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Old 01-20-2007, 03:20 PM   #51
Princess Rose
 
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Re: Ask Segal a question

Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote:
Rosemary whats a tulku??

With regards to his blues singing, to each their own I guess. I heard a few of his songs, they didn't sound bad at all to me. Of course blues isn't my thing so I couldn't tell good blues from bad blues.

B.B. King on the other hand complimented Seagal on his blue's singing didn't he?
Thats a pretty good pat on the back IMO.

It says in the interview that a tulku is a lama reincarnate. I don't know. When I read that article I couldn't help but laugh. It just sounded really phony. Like those people who are really really full of themselves but pretend to be modest.

I guess to each his own on the blues singing. I grew up with my parents listening to classic blues (Billie Holiday, BB King, Ray Charles… and more). It just seemed really fake to me. I guess it's just a feeling I get when I hear about him. Like he is trying to do too much. To me, it just didn't seem like his music came from the heart.

Sorry drifting a bit.

I really am curious about the lama thing. Does anyone know how much truth is in what Seagal says?
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Old 01-20-2007, 03:56 PM   #52
Chris Li
 
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Re: Ask Segal a question

Quote:
Rosemary Wulf wrote:
I really am curious about the lama thing. Does anyone know how much truth is in what Seagal says?
See http://www.tibet.dk/karmapa_trust/seagal.htm

Whatever people think of him, he was recognized by a reputable Tibetan Buddhist lineage.

Best,

Chris

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Old 01-20-2007, 03:56 PM   #53
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Re: Ask Segal a question

Seagal was designated a Tulka by the Dali Lama, apparently someone in Buddhism that could be compared to the Pope of thier particular religion. It is not like Seagal is appointing himself into this position, it was bestowed upon him by his religious head.

Not to beat a dead horse here, but the facts are.....He IS a 7th Dan in Aikido (Aikikai) and he is a reincarnate bestowed upon him from the Dali Lama. He does make music now and he is respected within the blue music community. Too bad we cannot show him some respect in the Aikido (and Aiki related arts) community. After all, isn't harmony and peace what we are SUPPOSED to be striving for?
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Old 01-21-2007, 03:39 AM   #54
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Re: Ask Segal a question

Thanks Christopher for posting that link. I believe there are some good lessons to be learned in that article concerning values, perceptions, and judgements of other people.

There is more going on out there in life than what we see at the surface. It is important to consider all the facts, and all the issues surrounding things, and not just want we see or percieve.
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Old 01-21-2007, 06:52 AM   #55
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Re: Ask Segal a question

I don't need to rely on the authority of others' opinions, hearsay, or rumors of one bias or the other to form a negative opinion of Seagal. There is plenty to work from just looking at the publicly available evidence - primarily his movies... and it's not just about "bad acting".

To start with, the movies are all contrived revenge fantasies - what I would characterize as violence porn. I don't see how they are bringing people "happiness and joy," as he says. The stories all start with a character or characters doing horrible graphically violent things to presumably innocent people, which renders them demonic and sub-human to the viewer. Once they are safely cast as less than human, Seagal proceeds to brutalize and torture them to death and the audience is enabled to get off on the vengeful spectacle with a clear conscience.

This stuff is practically standard-issue propaganda designed to turn people into authoritarians and warmongers. The exact same psychological process of dehumanizing enemies and getting off on their suffering is what fuels wars and fascism. It is perfectly possible to write stories that don't have cartoonish, ultra-evil bad guys that we are induced to hate and whose suffering and death we are encouraged to enjoy. I don't see anything remotely Aikido-esque or Buddhist about these movies.

Seagal got rich and famous from making them. He then used this ill-begotten wealth and privilege to lead a glamourous lifestyle of wearing gold lemay suits, flying in private jets, dating movie stars, and attending hollywood red-carpet parties. How he can then turn around and profess to be all about humility, harmony, and the alleviation of suffering with a straight face is beyond comprehension.

Another disturbing aspect of his movies is the extreme grandiosity of Seagal's characters. Much like Kevin Costner, he plays a superheroic badass among a sea of mediocrities who are entirely dependent on him and only him to save the day, the world, the environment, or whatever... in every single movie. This can't be a coincidence. Actors have choices in the roles they play. Sometimes they get forced into a project or two, but surveying a career full of those choices says something about their values and personality. What Seagal's career arc tells me is that he's an unimaginative egomaniac addicted to large paychecks.

All the negative hearsay about people who say he's a jerk and that stuff about fighting the stuntman and the mafia drama should be dismissed in my opinion. It doesn't meet basic standards of evidence. His interviews sound good, like exactly what you'd want to hear... so what?. The fact that he was given a position by the bureaucracy of an organized religion I know little about is also of little consequence to me. Actions speak louder than words, and Seagal has a lot of public actions to work with. This stuff is right there for anyone to see who is willing to dig beneath the surface and it doesn't look good.

Last edited by Kevin Wilbanks : 01-21-2007 at 06:54 AM.
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Old 01-21-2007, 07:02 AM   #56
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Re: Ask Segal a question

I think you are missing the major point of all this. there is a much bigger picture our there.

If I judged someone by there attitude or technique the first time in the dojo vice looking at them as a whole, then i'd miss out on a whole bunch more.

I could draw the same parallel concerning many people. You have watched those movies it sounds like, so should I dismiss you as a supporter of this violence since you have apparently partaken of it?

Should we judge the Bible as a whole because it depicts horriffic violence in some parts?

Should I judge the United States and everyone in it as being evil because we have killed people in war?

Where does the judgement start and stop?
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Old 01-21-2007, 08:45 AM   #57
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Re: Ask Seagal a question

It is true, there are a lot of things in the public record that are legitimate things that can be critically looked at in the life of Steven Seagal. He is a human being who has faults and problems like everyone else. In some things he is pretty good and in others, he has some things to work on. I think what has bothered me is how gratuitously the criticisms are offered. The tone of the commenter's can be quite vitriolic. Whether or not the comments are true or false isn't my point. It's that from some people's comments, it feels like the spirit we encounter in the Internet age where everyman is a king. Using the equality that the Internet gives a person, we find it so easy to pop off every opinion we have about everything and then we defend it vigorously from the safety of our computer board. The thing is that we as humans like to bring down anyone who is higher than we are. I wonder what insecurity it feeds to do that? I am not talking about rational criticism made in a spirit of humility. Some comments really T off on him and sometimes, it seems like the poster is having fun making the criticism. I agree with the person that said that if you want to type something really strong and ugly, then maybe you should ask yourself if in real life, you would walk up to the man and tell him everything you think about him in person just like you do on the net. To me, that would make you the man you think he''s not. It is not a sign of integrity to go around saying really bad things to others about someone that you wouldn't ordinarily say to them in person. In the shadows, we can all talk and if you do and you really have a lot of freedom in doing that, then you might not be any better than what you're claiming he is. Opinions can be offered but the spirit in which they are given makes a difference in how much attention should be paid to them.
Best wishes,
Jorge

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Old 01-21-2007, 09:57 AM   #58
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Re: Ask Segal a question

I agree Jorge!
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Old 01-21-2007, 03:01 PM   #59
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Re: Ask Segal a question

I also agree, Jorge. But I think it goes without saying (even though I'm about to say it anyway) that when someone talks the talk, but then apparently walks a different walk, they invite those criticisms which might otherwise remain silent. I'm not saying that it's right or wrong, but that it just is...
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Old 01-21-2007, 03:12 PM   #60
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Re: Ask Segal a question

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
I think you are missing the major point of all this. there is a much bigger picture our there.

If I judged someone by there attitude or technique the first time in the dojo vice looking at them as a whole, then i'd miss out on a whole bunch more.

I could draw the same parallel concerning many people. You have watched those movies it sounds like, so should I dismiss you as a supporter of this violence since you have apparently partaken of it?

Should we judge the Bible as a whole because it depicts horriffic violence in some parts?

Should I judge the United States and everyone in it as being evil because we have killed people in war?

Where does the judgement start and stop?
Kevin,

Actually you are missing my point, which was complex and specific. Every one of your stumper questions falls into the category of a Weak Analogy fallacy: http://www.fallacyfiles.org/wanalogy.html

I am not making some kind of snap, first impression judgement, I am surveying a decades-long body of work and public persona.

Watching a movie and making a movie are not remotely similar - for instance, have you ever seen Triumph of the Will? The principle you are suggesting is that no one should be held accountable for the content of the work they create, which is absurd.

I did not criticize the movies because they simply depict violence, my criticism was much more specific. This is also a Straw Man fallacy. My argument was about the fact that they depict raging egotism, encourage getting off on violence and killing, and accustomize the audience to the dehumanization of enemies. Meanwhile Seagal postures in public as a man of peace and humility.

To answer the last question, in this case, my judgement starts and stops exactly where I said it did. Casting judgement itself as something to be shunned is simplistic nonsense. You had to make dozens of them just to physically type your message and submit it. There is a whole spectrum of types of judgments from judging which key will produce a "p" on the screen up to judging that someone is sub-human or evil. I did not say Seagal was "evil", your saying so is another Straw Man fallacy, and a poor intellectual judgement, as is every other red herring you brought up in that post. I am perfectly open to having my ideas criticized, but you have not addressed them at all.

Last edited by Kevin Wilbanks : 01-21-2007 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 01-21-2007, 03:31 PM   #61
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Re: Ask Seagal a question

Quote:
Jorge Garcia wrote:
It is true, there are a lot of things in the public record that are legitimate things that can be critically looked at in the life of Steven Seagal. He is a human being who has faults and problems like everyone else. In some things he is pretty good and in others, he has some things to work on. I think what has bothered me is how gratuitously the criticisms are offered. The tone of the commenter's can be quite vitriolic. Whether or not the comments are true or false isn't my point. It's that from some people's comments, it feels like the spirit we encounter in the Internet age where everyman is a king. Using the equality that the Internet gives a person, we find it so easy to pop off every opinion we have about everything and then we defend it vigorously from the safety of our computer board. The thing is that we as humans like to bring down anyone who is higher than we are. I wonder what insecurity it feeds to do that? I am not talking about rational criticism made in a spirit of humility. Some comments really T off on him and sometimes, it seems like the poster is having fun making the criticism. I agree with the person that said that if you want to type something really strong and ugly, then maybe you should ask yourself if in real life, you would walk up to the man and tell him everything you think about him in person just like you do on the net. To me, that would make you the man you think he''s not. It is not a sign of integrity to go around saying really bad things to others about someone that you wouldn't ordinarily say to them in person. In the shadows, we can all talk and if you do and you really have a lot of freedom in doing that, then you might not be any better than what you're claiming he is. Opinions can be offered but the spirit in which they are given makes a difference in how much attention should be paid to them.
Best wishes,
Jorge
I disagree with the overall point you are making here. The "spirit" in which an opinion is given, the "tone" you perceive in a message, and speculation about whether the person who is giving the opinion is courageous or cowardly is all irrelevant. In most cases, your impression of all these is YOUR impression, and probably doesn't have much to do with the person on the other end anyway. More importantly, this all falls into the category of fallacy ad hominem - a person's motivations or tone are completely irrelevant to whether or not the arguments they make are true or false. The statements should be evaluated on whether they are verifiable and arguments should be evaluated based on whether they are logically valid. The rest is just window dressing.

Evaluating which opinions to pay more attention to based on your subjective emotion-based criteria is going to leave you confused and ill-informed. Sticking to a dispassionate assessment of the content is much more in your best interests. For instance, what if you were about to open a door and someone nearby hollered "Yo dipshit! What are you? Stupid! There's a tiger in there!" Do you think, "Gosh that guy is rude, I'm not going to pay him any mind." or do you think about whether or not there might really be a tiger behind the door based on this new information?
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Old 01-21-2007, 06:49 PM   #62
Jorge Garcia
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Re: Ask Segal a question

Kevin,
You have a very "internet-esk" way of expressing yourself. It's pretty strong (not my emotions, just a dispassionate opinion!). I wouldn't want to be trapped on long bus ride with you.
I can appreciate your usage of the commonly known logical fallacies but I am afraid you yourself have inserted quite a number of "projections" of your "opinions" on my post. Logic doesn't work in vacuum. What I was discussing was social convention but that is judged by individual preference. I was just expressing mine.

I am determined not to engage in extended defenses of my posts because my time is limited so I will grant you the podium so you can have at it. Have a good time!
bye,
Jorge

Last edited by Jorge Garcia : 01-21-2007 at 06:55 PM.

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Old 01-22-2007, 12:44 AM   #63
Rich Stephens
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Re: Ask Segal a question

Quote:
Kevin Wilbanks wrote:
I don't need to rely on the authority of others' opinions, hearsay, or rumors of one bias or the other to form a negative opinion of Seagal. There is plenty to work from just looking at the publicly available evidence - primarily his movies... and it's not just about "bad acting".
Kevin, you can consider it fallacy ad hominem if you'd like, but I'm more likely to be influenced by the opinion H.H. Penor Rinpoche has of Seagal than your opinion. Not because I have any negative opinion of you, but because you are unknown to me, while I know what kind of man Penor Rinpoche is and trust his judgement. I would certainly trust it more than any opinion I could form of the man based on his acting in hollywood movies (of which he does not even write or direct himself), since I haven't met the man in person while Penor Rinpoche has been his teacher.

As for your movie reviews, I'd like to add there is at least one good thing about those movies: the bad guys are often big business, the cia, dirty cops, and the like. I think Americans need to see these folks in the role of the antagonist and be reminded of what they are capable of doing.

Last edited by Rich Stephens : 01-22-2007 at 12:51 AM.
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Old 01-22-2007, 02:19 AM   #64
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Re: Ask Segal a question

Rich,

Actually, that's not an ad hominem fallacy, it's what is called an Appeal to Authority.

Appeal to Authority is when something is taken to be true due to the authority of someone who said so, as opposed to that something being verifiable by observation or able to be validly deduced from something verifiable.

Ad Hominem, on the other hand, is when a person making an argument is attacked, thus supposedly rendering his or her argument invalid, as opposed to addressing the argument itself. In a sense, they are sort of the inverse of one another.

In this case, you have commited a major error in characterizing your own choice. I am not asking you to believe my analysis just because I said it is true and I am supposedly an authority. I have made my argument in detail and attempted to argue it soundly. You should be able to view the evidence and assess the argument and agree or disagree without resorting to Appeal to Authority.

What you are saying you have chosen instead is not to think for yourself, but instead merely to believe what someone else says because you think they are really awesome. I personally strive to avoid this sort of blind faith in authorities. To start with, I usually have no idea what went into making someone an authority. In most cases, it seems like such authoritative status is conferred based on politics that have nothing to do with how true that person's beliefs are. Even if someone was made an authority based on their awesome correctness of belief and crack thinking skills, they could still be wrong about any particular point. In short, there is a good reason why Appeal to Authority is considered a fallacious type of argument, but good luck with that.

Last edited by Kevin Wilbanks : 01-22-2007 at 02:23 AM.
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Old 01-22-2007, 06:19 AM   #65
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Re: Ask Segal a question

Are we really criticizing him because of The movies he makes?
Because he's using violence or because his movies are all the same style? That's a little silly.
I bet the people who help make the (his)movies and put food on their families tables appreciate them.

Now if he's trying to suggest his movies, above other movies, specifically make people happy, well I don't really agree with that. Movies are movies.

Our movie culture is in love with lone wolf law figures who have to step outside the bounds of law to bring about justice.
Like it was pointed out, he "was recognized by a reputable Tibetan Buddhist lineage", recognized by a big wig name in blues for his singing and has made a a few movies which made him (and other plebs) money. (I've read he wanted out of his movie contract but the company wouldn't allow him to leave so his latest movies reflect said quality) Not to mention lastly, being a 7Th dan in Aikido. Some pretty decent accomplishments in my book.

In the end I don't think we should hold someones movie star roles against them in public life.

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Old 01-22-2007, 07:49 AM   #66
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Re: Ask Segal a question

Quote:
Kevin Wilbanks wrote:
What you are saying you have chosen instead is not to think for yourself, but instead merely to believe what someone else says because you think they are really awesome.
No, it was not an appeal to authority as much as it was admitting that I'd be more likely to be persuaded by the words of someone who has met and taught Seagal over you who has never had any interaction with him and only knows his movies. That the one who has met him is a Tibetan of high moral standards does tip the scales even further, but the main point is one of first hand evidence.

In this case, it is prudent for me to not "think for myself," because I have no information to base a judgement on. I, like you, have never met the man.[/quote]
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Old 01-22-2007, 07:52 AM   #67
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Re: Ask Segal a question

Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote:
Are we really criticizing him because of The movies he makes?
Because he's using violence or because his movies are all the same style? That's a little silly.
Exactly! Movie violence isn't real violence. By definition it is fake.

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Old 01-22-2007, 08:15 AM   #68
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Re: Ask Segal a question

Quote:
Exactly! Movie violence isn't real violence. By definition it is fake.
while I'm not fully in agreement with Kevin, here you're misunderstanding his objections. It isn't the fact that violence is found in all SS movies, it's the way the violence is portrayed [lone wolf violence = good in all its forms] coupled with the archetype used in nearly all his films [Messianic psychopath out to save the cuddly toy].

Kevin makes a good point that, while an actor starting out has little or no say in their role (if they want to eat and cloth themselves at some point), his continuing use and even pandering of this type of character is rather strange considering his publicly expressed opinions. If you take a particularly moral stance, then a critique of how you earn your money which is seemingly at odds with that stance is reasonable - which is why I stay well clear of having morals (public or otherwise).

Where I would differ with Kevin is that I wouldn't make such a definitive link between his portrayal in fiction and his actual personality, although I'd agree it's a rather intriguing indication.

Ron, of course this thread helps our training, the "is SS an aikido god?" koan has oft been used to disorientate the mind sufficiently to read the Ki or baseline skills threads and believe you understand them. Always useful to a dullard like myself.
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Old 01-22-2007, 08:46 AM   #69
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Re: Ask Segal a question

Thanks for that, Ian.

I myself see the points made for the discussions...but the tenor of them does much to turn me off...emotionally based or not.

Best,
Ron (not much of a debater, here)

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Old 01-22-2007, 08:50 AM   #70
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Re: Ask Segal a question

Quote:
Ian Hurst wrote:
while I'm not fully in agreement with Kevin, here you're misunderstanding his objections.
I did not respond to Kevin.

Quote:
It isn't the fact that violence is found in all SS movies,
That is not a fact. Movie violence isn't real violence. If it were, you'd think Segal, or anyone who has movie violence in their movie, were violent in real life.

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Old 01-22-2007, 10:16 AM   #71
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Re: Ask Segal a question

Quote:
I did not respond to Kevin.
Have to disagree here, by agreeing with Grant you were by extension also addressing Kevins original point - so while you are factually correct, I think you're being disingenous here.
Quote:
That is not a fact. Movie violence isn't real violence.
OK, I think you're splitting hairs here concerning the point I was making, but how about referring it to as a "protrayal of violence" which removes the problems of real/not real.
Quote:
If it were, you'd think Segal, or anyone who has movie violence in their movie, were violent in real life.
Now this is a more interesting question as it covers the (old) argument of the ability to distinguish between reality and film/radio/video game etc. and the actual effect it has on people. Unfortunately most of the research covering this topic suffers from the standard funding and morality bias, so I'd have to leave the conclusions you have regarding the effect of the virtual world on reality up to you.

However, I would contend that most people only habitually repeat actions which do not go counter to their own tendencies (outside of external pressures) so a continuing use of virtual violence may suggest a preference for violence - and yes by inference I do mean all us passive little aikidokas out there as well...
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Old 01-22-2007, 12:17 PM   #72
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Re: Ask Segal a question

So maybe the guy likes making movies with violence?
About lone wolf cops KATN.
I don't see how that in any way transfers to real life violence (as mentioned).
I like to consider myself a nice guy, I try and help people any chance I get.
Yet when I play computer games, sometimes I'm a real monster. Case in point, playing Starwars knights of the old republic.
Sometimes I'll play the good hero, other times I run around choking people, buring them to death with lightning and using the force to suggest they commit suicide".
Does that carry over into real life? I don't think so.
Japan, first thing that comes to my mind (well one of them) is VIOLENT violent cartoons. Cartoons with gang rape, murder and violence against young girls. Yet as a soceity isn't that pretty far from how things are over there? Maybe they just like watching/drawing violent cartoons.

I'm sure the minute he tried a different role in acting a ton of critics would come out of the wood work and condem him for it. (Just look at the responses to him singing the blues)
I know I wouldn't ant that headache.

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Old 01-22-2007, 01:17 PM   #73
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Re: Ask Segal a question

Actually I try to not watch violent movies at all, unless they have a particular point, even then, sometimes I won't. I don't watch Segal movies, because I feel they are too violent (not to mention boring to me).

I do watch movies like Rwanda, or Ghandi that portray violence somewhat as there is a point behind it. I also watched and will watch again Saving Private Ryan. etc.

You cannot ignore the horrors that man has committed, but we also cannot idolize or use it for pure entertainment value.

It is a choice I make.

Much like vegetarianism. Is it fair or proper for me to judge non-vegetarians against my values and choices. Personally I find eating meat to be participating in the inhumane act of killing and slaughter (in most cases).

So, if you eat meat, should I say that you are a hippocrit and unworthy of my approval and approval of society?

How does this differ from saying that SS is a hipocrit for making his films?

Again, where do you draw the line?

I am not a Logic major, but I do know that it is easy to throw stones at a glass house.

We all make choices that we determine are acceptable. There is a big difference between saying that I choose NOT to participate, and choosing to judge another by your choice.
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Old 01-22-2007, 01:28 PM   #74
Kevin Wilbanks
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Re: Ask Segal a question

Once again, it is not just about the fact that the movies are violent. The type of movie he makes is very different from a film like The Deer Hunter which contains extreme violence, but portrays it in depth and in the context of plausible life stories, and explores its consequences of it.

This is very different from a revenge fantasy, where the bad guys are portrayed as cartoonishly evil, the good guy brutalizes them in every conceivable way and the audience gets to cheer and experience a vicarious thrilling adrenaline rush as he does so - with a clear conscience and no thought of consequenses or context.

The idea is not that people are going to watch this type of movie and go out and kill someone. That's silly. The point is that this type of movie contributes to a mentality of dehumanizing enemies and callousness to the suffering of others who are officially designated as "bad" or "evil". It ends up functioning as propaganda in support of wars abroad and a police state at home. It makes people more likely to support or consent to policies of using war to solve international problems and more police, prisons and draconian laws to solve problems domestically.

If you don't think watching a type of movie over and over can influence peoples basic attitudes about such things, I think you are deluded. Look at how many Americans believe in finding their "soul mate" - one true love who will redeem their entire life. How could this not be related to having watched that exact type of story played out over and over again in romantic movies and tv shows? A cursory study of anthropology will show that the 'soul mate' myth isn't remotely universal among various cultures throught human history, and neither is our nations current level of warmongering.

Even if you think the influence movies have on people is not that profound, there is no denying that everything about this type of revenge fantasy movie is antithetical to everything Seagal claims to be about in interviews like the linked one. Getting rich from playing a sadistic badass in dozens of revenge fantasy movies and claiming to be all humble man that is all about compassion is inherently contradictory.
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Old 01-22-2007, 01:41 PM   #75
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Ask Segal a question

Kevin,

Do you eat meat?

The reason I ask this is I am a vegetarian for philosophically the same reasons, that it in some way contributes to eroding away of my spriit, and that eating it over and over can influence peoples basic attitudes about violence and compassion.

If we cannot show compassion towards animals, and callouslly eat their meat without thought of what actually is going on in the slaughter houses etc, then how can we ever become truly compassionate or a peace loving person.

So therefore, if you eat meat, then I suppose I could put you in the same category as Seagal, because you'd be a hippocrit as well in my value stream.

People eat meat for enjoyment, comfort, and the taste of the meat, most without ever thinking of all the sqaullor, suffering, and inhumane treatment that the animal went through, so based on that logic...if you are a meat eater, I suppose I'd have to put you in the same category of being inherently contraditctory as well.

That is, if I used the same parallel logic you are offering to judge people on.
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