30 August 2015

Why Taken is the Most Satisfying Movie in History

Taken (2008) stars Liam Neeson as Bryan Mills, the ultimate badass. He is retired from some government job that he only refers to as being a "preventer". He's basically a clean James Bond combined with Maximus. This guy is an expert at slaughtering bad people. His daughter goes to Paris with her idiot friend who gets killed because she doesn't see the danger of inviting some random guy she met for three seconds at the airport over to have consequence free sex. The daughter gets captured by Albanians who run a sex trafficking operation (It is easier for them to work in Paris than in Albania for some reason the movie does explicitly mention, but I forget what it is). Bryan (Liam Neeson) then gets the bad guy on the phone and delivers the greatest whole paragraph ever:

"I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you. "

The villain, who is also an idiot, snarkly says "good luck" and hangs up.

Bryan knows this weaselly little guy who works behind a desk under another guy we never see who works behind a bigger desk who is somebody within the French government. He gets Bryan to Paris because he only has a couple days to rescue his daughter. When he gets there he kills a few really bad people and destroys a trailer and the desk jockey tells him to leave. Bryan instead tricks him and disappears.

He steals the ID of a French inspector and breaks into the hideout of the Albanians, who are idiots and do not question why a French inspector is speaking English with an Irish accent. There he meets the guy on the phone and says "I told you I would find you." He then kills everyone in the hideout except the telephone guy, who he brings to this rundown building. There he slams two railroad spikes into the guy's thighs and hooks him up to electrical wires. And asks where his daughter is. The guy does not answer so Bryan electrocutes him. He asks again and the guy again refuses to answer, because, as I've already said twice, this is one stupid criminal. Bryan electrocutes him again and then he gets fed up. He tells the thug "You either give me what I need or this switch will stay on until they turn the power off for lack of payment on the bill." The guy answers. He tells him that he sold his daughter to a man named Saint-Clair. Bryan knows he is telling the truth. He says "I believe you. But that won't save you," and then he turns the power on and leaves the room, letting the guy fry, and it's like a full body orgasm. There is human garbage in the world who really do this kind of thing and they deserve not only to die but to suffer, and this movie satisfies that need in me, but I'll say more about that later.

Bryan goes back to the desk jockey who stonewalls him until he shoots his wife (she lives) and then the desk jockey does what is right instead of what is legal and reveals where Saint-Clair lives.

Saint-Clair turns out to be an American who sells young women in this Eyes Wide Shut place. His goons catch Bryan during a party and Bryan kills them all, noisily. Saint-Clair asks a waiter or someone to check out what all the noise is and the second he opens the door he gets shot in the face and dies. Bryan then shoots Saint-Clair in an elevator and demands to know where his daughter is. Saint-Clair tells him she is on the boat of this billionaire sheik that is leaving in a few minutes. Lying in a pool of blood he pleads with Bryan, saying "Please understand... it was all business. It wasn't personal." To which Bryan replies "It was all personal to me," and then empties the gun into this fucker's face.

Bryan speeds along the riverside in a stolen car and then jumps off a bridge onto the boat. He kills a bunch of people on the boat and then breaks into the room of the sheik. The sheik has his daughter. He's got a knife to her throat. The sheik thinks he's going to get out of this, he thinks he's seen enough movies to know how this works. He thinks this is the real world. He is mistaken. He tries to tell Bryan "We can negoti-" and gets shot in the face mid-sentence in the best scene ever ever. This scene is like fifty times better than when that son of a bitch got electrocuted. If real life were a movie now would be the time to smoke, but life is not a movie and smoking is a filthy habit, so I just have to come down naturally.

If you have not figured it out yet, this is the best movie ever, and the reason is very simple: this movie is the exact opposite of real life. This is the way life should be. In the real world bad people get away with doing bad things all the time. The law protects bad people, who have "rights", whereas good people get beaten in the face with a telescoping baton. Little kids get tickets for running an illegal lemonade stand while Saudi princes can run prostitution rings in the US for decades and nothing happens to them. People can get arrested for collecting rain water because the government wants you to pay the legal water monopoly for something that should be free while windmill companies can kill tens of thousands of endangered birds every year. Someone who smokes a joint gets beaten in the face and thrown in jail for 20 years while child rapists get out in only 5. That's how real life works.

Movies don't have to be like real life. In a movie good wins over evil, right wins over wrong. In a movie the ultimate badass can say "fuck their rights" and kill villains who deserve to die. A movie hero can say "fuck corrupt laws that protect bad people" and do what is right instead of what is legal and can save the innocent and kill complete monsters. And the hero of Taken does this while rubbing it in the face of the authority figure. He berates the desk jockey for caring about what is legal instead of what is right, and he is totally vindicated in the end and triumphs over evil. In movies the heroes have power and skills and weapons and the villains are weak and stupid. No movie exemplifies this more than Taken, and that is why it is the greatest movie ever. It satisfies the deep abiding need of knowing that right will win against wrong and seeing bad people suffer and good people get rewarded. Taken satisfies the need for the world to make sense and for order and justice to prevail. It is medicine for the soul.

29 August 2015

Reminisces of Flying Saucers

I saw a blimp yesterday and it got me thinking of an event from a long time ago. In maybe 1994 I saw something fly over my house. It looked like a Sears-Haack body, a tube that tapers at both ends. It had no visible wings or tail and was completely silent. It flew overhead in maybe one second, if that. It was this event that led me to believe in the existence of flying saucers.

Many years later, writing for The Urban Mystic, I did some crude calculations and estimated that the object was moving at about 204 miles per hour. Either that or it must have been flying at a much higher altitude and have been monstrously huge. It is not the fastest thing in the world (about as fast as a top line airplane in the late First World War), but it doesn't need to be. It could have been performing reconnaissance or something. The important thing to note is that it is truly unidentified. Lacking wings or a tail there is no way it could have been an airplane, and it could not have been a blimp because it was totally silent, something the blimp that flew overhead yesterday (and every other airship I have seen) was most definitely not.

Now, absent tangible evidence such as a photograph or signed affidavit from the flight crew (in alienese possibly), there is always the possibility that I hallucinated the whole thing. Taking that into account I will say with 99.5% accuracy that I am convinced what I saw as a real object. What was it? Was it a flying saucer or some sort of human aircraft? There's no way to know. It is a true unknown flying object. What matters most is how the event inspired me to investigate further into the phenomena. The evidence for alien visitation of Earth is overwhelming, and I would have never known had it not been for this chance encounter 20 years ago.

19 August 2015

Official 9/11 "Truth" Position

Look, I'll say it again, if you want to believe some element of the US government knew the 9/11 attacks were going to happen and did nothing to stop them deliberately to start a war, fine. If you want to believe some element of the US government staged 9/11 using CIA operatives, fine. Those are both very possible and I wouldn't be surprised if either turned out to be true.

If you believe that no planes hit the buildings, that it was space lasers, or microwave weapons, that holograms of planes covered up missiles and the planes were flown to a secret location and all the passengers were shot to cover it up, or a make believe substance called "nano thermite" was used in a controlled demolition using the phrase "pull them" which is not a demolition term, and somehow hundreds of thousands of tons of the stuff was secreted into the buildings with no one noticing it, or anything else besides planes hitting the buildings as the sole cause, you're a fucking retard. Physics works, planes took down the buildings, fuck you.

15 August 2015

William Buhlman on OBEs as Spiritual Practice

William Buhlman, an out-of-body experience specialist at the Monroe Institute, gives an hour long talk followed by 20 minutes of questions and answers. He talks about the importance of preparing for death and what comes after, something this society totally ignores to its detriment. That's the one thing the jihadis get right, eternity is more important than the temporal.

The best part was a question at 1h13m.

"Do you believe we are entering a more spiritual age?"

"No.... Without getting into it too deeply, definitely not."

Brilliant answer. I agree completely. People seem to me to be more materialistic now than ever before. Everyone drinks their thousand calorie Starfucks milkshake cup of chino drinks and they wonder why they get fat, they play video games on their Texas phones, buy their $300 Nike shoes that are made for half a penny in a sweatshop in Vietnam, mow their lawns fifty times a week, throw away more food in a day than all of Africa eats in a month, and complain about their triggurz. I hate you all. Fuck love, you people disgust me. You don't deserve love. That's something else the jihadis get right, the West is absolutely full of human garbage that is polluting the world. Jihadis are also polluting the world with their ideology of rape and murder and worship of a pedophile rapist murderer, but that's probably why they can spot human garbage with such ease, they're the worst of the worst. The West at least has some good people mixed in with the assholes, jihadism is entirely filled with assholes. The West can still be fixed, jihadis can only be bombed.

A couple of minor objections:

He does go into the whole "we need to experience things to learn about them" that I previously said sounds like nonsense. He admits this is his opinion.

In the beginning he talks about brainwashing as children and how if we were in Iran or China our belief systems would have been different. That may be, and probably is, true for most people, but it certainly was not true for me. I never bought into the game. I always thought "if adults say something is true or the way things are supposed to be, don't believe them." Adults lie to maintain the power structure because that is their only source of legitimacy. Certainly not using reason, only using force.

01 August 2015

Suffering and The Meaning of Life

Fitting in with what I've written two weeks ago about reincarnation, I'll talk here about the meaning of life.

Michael Prescott has some speculations about why there is suffering in the world where an intelligent but not omniscient God created the world to gain life experience. Here's what I left as a comment.

I don't like the idea of God creating the universe to experience things. That seems like a cosmic version of the TV show Jackass. "Wouldn't it be cool to see what it would be like to get burned alive in a car crash? Maybe I could get out before getting killed? Wouldn't that be fun to see if I could?" It's a bit of an oversimplification, but it seems to reduce God or Spirit or even individual souls to adrenaline junkies, or at the very least people who are extremely bored with too much free time. Seeking experience for the sake of experience seems so very underwhelming to me. In its absolute worst form, as seen in some versions of "new age" literature, souls plan their lives beforehand in minute details, so you end up with a scenario where souls are basically masochists. A group of souls floating around planning their next life together when one soul says to the others "I'll be the child and you'll be my parents. At age five, no four and a half, I'll get cancer and die and break your hearts. Then, fifty years of misery later, you'll die and we'll meet up back here and I'll point and laugh and say 'fooled ya!' Then, the next go around I'll be the parent and you two can be the children who die. It will be rousing great fun!"

There are two explanations for this world of suffering that I see merit to. They both say primarily that our purpose here is to escape the world and only really differ in explaining how we got stuck here in the first place, to a degree.

In the perennial traditions and in A Course in Miracles, we individual souls exist because God needed someone to love. It's not loneliness in the everyday sense, because God lacks nothing. This is a higher level need based on over-abundance. God is so overflowing with love that it wanted someone to share it with. The world itself is seen as illusory, but even if it's not there need be no problem with suffering at all.

"Natural suffering" like volcanoes and asteroids and having to kill other creatures to survive is an easy one. The world is pretty close to as optimal as one can get. The photoreceptors in the eye can detect single photons, so they can't get any better, for example. There are trade-offs to everything because of the physical constraints of the world (which need to be unimaginably precise to permit the universe and life to exist). Humans have easily injured backs and knees, and narrow hips make childbirth painful, but those are offset by the greater benefits that are gotten through walking upright. So natural suffering can be explained through utilitarianism. Certain unpleasant situations must exist to permit much greater benefits.

The much bigger problem is human caused suffering, like rape and murder and war. That is traditionally explained through the free will defense. God wants us to share in the divine love voluntarily. Forcing us to love would be a form of metaphysical rape.

Even if the world is to an extent "real", more good is wrought through the way the world is than the bad caused by the suffering. We can share in love in more ways, even if we choose not to. Suffering then is no longer God's problem, it is a problem of our own refusal to be moral and treat one another as we should.

Of course, if the world is illusory, then we are tricking ourselves into thinking this suffering exists and our goal is to realize this and get out and back to the perfection into which we were created.

A Course in Miracles explains this wonderfully. God did not create the world, we did, and suffering exists because of our fear and guilt. Unsatisfied with the equal love God was giving to all of us in perfection, we (who find ourselves in this universe) demanded special love. We wanted to be loved more. When God refused to give in to our egoistic demands we then imagined this world up where we could be special. The dream of suffering and death "prove" we are more powerful than the God who refused us the special status we "deserve". Knowing we can't really hurt ourselves, God permits us to sulk in the corner until we get over our upset. At the same time God descended into the dream to remind us that we are dreaming and can wake up at any time when we are ready to return to the perfection into which we were created.

It makes sense because real people do this all the time. There is nothing new that we can't test about what may or may not be the motivations of spirits who want to experience horrible things just to see what it's like. The psychology of the Course is real world human psychology and can be seen in child development all over the world. Children sulk. Adults sulk. We project our emotions and delusions onto the world. We punish ourselves unnecessarily out of misplaced guilt. It makes sense to suppose that if we do this on Earth than we would do the same on a grander scale in some higher dimension. There's nothing in it that resembles speculation about what stunts Superman would pull to see if he could jump off the Empire State Building or whatever.

Suffering acts also as a motivation to escape the world. It acts as a motivation to do good to others so that we can grow in wisdom and compassion. So we move up the evolutionary ladder from plants to animals on to humans, and while the capacity for suffering increases so too do the benefits increase at a much faster rate. So a plant suffers less than a cow but it gets less out of life than the cow, and the cow suffers less than a human but it gets less out of life than the human. And this continues until we realize that the world is illusory and then we can either leave it forever or we can take the path of the bodhisattva and deliberately return to the world and choose to suffer more to alleviate the suffering of others. We can grow into perfect expressions of morality rather than just being bored and bouncing around the universe to see what it's like.

And as I've written over a thousand words by now I'll end here.