virus: Seven II
Tue, 14 May 1996 05:00:57 -0400

In response to the critique by kenpan@axionet:

Your point about the portrayal of the city in the film seems quite accurate,
as does your point about Doe being a "wolf hunting other wolves." However, I
do not think that this motivated him to an act of "martyrdom." Rather, I
think that his environment was a stimulus to depression and eventual suicidal
ideation -- causing him to pursue a course that would kill him.
In regard to Pitt's dismissal of Doe as routine for the film's society, I
think that this was not so much a comment on Doe as it was on Pitt's
character. Doe had to provoke someone into enough rage to kill him in cold
blood -- and who better than someone so insulated that he can brush off
heinously grotesque murders as "a t-shirt at best?" By isolating him and then
giving him the shock of his then-pregnant, unbeknownst to him, wife's head
combined rage with disorientation and a total loss of any buffers
(psychological or physical) that Pitt's character may have erected.
Strategically speaking, it was a masterful move.


>I don't know about you, but I find science pretty rigid at times.
>Is this the "We're better than them" meme?

I don't find science rigid; I find establishments rigid. Science is not the
"scientific establishment," it is a methodology.
Is this that meme? I don't think so. Espousing unfounded superiority is a
dogmatic issue, regardless of whether the arena is religious, racial, or
scientific. My point is that premisses based on observation are subject to
change when observations violate their established forms -- an example being
the change from assumptions that electrons were either particles or waves to
the present view. Observational based systems (such as I hope Virus is)
cannot successfully coexist with such systems indefinitely; if observation
threatens a premiss in a rigid/dogmatic system, the first impulse will be to
ignore or destroy the threat (the latter by suppression or other means). As
evidence, take the historical switch from geocentric to heliocentric views of
the solar system, or the Islamic reaction to the Satanic Verses and its
author -- it still fits in the observation category because it was written
based on Rushdie's personal observations.