Desperately Seeking Hero X

SuperheroesOut of the mist of time and imagination have stepped great heroes, whose stories have graced the silver screen to become an integral part of our cultural consciousness: Moses, King Arthur, Joan of Arc, Abraham Lincoln, Indiana Jones, Nelson Mandela, Rocky Balboa, Erin Brokovich, Batman, and Luke Skywalker, just to name a few.

The main function of heroes is to exemplify a society’s ideals, morals and values. Their virtues transcend time and place to become universal values worthy of emulation, such as, honor, duty, courage, loyalty, compassion, and self-sacrifice.

Throughout history, each generation has produced great heroes, who have left their mark on the world. One notable constant among these fictional or historic characters is that they were born out of conflict. By boldly rising to the challenges before them, they have taken their places among our constellation of heroes. It is why we are drawn to their stories. They represent the best of what it means to be human. [Read more…]

Predictions from the Best Science Fiction Movies

Sci-Fi

Science fiction is a genre of storytelling concerned with imagining alternate worlds and futures based on scientific principles, while predicting how our lives will be affected by these new realities. The genre provides a roadmap of the evolution of the imagination as we have moved from dwelling in caves to skyscrapers, and ultimately, space colonies.

Science fiction writers often use the genre to explore controversial issues confronting society and warn about the bleak future awaiting us, if we do not change our current behavior. If you have read my book, Spun: 101 Movies to Recreate Your Reality, then you know that even when a utopian society is envisioned, where everyone is free from want, unhappiness, pain, and suffering, it winds up becoming dystopian in nature, which suggests there’s no escaping the darker side of human nature.

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The Art of Being

Meditation“To be, or not to be” is the opening line of Hamlet’s soliloquy, as he experiences an existential crisis and ponders the meaning of life and whether it’s really worth the suffering we must endure. Hamlet is an introspective young man and not given to bold action. His Call to Adventure arrives when he is visited by the ghost of his recently deceased father.

Hamlet’s father reveals that he was murdered by his brother, Claudius who has been crowned king and has since married Hamlet’s mother, Queen Gertrude. His father demands that Hamlet avenge his death. To do otherwise, would mean dishonoring his father’s memory and being branded a coward. This is the life script that Hamlet has been handed to work out his destiny. It’s no wonder why Shakespeare writes “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” [Read more…]

Top 10 Movies that Define the American Character

Martian

What if a Martian shows up on your doorstep and tells you that he is on a special mission to learn more about Americans. Since we are currently exploring his planet, he has been sent here on earth to learn more about us. How will you describe the American character to him? What “Top 10 Movies” will you select?

The following is a partial list of movies from my book, Spun: 101 Movies to Recreate Your Reality, that I believe provides a good snapshot of the American character. Let me know if you agree or not. You are free to add your own choices in the Comments below. [Read more…]

Brave New World

Brave New WorldThe twenty-first century seems to be the magical point in time chosen by our creative thinkers, dreamers and visionaries when our dreams of a futuristic world will become a reality. If the future is now, then what kind of life do we have to look forward to? How will we cope with living in an alternate reality? What new meanings will we attach to our new existence?

In 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail from Spain to find a trade route to Asia, little knowing that he would discover a New World. Five hundred years later, we have evolved from believing the world is flat to sending astronauts to the moon. By daring to embark on a journey into the unknown, Columbus revealed a boundless universe that has changed the course of history. [Read more…]

When Bad Things Happen to Good People

SadnessAs we turn the chapter on 2012, the name Sandy will forever live in infamy. Sadly, 2012, was not just the name of a science fiction movie, but the year when America came to know Sandy, intimately. Our introduction to Sandy was brief, but deadly. If you have read my book, Spun: 101 Movies to Recreate Your Reality, then you know that science fiction writers use the genre to gaze into the future and sound the alarm when they see society placing itself in danger, as the movie, 2012, which proved eerily prescient, with its prediction of a natural disaster resulting from climate change.

On October 29, 2012, Superstorm Sandy made landfall and swept across the East Coast, leaving behind a path of death and destruction. Not to be outdone, a homicidal maniac targeted Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, several weeks later. By the time the winds calmed and the waters receded, Sandy left behind over $60 billion in damages and a death toll of at least 125 people. After the gunsmoke cleared, 27 people were shot dead, including 20 schoolchildren. Thus, a lone gunman with  three weapons, wreaked more havoc in a few minutes, what it took Superstorm Sandy days to accomplish. [Read more…]

Creating the Good Life

BeachWhat constitutes the good life? It’s one of the questions that I wrestled with as I wrote my book, Spun: 101 Movies to Recreate Your Reality. Even though we pursue the symbols of what we think will create the good life, ultimately, what we are seeking is happiness and fulfillment. Life is a journey of self-discovery. By participating fearlessly and authentically in the eternal drama, we discover something more precious than silver and gold. We catch a glimpse of our own soul.

In The Bucket List, Carter Chambers is a working-class African-American mechanic, who shares a hospital room with billionaire businessman, Edward Cole, after they are both diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. It’s unlikely these two men’s paths ever would have crossed, except for their illness.  As their friendship develops, Edward learns that Carter has written a “bucket list” consisting of things he would like to do before he dies. It’s his vision of the good life. After learning he has less than a year to live, Carter tosses the list away. [Read more…]