This is Your Mind
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Freedom VS On-line Piracy
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To Students of
Kant as Founder
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Terms of Principles
The Purpose of Art
On Objectivity -- The Method
a Proper Standard
Morality and War
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Losing the Battle
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Batman and Justice
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The DIM Hypothesis
Tolerance and DIM
How We Know
Date: Mon, 08 Jan 2001
Dreams/Nightmares -- Movie: Cast Away
Thomas M. Miovas, Jr.
I, too, have the power of editing -- more like directing -- my
dreams; and they tend to be story-like. I haven't had a
nightmare in a very long time due to this ability, because I
simply make it into something better. Most of the dreams I
remember are extraordinarily detailed -- so much so that I often
can't tell if I'm asleep or awake while having one, until I
notice that some aspect of my dream doesn't match reality (like
I'm doing something in my apartment, then realize it's *not* my
apartment). I think it is possible to have a scientific study of
dreams, and I'll give you one example.
I recently had a dream that was obviously sparked by having read
the posts on HBL concerning the movie "Cast Away," then seeing
the movie with a friend of mine who is not on HBL.
Though we both enjoyed it to some degree, especially the island
scenes, we didn't think it fit together very well. One thing we
couldn't understand is why Tom Hank's character saved that one
FedEx package when he had opened all the others. He finally
suggested it represented the hope of getting off the island in
order to continue living a normal life, to which I agreed. We
then started to discuss how it could have been made better.
Since we didn't get out of the movie until around 1am, our
discussion didn't get very far. I continued thinking about it
after getting home and came up with a much better way of tying
the beginning of the movie to the end, as well as giving the
movie a theme, which I don't think it had.
In essence, it could have been a great and beautiful story if it
was shown that the artist at the beginning of the movie had cast
herself away from her fellow man because her art simply wasn't
understood and she becomes disillusioned. Getting as far away
from society as she can, she settles down in a remote part of
Texas on a self-sufficient ranch, where the only people she ever
sees are FedEx delivery personnel, who bring her supplies for
her art and occasionally pick up a statue for delivery.
What she creates are beautiful renditions of the heroic spirit
of man, emphasizing that hope is not enough, that one has to
work to achieve one's goals and not merely take things as they
come; and she does this by creating sculptures of men and women
with wings, which becomes her trade mark.
Enter the hero, who gets castaway on a deserted island where he
has to survive by using his wits. He struggles to get off the
island, but finds he can't. When he realizes this demoralizing
fact, he decides to open the FedEx packages in the hope that he
will find something useful. Unfortunately, there is nothing
immediately useful in any of them -- no medical products, no
knives or hatchets, no foods, etc. The last one has a symbol
painted on it -- wings -- and he wonders if he should even
bother to open it up. But he does, and he finds one of the
artist's statues. Of what use is a statue, he wonders, angrily
throwing it aside -- casting it away.
As time passes, however, and his life is becoming utter hell, he
keeps thinking of this damned statue, which he has left on the
beach half buried in the sand. Going back to it, he ponders why
the image of a winged god would keep pulling at his
consciousness -- flying seems to be the only way of getting off
the god-forsaken island, but there aren't even any birds, so why
in the world would the statue have any meaning to him?
Eventually, he gets it: He has to become god-like -- creating
everything he needs! With renewed energy, he puts his mind to
use and continues with his struggle for survival. And this
statue, rather than "Wilson," becomes his constant companion.
After he gets off the island, he finds that everything else in
his life has gone to hell in a hand basket. The woman he loves
has thought he was dead and has married someone else. He tries
to remain friends with her, but she doesn't understand the
meaning of the statue or why it inspired him. To top it off, he
doesn't even have a job any longer. Feeling more destitute than
he ever did on the island, he's about to give up, but there is
the hope that the artist will match her creation, and he has to
find this out. Traveling to some back-water crossroads in Texas,
he meets her and tells her his story.
Having been so isolated, she doesn't know who he is. She hasn't
seen the news reports about a man who survived on a deserted
island all alone. But as they talk, it becomes clear to her that
he understands the meaning of her work. As he had become renewed
by her statue, she becomes renewed that she has found a kindred
spirit. They fall deeply in love.
For a while, after returning to civilization, the hero wasn't
sure what he was going to do with the rest of his life. Should
he continue as a FedEx employee, or do something else? He
doesn't know, so he's drifting. But after meeting and falling in
love with the artist, he realizes that her works must be spread
to the far ends of the earth! And he goes back to working for
FedEx with renewed energy -- changing his address to that of the
artist, who he has married.
Now, **that** would be a beautiful and meaningful story.
And that was what I was thinking of when I went to bed.
During the night, I had a dream. I was given the task of making
some repairs of electrical equipment in Moscow. But they had
everything backwards. The American equipment simply wouldn't
integrate with the soviet technology because they had mixed up
instructions and had reversed the normal male / female
electrical leads. After much frustration, I realized the only
way I was going to get everything functioning was to re-work all
the wiring leads.
When I woke up, I had a headache and the feeling that these
damned people just can't do *anything* right.
In a sense, my dream had concretized my frustrations with the
movie "Cast Away," which simply didn't live up to what could
have been done.