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Insect Life

Manufactured Landscapes

No movie captures the size and magnitude of capitalism and its effects on the world quite like manufactured landscapes. Ed Burtynsky photographs all of the world showing how capitalism has lead to huge changes in the landscapes often to our detriment in our opinion. It’s a movie that will open your eyes to the scale and impact of our living on this planet has.

Tree of Life

Malick views the world “as paradise and paradise lost, caught up in darkness and death but open to redemption through the radiance of unselfish individual action” (Silberman as in Michaels 8). The Tree of Life essentially puts Malicks view of the world on the big screen.

Nature is indifferent to us. What better way to demonstrate this than to show what a flash in the pan we are as a species by showing all that earth has gone through to get to where we are today through the big bang and evolution. We are insignificant as a species. Not just individually but everybody from Adam and Eve to you are completely insignificant. For the most part, we live as if we are the centers of the world.

We are all a part of nature, but we are also constantly trying to tame it.  Malick clearly makes this point through scenes of volcanoes with a scene moments later focused on lighting a candle, which burns safely within a glass cup. Or, the rushing torrents of a waterfall followed by a scene focused on turning on the tap and unleashing a controlled waterfall of sorts.

Civilization has alienated us from nature. Sean Penns home in the movie is completely lifeless and sterile. Nature is kept at a distance. There is scene where his wife brings in flowers from outside and lays them on a countertop inside. For me, it demonstrated how inside that house, nature was dead.

Lots of duality. Nature’s power vs. Man’s seeking to control it, nature vs. grace. Great movie. I love it because it reminds all of us how insignificant we all really are. Ha…depressing sort of I admit.

This is a movie where it is not so much about the plot as it is the experience. This movie will take you on a journey looking back at a 40 something year old architect’s memories of growing up and thoughts of his brother who was just killed at war in Europe. The scene where the father (Brad Pitt) hears of his son’s death is perfect in how he is around all these extremely loud aircraft that suddenly fade away in the shock of what he has heard.

But what makes this movie so great is the context it provides. This context is not in terms of a single man’ life or a family’s. It is the context of the human species on a planet that took 5.3 billion years to be where it is today with us on it. There is a 15 minute or so Big Bang – Solar System Developing – Earth Forming – Life beginning – Dinosaurs – Meteor Wiping Them Out – Earth Evolving Some More After Obliteration sequence that is incredible. All of this leading to a family in a small Texas town suffering from the loss of a son and brother. The entire absurdity of our existence is what makes this movie so great as few actually consider it in our society. If there is a movie that will make you grateful for being alive and all the shit life brings your way, this will be it. This movie has the potential to open your eyes to the beauty of our world and to no longer sweat the small stuff.

Works Cited

Michaels, Lloyd. n.d. Terrence Malick.

Full-Bloom

Flower and Plant Photography

The Iceman – An In-depth Look at Anti-social and Paranoid Personality Disorder

There are five parts to these video interviews between the Iceman Richard Kuklinski, a mafia hitman and psychiatrist Dr. Park Dietz. These videos really give you a good look at the mind of an individual with antisocial and paranoid personality disorder.

Mugshot taken of Richard Kuklinski, taken foll...

Image via Wikipedia

Part 1 – Kuklinski talks about how he wanted his victims to look at him right before he killed them. He talks about the surprise he would see in their eyes as he watched them die. Kuklinski talks about he doesn’t get a feeling from killing someone. Nothing at all. Kuklinski talks about how we would tie two cats’ tails together and throw them over telephone/electric wires and watch them claw each other to death. He mentions how his dad used to beat him and how he was glad when he was dead. He mentions disliking his mother but realized that she was a victim. He mentions that she would hit him with a broomstick to keep him in line.

Part 2 – Kuklinski talks about killing a man. He mentions getting relief from killing. No more pressure. No more tension. Like a cure all as he puts it. Kuklenski talks about how he would handle his anger issues when some young men in a van mess with him on the road in Georgia. Dr. Dietz pushes a few of Kuklenski’s buttons by challenging him about the murder of the young men.

Part 3 – Kuklinski discusses the murder of an individual and how he was surprised the victim’s head came off. He mentions not having any emotional response to seeing the man’s head blown off. Kuklinski discusses how he could dismember a body and not be sickened by it. He then goes into details about how he would make an individual suffer.

Part 4 – Kuklinski talks about his children and his relationship with his wife. Kuklinski asks Dr. Dietz what he thinks of him. Dr. Dietz goes into talking about his warped personality. He talks about antisocial personality disorder.

Part 5 – Dr. Dietz discusses the fearless nature of Kuklinski. Discusses how his genetics and the environment he was raised in both made him the man he is. Then he talks about the paranoid personality disorder of Kuklinski.

Antisocial Personality Disorder

These individuals show a persistent pattern of irresponsible and antisocial behavior that begins during childhood or adolescence. They are impulsive and reckless. They lack conscience or superego. ASP is the most thoroughly studied PD over a longer period of time than any other PD. Psychopathy and ASP are two different attempts to define the same disorder. However, they are different and do not identify the same people. They are no longer used interchangeably. Diagnosis of ASPD requires the presence of conduct disorder prior to the age of 15. At least three out of seven signs of irresponsible and antisocial behavior after the age of 15. Psychopathology Checklist (PCL) developed by Robert Hare is used.

Causes

Adoption studies have showed that the highest rates of antisocial behavior is determined by an interaction between genetic factors and adverse environment. People raised in more difficult adoptive homes were more likely to engage in various types of aggressive and antisocial behaviors as children and as adults.

Psychological Factors
Investigations have attempted to explain several characteristic features of psychopathy—such as lack of anxiety, impulsivity, and failure to learn from experience. There are two primary hypotheses to explain the poor performance of psychopaths on these tasks. Cleckley’s argument: psychopaths are emotionally impoverished. Psychopaths have difficulty shifting or reallocating their attention to consider the possible negative consequences of their behavior. They fail to inhibit inappropriate behavior because they are less able than other people to stop and consider the meaning of important signals that their behavior might lead to punishment.

Treatment
People with ASPD seldom seek professional mental health services unless mandated by the legal system. Even when they do seek treatment, it rarely helps. The high rate of alcoholism and other forms of substance dependence complicates planning and evaluating treatment programs.

Paranoid Personality Disorder

These individuals have a pervasive tendency to be inappropriately suspicious of others’ motive and behaviors. They have the expectation of being harmed and are completely inflexible in their views and expectations. Imagine trying to live everyday suspecting everyone of harming you.