Re: Tragedy and Boredom was Re: Why just simulation? (fwd)

Date: Sun Mar 18 2001 - 08:29:14 MST

In a message dated 3/17/01 10:20:49 PM Central Standard Time, writes:

> That may be part of it, but consider drama as an art form.
> Many who have attempted playing roles in a drama really
> appreciate well-done acting. Consider a movie which I
> recommended to several friends, who all pretty much hated it:
> As Good As It Gets, with Jack Nicholson, Greg Kinnear and
> Helen Hunt. Its a dark comedy {as is life, eh?} but the acting
> of the three main characters is terrific. Even if the story is
> dark, a tragedy in a way, the acting alone makes it worth it
> in that case.
> As Good As It Gets fans, comment?

That is one of the absolute numero uno favorite movies of all time in our
household and has at times become a kind of "video wallpaper" around here --
if I added up all partial viewings, I may have seen it more than 20 times. I
also happen to think that it is a deeply extropian film:

        ---- SPOILER WARNING ----

The basic theme of the film is about overcoming limits and finding and
creating meaning in a chaotic world. At the heart of two of the characters'
transformations lie some technological tools. Consider that Nicholson's
character has to embrace the technology of the drugs he's been prescribed in
order to transcend the self-imposed limits his obsessive-compulsive disorder
has brought him to construct as a defense to his biologically-caused lack of
coping mechanisms. Helen Hunt's character is freed from a kind of slavery to
her child's illness through the intervention of medical science, but still
has to take the initiative to break out of the emotional shell she's created
around herself because of that history. Greg Kinnear's character ends up
being libaerated by a willingness to see Nicholson's through new eyes; not a
technologically-mediated transformation, but nevertheless one that involves
the kind of neophilia that extropians espouse.

On top of all this, I agree with you, Spike, that this film has some of the
best acting, writing and directing you can find in any film made in the last
ten years. It also has some incredibly funny lines that have become
catch-phrases for Anthea and me. "No, and I'm also not going to let you
inject me with the plague" is now a standard way we reject proposals in our

A definite thumbs-up!

       Greg Burch <>----<>
      Attorney ::: Vice President, Extropy Institute ::: Wilderness Guide -or-
                                           ICQ # 61112550
        "We never stop investigating. We are never satisfied that we know
        enough to get by. Every question we answer leads on to another
       question. This has become the greatest survival trick of our species."
                                          -- Desmond Morris

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