Archive for August, 2008.

The Joker’s Wild – Valuable wisdom from The Dark Knight’s Agent of Chaos

Written by Philip Walter on Aug 21 at 5:57 pm.

photo credit: CraigGrocott

Well, I’m back. It’s been a couple weeks since the last post. Went on vacay, been working hard on the book as well. I shall continue that work, but I managed to see Chris Nolan’s The Dark Knight finally, and the following commentary came out. Hope y’all enjoy!

I must say first that it really was a nice piece of work. Fast-paced, well-written, masterfully edited, and nicely acted. The highlight for me, as for many others, was Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker. I expected it to be a bit eerie and stinging given Ledger’s tragic demise, but beyond that, something about the character of the Joker captivated me more in this rendition than, say, in Tim Burton’s version.

It’s nothing against Jack Nicholson’s performance, which I still think holds up at least as well as Ledger’s. The difference is in the way the character is written in each script. There is a marked difference between the way Burton’s writers present the Joker and the way the Nolan brothers write the character in The Dark Knight. There’s something more mysterious, and more meaningful, about the character in this more recent incantation. I try not to be a moralizer, finding deep meaning in every line of dialogue where there clearly is none. However, I just couldn’t shake the feeling that the Joker was really trying to tell us something important, that his apparently senseless acts of violence somehow made sense.

Could the Joker’s mission somehow be helpful to those of us in the audience? Is there something right about this maniac’s demented point of view? He’s sick, to be sure. Certainly violent … even malevolent, but what is the impetus of his behavior? Without a detailed family history, or the ability to sit this fictional character on a head-shrinker’s couch and listen in, it’s all conjecture. However, regardless of what trauma made him who he is, he gives us at least one clue as to what drives him in the following line of dialogue:

“Do I really look like a guy with a plan? You know what I am? I’m a dog chasing cars. I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I caught it! You know, I just, do things. The mob has plans, the cops have plans, Gordon’s got plans. You know, they’re schemers. Schemers trying to control their worlds. I’m not a schemer. I try to show the schemers how, pathetic, their attempts to control things really are.”

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BrickhouseBodymind Blueprint 002 – Biotensegrity and Musculoskeletal Traction in Hatha Yoga Posture Practice

Written by Philip Walter on Aug 3 at 1:27 pm.

Brickhouse Bodymind Blueprint 001 - Approaching Alignment from the Inside Out

Designed by philip.

Well, it has been a while since the first blueprint came out, but as promised this is a series of documents, so here’s the second one. It’s called “Biotensegrity and Musculoskeletal Traction in Hatha Yoga Posture Practice.” It represents an amalgam of ideas I’ve been mulling over for a while now, but only really came to fruition after reading Scott Sonnon’s blog post, Biotensegrity = Circular Strength Training. As is my modus operandi, I began digging through the search engines to find out as much as I could about the subject, and what I found validated much of what I already felt to be true of the value of hatha yoga posture practice.

Biotensegrity is a subject that has recently come of age, which observes the principles of tensegrity structures at work in living, biological systems. This dynamic dictates that certain conditions be present for living systems such as the human body to function efficiently. In this blueprint, I discuss the principles of tensegrity structures, how those principles apply to the human body, and then how the practice of hatha yoga asanas can help bring equilibrium to such a system.

This blueprint will, like the first one, be freely available to anyone who drops by. I encourage folks who enjoy these essays to subscribe to my e-mail feed, or via rss. This insures two things – 1) that you’ll be among the first to know when the next blueprint comes out, and 2) once these documents become available to subscribers only, you’ll already be on board.

Get it here – BrickhouseBodymind Blueprint 002 – Biotensegrity and Musculoskeletal Traction in Hatha Yoga Posture Practice.

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