Monday, March 31, 2008


Go here, click "video", and watch the trailer first.

Tonight I finally rented and sat down and watched Into the Wild. Into the Wild is the second movie I fell in love with after only seeing the trailer, the first being Garden State. I really wanted to go see it when it was still in theaters in the fall with someone (particularly Andy) so we could talk about it like usual. But in a way I guess its good I saw it alone because its been a long time since I’ve had to fight so hard to keep from crying. And no one wants to see that. Even now its still coming back and I finished the movie thirty minutes ago. It may not have the same affect on you if you see it, but I think it really got to me because I identify with the main character so much. The film is based on a book which is based on the real life and death of Chris McCandless. Its about change. Its about experience. Its about truth. Just after graduating from college Chris abandons his life and sets out to trek across on the country with no money, no car, and no one with him. He’s heading for Alaska, to get away from the material world and society, to get in touch with nature, to find out what it really means to be at peace and to be free. Its one of those stories that’s truly inspiring. It really makes me want to leave everything behind and go experience all that the real world has to offer. I’ve thought about it before. What would it be like to get away, to reject the material world and live a simple and content life. In the book version, which plays more like a documentary with interviews, the author mentions other young men who vanished into the wilderness, like Everett Ruess who ventured into the Utah desert at age twenty. Chris was twenty two when he left home and twenty four when he died in Alaska. These guys got to a point in there lives when they needed a radical change. Maybe I need a change… maybe I have changed. My biggest problem is that I’m conflicted about what I really want. I don’t mean whether I want to go school and get a job, its bigger than that. I’m not certain that anything I want is really what I want. Like, why do I like green and not pink? Why am I attracted to women and not fish? Its all genetic to me. I’m predetermined to be attracted to human women. No matter how much I will myself otherwise, I cannot force myself to like N’Sync the same way that I like Blink182. How can I really be certain that seeking out the experience that comes from losing oneself in the beauty of nature isn’t just my physical self fulfilling its need to feel good which it derives from that kind of stimulation? Sometimes I feel like that robot that’s faced with a logical paradox and then his head explodes. Is it really me that is wanting? Then what is me? Am I really me? What is me?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Most Important

Originally, I started this web log (I still refuse to use the term 'blog' for the time being) as a place to show some of the things I've done at school and show off some fun things like the two liter soda thing. But lately its turned into a sort of personal manifesto. A place where I catalog the things I believe, which I think is very important because once you actually start trying to put into words the things you believe, you may find out that you don't actually believe them. Or, on the other hand, you may realize that you know more on the subject that you realized. Either way, I would encourage anyone reading this to try the same thing some day. Its good to be able to put into words your stances on things like capital punishment, birth control, tipping the waitress, civil disobedience, internet piracy, etc. Anyway, on to the actual subject of this post.

As of right now, the two most important things in all of everything are life and choice. Life first, then choice. Why life first? Because we only have one, and even if you don't have choice, it still beats the alternative. So, the most important thing in life is the freedom to choose. It may be a little cliched to say that Americans take their freedoms and liberties from granted but it is true. Sure, the country doesn't have everything right and might not ever, but we've got a head start that a lot of other countries don't have, thanks to our constitution (which at the moment is in serious jeopardy, Mr. Bush).

For a few years now I've started applying this value of choice to a lot of different issues. Take drug legalization. I am all for legalizing every single drug out there. The government has no right to deny me the choice of what I do with my own body (not that I would, but the choice to be able to is important). Same with prostitution. Not that I likely would, but its not harming anyone. So whats the big deal? Anyone anywhere should be able to do whatever the hell they want so long as its not harming anyone else. You want to get stoned out of your mind all day? Its not a smart decision, but its yours to make. Gay marriage? Go for it.

I'm especially advocative about choice when it comes to children. For the most part, children don't have much choice in anything. What they eat, where they go to school, when they go to bed, what movies they get to watch, and so on. For the most part the lack of choice is actually important. Kids are inexperienced. They don't have the same awareness and maturity that someone older has. So its up to the parents to make some decisions for them and lead a good example. However, the line is crossed when it comes to curtain things. Circumcision for one. I used to think it was weird not to be. But its a choice that a lot of parents deny their sons. And, I'm sure you must have been expecting this, raising a child in a specific religion. I really wonder what the numbers would be if parents allowed their children to choose a religion for themselves. I know I brought this up before, but 99% of religious people are the same religion as their parents. Its not a coincidence.