Toward a Unified Understanding of the Human Condition

For thousands of years, scholars, philosophers, artists, and religious teachers have struggled to understand the human condition. Elaborate theories, both moral and pragmatic, have been propounded to explain the bredth and diversiy of the human condition; everything from battling angels and demons to the hidden workings of the id and the superego have been believed to be responsible for the things we feel and the way we understand and interact with the world around us.

All of those ideas are wrong, as I realized while showering this morning. The human condition is varied but bounded, and it took Hollywood to give us a model that explains the diversity of the human experience while also showing us how it’s bounded.

All of life, you see, exists somewhere within the space delineated by the movies Reservoir Dogs, Being John Malcovich, and The Princess Bride.

Each of these three movies represents the extreme outer limit of one aspect of the human condition. All of humanity–all religion, all philosophy, all creation, all expression, all experience–falls somewhere within the space marked off by these three movies.

The human condition is not represented as a three-dimensional spece with each of these movies along one axis, because no part of the human condition can fall at the origin of such a space; that is, nothing within the human experience contains no relevance to any of these three movies. Instead, if some part of the human condition has very little, say, Reservoir Dogs in it, then it follows logically that it must therefore contain a great deal of Being John Malcovich, The Princess Bride, or both, as illustrated below:

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Ritz crackers and BDSM, and other random musings

With a nod to chipuni for the heads-up, Nabisco has introduced a new print advertising campaign for Ritz crackers. their tag line–are you ready for this? is:

You are what you top.

I. Shit. You. Not.

This can not POSSIBLY be an accident; I think there’s someone at work in the advertising agency who’s in the D/s community and is having a bit of a joke at Nabisco’s expense.

S and her boyfriend M were over last night, for some movie watching and out-hanging. “Escape from New York” and the new “Harry Potter” movie were on the evening’s playlist. I haven’t seen Escape from New York since the 1980s. Time has changed my opinion of the movie; I liked it when I first saw it, and I realize that it’s a classic and all, but:

– It’s the perfect trifecta. Bad script, bad acting, bad direction.

– Adrienne Barbeau used to be a real hottie. Pity about the hair, though.

– On no account whatsoever should John Carpenter ever be permitted to write the score for a movie, or in fact allowed near a recording studio for any purpose at all.

– In the future, land mines will become so weak that if a car runs over one, there will be a puff of white smoke and the car will rock a little, but that’s about it. It will require hitting four or five land mines to disable a moving vehicle. Given how ineffective land mines will become, any future law enforcement agencies considering turning Manhatten into a prison will be well-advised to simply destroy the bridges into and out of the city, rather than planting mines on them.

– Insane subway dwellers, like aliens, are fond of coming up through the floor, but don’t seem to know about doors.

– Former Special Forces operatives, when attempting to hide, tend to seek out street lights and other well-illuminated places. Strangely, though, the bad guys still seem to have difficulty seeing them. There’s a lesson in here, folks. The next time you need to conceal yourself from a street full of crazed psychopathic killers, hide beneath the closest steet light!

– In the future, homicidal street gangs won’t know about tires. When attempting to disable a moving car, they’ll hit the sides of the car with clubs and fire burning arrows into the doors, but will leave the tires untouched. This makes escaping them much easier. Homicidal street gangs should be prevented from obtaining Chilton’s manuals or other documentation about the basic operational theory of the automobile, because if they learn about tires, it’s curtains for the good guy.

The more recent Harry Potter was okay; it had some significant pacing errors and a few continuity glitches, and Gary Oldman was totally wasted in his role, but other than that, it was about what I’d expected. Interesting to see that prejudice and bigotry are still universal constants of the human condition regardless of who you are; even wizards have their little bigotries. In magical orders, you can be just about anyone, up to and including a dangerously deranged madman, and still get a job at Hogwart’s, but werewolves need not apply.