Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Being an occasional fan of the SF brands I chose to watch this film out of pure curiosity. For quite some time there have been talks about this film’s outstanding technical achievements and with all the reviews that have praised it to such great extents I wanted to see if it was truly such a grandiose masterpiece.

A masterpiece of visual effects generated by an innovating technology, Avatar astonishes more through the graphical show than through content. The invasion of a new world, the difficulty of establishing peaceful relations, caused more by the recklessness and arrogance of the invaders than by the hostility of the natives, as well as the forceful extraction of certain goods needed by the invaders without the permission of the natives or even by killing them, are ancient tales. In fact they are not mere fictional tales but rather real events that have occurred repeatedly in the course of the history of nations across the globe, thus shaping human civilization. It can even be said that human evolution is dependent on such incursions and the context of the movie Avatar strengthens this hypothesis.
In a not too distant future, mankind, finding itself more than ever on the brink of self-destruction, is grimmer and more violent than ever. The story shaped by Cameron is an allegory from a long line of similar allegories where the one-sided characters are deeply characterized by the traits specific to the category they belong to. The antagonists are therefore antagonists from beginning to end, the heroes are in a similar situation despite some minor inconsistencies that could initially pose certain doubts. However, everyone who is familiar with the American cinema, especially with the Hollywood blockbusters, will recognize from the start the classic pattern and will perhaps be disappointed at the end if they had hoped for an unexpected turn of events. These turns do exist throughout the movie and help in shaping the plot but from a general point of view they are not a novelty.
Besides the special effects and the details specific to this script, the ideas formulated in Avatar have been discussed and presented in various forms many times before in SF literature and the SF movie industry. Nevertheless, a movie does not have to necessarily present something new in order to be a source of entertainment or to convey a message. As an entertaining cinematographic spectacle, Avatar offers an intense and attractive experience. What is more, the characters that belong to the so-called “good guys” category, the ones that the public must like are very well presented for this purpose, both through dialogue and by means of the scenes in which they appear.
Still, the message is not exactly a message but more of an observation, a reminder of some contemporary realities: the arrogance of mankind, their violent nature, their recklessness and their capacity for self-destruction. Cameron depicts these aspects as an inevitable destination because he offers no solutions for preventing or solving this decay. Only those predestined, to a certain extent, such as the main character Jake Sully will be able to survive the cataclysms of the future, while the general population, the masses of common people, will remain as insignificant as ever.
When it comes to telling the subject of the film, the soldierly voice and attitude of Colonel Miles Quaritch come to mind.  So, what do we have here? A futuristic world, poorly detailed, where the colonization of other planets is a reality and the purpose is acquiring new resources for the survival of our planet. Pandora, a planet with a toxic atmosphere but rich in very valuable minerals for the production of energy. Na’vi, the native population of Pandora, humanoids that bear a slight resemblance to the indigenous tribes of Earth and who oppose the exploitation of the colonizers. Avatars, hybrids created by mixing human and Na’vi DNA, into which the person whose DNA has been used can transfer their consciousness by means of some specialized technology in order to interact directly with the Na’vi. Jake Sully, US Marine immobilized in a wheel-chair, arrives on Pandora to take the place of his recently deceased twin brother. At the beginning his motivation is determined by the promise of an operation that would help him walk again and his loyalty lies with Colonel Quaritch. Neytiri, Na’vi female, daughter of the leader of the tribe, she becomes Jake Sully’s mentor when he, in his Avatar body, arrives on Pandora to learn their ways. The spirit itself of the planet, an energy force that is in everything and everyone seems to favour Jake as well simply because „you have a strong heart, no fear”, like Neytiri reveals to him. Sully rapidly becomes fascinated and drawn by the Na’vi way of life. He becomes one of them, back in his human body he now takes the side of the scientists, abandoning his military subordination and tries to prevent the destructive invasion that humans are planning. In the end, textbook battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil, where Sully takes the role of leader of the Na’vi, together with whom he crushes and drives away the oppressors. The future of Jake Sully, complete and permanent symbiosis of his conscience with his avatar body and spending the rest of his life on Pandora as a Na’vi native.  The future of Earth, uncertain but possibly destructive.


A ninja must be trained in the following disciplines:

1) Seishin-teki kyōyō (spiritual refinement)
2) Taijutsu (unarmed combat, using one’s body as the only weapon)
3) Kenjutsu (sword fighting)
4) Bōjutsu (stick and staff fighting)
5) Shurikenjutsu (throwing blades)
6) Sōjutsu (spear fighting)
7) Naginatajutsu (naginata fighting)
8 ) Kusarigamajutsu (chain and sickle weapon)
9) Kayakujutsu (pyrotechnics and explosives)
10) Hensōjutsu (disguise & impersonation)
11) Shinobi-iri (stealth and entering methods)
12) Bajutsu (horsemanship)
13) Sui-ren (water training)
14) Bōryaku (military strategy)
15) Chōhō (espionage)
16) Intonjutsu (escaping and concealment)
17) Tenmon (meteorology)
18) Chi-mon (geography)

Steps towards becoming a ninja:

1) Relax and reflect inward (meditate). Decide upon a series of ideas, morals and philosophies that you truly can live by.

2) Master all of the above disciplines so that you can become a real shinobi (ninja).

3) Be honest to yourself and others. Control over your emotions is important. Only act when absolutely necessary.

4) Learn to control people and manipulate events not by force, but by words and actions, so that you can obtain a goal without having to resort to any manner of violence. Use people’s desires, needs and wants against them. Humans need security, wealth, pride, strength and to have their lust satisfied.

5) Learn how to move silently and hide with stealth. You’ll need to know how to enter a situation without becoming the focus of it, and looking as though you belong when you don’t. Blending in with your surroundings may mean blending in with a crowd of people.

6) Learn to use martial arts weapons. These include, but are not limited to sais, shurikens, katanas, knife, the steel fan, and the ninja-to. It’s also important to learn to use modern weapons and concealed weapons.

7) Run a mile or more every day to build up your endurance. Run with lightweight clothing in colder weather and heavier clothing in warmer weather, in effort to help you endure different ranges of temperature.

8 ) Do exercises such as running and crawling, running and hiding, obstacle courses, pull ups, sit ups, push ups, rope climbing, swimming, and weight training. Focus your training on stealth, infiltration, endurance, agility and misc skills. Learn how to climb trees and fences. Try to climb up faster each time, and time yourself as you do it.

9) You need to have a “Nido” which means you will never go back on your words once you say something.

10) You will never be able to control others if you cannot control yourself.

11) Understand that Ninjutsu is not the only martial art that you should master. No martial art style is perfect and complete. Consider learning Tae Kwon Do (it has the strongest kicks), Hap Ki Do (joint manipulation and the deadliest of locks and throws involving each of the limbs and even the head), Aikido, Judo, and Kung Fu.

12) It is not really an art of stealth and secrecy, but one of endurance; enduring all of life’s obstacles and hardships.

13) Study human anatomy. The best way to defeat something is to know its weaknesses. In the event that you need to defend yourself it’s best to know how to incapacitate your opponent long enough to escape.

14) Ninjas don’t always wear black, but also wear green, white, blue, and grey. Blue allows versatility, because it is the general color of the night, green is best for Ops involving only wooded areas, white for snowy regions, and grey for Ops only involving urban settings.

15)
Smoke bombs are useful if your cover is blown and you need to get away. But keep in mind that the body of smoke will be bigger than you are, and people farther away will be attracted to your direction if they didn’t know at first.

16) Learn to respect yourself and others. Control is necessary when appropriate.

17) Realize that Ninjutsu is a life pursuit. You can never fully master something. There is always room for improvement. Don’t expect to become a true ninja in a week (shinobies usually start at the age of 5 or 6 until they are about 20 and keep on going to become better.

One awesome commercial about the meaning of life … so true, isn’t it?

One of the forms of hypocrisy that I find particularly irritable is some women’s reaction towards certain forms of sexual education (such as Kama Sutra books or even pornographic films). I find it awkward, to say the least, when I hear a young woman shying away from such things or even regarding them with disgust. Such a behavior would be appropriate, let’s say for a 12 year old (although these days children become acquainted with sexual matters at a much younger age), but never for someone who is sexually active. How can you look at a Kama Sutra book and say “I would never read such obscenities” when just the other night you and your boyfriend were fucking like mad rabbits?

On the one hand so many girls are so eager to start their sex life just so they can brag to everyone about it but on the other hand they regard anything sexually related as an obscenity. Aren’t these people having sex to enjoy themselves? Obviously … at least, to me that is the obvious reason (regardless if they are involved in a romantic relationship or not, the issue of satisfying one’s needs is always present), so if that is the case, wouldn’t they like to make the experience even more pleasurable? Because even here you need help, you need to learn it first.

If we, humans, have sex only out of instinct we are no different than animals. Just because you know where to stick it does not mean you can have a pleasurable sexual experience. Or am I missing something here? Do all these modern girls we see in relationships day after day guide themselves according to the antiquated principle that sex is just something that the woman must endure for the sake of her partner and they don’t even try to find some pleasure in it?

Another form of hypocrisy on the same subject regards young women who are more or less outraged by the idea of their boyfriends reading or watching pornographic materials. At the beginning I’ve listed pornographic movies as a source of sexual education and I sustain my point of view. There is no better aid in a learning process than visual aid and since it would be awkward to watch in real life two people having sex (awkward for them, unless they have no inhibitions about it), pornographic movies is the best way to see how it’s done without having to do it yourself. In this way you will be prepared and more confident to approach such activities.

Women who do not want their boyfriends to watch (or to have ever watched) such materials are hypocrites because at the same time they also want them to be experts in satisfying their every need. Well, until we will learn how to tap into that genetic memory or invent a machine to help us in that endeavor, people will still have to learn things the old fashioned way … so how can two people have pleasurable intercourse if they do not know anything about it? Sexual education classes or talks with your parents can only give you the basics and in both cases they would always emphasize what you should not do, what you should be careful with and almost never what you can do to actually feel pleasure.

This quizz was sent to me by my best friend.

Check out her page:

http://missesparker.wordpress.com/

RULES for Playing:

1. Set your mp3 player to shuffle/random;

2. Click “Next” for every question;

3. Use the title of the song as answer to your question even if it doesn’t make sense. Don’t cheat!

4. Write your own comments regarding whether the song matches or not the answer you would give to that question.

5. Tag 5 or more people and ask them to do this quiz.

1. How are you feeling today?

Enya – Marble Halls (wtf??? I song I recently acquired, never listened to it, didn’t have the patience to listen to it now … but if the hidden meaning of this situation is that today has been for me as fucked up as this situation than they got it right )

2. Will you get far in life?

Chayanne – Un siglo sin ti (wow, one of my favourite songs … this actually fits perfectly, because all I want is one stable relationship; I don’t feel like fucking around with a lot of guys just for the sake of it, got better things to do.)

3. How do your friends see you?

Misterul De La Osterinsel – Track 6 (ambient music … yeah, they see me as a quiet, relaxed person, so it fits)

4. Will you get married?

Cheloo – In zgomot de masele supte (a Romanian translation of one of 50 cents’ songs, so as to emphasize the stupidity of the lyrics. So what the hell does it mean … that I’ll become a pimp or a prostitute? A pimp … maybe)

5. What’s your best friend’s theme?

Prince of Persia 3 Soundtrack – Track 2 (amm… I don’t think she even heard this song ever in her life)

6. What is the story of your life?

El Clon – Si estuvieras junto a mi (wow, this does fit perfectly … most of my life so far I’ve spent dreaming of a love I sometimes think I’ll never know)

7. What was high school like?

Simple Plan – Happy Together (hmm … not exactly … then again this song was on the soundtrack of a movie about a highschool girl and I watched the movie in highschool; and I liked the song very much back then … maybe it emphasizes the fact that I was energetic in highschool … well, energetic on the inside cause I was not the type to manifest myself publicly but my mind was as wild as always)

8. How can you get ahead in life?

Tehno dance rave – from the soundtrack of Blade 2 (oh yeah, I love Blade, I loved those movies so much and I’d definitely like to be like Blade, at least in personality and when interacting with others; I like his cool, calculated and seemingly emotionless way of being)

9. What is the best thing about your friends?

Mozard – Concerto No.1 In D First Movem (amm … ok, you lost me there … maybe that they are talkative, optimistic and full of life; come to think of it the people I know are like that and that is the kind of people I like to meet.)

10. What is in store for this weekend?

Tulku – Spiral Dance (another song I’ve never heard before and didn’t even know I had; listening to it, I don’t really like it … so it fits this weekend perfectly; well … there seem to be some parts I do like; some parts relax me, the others annoy me … just like this weekend, wow!)

11. What song describes you?

Vivaldi – Symphony No.3 In G Minor First (Amm … I suppose … more or less … it does not include my moods of sorrow and despair … that well)

12. What song would describe your grandparents?

The Penguin’s Dance (LMAO … it’s a Romanian instrumental song played at weddings; the dance is very funny; I suppose it fits them since it is a traditional Romanian song)

13. How is your life going?

Enya – Paint the sky with stars (I’ve looked up the lyrics and yes, this song fits for this question; here are 2 lines: Night has brought to those who sleep/Only dreams they cannot keep” … oh yeah, it fits my life filled with impossible dreams or happy moments who fade so quickly and nothing lasting comes of them.)

14. What song will they play at your funeral?

Abba – SOS (yup, it fits … google the lyrics)

15. How does the world see you?

Lemon Tree (amm … this would describe better my life or this weekend … but I suppose it fits here as well)

16. Will you have a happy life?

Ravel – Bizet 13 (I have no idea how to interpret that … the song sounds both exciting and relaxing, so I can only hope my life will be the same)

17. Do people secretly lust after you?

Marcas de Ayer – The Clone Soundtrack (judging by the song, I’d say yes)

18. How can I make myself happy?

Pink Floyd – Another brick in the wall (OMG … this one really fits perfectly “teachers leave them kids alone” … hell yeah!!!)

19. What should you do with your life?

Within Temptation – Angels (ok, I’ll keep that in mind and choose that career when the time comes)

Closing Remarks: As I am sure most of you have noticed, when doing this quiz quite a lot of times the song fits the question, even if it’s chosen randomly. So, I was wondering, isn’t this because of an unconscious need to try and find any hidden meaning that could be an adequate answer to the question? I think it’s the need to drive away any insecurity or anything unknown, the desire to find a connection, something we can relate to, thus something we already possess because we fear an unknown future, a faith we cannot control. That is why we have the impulse to make it seem like any activity meant to reveal our true self or predict our future cannot tell us something we do not accept, cannot imagine or do not want to experience.

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This is a topic I’ve wanted to approach for a very long time because the numerous comments I’ve seen people make on this issue have raised my frustration to very high limits. Granted, they might me simple minded people those who make these irrational affirmations, but still it is disturbing to hear it over and over again.

As you know there are many movies and tv shows out there, the grand majority American of course, whose story focuses either on past accurate historical events or on purely fictional events, be they inspired from the mythology of certain cultures or not. The language that the actors speak in is predominantly English with only minor exceptions here and there. Now, for some people this is apparently a problem.

First of all, some complain that, in order for the movie to be realistic, people should speak in the specific tongue of the characters they are interpreting.
For example, if the movie or series is about life in Ancient Rome, the actors should speak the language of the time (Latin) and perhaps even the specific dialect of the region or time period. Doesn’t this seem incredibly stupid to you? Aside from the fact that the viewers would find it very difficult to follow the show and the ratings would drop significantly it would be very difficult for the actors to speak every single line in a language that I am certain most of them are not familiar with. Surely some might have studied Latin in school but are there some many actors out there who can pride themselves on being fluent in Latin or Ancient Egyptian for that matter, should the story take place in that land? The results of actors simply learning on the spot the pronunciation of words that are completely unknown to them is close to disastrous, because correct pronunciation of a foreign language cannot be learned in a few weeks or months and because, most likely, not even the people who teach the actors how to utter those foreign phrases know the correct pronunciation themselves.

I remember the movie The Passion of the Christ where every character spoke in their native tongue instead of English and I appreciated that, especially since that wasn’t an action/adventure entertaining movie but when I heard some of the actors speak Latin it made my ears bleed, since, as a Romanian (whose language is around 80% of Latin origin), I can actually pronounce Latin words correctly. All these considered, aside from some exceptions such as The Passion of the Christ I don’t see the need to use the native language (especially when it is an old or ancient language) in movies and shows whose primary goal is to entertain.

[On a side note, I was just looking on imdb.com to get the actual name of the movie I listed above and as you probably know, at the bottom of the page there is the “Recommendations” category. There it says “If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:” and in the case of The Passion, the recommendations we get are: Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith followed by two Lord of the Rings titles, finally a movie called Jesus on third place and then some unknown Japanese movie involving a “typical college-girl”, as the synopsis sais. My first reaction was “WTF?”. I’m assuming that most people who watch The Passion are more in touch with their Christian religion. So they come to imdb.com to see what other religious movies they can find and what do they get? Extraterrestrials, fairy-tale creatures and Japanese horror movies? Okaaaaay … You explain that to me ‘cause I can’t.]

Secondly, while they are not exactly against historical and mythological movies employing the English language other people complain about the use of curses (such as f***, a**hole, jerk, etc) and diminutives (mom, dad, etc), saying that people back then did not use such words. All right, so, let me get this straight … YOU … some common kid/person from the 21st century are fluent in and have a perfect grasp of, let’s say, the Ancient Sumerian language (spoken almost 5000 years ago) and you know for certain that they used no curse words or employed any sort of diminutives? Let me tell you something, you don’t have to be some wise philosopher, archeologist or linguist to see that some of the basic, defining aspects of human civilization, ever since the dawn of time, are violence (physical or verbal –foul language) and sex. Curse words as well as diminutives have undoubtedly existed in all the languages of the world, past or present. All the information we have on ancient languages is from old tablets, partially destroyed manuscripts or scribblings on walls. Wise men have deciphered them as best as they could but mostly it was through guessing and assuming, so it is close to impossible to reproduce a forgotten language with 100% accuracy.

These people complain that the writers use modern curse words. There is no such thing! Just sit back and analyze some of the curse words/phrases you know. What do they involve? Mostly references to sexual intercourse or simply the male and female reproductive organs. It is considered swearing for instance to address a woman by using a certain vulgar synonym for her genitals or it is considered swearing to threaten someone with promises of forced sexual acts and so on. So please tell me, what is so modern about that? Haven’t men and women had the same anatomy 5000 years ago? Hasn’t intercourse been the same throughout history? Or did babies grow on trees back then? Seriously, these are very cretin accusation. If they need to use curse words in the movie and the script is in English what sort of words would you expect them to use if not English words? If you hear Romans in movies use the word “f***” it does not mean that Romans back then used the modern English word “f***”. They used its equivalent in Latin (basically nothing more than a vulgar synonym for intercourse) or some other form of this English curse word they might have had that denoted a similar concept. It is called TRANSLATION people!!! If you don’t know what that means then look it up in the dictionary and then maybe you will finally understand all of this. And for the love of God or whoever else might be there, please remember that action/adventure movie is not synonymous with documentary.

I don’t know about you but I for one am so damn sick and tired of hearing people constantly whining about how unrealistic most action movies (for example) are. For Christ’s sake, it’s a MOVIE! Since when does a movie have to be solely a 100% accurate description of real life? Why do people need to see real life in movies, don’t they have a life of their own?

I really don’t want to get into other things but for the sake of it I have to mention that the majority of people who complain about the above mention issue are Americans referring to their own American movies and I found an interesting reply to that. I quote: “Americans need to see realism in movies because they believe and do everything they see in movies.” Of course not all Americans are alike but I think we all know normal people are a minority in every country and I have spoken to many Americans who are as well disappointed by life in their country and the general mentality of the population, so please do not think I am part of any hate group.

So, before this short deviation off the topic I was discussing people’s desire to see realism in movies. I honestly can’t understand what is the point in complaining about a few movies when there are so many to choose from, some of them actually presenting an accurate view of day by day life, history or whatever else. Aside from being used to present some realities to the public or show educational material, movies are also meant to be entertaining and some people, including myself, often prefer to watch, purely for the sake of entertainment, movies that present uncommon and more unrealistic situations.

If I want realism I can look around me and quite frankly I am sick of what I see. Life is boring, plain and simple … unless some of the paranormal things we read about in books and watch in movies actually exist. Maybe it’s not that boring for those who are filthy rich and afford to travel where eve they wish and experience whatever they want but for the average person who works like a slave all year long just to afford a 5 five day vacation in the summer … life’s really not that extraordinary. I know what you’re going to say now about the little pleasures in life, stuff that money can’t buy and blah blah blah. Well, getting off the topic again, let me tell you a little something about money. They do bring happiness, because you need a lot of money if you want to be healthy and get to live till at least 80, you need a lot of money if you want to eat only healthy food, you need a lot of money if you don’t want to stress yourself with bills and taxes every month, you need a lot of money if you want to live in a secure environment and have a roof over your head without having to live with your parents until you get married, you need a lot of money if you want to be educated and go as far as college, you need a lot of money if you want to start your own family, get your own apartment (actually being able to buy one before you’re 50) and ensure the future of your children. And the list could go on and on and on …

Watching movies, action movies in particular, is about mentally consuming that surplus of energy which builds up inside of us and we have no way of releasing it otherwise. People have many cravings and while some can be satisfied in real life, others can’t. For instance, how many people who like fast cars can actually participate in such a race? This is where movies come in, they give us the change to unleash our imagination and live out our impossible fantasies.

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