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Posts tagged ‘Movie Quote Monday’

Movie Quote Monday – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

What are your thoughts on this one?

Voldemorte:  There is no good and evil.  There is only power and those too weak to seek it.

That statement stood out for me when I first read the book.  It intrigued me, and it would pop into my mind every now and then over the years.  For a long time, I wasn’t sure whether I agreed or not.  Now I’m thinking that, like most things, it’s truth depends on who you are, on your viewpoint.

I really think Voldemorte believed it, that it wasn’t about being evil; it was about exercising his power.  As a child, he had no power to control his family situation.  He had no control over what happened to him.  But as he grew, he realized that he did have power over other people; he could make them afraid.  Heady stuff, the ability to instill fear.

The people in that mindset may not believe they’re evil; they may believe that it’s their right to treat people abominably (see: slavery, Hitler, Attila the Hun, Vlad the Impaler…).  I don’t remember Voldemorte inflicting pain for its own sake, for his own amusement.  His actions always had a purpose.  Often it was to ensure that his enemies and followers knew that he was to be feared, that he was in control.  In his mind, to eliminate an enemy or a threat or even a nuisance was his right, and even a necessity.  If your house is infested with ants or mice or flies, you don’t eliminate them because you’re evil.  You eliminate them because you are more powerful than they are, because it’s necessary to do so for your own comfort and well-being.  Voldemorte saw his enemies, and even his followers, as nothing more than ants or tools.  He wholeheartedly believed in his superiority and every other being’s expendability.

I had already decided to post this quote when Girl on the Contrary got me thinking about Bellatrix Lestrange.  This character would  inflict pain for her own entertainment; she enjoys being mean and nasty.  Some people simply get a kick out of kicking others.  There is a certain amount of power in being able to push people around without the fear of recourse or consequence, but I don’t believe that achieving power is her motivation.  If that were so, she could have killed Voldemorte a long time ago and taken over.  She doesn’t, because that’s not her personality.  Her comfort zone is to serve under a master who allows her the safety and freedom to be a bad person.  He is both her permission to be evil, and her guarantee (through his power) that there will be no consequences.

It scary to imagine a world without consequences.  Personally, I believe that more of us would go bad than we probably think.  Post-apocalyptic movies and books often rely on the battles between the “good” and “bad” bands of survivors to drive the action, and that’s not based on nothing.  In real life, we need look no further than the comment sections on YouTube to see the truth of how cruel and ugly people are comfortable allowing themselves to be when there are no consequences.  Anonymity creates an environment where you can unleash your inner nastiness without having to see the damage it does, and without the recourse of guilt.  The same thing happens when people riot or loot.  People who loot on their own are called thieves.  But people, who wouldn’t otherwise smash a window and steal, find safety in numbers.  They allow themselves to do “evil” things when they think they can safely get away with it.

I believe that there is more power in constraint and self-control.

So, I do believe that there is good and evil.  I believe we have both tendencies inside us, and we have the power to choose which side of that fence we walk on.  I do not believe that power equals stepping all over everyone else; I disagree with Voldemorte there.  In fact, I would argue that the power of good is stronger and more reliable than the power of evil.  Voldemorte’s power relied on other people, on whether they could be manipulated or controlled or eliminated.  No matter how vile he was, there would be certain people over whom he could never have power.  That made his brand of power weak, because it was not entirely within his control (look how many times he was thwarted).  Harry Potter’s power was inside him.  It was the power of sacrifice and commitment, friendship and love.  And it was the power of courage.  Harry didn’t need to rely on anyone else to access those things from inside himself.

Items of Interest:

I Might Be Bellatrix Lestrange by girlonthecontrary

Concerning the Problem of Evil by Matt (Well Spent Journey)

Don’t Read the Comments by Mind Margins

Uncommon Decency and the Southern Man by Wayne (Real Southern Men)


Movie Quote Monday – The Wizard of Oz

When I was a kid, The Wizard of Oz was shown on regular television once a year.  Of course, back then there was only  regular television.  There were three channels and they went completely off the air at midnight.  Way back then, you couldn’t run down to the Walmart and buy a movie.  There were no such things as DVD players or even VHS players then, no movie rental stores, and certainly no such thing as streaming video or video on demand.  In fact, I remember when HBO was new and what a big deal my parent’s first VHS player was.  It wasn’t even a VCR, and new VHS tapes cost about $90 each.  But I digress.

What I meant to tell you is that I was always excited, and a little scared, when it was time again for The Wizard of Oz.  It was such a treat to see the movie, but I just had to get past the one part that scared me to pieces, when the witch threw the ball of fire at them.  Ooohh, that sent shivers down my spine when she appeared on that roof in a puff of acrid green smoke.  She was terrible!  I had to cover my eyes leading up to that scene and when she was gone I was free to look again.  But sometimes it would sneak up on me.  *Shudder.*

But, today’s quote happens long before that mean old witch throws fire at our heroes:

Scarecrow:  Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking.

Do you thing writing falls under the same category?  If so, I’m in more trouble than I thought.

Movie Quote Monday – Moonstruck

This is such an awesome movie that even my Dad quotes it.  There are few movies he’ll watch more than once, and this is one of them.  His thing is, “I’ve seen it; I know what happens.  Why watch it again?”

I know!  That’s just…wrong.

Anyway, are you sick of me saying, “I love this movie”?  Because I love this movie.  In fact, I’m quoting this movie in my head right now.  As I type this post.  Ronny is carrying on about his wooden hand at this very moment.  (“Bring me the big knife, Chrissy.”)  I mean, can you blame him?  Johnny’s got his hand.  Johnny’s got his bride.  (“She won’t do it.”)  Do you want Ronny to put away his heartache and forget?  Callous.

But that is not the quote we are here to hear today.  This is another quote that I really like, and it seems appropriate for January, as this is the time of year when so many people review their lives and decisions. Some write check-off lists of things they want to do or don’t.  And some people dream up whole new selves that they desire or want or need to be.

Loretta:  A person can…can see where they’ve messed up in their life and they can change the way they do things.  And they can even change their luck.  So maybe, maybe my nature does draw me to you; that don’t mean I have to go with it.  I can take hold of myself and I can…say yes to some things and no to other things that are gonna ruin everything.  I can do that.

I like the idea that we are capable of improving ourselves, of being more than a repetition of past behaviors.  Or past mistakes.

But it’s interesting to me that Loretta found happiness – joy, really – when she let go of those ideas and simply followed her heart (her natural urges).  She never would have been truly happy had she forced herself to stay with the safe, but wrong, man.

Is Ronny right when he said that going against your own nature is “just about the most dangerous thing” you could do?  Do we ultimately self-destruct when we attempt to force changes that are unnatural to us?

Where should you draw the line when it comes to becoming a better you?

PS: “Birds fly to the stars, I guess.”

PPS: I love this movie.


Movie Quote Monday – Tremors

I love this movie!  It’s fun.

Thinking and reading about resolutions has put me in mind of Earl and Val and their differing approaches to life.  It’s no secret that I fall into the Val category when it comes to how I approach things.

Val:  Let’s do the linoleum today and do the garbage tomorrow.
—Earl:  Nester’s not home tomorrow.  Now look, we don’t dig today, we don’t get paid today.  Now dammit, Valentine, you never plan ahead.  You never take the long view, I mean, here it is Monday and I’m already thinking of Wednesday.

I’m trying to be more like Earl this year, planning ahead and making the most of my opportunities and resources.  But I love the last bit, when he wonders if he’s got the day right – that’s dead on, that’s my life.  I can write all the resolutions I want; I can plan all I want.  But I still have to live within the boundaries of who I am.  The good news is that those boundaries are flexible.

I’m happy to say that on the first day of the new year, I followed through with a resolution.  Even though my natural inclination was to stay at home, I made myself go out and do.  Even though I was tired, I worked that day, I didn’t feel good, etc., etc.  The truth is, staying home would have been the easiest thing to do.  Like Val’s linoleum job, it was closer.  

But I chose to go.  I’m glad I did, because I had a great time and spent my evening with great people. Hopefully, by the end of the year, I will have stretched the boundaries of who I am a little bit further and come that much closer to resembling who I want to be.


Bonus Listen: