01 January, 2015

Turn off the Brain, please

If I could, I would switch off my brain from time to time as it is an ability I am lacking that causes me much despair. It makes a lot of things intolerable and boring, chief among them, reading and watching movies.

I was recently watching the new Planet of the Apes movie with my mom. The one where the good ape and the bad ape fight. I started the movie somewhere about an hour in, but was able to successfully predict many of the plot twists in the movie. The good character lets the good human go. The bad ape does something bad. I would have fallen asleep except for the fact that there was a lot of gunsmoke and exploding things and so the movie was very loud. People and apes yelled a lot. If there had not been these things, the movie would have been more boring than watching yogurt ferment and more useful for sleep than Unisom.

It would be nice to watch a movie like this and to not notice all the predictable plot twists and strange assumptions that it makes. I would like at times to watch these movies, but I keep noticing things like "why is the bad ape darker while the good ape looks more humanistic and his voice is softer and his skin is paler? For once can't we have an animalistic looking good guy?", but alas, my mind can not slow down and not notice these things. As a result, I am bored by the cliches and tropes it abuses.

Some of my favorite movies and books are strange ones, probably because I don't fall asleep while watching them and it tells me something I haven't already heard or read about. I very much liked Adaptation by Charlie Kaufman and some other people. One of my favorite scenes is (spoiler) the car crash where Charlie's brother dies.

Part of the reason the scene is interesting to me is that the scene plays no music. It doesn't telegraph the accident terribly. There is just the sudden jolt of the accident and the subsequent death. To me, this is much more realistic and interesting, reflecting the way the world works.

Watching many movies and reading many books, you realise that people tell themselves stories and these stories are useful for a great many things. I think part of the problem is that as we grow older, we realise that the world is terribly complex and the story of the world is not centered on the whims and whimsies of humans. Music does not play at important times. You don't defeat your inner demons and things magically get better. People die for no reason and don't have famous last words that aren't a garbled morphine induced mess.

I like stories like this. They are interesting, sometimes, even if they are grim. 

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