Someone mentioned grokking on ScribeTribe today and it for me thinking quite a bit about Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein, where I was introduced to the term. I was introduced to Heinlein when I was an impressionable 14 year old by a friend of mine from Diversi-dial. His lifestyle follows in a similar manner to that of the main characters like Valentine Michael Smith.
He should have known better because, early in his learnings under his
brother Mahmoud, he had discovered that long human words (the longer the
better) were easy, unmistakable, and rarely changed their meanings, but
short words were slippery, unpredictable changing their meanings without any
pattern. Or so he seemed to grok. Short human words were never like a short
Martian word -- such as "grok" which forever meant exactly the same thing.
Short human words were like trying to lift water with a knife.
And this had been a very short word.
Valentine Michael Smith's musings on "God" in Stranger in a Strange Land.
I don't remember his name, unfortunately. He was polyamorous and had relationships with many people... and those people had relationships with many others. He was the first really polyamorous person that I met. It was strange. I recall meeting him and his girlfriend; they were both definitely of the "goth" variety. Both had long black hair and black lipstick and nailpolish. Thigh high boots. I met them once when they stopped over my house and we chatted, much to the chagrin of my parents who thought they were too freaky to hang with me. His girlfriend later told me that she knew that her boyfriend found me exceptionally attractive and invited me to use her apartment for sex. I politely told them I would think about it. Another time, he called me while his girlfriend and his best friend were having sex loudly in the background. I don't know if it was supposed to intice me, but it didn't help.
He found both butterflies and women tremendously interesting - in fact, all
the grokking world around him was enchanting and he wanted to drink so deep
of it all that his own grokking would be perfect.
Description of Mike in Stranger in a Strange Land.
Heinlein's book did change my life, however. Well, it didn't change *my life* but it changed my outlook in life greatly. At 14, I was strongly religious and reading the book helped me out of that phase in life. The presentation of religion in the book is fascinating... and I started longing for the belief system written in the book over the one that I was involved with at the time (Iglesia Ni Cristo). I started my life-long love of exploring various religious systems and belief systems. I'm always looking for the Truth(tm). Always searching for what feels right and best for me. I fell in love with the concept of grokking. I wanted to understand others that well... to the point where the distinction between myself and another person is blurred. I want to grok.
As they merged, grokking together, Mike said softly and triumphantly: "Thou
Her answer was not in words. Then, as their grokking made them ever closer
and Mike felt himself almost ready to discorporate, her voice called him
back: "Oh!...OH! THOU art God!"
"We grok God."
Valentine Michael Smith and (either Dorcas, Jill, Anne or Miriam) growing
closer in Stranger in a Strange Land.
Mike and I decided to go out to see A Bug's Life. I was running quite late (I have been kind of down recently for no real reason... I am not inclined to do much of anything except sit around and surf the web. Zz.) and we decided to go to the Clifton Allwood theater. I figured it wouldn't be too bad since we were getting a during-dinnertime showing. I was right. Most of the people there were parents with their kids. No teen crowd yet, thank goodness! We went into a rather small theater and Mike laughed at the small size of it. I commented that it was probably one of their larger theaters. Atleast we're not seeing it at the Nutley Theater...
Anyway, it opened with a short from Pixar which was great called "Geri's Game". They are doing characters far better, although they aren't perfectly skilled at skin yet. They are doing non-smooth objects far better. Toy story contained primarily circular objects, while "Geri's Game" (and A Bug's Life) contains more fluid, organic shapes. THe short itself wasn't as entertaining as other shorts like Tin Toy, Luxo Jr. and Kickknack, but it was still amusing and whimsical. I thought the trees were unnaturally regularly spaced, but the trees itself were well-done and had a natural appearance.
A Bug's Life was pretty good! I think I enjoyed Toy Story better in terms of story, but I enjoyed the characters in A Bug's Life far better. I think this is because there were more interesting characters that were given personalities in this movie than in Toy Story. Both movies had a great number of characters, but many of them aren't developed in Toy Story. They weren't particularly memorable. In A Bug's Life, there are a number of different characters with distinctive personalities. I loved David Hyde Pierce's stick character. Then again, I like David Hyde Pierce, period. It's the accent, methinks.
I was amazed at the rendering power that was needed in this movie over Toy Story. The opening shot was of an island, covered with grass and a very prominent tree. Beautiful. The leaves on the trees and the grass... thinking about how it all had to be modelled and individually rendered, just blows my mind. Mike says that about 20 minutes into the movie, he stopped looking at the technical aspects of the movie. I kept noticing it throughout the film. I was impressed with the sunlight going through the grass, filtered through the tree canopy. Gorgeous.
I was planning on going out to southern BBQ for diiner with Mike, but 1) I lost the directions and 2) I felt ill and had a bit of a headache. So, we went home and that was the end of the evening. I did spend a little time after taking a short nap on finishing up my Metajournals article.