Green Zone

Monday morning media. As I was flipping through the channels, I discovered a film, Green Zone. I had never seen it, so I decided to give it a shot. Matt Damon is a huge inspiration and role model of mine (I suppose the fact that he’s incredibly good looking is a plus, too.) The movie is great, highly recommend if you’re into war/action/drama films, but the one line that really got me was in a conversation between our protagonist Miller (aka Matt Damon) and bureau chief Martin Brown (aka Brendan Gleeson aka Mad-Eye Moody from Harry Potter).

“There are no easy answers. If you want that, go work with Poundstone. All we got is hard choices.”

Martin Brown says this line in response to an inquiry of Chief Miller’s. It hit me hard. In life, all too often there are no easy answers or straight path. Sometimes we’re left standing with our hands tied. There will always be situations when we’re forced or expected to make tough calls.

The real question is, how do we make those tough shots? When the lines are blurred beyond recognition how do we decide between what is morally right and what is necessary? I’m not sure. In politics, in relationships, in our everyday lives we will always have tough choices to make. The one thing I know is that we must follow our instincts and not sacrifice our own moralities. Go. Make your tough choices, but don’t forsake yourself while doing so.

Iron Sky

How has it been over a month since I lasted posted? It’s crazy how time flies. The good news is that I have officially completed all of my college applications and related forms! Today is a day for celebration indeed. In an essay I wrote for one of my applications, I referenced a favorite quote of mine. After submitting the essay I was prompted to write this post. There is a song entitled “Iron Sky” by Paolo Nutini. Here is the link to a video of his LIVE Abbey Road Session.

I discovered the song listening to my Hozier Spotify station. With Paolo Nutini’s incredible voice, moody and passionate instrumentals, and an excerpt from Charlie Chaplin’s speech in his film, The Great Dictator, the song just has a provocative feel about it. In case you haven’t seen Chaplin’s film or know anything about Chaplin and his work, he was a famous comedian of the silent film era. The Great Dictator is in many respects considered to be his first film with real sound and dialogue. Released in October of 1940, Chaplin wrote, acted in, produced, and directed the film. He received five Academy Award Nominations and spent over two years just writing the supposed 300 page script. You must understand the controversy and critique Chaplin faced in releasing such a film. Although the United States wasn’t at war at the time of the release (remember, we enter after the attack on Pearl Harbor December of 1941), we were very much world presence. Despite the financial risk, Chaplin made a mockery of one of the most powerful world leaders.

A quick aside: – Chaplin was born a mere four days before Hitler in April of 1889 – both sported a “toothbrush” mustache – Hitler and Chaplin came from poverty and rose to infamy and fame, respectively, on their ability to connect with the masses These coincidences only add to the intrigue of the film.

Looking at Hitler and Chaplin, each a mastermind in his own right, we must question what made either of them choose the path they did. Why did Chaplin use his gift to spread laughter or Hitler to ensue murder? Do not be mislead, dear readers, I do not mean to pair the two together for direct comparison or association. My intent is simply to pose a question of morality. What makes us do what we do, and why?

“Iron Sky” toys with this subject. Nutini urges his audience to rise over fear and break through this iron sky. It’s about politics and humanity. It’s about power and control, how each of us deals with and reacts to it.

This post isn’t as in depth as I would like it to be. All of this is simply my speculation. Regardless, I implore you to ask yourself what iron sky is holding you down? How are you chained?  Chaplin had to triumph over his fear by creating one of the most amazing films of its decade. He risked his reputation and finances simply to give a message to his audience. Hitler created an iron sky and chains for tens of thousands of people, thus choosing fear. Make 2015 the year when you realize your deepest fears and conquer them. Break through your iron sky.