dreams versus reality

Hands Resist Him
 In 2000, an strange painting simply named “Haunted” appeared on eBay. It shows a young boy next to an eyeless doll with several discarnate hands behind a glass door.

The painting was eerie enough but it was the seller’s forbidding warning that disturbed shoppers. The seller explained that their 4 year old daughter was always terrified of the picture — she claimed to see the boy and the doll arguing at night before crawling from the confine of their canvas and into reality; Her father also claimed to see the same thing. The seller’s story didn’t dissuade buyers as the page accumulated over 30,000 views and was shared across the internet before it was sold to art gallery owner Kim Smith for $1,025.

Kim did not have any experiences but others claimed to have felt uneasy around the picture, many thought that even seeing the image online could cause disturbing events, demonic whispers, blackouts and feelings of being controlled by an outside source. Kim tracked down the artist,  Bill Stoneham, who said the 1972 piece “Hands Resist Him” represented the other lives hidden within a dream realm versus a harsh reality.

Although the painting wasn’t meant to be frightening, Bill did recall that both the owner of the gallery in which the painting was first displayed, and the art critic who reviewed it, died within one year of coming into contact with the painting.

6 Things I Love About 'Birdman'

1. Michael Keaton - It’s his film and he owns it, 100%. A stunning, fascinating, complex performance. Dark, twisted, laser-focused yet wild and raw.

2. Emma Stone - Unexpectedly matches Keaton’s madness in terms of a wild, unpredictable performance. Perfect casting for Keaton’s daughter, she looks the part, and more importantly, her performance is deeply complex and compelling.

3. The Cinematography - Director Inarritu and DP Lubezki successfully articulate the rawness and energy of live theater with mind-blowing cinematography that moves so brilliantly and winds its way through the story. This is a must-see for the theater. Seamless camerawork and editing makes it feel like it’s all one shot, like no two shots are the same. It also means that the performances are wildly organic and untethered. It’s inspiring, it’s provocative, it’s refreshing.

4. The Whole Freaking Supporting Cast - Yeah, I already mentioned Emma Stone. But, everyone else is equally amazing. Edward Norton. Zach Galifianakis. Naomi Watts. Amy Ryan. They’re all totally kick-ass performances, especially Norton and Galifianakis. Usually, I’d say, yeah, you should go. Keaton’s in it. Stone’s in it. But the supporting cast is so strong, you’re pretty much obligated to go, you don’t want to miss this type of chemistry and ensemble work.

5. What It’s About - This film is so multi-layered, so meaningful in so many different ways, and these intermediary scenes between Norton and the critic (the incomparable Lindsay Duncan), and then Keaton and the critic, are just sublime. The Critic versus The Artist. Celebrity versus Artistry. Dreams versus Reality. Truth versus Pretend. Family. Community. Self-Love. Self-Loathing. Fear. Courage. The “Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance.” Ultimately, there’s a connection with each character. I felt like I knew Stone’s character, I knew girls like that; I knew Keaton’s character, I grew up in the theater, I know men like that, I know artists like that, I am like that. There’s an immediate emotional engagement from the very start of the film. You see yourself reflected in the story and in the characters.

6. The Final Shot - This is pretty much how I felt after the movie. It was magical, surreal, sublime, unforgettable.

If I could recommend any book, to my fellow Marvel fans, it would be this.

The virtues of Captain America: Modern-day Lessons on Character from a World War II Superhero (by Mark D. White)

It is basically an introduction to Philosophy and Ethics, with Marvel characters and comics as a reference point - he quotes issues, describes situations, and goes full meta-analysis into various points including:

  • Superhuman Ethics Class"
  • Captain America as a Moral Exemplar
  • A Civil War… of Ethics!
  • Duty and Sacrifice
  • Whose Right Answer?
  • The American Dream Versus the American Reality
  • Can Captain America Help Us Achieve Greater Unity and Civility?
  • Debating What We Disagree On While Recognizing What We Share

It has a section on “Righteous Indignation" 

He quotes Aristotle, Kant and other philosophers, describes other superheroes and their ethical differences, and it’s basically a INCREDIBLY UNDERSTANDABLE intro to philosophy/ethics. 

He cites EVERY SINGLE SOURCE - when recounting an event that happened, or quoting someone, there’s a huge-ass list of comic books, or interviews with writers, right along side journals of ethics and famous writings by the classic philosophers. 
It reads like a fan-made Meta. (it practically is a published fan-made Meta.)

There are others that he wrote/helped write as well. 

"Iron Man and Philosophy: Facing the Stark Reality”

“Spider Man and Philosophy: Web of Inquiry" 

I haven’t read those yet, but I plan to.

>Also, this guy has a FANTASTICALLY good idea of who Captain America is, at the core of his Character, and I was tickled pink. You know how you read a story sometimes and wish someone would write a novel on how wonderful that character is, and how they live their life, and how you can be more like them? THIS IS THAT NOVEL.