Thursday, November 17, 2005

Movie night!

Today we watched a movie in our school; it was a pretty good turn-out, most from my class and some of our senpai were there (yes). The movie we watched was Tanpopo, which I actually first learned about from Japannewbie on the Learn Japanese from Movies page (I've now seen the first three of the five films listed there).

The plot is losely based on a woman who gets help from a couple of passing-by customers in making her ramen shop the best in town; I say it's only losely based on that because so much else happens in it... For example it begins with a gangster-like character talking to the camera, directly to the viewers of the movie, about how the various noises other members of the audience makes annoys him. Alongside the main story about the noodle-shop we then get to see occasional scenes from the life of the gangster, and also his death where he is shot multiple times by an unknown, off-screen character. (Curiously, the movie ends shortly after his death.)

In conclusion, it was weird, but weird in a way I like!

On the drive home I started thinking about relationships. More precisely I started thinking about an old post at Bleeding Isaac (which is great, btw, I've been thinking about re-reading some of the posts about philosophy) about Plato's thoughts on the origins of the sexes. I can't really copy-paste the entire text, so I'll try to sexually assault it in order to please your short attention spans:
[T]he original human nature was not like the present, but different. The sexes were not two as they are now, but originally three in number; there was man, woman, and the union of the two, having a name corresponding to this double nature, which had once a real existence, but is now lost, and the word "Androgynous" is only preserved as a term of reproach.
Now the sexes were three, and such as I have described them; because the sun, moon, and earth are three;-and the man was originally the child of the sun, the woman of the earth, and the man-woman of the moon, which is made up of sun and earth[.]
Terrible was their might and strength, and the thoughts of their hearts were great, and they made an attack upon the gods[.]
At last, after a good deal of reflection, Zeus discovered a way. He said: 'Methinks I have a plan which will humble their pride and improve their manners; men shall continue to exist, but I will cut them in two and then they will be diminished in strength and increased in numbers[.]
After the division the two parts of man, each desiring his other half, came together, and throwing their arms about one another, entwined in mutual embraces, longing to grow into one[.]
I feel so dirty having cut up Plato's writing like that... Here is Wes' comment on it:
There is just something so appealing about the story. It gives new meaning to the word "soulmate," doesn't it? Two people are separated by the gods and long for oneness again. They try to hold each other so tight that they are pressed back together. Sex is just a way of regaining what was lost.
It is indeed a nice thought, but personally I can't honestly say I believe in the concept of soul-mates. I would want to believe, and if I finally meet that someone I will probably preach the same, but until I see powerful indications of it, I can't say I believe in it. Though that doesn't mean that you shouldn't!


Von hier an blind said...

As to the concept of soulmates, how do you define it?

Jacke said...

That's a good question... (I think the mathematician will have to take this one.)

Let's say that people have various degrees of compatibility; at 50% you have someone you could be good friends with, at 75% or so you could have a good marriage, and at 95%+ you would have something like to a soulmate.

Obviously you will find flaws in that if you want to, but it's the best answer I can give without starting to go off on unrelated tangents.

von hier an blind said...

Thank you, that was a definition clear enough. I only wanted to know what it is exactly that you don't believe in.

Ainu said...

You've seen Shall we dansu!? I'm jealous!

I don't quite believe in soulmates either.

von hier an blind said...

I wish I knew whether to believe in soulmates or not, although I don't think the knowledge would change anything. Or perhaps I'd stop dreaming of meeting one and start living in this world..

Jacke said...

Ainu said...
"You've seen Shall we dansu!? I'm jealous!"

It's a really good movie! I think you would like it with all the focus on dancing :)

von hier an blind said...
"I wish I knew whether to believe in soulmates or not, although I don't think the knowledge would change anything. Or perhaps I'd stop dreaming of meeting one and start living in this world"

I think most people find comfort in the thought that there is someone out there meant for them (if you would take the "meant for" definition of soul-mate). But even if there isn't such a thing as a "soul-mate" I still believe that each person can find someone to be with, even though it might take some effort in both searching and making it work.