Tuesday, July 27

Power --- I just got back from house-sitting at a house where there's NO COMPUTER!
Here's a review of the movie Spiderman 2:

Much like his predecessors on the big screen, Peter Parker lives aseries of challenges and victories which, though we cannot directlyrelate to them, symbolize the great journey we all go through.  In summary, he discovers his powers and learns to battle evil and help hisfellow humans.

Some superheroes furthermore teach us to grapple with our sense of dutyand our true purpose in life.  Spiderman takes these lessons severalsteps further.  Indeed, unlike the others, Peter Parker is the firstsuperhero of whom I can honestly say, "I want to be like him."  This feeling relates mostly to his outstanding spiritual qualities.

I will mention the three most notable. Clearly, Peter Parker is ahumble chap. Despite his greatness, he is never seen using his powersto elevate himself over others (except one fight in the first movie). How tempting it would have been to redeem himself in the eyes of hisaunt by saying: "Yes, I did let uncle die, but I've learned, and now Isave lives every day..."

One might also notice his radiant acquiescence. Throughout the movie, he graciously accepts the most dire adversities, the most grueling humiliations. From his financial and career failures to his inability to get a cocktail at a gala, he always shrugs it off and (nearly) happily moves on.  Even when his best friend slaps him in the face(twice!), he recognizes what the latter is going through and lets it go.

Peter Parker is, at last, ultimately sacrificial, and this is constantlyevidenced. His understanding of sacrifice, however, is much deeper than Hollywood ever sees.  In a society where nothing surpasses the paramount "duty" of following one's dreams, Spiderman's explicit message is that "Sometimes to do the right thing, you have to give up what you want,even your dreams."

That people everywhere are raving about this blockbuster is great confirmation of the inspiring power of such a character, and provides great hope for their receptivity of spiritual lessons.  In fact, the movie has many more explicit lessons: in truthfulness, detachment, perseverance, forgiveness, patience, generosity, etc.

To top it off, the film is a masterpiece of cinema: stellar performance from the somewhat intimate cast (the scene with Dr. Octavian and his wife is as warm and comforting as they get); stupendous special effects (who could tire of Spiderman's freedom in the air?); lavish sets (the crumbling hanger dazzles the eyes!); smooth transitions and pacing; and, of course, riveting action (the mechanics and intricacies of the movement of and fights between the two antagonists had my mind racing to capture the particular physics of each moment!).  Not only does the movie delight us with action, but it also feeds us great drama, almost-but-not-quite-mushy romance, suspense, surprisingly sassy comedy- even a captivating horror sequence (when Dr. Octopus's mechanical arms take over in the hospital). In summary, watch Spiderman (1 &) 2, and rejoice!

I also highly recommend "50 First Dates," a brilliant, heart-warming romantic comedy, as good as, if not better than, "The Wedding Singer"!

Monday, July 19

Truth --- I get to house-sit at a gorgeous home for a whole week, starting Wednesday! I'm psyched!  The lady told me that her two dogs will most likely want to sleep under the sheets with me, and that the cat is a bizarro in need of much attention.  I'm listening to an opera radio station!  One of my best friends delivered a beautiful girl recently (I've seen tons of pictures)! My (past-) supervisor is due any day now!  There are way too many untranslated Writings of Baha'u'llah - I feel deprived...  I have posted a summary of my two-week vacation. Check it out! http://danio.allmail.net. (Click on Summer 2004.) My sis' and my nephew come to town tomorrow for a week!

Wednesday, July 14

Back? --- I'm back in Richmond, and running around spinning plates. God is good... all the time. That's for sure. I don't expect to post until this weekend, at which point I plan to summarize my latest adventures.