Tuesday, April 20, 2010

More Fantastic Mr. Fox Thoughts

I really enjoyed that movie. It was pretty sharp. I think I have typed this before but what happens to all the Snowflake generation children when they grow up and find out they are not special, not an all star just for showing up, and definitely not gifted or talented? Will they do outrageous things to gain attention? Will they continue to do stunts to try to live up to their 'special' status? I can see millions of Mr. Fox characters out there doing stupid stuff for the thrill of attention.

This has to account for the rise of the web 2.0 with Facebook, Youtube, me me me stuff. It funnels attention to these 12-22 year olds for doing nothing more than naming their 5 favorite bands. Yah, look at me... please, please look at me and 'like' what I post. A wonderful South Park episode touches on an idea similar to this, The List. The ghost of Abraham Lincoln tells Kyle that beign pretty is a curse as beautiful people constantly get compliments for no reason only because people can't just say to them 'you're pretty' all of the time. They get an inflated sense of self, don't develop character, and when the looks fade, are empty shells. This might be the same course of action with the Snowflake generation, as they realize all of those awesome supercool things they did like 'show up' or 'participate' will mean jack squat in the real world and no one will care.

The Fantastic Mr. Fox also discusses the idea that we can change but it is hard to deny what we truly are. Mr. Fox talks about being a wild animal. He has a nice sequence where he discusses the positives of the wild animals around him. Do we humans hide our inner desires and primal behavior with the fantastic costumes, physical and mental, of the civilized world? Most likely. Considering the millions of years of humankind and the short span of civilization with customs, mores and norms, it is easy to see how our brain chemistry, body biology, and inner smart animal can override the structure of the modern world. Mr. Fox's problem is not just a mid-life crisis, but is a true debate about what he is. Who is Mr. Fox?

This is ultimately one of the greatest questions that we as thinking animals face: who/what are we? It's an issue that some never resolve and others resolve quickly. I am in the camp that there is a core of who you are, but the human soul is a dynamic and changing entity that we as individuals have control over. People can change, but there is a core set of values or beliefs that you will hold and will guide decision making and responses to choices laid before you. We can change if we are open minded about the world, or if something incredibly influential enters our life. In the nature vs. nurture debate, I am a big believer in nature being the driver but nurture being a backseat passenger that can sometimes change the trip. Maybe it's being an optimistic realist where I hope for the best but expect the worst.

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