To kick off the spring break vacation that I totally don't deserve, I went and saw the movie Examined Life last night. It's 88 minutes of walking around outside with philosophers, listening to them ramble on one at a time (Cornel West, Peter Singer, Slavoj Zizek, Judith Butler, Avital Ronell, Michael Hardt, Kwame Anthony Appiah and Martha Nussbaum).
I was only familiar with the first two, but Zizek is apparently pretty popular these days. His bit is filmed inside a garbage dump, where he claims that ecology is the new ideology, i.e., the new false idea everybody clings to without any proof, and we need to start getting used to a dirty environment and alienating technology, because that's what the future holds. When we love a person we accept their flaws and don't try and change them, so if we say we love nature or love the world, we should accept it, solid waste, pollution, and all. I disagree, but he expresses the idea pretty well.
I really liked a few themes than ran through a couple of the bits--does life have meaning (no, not really), can you be ethical without God (yes, possibly even more so)--but they talked about a lot of things: culture, gender, disability, revolution, justice. Anyway, very interesting movie. On a technical note I thought the camerawork was distractingly bad in a few segments--unnecessarily shaky or disturbingly close close-ups.
Here's the trailer--watch it for Peter Singer's great ethical question
Here's the official website.
For the rest of Spring Break I'm running 50K, hanging out with a couple high school friends who're in town, doing my usual volunteer gigs, and deciding whether to go to Portland for TrailFest. I should've bought a plane ticket last week when it was $49, but now they're three times that so I'm not sure it's worth it.