November 9th, 2002

little review

Quick notes on last night's movie...

...which was Ronin, because I'd never seen it before and I was craving my biweekly Sean Bean fix. The bad news is that Sean was only in part of the movie; the good news is, he didn't die! And it was a lot of fun to see him playing a character who was all bluster, rather than one of the actual horrible killer-types he's played in so many movies. Plus it was a lot of fun to see him opposite DeNiro and an overall first-rate cast batting really excellent dialogue back and forth, as opposed to the schlock in Patriot Games and Don't Say a Word. And I'm not a car person, but that car chase was absolutely amazing.

That one is ever going to make me understand any warrior code that focuses on honor, revenge and sacrifice. Honor, when one has done something that requires redemption. Sacrifice, when necessary. But focusing one's entire life on avenging a slight to one's honor, then ending one's life in the attempt to rectify it or ending one's life once it has been achieved because it has been achieved...forget it. Ugly macho delusion, and I don't care whether it's in Asian martial culture or the American frontier or in service to the Church or what. You fight the good fight and if you lose some, you stop and take stock of everything that's still good in the world. Sharpe gets this; he takes some big risks for honor but also because it's his only means of advancement, and he's not suicidal -- he wants eventually to retire to a better life.

On a completely unrelated note, I enjoyed these comments a lot from azimuth's LJ:

Poem for the day, one of my all-time favorites:

When I heard the learn'd astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns
     before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide,
     and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with
     much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander'd off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.

    --Walt Whitman