Grandfather Tree

Now having come to understand that we are all spiritual beings who have chosen to temporarily live a physical existence on this planet, certain musings are inevitable, and shared here.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Pursuit of Happyness

I just saw "Pursuit of Happyness” with Will Smith and apparently his son starring as well. I must say that I was totally enthralled. It seems to be a new kind of role for Smith but one which he embraced with his total being. I don’t think he ever straightened his glasses, but it was “as if” he was frequently straightening his glasses. At the same time he was a powerful warrior. So maybe the role isn’t really that different, just a different kind of warrior. His committed loving intense relationship with his son was powerfully portrayed.

It was only after seeing the film that I realized that it was in a way a stereotype of the “rugged individualist.” He was going to go it alone without any support and without any sharing or collaboration with any other adult. It was about the survival and the thriving of the fittest.

As far as the film played, it could have been a universe where race was not an issue. Perhaps some alternate Earth universe where humans saw each other as human beings that just happened to have different skin color tones. Smith’s character could have been White or Hispanic or Asian or Indigenous in that there was no indication that his race was a factor in his relationships. Of course, he didn’t really have relationships except for his son and his quickly estranged wife. So I do not know what this means.

This is the universe that white people like myself often imagine that we live in. In a movie like "I, Robot" it is wonderful to create such a universe, and it plays well because it is a future time. We can feel good about having changed enough to where there is no prejudice due to race. But this certainly wasn't the world of the early 1980's, which is the time frame for this movie.

Going back to the "rugged individualist, survivalist" theme: He was alone in the world and fighting for his life, his happiness and that of his son. Period. That was it. There were only decisions and work, more decisions and more work. Pay the piper and eventually get your reward. When confronted with the impossible, find a way to do it, or make the best of the mistake. Keep going. Never give up. The reward will be yours if you deserve it. And I cried when he got his reward. It moved me. But what is the ultimate message of the movie for those who don’t make it? Are they flawed? Undeserving? [2504]


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