It has been busy here at the old farm and surrounds. I have seen much about which to blog but I have not had the time or energy. I am hopeful that my life is about to calm down (and I know it will once the spring growing season commences). Here are two reviews of a movie and a book to catch up with myself.
Last week we saw “Lucy” a nifty little movie with Scarlett Johansson by Luc Besson. Once I got past my displeasure about the film’s premise, that we only use 10% of our brain and would be super creatures if we used more (and this is a serious defect in the film), I paid attention to Besson’s usual logical play-out of a plot. He is a great filmmaker and I recommend without reservations and with all urgency that you see Atlantis about undersea life (gorgeous) and Himalaya (you will never see its like again). But here is my quibble (and I hope not to give the plot away). As Lucy becomes more prescient, she displays less emotion; she is not happy. My thinking here is that knowledge and understanding even of human faults, of which there are many, is joyous, because as Angelique Kidjo says, “Possibility is joy.” And knowledge engenders joy. So, a good movie, not great, and I hope someone is making a movie about humans becoming super creatures and being happy about it.
I also just finished reading The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert. Again, I do not want to give away the plot, which concerns a woman with a strong intellectual and scientific bent in the early to mid-1800s, a young contemporary of Darwin. Some passages are really quite fine, beautiful, even gorgeous, as Ms. Gilbert renders a quiet and incredible life. The ending of the book revolves around our understanding of altruism (oh, I will be writing more on this) and again, this is art at its best. (Read Martha Nussbaum’s Love’s Knowledge about a novel’s importance in rendering lessons about life). The book gives great credit to Darwin and to Alfred Russell Wallace and shows a wonderfully different picture of the times leading up to humanity’s realization that we too evolved. My favorite. Travel on.