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When in doubt, watch samurai movies

Posted Jan 14 2013 8:48am

Hulu is a wonderful thing. They have a bunch of classic samurai movies, which are just the ticket for when I’m feeling low and wiped out. I’m not sure what it is about samurai movies, but there’s something about them that both really takes me out of my inner turmoil and malaise, and also puts me in close touch with the intricacies of human life.

Yesterday, I watched “Sword of the Beast” a 1965 classic which I really enjoyed. I had a little trouble following who was what and how they related to each other, but overall it was a good experience.

I also watched a little anime, but that was less satisfying, partly because it was shorter and didn’t go very deep. I’m finding, as I go along, that I need more and more depth in my life. Less Facebook and Twitter, and more classic novels. Less sitcoms and more documentaries. I’m really getting into “Iconoclasts” from the Sundance channel. There’s something really comforting about that show, because it reveals what’s beneath the surface, and that’s a rare thing, in this world.

Maybe that’s the thing with samurai movies – they really get beneath the surface, in my opinion. They show individuals grappling with personal challenges in the face of overwhelming odds, tyranny, oppression, deceit and trickery, and sometimes impossible situations. And through it all, how you handle yourself, how you represent your corner of the world is the most important thing of all. It’s a far cry from the standard fare we get from the usual network t.v. – which I cannot even watch anymore, thank you very much.

No matter how beautiful the people are, no matter how rich or powerful or intriguing they may be, there’s just not that same … substance, that you find in the old samurai classics. And honesty? It’s almost like the modern world idolizes trickery and deceit, treating it like it’s a virtue, rather than a demeaning fact of life that must be overcome by good people. When did we get so cynical? When did we stoop so low? Since when is that kind of behavior a good thing? I just don’t get it.

Anyway, I’ve informed people at work that I’ve got the flu and I’m out for the week. I’ll be unavailable till Wednesday, then I’ll check back in with them at the end of the week. That should give me enough time to settle in and get some things sorted out. Sleep. Rest. Eat and drink and chill, and just let myself get better.

And dream of better times… better days… better behavior in the face of overwhelming circumstances… not just dreaming, actually, but working towards it. Always working. Onward.


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