Morals

Steve came over tonight and we watched Lord of War. I liked the film though I was a little disturbed at my response to it: I didn’t care. I see people being chopped apart with machetes and though I do feel a sense of loss and pain it is dwarfed almost immediately. It is like the moment is frozen and things zoom out to the millions of lives that the planet is teeming with: happinesses, pains, loves and hatreds. Whatever the moment, it is being done a thousand times over. Whatever the suffering or pleasure it is nothing original; nothing unique. Beyond that the world freezes and the gulf of time swallows everything. It is the same sense of smallness, but orders of magnitude larger.

I see Nicholas Cage’s brother sacrifice his life to try and save a random village, and I respect his sacrifice. I see Nicholas Cage turn around and finish his deal. My response to both is the same: it just doesn’t matter. If the Earth is snuffed out tomorrow, it won’t make so much as a footnote in the history of the universe.

The film actually touches on the whole finding purpose and meaning in the face of meaninglessness idea. I’ve read Camus and Frankl and I understand the issue philosophically. That, of course, means relatively little so far as the heart is concerned.

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