a curious Yankee in Europe's court

blog about living in Europe, and Italy

Thoughts on a woodchuck and a hero on a day when I’m worn out reading the headlines

Posted on the July 15th, 2010

It’s a thought-provoking film, The Book of Eli (Codice Genesis), not least because the reality of a bumbling human race reducing our planet to a barren, burnt out brown, sparsely populated, primitively violent place seems less and less a fantasy with every passing decade. Just my opinion on bleaker news days.

So while watching Denzel Washington in Eli, for me it didn’t feel so much like escapist entertainment as a crystal ball glimpse into a looming, dark prospect.

This reaction stayed with me for some time after we watched the movie. In this shadowy mood, my mind reached for a little light. Possibilities?

Maybe human species progress is best viewed through a prism more akin to geologic time than through the stopwatch of a few centuries, relatively speaking, with which we’ve been recording our history.

Maybe the life force ruthlessly will push us to keep doing the thing until we get it right. Push us even to the point of destroying us unless we can learn to live in harmony with all of life, rather than inevitably falling victim to the bully’s will to power that plagues us to this day (see Gaia, for example). So, again and again and again and again, we may have to start over. We may have to wake up to the same day and same potential for something more intelligent and worthy of us, wake up and do this repeatedly until we learn to write a new plotline.

Call me odd, but this reflection made me feel a little more hopeful (in a grim sort of way). About something. Something that I don’t grasp well or see clearly or even truly believe is there, I confess. If it’s really a matter of geologic time, though, then such myopic vision is unavoidable. just about the best we can do at this point.

And the desperately Pollyanna among us persist in imagining that we can not only create nightmares, but also dreams.

Yes, I know, this is all thin whistling in the dark.

Eli also reminded me of another movie, though with a lighter color palate, of a few years back — Groundhog Day.

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