In addition to mastering the unknown through its depiction, the “pay off” is to confront images of the fragmentation of the self, annihilation of the self, and loss of control of the self’s boundaries. That is perhaps why audiences are strangely attracted to horror films. They give a specific form to our most primitive fears, binding these deep fears to a specific something that can be objectified and can be overcome by the cinematic equivalent of the “cavalry to the rescue” or even by counter magic. It should be noted that people run from the theatre if they believe their lives are really in danger; but the views stay in their seats, having actually paid money to be frightened vicariously by the experience of watching a horror film.
This is the score for my trends from last year (2016). I ascribe “thumbs up” or “thumbs down.” A “thumbs down” means that while the trend might still get traction at some point in the future, it has not really… Read More ›
The Secret Underground Story of Empathy Course on Empathy (University of Chicago Graham School): Tuesday September 27, 2016 6 – 8:30 pm 450 Cityfront Chicago 60611 (and seven sessions thereafter – no class on Oct 11th) Further info and Register… Read More ›
Surveys show that most people think that empathy is compassion. The world certainly needs more compassion, but it is not synonymous with empathy. Empathy tells you what the other person is experiencing as a vicarious experience, and not an identification; compassion (and ethics) tells you what to do about it. Empathy is oxygen for the soul. If one is feeling short of breath at the end of the school year or business cycle, it is possible that they are in need of expanded empathy.
By the end of George Makari’s engaging – indeed monumental – Soul Machine: The Invention of the Modern Mind (W.W. Norton 2016: 652 pp.) one comes to understand that the modern mind is more ancient than most people believe and the… Read More ›
When the framers of the US Constitution wrote the Second Amendment, the standard weapon was a single shot musket, powder and ball. This time out I am a strict constructionist.