When I read the book during an ill-fated book club a few years ago, I was constantly torn between admiration for Strayed for undertaking a difficult journey and frustration at her motivations and gained “insights.”
The feminist undercurrent is welcome, but I was still just as frustrated that a major lesson turns out to be this: “There’s no way to know what makes one thing happen and not another, what leads to what, what destroys what, what causes what to flourish or die or take another course.” That’s a pretty good summary of what it means to have an external locus of control. It’s good that Strayed doesn’t actually believe this because she couldn’t possibly have completed her trip if she did.
The writer Rebecca Cusey thinks that, “Cheryl never finds a transcendence beyond the boundaries of her own self.” I agree.
The movie’s director, Jean-Marc VallÃ©e, also directed Dallas Buyers Club which also had moving moments and excellent performances from its actors, but that I also thought was deeply flawed. Whatever that movie did to help humanize those struggling with AIDS in the early days of the epidemic, it also presented scientists and the FDA in particular as villains willing to make people suffer without good cause.
Some thoughts on my recent The Flash binge (with major spoiler at end):
- Proof that I’m 13: The premise of a fast-running “metahuman” defeating various villains by running really, really fast should have gotten old really, really fast, but somehow didn’t. For example, “Oh! A giant wave is heading toward Central City and will (apparently) destroy it.” Flash: “I clearly have to run back and forth really, really fast to stop this from happening.” Or, “Oh! There’s been a rupture in spacetime and this is creating a singularity. What will we do?” Flash: “I will run really, really fast inside the singularity.”
- The Flash doesn’t get his proper moniker until, I think, more than halfway through the series. Prior to that, he’s “The Streak.” I take it he doesn’t like this name because it calls to mind either soiled underwear or exhibitionism. I guess he prefers “The Flash” because it calls to mind only the latter?
- Thinking back over the season, most of the episodes don’t seem to me to pass the Bechdel Test (i.e. there must be two women who talk to each other about something other than a man). There are two main female characters and they talk to each other very infrequently.
- I could be off on this, but it seems that about 80% of episodes include either a scene where The Flash talks to his wrongfully imprisoned father while both men weep because of how they adore each other or a scene where The Flash talks to his adoptive father while both men weep because of how they also adore each other. Of course, I teared up every time as I’m a sucker for actors crying at each other.
- There is a character (apparently Peek-a-Boo in the comics) who can teleport to places as long as she can see the destination. At one point, she teleports into a windowless armored vehicle and then back into a moving car. How does she know the car is still there? How did she know she wouldn’t be teleporting into someone inside the armored vehicle? Sure, it’s a comic book show, but why bother telling us the rules if you’re going to break them so brazenly? Continue reading “Flash Binge”
(Sequels intentionally excluded)
5th Element, The
28 Days Later
Back to the Future
Batteries Not Included
Being John Malkovich
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure
Black Hole, The
Children of Men
Cloning of Joanna May, The
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Colossus: The Forbin Project
Cowboys & Aliens
Day After Tomorrow, The
Day the Earth Stood Still, The
Death Race 2000
Edge of Tomorrow
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel
Guardians of the Galaxy
Handmaid’s Tale, The Continue reading “List of Sci-Fi Movies and TV Shows”