the only easy day was yesterday

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Rarely So Affected

When I ordered "I Am Legend" earlier today, I thought I'd signed up for another ill 2 hours of Will Smith kicking some serious ass. Instead I experienced the saddest moment I've ever seen in a film (though that really only concerns to dog lovers), and a good ending - by which I mean not a happy ending. The movie is by all means sincerely depressing. The scene where he has to kill his dog - his only living companion - literally hurts to watch. Maybe Will Smith can only play one roll, but he plays it damn convincingly. The plot has holes in places, and of course it's far fetched, but it eminates a surprisingly strong notion of genuine human heroism. As an averagely raised American child, I am subject to the same lack of belief that anyone can truly change anything for mankind - and not that it would even necessarily have a greater meaning, but more that we are essentially futile in all of our actions. Unfortunately the American ethical mantra gives itself to this - if everyone is entirely autonomous and does not infringe on anyone else's rights, where can anyone really be effective to another? Not anywhere significant, because we all want to be independent; so this leads to that and we're all up in arms about politics and whatnot, and its the necessary state of affairs given our governmental system - which, albeit the possibility [probability] of biased and shaky leadership, is the most philosophically sound governing system there will ever be. 

I Am Legend managed to change my tone slightly. The movie culminates with the Legend sacrificing himself in order to protect the cure he found for the virus, in the form of throwing himself at a group of zombies with a grenade in his hand. Instantly I thought of what we really consider a hero - a particular Navy SEAL named Michael Monsoor, who just a few weeks ago was awarded the purple heart posthumously for throwing himself onto a grenade in order to save two of his brothers in arms. Unfortunately that's all he did. He  also probably made his platoon buddies feel really guilty about it for the rest of their lives as well as the memory of being splattered with their brother's entrails. But still the same act is of such miniscule consequence compared to the that of our fictional counterpart's. What does it take to have a genuinely transcendent figure that rises above the rest and conquors and unites? Wherefore do we find that long lost sense of "Legend" that has always been the honor of the greatest people in history to strive for? Do we no longer hold the acheivements  of Achilles and Heracles and Aeneas as something to be honored? Just because we're such avid scientists and we think we've got everything down just fine does that mean there is no more room left for awe of the world and those who are brave enough to face the futility and strive for greatness anyway?

Anyway besides all this ranting the point is that Colossal figures drive us. I couldn't care less about a political triumph over the economy, or anything of the sort, but at the same time i know our government is exactly what humanity needs to be exactly what each person wants themselves to be. So our minds and our rights are protected, and our 'souls' denied the wonder they crave - i wonder if suppressed minds and skewed rights might bring brighter souls; the intellectual goal, after all, will never be acheived...

1 comment:

The W said...

did you cry?

as far as the gov is concerned, your kinda patriotic. the system good for some people but not most. in fact there are people that will never be able to achieve despite how hard they try.