Do The Right Thing, At The Wrong Time – Good VS Evil In Film (Cross Talk Ep. 26)

 

What is the true meaning of good? And what is meaning of evil?

People have been trying to demonstrate the qualities of these diametrically opposed concepts for millennia now. And so many different art forms try to describe the ideas as best they can, digging into the details and pulling out some great notions of what each means, and more importantly, their effects on life.

If we were to look at a text-book definition of good, there are a number of aspects to filter in. For instance, the need to be desired or approved of while having the desired qualities of a higher standard. The word sacrifice is commonly featured over and over too. Ultimately this all stems from a sense of empathy, benevolence, selflessness and going beyond the superficial aspects of life to find humanity at every turn.

That altruism is so very necessary in corner of good when looking at the battle of good versus evil.

Evil is that much more simple. If something is profoundly immoral and wicked, often represented by or directly embodying a force of harm and undesirable outcomes. People who are evil lack empathy, acting upon their own needs and desires about all else. To be selfish in this way prevents real connections, and often leads to the suffering of many, for the wishes of the few. An inability to see the world from another perspective can be attributed to evil, but in many cases, the conscious disregard of others is all the more sickening.

As always on Cross Talk, there are many fantastic examples of good versus evil in film, but we decided to dive into more details on less obvious examples. We did this to really hammer home the idea that some themes defy genre, that science fiction, horror and drama can address this just as easily as an action-adventure flick.

This is episode 26 of Cross Talk. This is good versus evil, as represented in film.

 

Not sure if you can tell from the introduction or not, but we had a lot of fun with this one as a team. And we all couldn’t help but get excited when it came to presenting our individual case studies. I mean, come on, Prince of Darkness, The Fifth Element, AND Training Day all being discussed in the same conversation?

Just one of the many perks of Cross Talk. We bring the theories to you, so you can mull over the moral implications of these films too.

As always it would be great to hear what you think creative cuties? Spend some time with shorter video and then please like, share, and comment on both timotheories.com and the YouTube channel. We want your feedback! Join the conversation and tell us what we’re doing right, and if you have any better examples on hand that we should have considered.

And now I’m out of theories. Once again I’m off to La La Land. Not the movie, but the analogy for sleep. Ain’t no rest for the wicked, at least that’s what they say. But what about the good? Beauty sleep for everyone? Mull it over and get cak to me!

Tim!

Pants On Fire (Sam Harris)

There are moments when I’m sitting over there, in my easy chair, philosophising about the next big theory of the arts, where I contemplate, and others where I instead sit down with a good book and consider another perspective – ever hear the expression one man’s truth is another man’s lie? Well if you haven’t then you might still be open to learn something.

There are a lot of idioms out there about the concept of truth, dear readers. If the truth be known… a grain of truth, ain’t it the truth, bend the truth, fact is stranger than fiction, the gospel truth, honest to goodness, the naked truth, the moment of truth, truth will out, and the list goes on.

Sometimes the truth is even hard to swallow.

The truth is, when you are putting together all of the facts, reality bites. But that doesn’t mean you should share a bald faced lie either. Well, at least that’s what the author of this month’s 5 L’s Of Language would have you believe.

No No No No, Baby No No No No, Don’t Lie

Sam Harris is a best-selling author and neuroscientist, not to be confused with a neurologist, which people sometimes think he is. And he also believes that if a decision came down to a matter of ethics it would be his responsibility to share that reality with you, otherwise he would be making a lie of omission, which should bear the same weight as a commissioned lie.

Harris is something of a heavyweight when it comes to atheism. Sharing ranks with Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens, he has been called one of the Four Horsemen of the New Atheism. An advocate for separation of church and state, a strong critic of religions, and a critic, Harris chooses to focus his ideas on science and secularism. His list of books includes:

  • The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason (2004)
  • Letter to a Christian Nation (2006)
  • The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values (2010)
  • Lying (2011)
  • Free Will (2012)
  • Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion (2014)
  • Islam and the Future of Tolerance (2015)

The Very Worst Part Of You, Is Me

 

Have you figured out which book I read yet my friends? I’ll give you a hint, Pinocchio would probably be an expert at navigating a series of unfortunate events which stem from this practice.

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That’s right I read through the book Lying. Which is pretty much just a hard cover essay that was a breeze to get through, but a little bit harder to digest, given what Harris is recommending in his thesis.

Effectively Harris states that we should all line up with his own personal philosophy of honesty at all times. This means avoiding lies when confronting serial killer child murderers, overweight spouses, and even coworkers. The only people who really seem to be exempt are spies, but they live a hollow life after all, one which is for a purpose far grander than they are capable of seeing. So white lies, lies of omission and everything else are unacceptable.

Which is where the essay is ultimately flawed, but interesting. I would agree with Harris that we should avoid white lies whenever possible, but there are some circumstances which are far beyond the scope of certain groups (read: poor people, discriminated minorities etc). And dealing with people with failing health is far more complex than the feelings of the ill versus the feelings of those who are left behind. Not all have the benefit of choosing who they interact with, but perhaps there are some lessons within.

Blame It On Your Heart

 

Don’t get me wrong, I was thankful for this gift. My parents bought it for me this past Christmas because they know how much I love to read a good critical essay or philosophy book. And this book got me thinking, you see creative cuties, I have this theory that the reason why one man’s truth is another man’s lie, and I’ve spoken about it before. It’s a consequence of this ability we all like to believe we have, called common sense. Harris is a victim of wrong thinking, but his heart is almost in the right place.

If only he could get a broader perspective, maybe then his opinions might make more sense – at least, that’s my theory.

Tim!

The Great Digitization (Lucien X. Polastron)

Labels are a double-edged sword, if you ask me. They can provide you with valuable information about products, people, and places. But sometimes they are too simple and limiting with their direction.

Specifically when it comes to imposed labels we make for other people and ideas. What many call common sense, I call limiting perception. When we think on these labels of society, we might gain better perspective into our own assumptions and the world around us. Which is why I chose to read a book in the LABEL category this month. I wanted to think on something we are definitely taking for granted.

As always I’m going to offer up some information to remind of this ongoing process of mine, also known as the The 5 L’s of Language –

I will read one book a month from the 5 groupings below, slowly expanding the number of books read so that I reach the point of 5 books a month. A book for each group

  1. LIFE – Biographies/Art/Music
  2. LOVE – Classic Fiction/Non-Fiction/Graphic Novels
  3. LEARN – Business/Leadership/Self-Help
  4. LABEL – Philosophy/Sociology/Psychology
  5. LEET– The Internet

My goal with this of course is to share information with you that might help you avoid mistakes, stimulate your mind, and encourage you to think outside of your typical modus operandi.

Lucien X. Polastron, The Man Who Read Too Much?

Lucien X. Polastron is a French writer and historian who has focused his attentions on paper, books, the process of writing, and the history of libraries. When the National Library of Sarajevo was destroyed in 1992, it triggered his research into the history of libraries and the many examples of libraries which have been destroyed. This is something he had previously observed while working on research of history of paper.

His two most famous books are Books on Fire: The Destruction of Libraries throughout History, a historical survey of the destruction of books from Babylonia through to modern society, and The Great Digitization and the Quest to Know Everything, which examines the consequences (both good and bad) of the digitization of books.

Polastron posits that while the digitization of books is an excellent way to move forward the exchange and breakdown of knowledge, it can very easily creates parallels between book burning by restricting access to books and destroying their autonomy. Effectively removing the idea of free books altogether. For instance, if internet service providers charge for their services and publishers hold the rights to books, who polices the quality and authenticity of the information being shared.

After all, if libraries become obsolete, that means that local governments will have to fund services which they cannot control or leave very easily. It is up to us to not only move forward with technology but to also be conscious of and protective of the accuracy of these words.

It’s books that feature intelligent content and do not dumb down their theories for the reader which allow for proper mental exercise. And while this book is now a decade old, and we still have access to free information, the thoughts which echo throughout are still cautionary and relevant for a globalized marketplace.

Let’s close out this post without resorting to simple labels. Of course digitization has great many benefits. It opens up the world and creates a level playing field of information for many who don’t have access to money. Our education levels are increasing all over the world as this technology flattens and creates transparencies. With that said, I’m going to leave you with this thought.

If knowledge is power, then who is holding all of the cards?

I’m out of theories for today friends, but check back tomorrow when write something timely about Halloween. Should be spooky.

Tim!

The Circle of Life (Megan Warkentin interview)

When I was a young warthog, I found that my thoughts were morbid and my labour was making me miserable. So I took a quick peek at John Ruskin and developed a problem free-philosophy – explorers always win. I needed to move away from my domestic environment, and even the primary school system to properly combine those processes of thought and labour, realizing that only exploration would get me on the true pathway.

Like Ruskin’s contemporary, Charles Darwin, I was forcing an evolution in myself for the sake of the bigger picture. The seemingly eternal struggle of the Brits, to expand but retain identity. Colonialism of the mind.

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After all, exploration is one of those traits that earns you kudos when you succeed and admonishment when you fail. No risk, no reward as the saying goes. But what is really an truly at stake here friends?

Well, if you were to ask our featured artist interviewee of the month, I bet we’d learn a lot of things about stakes. Like, what happens when you read lots of books versus travelling the world, why extremists and risk-takers aren’t some of the brightest lightbulbs in the drawer, the importance of finding mentors to guide you on your journey, if ever so slightly, and how the British sport of cheeserolling can help make great paintings.

She’s a laid-back treasure hunter who loves to paint, has spent the better part of a decade honing her creative craft, and has more composed intensity then an undertaker, Megan Warkentin is our favourite pioneer of the arts at the moment. Pay careful attention to what she says in this interview because if you gloss it over, you’ll miss the point, and I cannot guarantee you’ll find your way back.

I really think you’ll get a kick out of this one folks, exploration is one of this life skills we all need when we pursue the arts, and Megan perfectly embodies this ideology. So sit down (or stand if you like) and get ready for episode twelve of timotheories interviews.

And as always, if you want to check out more timotheories interviews or the Cross Talk series please visit our YouTube channel.  And please, please, please share this post and of course subscribe to both the blog and channel!

Now let’s talk about connecting – Megan is so busy globetrotting that she’s difficult to get ahold of. So please send an email to timotheories@outlook.com and I’ll get in contact with her for you.

Lastly my sincerest thanks to Megan for being magical, magnetic, and major league. See you tomorrow with an album review by a crappy punk rock band, but the album is kinda revolutionary.

Tim!

A Priori And A Posteriori (Critique of Pure Art series)

Quite a few months ago (way, way back in March), I decided to share some examples of my art with you.

I wrote that post with the intention that I would reveal my personal artist identity and foster a greater sense of the purpose for this blog and why you should never give up, and never surrender if you have a creative drive. Something I strive for with many of many of the posts here. After all, there are a lot of different things I write about on a weekly basis, and there are common themes I touch upon monthly, while other themes crop up in other ways, but what really drives all of those different posts is that I am a professional artist who wanted to find a way to build a better statement for himself and simultaneously provide a safe haven for those who are on similar journeys.

So today, I expand upon that idea some more.  As I’ve mentioned previously, I have made art to disrupt, I’ve made art to talk about concepts of philosophy, and I’ve worked produce ideas that promote human growth.

But I’ve since expanded on those ideas, and focused more on how I can contribute towards the local community, and to the much broader community of creative professionals in general – I want open up collaboration across art forms, create a digital gallery of art and artists, build a studio for art enthusiasts, and discuss all sorts of theories on the arts.

Which is why I ‘m going to also be building upon this particular series of work The Critique of Pure Art.

The Critique of Pure Art

get-a-rock-n-roll-feelin-in-your-bones-42-x-48-2007we-could-just-stay-in-and-save-each-other-48-x-42-2007

Effectively a series of work that reflects on the role of artist, subject, object, and the viewer to analyze the limitations of the form. Taken from Immanuel Kant’s “Critique of Pure Reason” my series challenges the ideal that not all art is taken from the senses AND conversely art cannot simply be shaped from experiences/ideas either in order to produce something beautiful.

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I literally and metaphorically draw with my materials to demonstrate that one cannot operate without the other, and it is all a related. Especially when we take into consideration limited perspectives. Perception is reality, after all, as attributed by Lee Atwater an American political consultant. So we paint with drawing materials, and draw with paint, and as the picture comes together, both parts are forced to exist as we understand them, though both the elements of line and form blur within the frame.

he-aint-heavy-hes-my-brother-52-x-48-2007theres-just-no-rhyme-or-reason-only-a-sense-of-completion-48-x-40-2007

It is a literal construction of pure art, and a metaphorical critique of reason. That the titles of these works are taken rather romantically from song lyrics all the more proves that experience comes before the art, but does that information inform the work afterwards?

As mentioned, I’ll continue to expand upon this series over time and share more works with you, but if I can do all of these things, surely there is a way for you to contribute to the arts too – and if you are interested in commissions, prices of the work I’ve included in today’s post, or if you want more information about the series, please leave some comments below or email me at timotheories@outlook.com.

And of course, please follow the blog to get even more awesome content in the future. I’m out of theories for the week, please have an excellent weekend friends, and I’ll see you on Sunday with a new Cross Talk episode!

Tim!