Pickle Rick, Rick and Morty’s 3rd episode of Season 3 resonates deeply with a core issue with the human condition. We often use our vastly evolved intelligence in stupid ways because we can’t handle facing our emotions and relationship issues.
We reacted right away when Columbine happened, spinning every stray hair of a rumor into a tapestry of explanation. A crisis like that draws us in, makes us nearer to the now. It rattles us where we are usually numb. It reorients our world for a time. We stare down humanity, searching every eye to find either a brother or a monster. People are a mix of those things, but we want an either/or. A definitive separator feels good, draws a clear line between monsters and humans.
In writer-direct Jeff Nichols‘ Midnight Special, 8-year-old Alton Meyer (Jaeden Lieberher, St. Vincent) is a boy who’s never seen the sunrise. When he finally encounters it, he gets some answers about his mystefying life, but the audience never really does.
We all want to help other people. We all want a sense of purpose. Both of these things can give pleasure, peace, and meaning to our lives, but only in reasonable moderation.
Lisa isn’t really an anomaly at all – she’s a blip on Anomalisa protagonist Michael Stone’s endless cycle of alienation.
The concept of “The Force” in Star Wars seems to resonant universally. The idea of the force seems easy enough to understand when you’re in the midst of the delightful intergalactic ride full of non-stop action and satisfying scene wipes, but it gets a bit more nebulous the more you try to grasp it. What is The Force, really? And why do we respond so powerfully to it?
From the film to the two TV seasons, all iterations of Fargo seem to hint at an existentially absurdist perspective, a viewpoint that held keep the abstract idea of Fargo cohesive. Fargo‘s second television season, however, expertly demonstrates what absurdism means.
“Don’t run. Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody dies. Now, come watch TV,” Morty tells his sister Summer, who’s having a bitter teenage meltdown over news that her birth was a mistake. Summer’s going through a world-shattering event, but thanks to Grandpa Rick’s universe-bending, Morty has seen some things that put everything into perspective. What he’s saying is stark, but comforting.
I just discovered Richard Wright’s Black Boy pretty recently. It’s not quite a direct memoir (many of the personal facts and anecdotes are fuzzy and were inserted for narrative effect) as it a vivid impression of what it was like to be a young black man in 1920-30ss America. It makes that time period from that perspective alive and present. Reading an evocative account of another person’s experience closes the distance between you. We can never fully know what’s it… Read more »
Sadness is such a difficult part of ourselves. Life, it often seems, would be better without it. But that’s not exactly true. I kind of like my sadness, as long as it’s balanced. When things go wrong, I’d rather just be quiet with it than to feel nothing at all. It can feel good to hurt, or to at least bring the hurt up to the surface enough to get it out through tears, words or hugs. Life itself is incredibly tough, and that’s why we need sadness to get us through. If we ignore it too much, the world takes on a dishonest veneer, and we feel a bit dishonest ourselves. We need to just talk, listen and rest sometimes. Sometimes we just need to say, simple as it is, “Yeah, it’s sad.” Pete Docter’s Pixar animated film Inside Out examines this importance of sadness in a way that’s never been done before on screen, maybe never been done before at all.