In the polar express, belief becomes a form of anxiety and social acceptance. It becomes the very thing that gives common ground to the new community of believers. Yet in this context conversion to the belief is already anticipated as if to imply that belief is inevitable and will eventually consume every non believer. That is the only possible response to being human. That benevolence can only be found in and through belief which then leads to community. Belief in this sense is both extrinsic and traumatic. We don’t have a choice,eventually we will have all to believe. In the movie the implication is that all the nonbelievers are the damaged puppets who are held together by the strings of nonbelief but are saved by the boss to recycle them, or to become believers, in other words. The movie is set in a fictional place and yet is portrayed as real to imply the universality of belief that makes the unbelievable believable.
The Economist | Syria: The death of a country http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21572193-syria-disintegrates-it-threatens-entire-middle-east-outside-world-needs-act?frsc=dg%7Cb via @theeconomist
America has a history riddled with meddling in the affairs of other countries. Its attempts to consume the whole of the globe via the failed attempt of the democratic experiment should be indicative enough that America does not know how to do international politics on its own.
But rather than being uselessly critical here I propose if America does step in to help Syria avoid self destruction that they do it under the premises of a global coalition.
No not the U.N. That project failed a long time ago.
But with the neighbouring countries as well as Syrias people leading the new direction. If Syria has any hope it must come from within not uwithout. Although I disagree with Obama about casualty not being a solid enough reason to help I do agree with the need for critical thought before action.
His argument is quite weak because if his daughter was over there he would act immediately. In one sense he is not close enough to his own humanity and he is too close to his role as the symbolic self.
He needs to reverse his stance. But Syria needs to lead on their own future if they do choose to receive help.
One day somebody in the crowd identified me. Standing behind me was a young woman, with lips blue from the cold, who had of course never heard me called by name before. Now she started out of the torpor common to us all and asked me in a whisper (everyone whispered there), “Can you describe this?” And I said, “I can.” Then something like a smile passed fleetingly over what had once been her face.
The key question, of course, is what kind of description is intended here? Surely it is not a realistic description of the situation, but what Wallace Stevens called “description without place,” which is what is proper to art. This is not a description which locates its content in a historical space and time, but a description which creates, as the background of the phenomena it describes, an inexistent (virtual) space of its own, so that what appears in it is not an appearance sustained by the depth of reality behind it, but a decontextualised appearance, an appearance which fully coincides with real being. To quote Stevens again: “What it seems it is and in such seeming all things are.” Such an artistic description “is not a sign for something that lies outside its form.” Rather, it extracts from the confused reality its own inner form in the same way that Schoenberg “extracted” the inner form of totalitarian terror. He evoked the way this terror affects subjectivity.
Taken from: Dark Ecologies
Is not also true of the event known as creation? In that, whether one is an advocate of intelligent design or evolution or even something alternative that what we are met with is the impossibility to locate and exact space or time to such an event so we resort to poetry. Which is itself an attempt to situate an event itself through the spoken word. It is the appearance of creation that presupposes something lies behind it. But since there is geographic placement one must ask how do we know if there was a creation at all?
I recommend this set of books as a foundational start to philosophical thought. http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/041530878X/ref=redir_mdp_mobile