Religion Matters or The House Of Sand And Fog

“[The Hawaiian people] brought with them drums … and while they awaited the coming of the contestants all frolicked as if they were children—frolicked as was their way before the white man came to tell them they were nearly naked, and that life was too serious a thing to be frittered away in enjoyment” (pg 505).

“The fact that the biosphere responds unpredictably to our actions is not an argument for inaction. It is, however, a powerful argument for caution, and for adopting a tentative attitude toward all we believe, and all we do. Unfortunately, our species has demonstrated a striking lack of caution in the past. It is hard to imagine that we will behave differently in the future”(10).

The first quote is from “The Legends and Myths of Hawaii” by His Hawaiian Majesty David Kalakaua, first published in 1888 while Kalakaua was king of the Hawaiian Islands. The second from the introduction to “Prey” by Michael Crichton, recently published (2002). These quotes, coupled with an exclusive engagement of “House of Sand and Fog” with Jennifer Connelly and Sir Ben Kingsley, only serve to remind me of how much religion matters to me. What I’m saying is that sometimes I wonder what the point of existence is, and religion gets me through those moments.

A thought in response to Kalakaua quote: Minorities are always whining about how they are discriminated against by White-Americans. For example, my entire freshman fall quarter English class was all about responding to papers written about racial and sexist biases. Why should I be proud to be an American, much less a human being, if all we are good for is a target of hate?

A thought in response to the Michael Crichton quote: If we cured global warming, wouldn’t we head into another Ice Age?

The reason “House of Sand and Fog” sparked all this is because the movie doesn’t exactly leave me feeling very peppy. Matter of fact, while the movie was phenomenal, it really got me down around my ankles like a pair of pants. If you’re interested, here’s a synopsis/review.

Spoiler Alert! (place and hold your mouse over the bar to see)

We open on Jennifer Connelly smoking a cigarette on a fog-enveloped deck above a house as an ambulance pulls away, obviously carrying one or more dead people. An officer approaches her and asks if she is the owner of the house. She says she isn’t. This is true, because the municipal government repossessed her house because she didn’t pay business taxes even thought she never owned a business (her ex did and she got the shaft). A Middle-Eastern family of military dissidents buy the house, but when confronted by Connelly, Sir Ben Kingsley (the father) reacts poorly (he is in the middle of a house-buying-at-half-price-and-resell-at-quadruple-the-price scam). Eventually, Connelly almost takes her own life, but through the help of the family, she forgives them, when all of a sudden, her sheriff boyfriend busts in and tries to negotiate a deal. In the process, Kingsley’s son is killed in a police shootout and Kingsley poisons his wife and puts his head in a plastic bag. Then we’re back at the beginning, with Connelly smoking.

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