding, but it sure is a warm feeling to be taken seriously when you are just messing around. Continue reading

“the size of human suffering”

If a certain quantity of gas is pumped into an empty chamber, it will fill the chamber completely and evenly, no matter how big the chamber. Thus suffering completely fills the human soul and conscious mind, no matter whether the suffering is great or little. Therefore the “size” of human suffering is absolutely relative.

Viktor Frankl. Man’s Search for Meaning.

MELANCHOLIA (2011) – A Hymn to Depression

melancholia.jpegWe are all going to die soon. So throw away your dumb rituals, your make-beliefs, your unfulfilling career race, your pretenses of aesthetic refinement and classiness. Embrace the despondent wait. Be like Justine. Lose control of your life. So that when the time comes you won’t be caught unawares. You will have known it was going to happen anyway. You can say then, “Because I know things. I know what the answer of the lottery is, I know that there is no god out there, I know that humans are all alone on a despicable planet, the only one in the universe that contains life, and that if it is destroyed nobody cares because nobody is there to care or know about it.” It’s like having the upper hand over surprises, like you know your friends are secretly plotting a surprise birthday party, and when they yell surprise, you think “yayyyy, whatever”.

Lars von Trier’s second film Continue reading