The Lost Spiritual Path in Wes Anderson’s Films

11783040314_4e4dae9a6c_zOn elephant journal, I explore what happened to the aspect of Wes Anderson’s older films in which a white male undergoes a transformation to a new paradigm of living:

About a decade ago, acclaimed director Wes Anderson started taking some flak for what critics perceived as repetition of childish content, or content he had imagined in his youth. I didn’t agree with the Hollywood echo chamber at the time, but I also never really got Anderson’s films until “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” (2004). Despite being a twentysomething, I related far too much to Bill Murray’s rendition of a man in mid-life crisis.

As I reacquainted myself with Anderson’s back catalogue (and discovered his feature debut, “Bottle Rocket”, from 1996), I started to notice symbols, character types and traits that reappear in a seemingly intentional way: the overachieving kid, the has-been adult, the disgruntled wife, ex-wife, or widow and even the pregnant woman.

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Long exposure to tiny amounts of Monsanto’s Roundup may damage liver, kidneys

It’s hard to imagine an informed disinfonaut knowingly using the toxic weedkiller Roundup (glyphosphate), but just in case, check out this new study showing that exposure to tiny amounts over time may harm your liver and kidneys, reported by RT:

Long-term intake of the Monsanto’s most popular Roundup herbicide, even in very small amounts lower than permissible in US water, may lead to kidney and liver damage, a new study claims.

Roundup Monsanto

The research, conducted by an international group of scientists from the UK, Italy and France, studied the effects of prolonged exposure to small amounts of the Roundup herbicide and one of its main components – glyphosate.

In their study, published in Environmental Health on August 25, the scientists particularly focused on the influence of Monsanto’s Roundup on gene expression in the kidneys and liver.

In the new two-year study, which extended the findings from one conducted in 2012, the team added tiny amounts of Roundup to water that was given to rats in doses much smaller than allowed in US drinking water.

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Daniel Wolfe Is Killing Himself Live on Facebook

War sucks. PTSD is real. Military suicide is an epidemic. Facebook is where we live our lives. All true, put together at GQ:

IT’S LATE AFTERNOON, MAY 5, 2014, and Daniel Wolfe walks up a shady street through bright sunshine, the heat still rising as the light falls. There’s hardly anyone around to see him, but still he’s a sight: a big lumbering shadow, six feet four, two forty, with a bad knee and a black backpack, a tall broad man among the low quiet houses. He’s wearing plaid shorts, black-and-green tennis shoes, a dark-color shirt. His backpack contains most of what he’s got left. Discharge papers. Records from V.A. hospitals in two states. Old warrants for his arrest. He’s got a V.A.-issued pamphlet on “Pain and Pain Management” and an appointment card for “Mandatory Suicide Prevention Education,” dated three months ago. He’s got a bottle of Jack Daniel’s, a cell phone, and a box cutter.

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Esoteric Symbolism and Hidden Meaning Uncovered in the Matrix Film

Jay Dyer via Waking Times:

The Matrix, as I’ve joked many times, is one of those perennial topics in philosophy 101 classes that tends to evoke the most inane and mindless “philosophizing” by the mind-warped morass of modern morlocks. Yet still, it is a film that is packed with esoteric symbolism, philosophy, “predictive programming,” and all other manner of poppy culture engineering. In this analysis, we are going to go elucidate themes, motifs and symbols missed by other sites, as we consider one of the system’s principal works of self-flattery. Interestingly, of all films to analyze in the way sites like mine do, this the most obvious seems forgotten in the haze of the now umpteen hundred Eyes Wide Shut analyses.

matrix

The Matrix begins with a computerized image of the Warner Bros. logo, a phone ring, and a conversation between Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and Cypher (Joe Pantoliano) about watching “him” (Neo, Keanu Reeves), and whether the line is secure.

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Alien Abductions: Skeptics, Debunkers, and the Facts at Hand

One of the critical aspects of the abduction phenomenon is that abductees all say the same thing about what is happening to them, even though they do not share knowledge of each others’ experiences. For example, it would be interesting (albeit trivial) to know where aliens come from. If the abduction phenomenon is psychologically based—and therefore, not real—some abductees would simply invent a home base for the aliens, just as they are imagining every­thing else. We would then have a variety of origin theories. In fact, abductees seldom describe a “home base,” because the aliens they encounter do not choose to give this information. Nor do aliens ever reveal the ultimate reason for why they are here. If the phenomenon were psychological, we would be given a wealth of reasons.

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Knowing how aliens got here matters to scientists. They under­stand the immense difficulties of our going to other solar systems or galaxies with our technology and conclude that it is unlikely for others to travel here.… Read the rest

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One year and counting: Mars isolation experiment begins

The obsession with colonizing Mars continues in the media, so much so that I’m starting to wonder how much the movie studio releasing The Martian is paying for it. AFP via Yahoo News reports from Hawaii on a year-long lock-in meant to replicate conditions on Mars:

Six people shut themselves inside a dome for a year in Hawaii, in the longest US isolation experiment aimed at helping NASA prepare for a pioneering journey to Mars.

Photo: Univ. of Hawaii

Photo: Univ. of Hawaii

 

The crew includes a French astrobiologist, a German physicist and four Americans — a pilot, an architect, a doctor/journalist and a soil scientist.

They are based on a barren, northern slope of Mauna Loa, living inside a dome that is 36 feet (11 meters) in diameter and 20 feet tall.

In a place with no animals and little vegetation around, they closed themselves in at 3:00 pm Hawaii time (0100 GMT Saturday), marking the official start to the 12-month mission.

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Federal Drug Sentencing Laws Bring High Cost, Low Return

The War on Some Drugs is a waste of money. We all knew it, but now the Pew Charitable Trusts has produced a research report verifying this obvious truth:

More than 95,000 federal prisoners are serving time for drug-related offenses—up from fewer than 5,000 in 1980.1 Changes in drug crime patterns and law enforcement practices played a role in this growth, but federal sentencing laws enacted during the 1980s and 1990s also have required more drug offenders to go to prison— and stay there much longer—than three decades ago.2 (See Figure 1.) These policies have contributed to ballooning costs: The federal prison system now consumes more than $6.7 billion a year, or roughly 1 in 4 dollars spent by the U.S. Justice Department.3

Despite substantial expenditures on longer prison terms for drug offenders, taxpayers have not realized a strong public safety return. The self-reported use of illegal drugs has increased over the long term as drug prices have fallen and purity has risen.4 Federal sentencing laws that were designed with serious traffickers in mind have resulted in lengthy imprisonment of offenders who played relatively minor roles.5 These laws also have failed to reduce recidivism.

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Why Are There Any Jobs Still Left?

A Ghost In The Machine

Robert Bailey via Reason.com:

After two centuries of relentless automation, why are there more jobs than ever? Certainly, tens of millions of jobs have been lost. Whatever happened to the myriads of hostlers, blacksmiths, coopers, sucksmiths, millers, tallowmakers, wheelwrights, sicklemen, puddlers, telegraphers, stockingers, fellmongers, saddlers, ploughmen, knackers, bleacherers, weavers, thatchers, and scriveners? Most of these jobs have been either wiped out entirely or largely taken over by machines.

The advance of massively more productive machinery has clearly not led to mass unemployment. The number of people employed in advanced economies has never been higher. For example, since 1950 the number of Americans employed has nearly tripled, rising from about 58 million to nearly 149 million today. During that time the proportion of adults in the civilian workforce rose from 55 percent in 1950 to peak at 65 percent during the dot-com boom in 2000. The ratio has now dropped to 59 percent, but the lower rate is widely understood to reflect the fallout from the Great Recession, Baby Boomer cohort retirements, and younger individuals spending more time in school.

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The Theater of Ultra-Violence

violence-headerOn Wednesday, a man approached a couple talking on a patio, a man and a woman. It became apparent that the two were News reporters. How they spoke, the put-together clothes, and makeup , gave it all away. We see the scene in the first person, as if we’re watching Half-life or Call of Duty. This sense is increased when the point of view pulls a guns and fires repeatedly into the bodies of three reporters.

So runs Bryce Williams’ video footage that was discovered on social media minutes after the shooting. Traumatic real world violence, performed for the camera both on live TV and social media. We discovered his account moments before CNN did, so I didn’t know what I would find when I clicked it.

When I saw it, for a moment, I couldn’t believe it was real. This is a common reaction even in the midst of real violence — somehow the surreal cuts in.… Read the rest

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“Jesus Was Black,” Reveals Newly Found Manuscript

black-jesus

Bob Flanagan via Global Research/World News Daily Report:

A team of archeologists from the University of Tel Aviv have uncovered a collection of ancient scrolls in the West Bank region, near the Qumran Caves, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were originally uncovered in 1947, and which promise to shed a new light on the life and physical appearance of Jesus Christ.

The newly found documents which are believed to have been written by a small Jewish sectarian group, called the Essenes, retraces different elements of the Old Testament and New Testament similar to the Dead Sea Scrolls, but scholars have turned their attention to a peculiar fragment which describes the birth of the Christ figure in a new light. 

The manuscripts that have been dated between 408 BCE to 318 CE describe the son of Mary as of a “darker color” of skin than her parents, a revealing bit of information admits professor Hans Schummer.

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