Meaningful Distinction:

Patrick S. Lasswell Look outward for something to accomplish, not inward for something to despise.
pslblog at gmail dot com
Sunday, September 21, 2003
Everything Immortal is Compromised

I just watched a review of the movie "Underworld" where the critic completely missed the point. Although a strong argument might be made that the critic had merely fulfilled his occupational requirements of being artistically obtuse, it still bears clarifying. The critic was disappointed that there were no thrills in the monster movie. The critic did not make the intellectual effort to realize that he was watching an allegory, not a roller coaster.

"Underworld" has a different mythology than most similar works in that both vampires and werewolves are immortal. Without divulging critical plot details, linkages exist between the two supernatural types. But in both cases, you do not live forever without blows to your integrity. Everything immortal is compromised. Over time your weaknesses will out, even if you have power, strength, and beauty. How you choose to manage that reality is important. Character is important, especially when confronting the infinite.

Every human institution is to some extent an attempt to accomplish immortality. Religion, corporation, nation, or family; all institutions seek to live beyond a single span of years. All of these institutions will eventually fail to some greater or lesser degree. How and what you choose to deal with this matters. How and what you choose to live in the future after the failure matters. Each of us who participates in an institution makes this exact decision. Arguably the most despicable aspect of anarchy is the adherent's willful irresponsibility regarding these decisions. They cannot live with less than ideal perfection, and so they pretend that chaotic squalor is divinity.

People involved in the world make choices. Everyone who makes choices confronts failure. The movie "Underworld" is a well made, relatively low budget, stylish, and worthwhile metaphor for this truth. I recommend it strongly for people who can accept that truth and who like seeing Kate Beckinsale kicking a lot of ass.
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