-Are you a God?
- they asked the Buddha.
- No.
- Are you an angel, then?
- No.
- A saint?
- No.
- Then what are you?


"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure of
the universe"-Albert Einstein-

Om Mani Padme Hum

Matthew 25:40

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 7 1-6

1. Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4. Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5. Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
6. Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Violence v Reality in Movies

Sitting here 2:44am watching a Steven Seagal movie. In this one his daughter is kidnapped. Pretty standard Seagal. What I'm saying has nothing to do with the real Seagal, never having met him, although we did both attend Buena Park High School, at least that's what I'm told. I'm commenting purely on his screen persona. Actually I like his movies, but unlike many, I know they're cartoons, not reality. He usually plays a good, (goodish), guy, and he's one of the few that actually show the negative results of being bad.  Unlike Norris, or even the much vaunted Bruce Lee, the characters that fight Seagal rarely get back up, or escape with just a bruise or two. The only movie I've seen recently where the bad guys did worse was the bar scene in Kill Bill part 1, which was right out of a martial arts movie, except the Black Mamba's victims dropped like flies and stayed down, in that one you saw the reality of a really sharp sword. One criticism I do have with the action in Seagal's movies is his, and everybody's marksmanship, or total lack of it. They all, good and bad guys, shoot clip after clip, yet nobody ever gets hit. Except, it seems, by accident. I guess that's just Hollywood using guns for effect as noisemakers, and drama.  The unfortunate aspect is that many people that see the movies think they can shoot and not hurt anyone, not getting the truth that shot usually means dead. I won't comment on the intelligence, or lack of it, in both the moviemakers and the viewers.
What I want to talk about is the difference between his characters stated beliefs and the reality of his actions. On the one hand he says, or implies that he believes in the Buddhist path. Yet his reality is that he is anti-Buddhist, completely in the body, and at the drop of a hat he kills, or maims, sometimes for no reason at all, and beds every woman in sight. 180 degrees away from what Buddha taught, as I understand it. Also, I was taught, as were those I know in martial arts, that violence, especially killing, is a last resort, not a first.  Buddha taught that killing anything, even something as insignificant, to us, as an ant, is wrong. We all get angry, an unfortunate result of being a human being is killing, or at least thinking about killing, each other, but in reality, we, most of us, don't. But if like some, you believe these movies, you think just the opposite, that most of us do give in to the urge to kill, at the least, or no, excuse.  Of course drama is paramount in a movie, but these go to a violent extreme. They show a world where everybody is a killer or a sadist, and/or sex addict, kill or be killed is the norm. Again not a great picture to show a normal person. Many of whom acually believe they're seeing reality, instead of a cartoon, no more real than your average Bugs Bunny or Roadrunner cartoon.  But still, all of that aside, I do get that Seagal, the character, as I said I don't know the man, is in tune with and understands the philosophy, but thinks it's great in theory, or for someone else, just not for him in his gory reality. Interesting.
Lee Murray  

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