The human being is defined on a fundamental level by his Intelligence and Mind which is manifested most clearly by the phenomenon of speech and language. Nomadic Ancient societies, particularly Semites, were orally focused and those with the talents of speech, particularly poetry, held high status and influence. With the shift to sedentary society came the development of agriculture,writing, and the urban city. Writing became an indispensable tool both in intellectual and practical pursuits. Laws could formally codified and written thus establishing the order and rule of law necessary for social stability, which was especially useful for effectively dealing with the large populations forming in cities. The writer therefore surpassed the orator, although often the two talents merged together as was the case of Cicero and St. Bernard of Clairvaux. The writers and scribes became essential figures in the Middle Ages and were greatly valued both by the Sacred and Profane authorities in Europe as has been explored excellently int he following book: https://www.amazon.ca/Book-Bibles-Stephan-F%C3%BCssel/dp/3836559137.
The next shift came with the emergence of the Gutenberg printing press in the 15th century which now expanded the audience a work of writing could reach and the speed at which it could be produced. Handwriting of books took immense labor and time and the printing press became the ideal solution to this logistical issue. The printing press remained in large scale until the advent of the Internet in the late 20th century and radically changed the world. The Digital Age has provided global reach and accessibility to information and a plethora of avenues including Social Media, Video Sharing, Websites, and Blogs such as this. There has never been such multitude of means of communication and potential audiences.
However, despite this availability of vast means of communication we have been presented with an interesting paradox which has manifested itself in the current volatile global climate which was kicked off of with the election of Donald Trump in the 2016 US Elections. There is a increasing lack of understanding and discernment despite the fact that we have more avenues than ever before. How could we become more and more incapable of dialogue and understanding despite the increasing number of methods of communication? This will lay out the context and frame work for part 2 of this work which will explore the nature of dialogue and understanding and its relationship to methods of communication.
The recent release of Hostiles starring legendary actor Christian Bale has brought the Western back into current cinematic consciousness and reminded us once again of the great dramatic and cinematic power inherent in the Western and its ability to appeal to audiences all around the globe and transcend geographic and cultural differences.
Where Hostiles succeeds is in its focus on the characters of the film and exploring the internal dynamics of a variety of personalities and archetypes. The film is carried primarily by the characters of Joseph and Rosalie who are unified by the phenomenon of Theodicy, albeit at opposing sides. Joseph is a man hardened by the brutal life on the American frontier and has great contempt for the Indians and committed great injustice against these peoples and is thus a perpetrator. On the other hand, Rosalie is a victim of injustice as a rogue Indian tribe murders her family and destroy her life and plunges into a difficult existential predicament. This makes the crossing of paths all the more interesting between these two characters; the are both united by this common theme of Theodicy despite their apparently unrelated circumstances. Both of them grapple with the viciousness they encounter and experience on the frontier and its relationship to God and how they are to deal with this mysterious phenomenon. It is rare to find a mainstream Hollywood give a positive account of religion, particularly Christianity, and even rarer to have a movie take on complex and deep phenomenon such as Theodicy and do it intelligently.
However, it is interesting to see how slow, intelligent films will fare in the near future, particularly Westerns, as Disney blockbusters saturate the market and audiences increasingly turn to streaming services like Netflix. The box office failure of Bladerunner 2049 will certainly be on the minds of directors and studios as they consider whether such projects are worth investing time and capital in and whether audiences will appreciate their approach to story telling. Time will only tell but if the current state of affairs is anything to go by then the future is looking very bleak.
My recent completion of ‘I Goldstein: My Screwed Life’ offered an interesting glimpse into the world of the American pornography industry and its founding father Al Goldstein. It is difficult to recognize and appreciate the cataclysmic changes Goldstein’s life brought in America partly because we are situated in a post-porn world and have become desensitized to the phenomenon of pornography. However, what is left out of the picture is the fallout of Goldsteins porn career and the consequences of his worldview and lifestyle. Goldstein is shockingly frank and honest as he reflects upon his life in his later years and asks himself the existentially painful question “How the hell did I get here?”. Since a single post is inadequate in addressing the totality of his biography we will be making multiple posts in the near future to flesh out passages and themes of interest directly from the book. This will certainly prove to be a amusing task in comprehending one of the most lively mavericks of the 20th century and sexual revolutionary par excellence.
Reading is a time consuming and laborious activity which may explain its noticeable decline in the culture at large in favor of information delivered instantaneously through the Internet, particularly social social media platforms and video services such as Youtube. Regardless, reading is an exceptionally rewarding and fulfilling activity when one has the self-discipline and patience to pursue it. Here is a short list of some books recently finished and on the burner. The list will certainly change as new books are discovered. Links will be provided for those who may want to pursue these books. Future posts on some of these books will eventually be provided as well.
- An Arab-Syrian Gentlemen and Warrior in the Period of the Crusades: Memoirs of Usama ibn Munqidh (https://www.amazon.ca/Arab-Syrian-Gentleman-Warrior-Period-Crusades/dp/0231121253)
- Prometheus Rebound: The Irony of Atheism (https://www.amazon.ca/Prometheus-Rebound-Joseph-C-McLelland/dp/088920974X)
- The Book of Miracles (https://www.amazon.ca/Book-Miracles-2nd-Till-Holger-Borchert/dp/3836564149/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1509990514&sr=1-1&keywords=the+book+of+miracles)
- I Goldstein: My Screwed Up Life (https://www.amazon.ca/I-Goldstein-My-Screwed-Life/dp/1560258683/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1509990561&sr=1-1&keywords=i+goldstein)