(The Jameson Rating: 70% An interesting spin-off that’s time period lies between the original film and the musical “Wicked”. As a family-friendly film with many silly and shocking scenes, I would recommend it for a Gulyas Family Outing this upcoming long weekend.) On the weekend I went with a fellow philosophy classmate (Walt Olson) to see the film, “Oz The Great and Powerful”, at the cinema. At a point in the movie the Wicked Witch’s evil minions believe they are attacking the heros, but they are actually attacking straw dummies in a field that will make them fall asleep. Watching this reminded me of a type of fallacy I learned about in class last week. Very similiarily to the scenario, it was the Straw Man Fallacy. The Straw Man Fallacy is an arguement strategy used when a person knows they cannot provide a better argument than the one the opponent provided. Instead the person makes it seem like their opponent has made a weaker arguement, and they then attack and defeat that argument. It is difficult to explain, so perhaps this example may help: “While representing the U.S. Senate, President Obama has decided to cut the military budget to fund cancer research, but I (John Smith) can’t believe that he would want to leave our nation defenseless from terrorists.” As preposterous as such a conclusion is, John Smith can still convince a great deal of people that President Obama is alright with making it easier for terrorists to make attacks (which isn’t good, because he already has enough on his hands). Despite the fact that the President may have had extensive research proving that this cut was all a good idea, John Smith’s accusation has “defeated” the President’s. The Straw Man Fallacy clearly has a flaw, but can still prove to be effective.
(The Jameson Rating: 75% A dramatic movie that will leave viewers breathless for (what one of the characters would say:) as long as it takes to make dinner. Otherwise flawless acting and well informing. I can see why it is referred to as the African Schindler’s List.) In Mr. Gulyas’ absence for part of this week, we watched “Hotel Rwanda”. Despite the fact that the true plot line of the film is nearly a decade old, it still remains to shock it’s viewers. The movie covers the situation in Rwanda in the spring of 1994 in which tensions rise between the Hutu and Tutsi people. While most any wonder how the families that persevered through the devastating time did so, I questioned another side of the story. Being a fan of the human mind and how it ticks, I wondered as to what motivated the extremists that destroyed their nation. Could it be because they had nothing else to live for after suffering from unjust acts performed against themselves? Did they have an unidentified leader that motivated them? Or did they perhaps see the separation between the Hutu and Tutsi as similar to the line between good and evil? It is questions like these that leave me thinking, long after the film is over. I researched afterwards as to what motivates terrorists to perform the acts they do, and there was an almost direct correlation between the answers revealed and my thoughts. Many terrorists were at some point traumatized (most often times in their childhood) through witnessing horrible attacks like robberies, abuse, and murders. From these experiences many terrorists find that they can find a balance of right and wrong, by performing the same horrid acts. Unfortunately this can result in a continuous cycle.
(The Jameson Rating: 85% A stand-out film that really makes one thing about what truly is real. This is the kind of film that will be viewed for generations.) During this week I viewed the Wachowski siblings’ 1999 hit, “The Matrix”. Although the technology in the film is a little dated, the brilliance of the overall concept still applies, as it will for years to come. In a nutshell, the setting of “The Matrix” is a modern day world, with a dark secret that’s hidden from most. This secret is the fact that the whole world is really just a computer simulation run by a secret organization. The frightening fascination of this whole idea is that it may very well be possible, and it may be existing right now in society as we know it. The main question asked in the film is that if you had the ability to choose between living in what feels like an ordinary world, with no knowledge of anything outside of it, or if you could understand the scary world you live in with a much better and deeper understanding, which would you choose? Obviously the main character chooses the option to explore, or the movie would end with a very bland finish. But this question is still asked in philosophy classes, online forums, and in our minds everyday. I myself would choose to stay in my ordinary world, and embrace it. I would much rather live in a world where I can think, ask questions, and wonder. If I were to know the answer to what life is all about, and every other philosophical question, I would strangely enough feel empty. With nothing else to search for, I would feel my life was completed, and completion is not always as good as it sounds.