Re: virus: sentimemes

Eric Boyd (
Mon, 18 Aug 1997 19:27:22 -0500

Eva-Lise Carlstrom wrote:

> This is a belated response, but my reaction to both movies still gnaws at
> me. I would recommend Contact far above Gump, but they had a similar
> effect on me: I simultaneously had a warm-friendly reaction, and felt
> used and manipulated. I think the manipulation of emotion was less
> skillful in Gump, or maybe the rest of the content was just better in
> Contact, but there was an element of something 'tasting funny' for me in
> both. Anybody else feel this way, or care to discuss?

I've been thinking deeply about the movie, and I think I know why it
stirs the above response, now...

It is supportive of the three Christian Virtues: "faith, hope, and

Most especially faith and hope.

And I'm not sure that such things are actually necessary to

Faith, you see, is what Ellie calls for in the last scene... "but that
remains my wish" ... You either believe her, or you don't. Faith.

But does it have to be so? Does hope for the future (that deep set
feeling that *we*are*not*alone*) have to be based only on faith???

I doubt it.

The movie is good, to a point. But what I would like to have seen done
is this: the machine continues to operate, sending more and more people
out for a similar experience.

Eventually, people (the inquisition squad comes to mind) would have to
admit that something is going on here. Becuase, you see, the real point
that I'd like to take out of the movie is this: Spirituality is

Hope is ultimatly a very personal feeling... we may try to share it with
others, but understanding actually rests on *inter*subjectivity*... our
*common* experiences.

The point I would have liked to see driven home is that we have to trust
people's experiences. Just becuase we have no "objective" proof for
something doesn't mean it didn't happen (appeal to ignorance: absence of
evidence is not evidence of absence.) If Ellie says she travelled to
the far side of the galaxy, met with aliens, and came back with a
message of hope... well, we have to trust her. That's what we were
expecting, after all.

I guess the real point is that ultimatly "trust" is a form of "faith"...

And that faith is a key to the lock of hope.


... does this mean I get kicked off Virus? I committed a cardinal sin!