Saturday, June 17, 2006

Computer Animated Sin and Redemption

Below is an exerpt from my other blog, The Magic Lantern Show. The film Over The Hedge is a well-made fil that serves as a parable about community. Read on . . .

Sometimes inspiration comes from the strangest of places. Just a few weeks ago I made the decision to join meet my family at the movies. It was a decision, not a whim, because I was in the thick of a seriously overactive schedule and I had to decide that spending 90 minutes of my time at a "kids movie" like Over The Hedge was not unimportant. The 90 minutes would have been important simply because I shared it with my wife and children, but I was additionally blessed by a good movie with an inspiring message.

Over the Hedge is a parable of community. R. J. [the racoon] meets up with a group of friendly forest dwellers made up of a turtle, a skunk, a squirrel, two opossums, and a porcupine family. The odd assortment of beasts live together in utopian harmony as a commune community. They gather just what is needed until R. J. changes that by introducing the forest family to the possibilities of treasures over the hedge. Of course we know that R. J. is exploiting the others to gather what he needs to pay off Vincent. As would be expected, R. J. falls in love with the funny animals and finds community. Which peels off yet another layer of this film: R. J. is revealed as a fraud but he repents by rescuing the others from the evil Verminator. In turn, the forest community rescues R. J. from the clutches of Vincent. How does a community reconcile with a betrayer? How do they restore R. J. to their community when they know he has lied to them?

Am I out of line for saying that this movie was actually better than The DaVinci Code? Sue me for honesty, but I thought that talking animals of Over The Hedge had more depth and sympathy than the bland bunch from DaCode.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

News of The Beast

If you have been looking for the big news of 6.6.06, this may just be it . . .

Lioness in Zoo Kills Man Who Invoked God
06 June 2006
KIEV: A man shouting that God would keep him safe was mauled to death by a lioness in a Kiev zoo after he crept into the animal's enclosure, a zoo official said today.
"The man shouted 'God will save me, if he exists', lowered himself by a rope into the enclosure, took his shoes off and went up to the lions," the official said.
"A lioness went straight for him, knocked him down and severed his carotid artery."

Doesn't this story have it all? A beast, the triple-digit hexaphobic number, and the failure of God to save. I fully expect someone to use this as ironclad proof that God does not exist.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Virtual Bard

The Internet. The zenith of humankind's technological achievement at the end of the 20th century. And how, pray tell, has this wondrous marvel of ingenuity benefitted us? As I peer into yon e-mail inbox I see that I can assist the wife of a former Nigerian dictator with a simple bank transaction and as a result earn enough money to end world hunger. I haven't responded to her, but she writes me every day.

Yet, even more astounding than that are the countless offers of cheap medications and stock IPO's. What is even more astounding is that these e-mails are written by robots. Oh yes, pure calculating machines of magnetic bubble logic that churn out random assortments of words and phrases in the thousands by the hour. I am told that these electronic brains do this so as to fool spam filters. Thus the email containing a virus or offer of stolen Viagara slips past the guardian watch of the spam filter in the guise of an actual message. Perhaps most of the random words written by these lit-bots is meaningless filler, but recently a phrase in one of these junk mails from a e-poet struck my eye. Catch your breath as you read the phrase below and behold the evolution of the computer soul! The digital master wrote . . .

I have seen her in the streets, he answered, with a shiver.
Meantime, I put myself on a short allowance of bear's grease.

Pure poetry. Forgive me but I seem to have something in my eye . . .