I feel silly even having to preface this, but for the people who don’t know: MBTI is NOT science. It’s a fun little personality test that I personally love, but by no means do I think you should base your entire life and opinions of others off of the MBTI.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, I would definitely recommend looking into it. It’s one of the more famous personality tests, and while some will argue that the sixteen types are actually quite vague, I personally think mine was spot on.

I’m an INFJ, like everyone else coined on this list. Of course, some of these are just theories; we can’t actually go back in time and ask Plato if he was an INFJ, but researchers and psychologists have put a lot of energy into organizing these lists. These, to me, are the most interesting (and surprising) INFJs coined on the web. I mean, any time you can group Hitler and Eleanor Roosevelt together into anything is kind of wild.

Just a little background on the INFJ type- INFJ stands for “Introverted, Intuition, Feeling, Judging.” INFJs are sensitive people with extensive imaginations, but they are certainly not idle dreamers. INFJs are determined and passionate about what they love, and are willing to take all the necessary steps to turn their dreams into realities. Generally, INFJs are soft-spoken, but can become fiercely protective of what they believe in, especially when they think their morals are being tested. INFJs are also very often good at speaking in human terms, and tuning people into them emotionally. Even Adolf Hitler, a malicious, evil nutcase, knew how to sway the German public into falling for his politics, because of his passionate speaking abilities. In that sense, INFJs can be very manipulative.

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It’s also noteworthy to add that many INFJs are extremely private, and can sometimes have difficulty letting others in. I don’t listen to a lot of Taylor Swift, but from what I’ve seen, she is relatively quiet about her personal beliefs and matters of that realm.

Although I admittedly don’t care much for her music, I wanted to touch on Taylor Swift because she’s such a great, widely-known example. Taylor Swift is clearly a creative, emotionally sensitive musician, and definitely has that people-pleasing quality that INFJs are known for. She’s also a perfectionist when it comes to her music, and, based off her lyrics, probably gets lost from time to time in the little details of life. I myself do this a lot- I lose sight of the big picture- so I admire Taylor Swift for speaking about her imperfections in her music.


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Like I mentioned, Plato is believed to be an INFJ, and he’s actually one of the first results to come up on various sites when you google “famous INFJs”. Though I’m not familiar with a lot of Plato’s writing and philosophy, his personality reflects through his understanding and passion for “human” issues. Plato had an incredible understanding of human behavior, and his mission as a philosopher was to improve society in a gentle, sweet-voiced manner. Those who knew Plato described him as being gentle and soft-spoken, while still remaining passionate about his beliefs. Many INFJs (including Plato) are characterized as incredible writers, hence why I enjoy my personality type and identify with its traits.


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It’s initially surprising to know that Adolf Hitler was believed to be an INFJ, and honestly, I had my doubts too when I first read that. How could somebody so different from Plato, Taylor Swift, and well, me, share my personality type? Despite the fact that Hitler was a hateful, cold-hearted dictator, there are elements of him that align with the INFJ type. Like Plato and Eleanor Roosevelt, Hitler knew how to address an audience and gather their attention with his passionate speaking, even if it was in the name of evil. He was passionate in his endeavors, even if they were heartless. He was sensitive to the societal norms and desires of Germany, hence why he was able to manipulate the public so well and (initially) convince the nation to rally on his side. It’s kind of terrifying, really, how even a madman can understand human behavior and emotions so well, but lack any sort of empathy or goodness.


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Eleanor Roosevelt is another believed INFJ, and I wholeheartedly agree with that sentiment. The former first lady was warm and friendly, with an interest and dedication in improving society for the better. Although she could be considered an idealist, she was still determined and willing to take the concrete steps that would turn her visions into reality. I have so much admiration for her selfless actions, like visiting hospitals and genuinely asking the patients how they were doing. Her quotes are also extremely inspiring to me, and I have a few of them jotted down in my notebook for when I need a spark of motivation.


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Moving onto fictional INFJs- there are dozens of them. As you may have expected, many of them are wise peacemakers, but INFJs also take the form of emotional, sensitive, hopeless romantics. Though I personally don’t watch Game of Thrones, I see Jon Snow’s name pop up a lot on MBTI forums. I think I know the basics about Snow from just hearing about the show- he is quietly forceful, original, sensitive, and likes to stick to tasks until they are completed. He also strikes me as being highly intuitive, and from what I’ve seen, is interested in helping the people around him with their emotional issues. He seems to be one of the most unproblematic, well-respected characters on the show, which would make sense, but correct me if I’m wrong.


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I was so happy when I discovered that Eponine is an INFJ. “On My Own” has always had an extremely strong emotional hold on me, and now I know why I relate to the lyrics so much. If you’re familiar with Les Miserables, you’ll recognize Eponine as the sensitive, romantic young woman who falls for Marius. INFJs can be extremely affected by their emotions, especially when their hearts are broken, which I can personally attest to. As an INFJ, she quickly feels betrayed by lies or misleading information, and can swiftly become self-critical of herself. Despite being highly emotional, however, I think of Eponine as a strong female character in the book and musical. She exhibits strength and humility throughout the story, and I admire her for that.


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Who else was a Star Wars fanatic as a child? I was! Obi-Wan Kenobi, of course, is one of those wise old man stereotypes I was telling you about in the INFJ realm. He serves as a counselor for several of the characters, and is well-known for his gentle, caring demeanor. Like all INFJs, Obi-Wan Kenobi is a complex character with strong, often private emotions, but his pursuit is always in the greater good. He lived his life with ambitions and great purpose, and was wholeheartedly devoted to the cause that he believed in. Honestly, I would have to say that he is one of my favorite fictional INFJs that I have discovered thus far.


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Last but certainly not least, I had to touch upon Nitta Sayuri, the focus of Arthur Golden’s famous novel, Memoirs of a Geisha. I read the book in high school, and to this day, I still consider it to be one of my all-time favorite novels. Even though Sayuri is fictional, I related to her emotions and felt her love and pain throughout the entire book. The writing is beautiful, and Sayuri (Golden) often uses metaphors and quotes to hint at the deeper meaning of her life. She is working through her ultimate goal with passion and desire- the goal of reuniting with “The Chairman,” Ken Iwamura. Though her sense of self is strong, Sayuri can be easily affected by the views of others, which makes her eager to please (even if it means getting into trouble). Ultimately, and perhaps unknowingly, Sayuri’s greatest mission is to understand life itself, no matter how troubling the life of a geisha may be.


If you’re interested in learning more about MBTI, there are tons of websites and forums out there. I love Personality Cafe, and Personality Club is very informative as well. If you want to take the test yourself and explore the other fifteen types, I’ll leave that link below!

Take the test yourself! It’s free. https://www.16personalities.com/personality-types


Sources: https://www.personalityclub.com/blog/famous-infj/

Pictures:

https://www.tennessean.com/story/entertainment/music/2018/11/19/taylor-swift-new-label-leaves-big-machine-republic-records/2054405002/

https://www.laphamsquarterly.org/contributors/plato

https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Nordic_race

https://people.com/books/new-biography-explores-eleanor-roosevelts-romance-with-a-woman/

https://gameofthrones.fandom.com/wiki/Jon_Snow

https://lesmiserables.fandom.com/wiki/%C3%89ponine_Th%C3%A9nardier

https://starwarsfans.fandom.com/wiki/Obi-Wan_Kenobi

https://weheartit.com/entry/168238553

Coming up next: Malachite: Balance and Abundance

Let me get this out of the way: I’m not completely against buying stuff. I believe that like all areas of our lives -food, sex, sleep, etc.- these things that make us feel good can be healthy in moderation. Money is obviously no exception to this; it’s something we need to survive in our modern society, but it can also be easily taken advantage of. I’ve noticed a growing trend on YouTube in the last couple of years- an increased amount of haul videos, shopping overloads, giant PR packages, “I Spent X Amount of Dollars on Wish.com”, “I Tested $1,000 Worth of Makeup”, the list goes on and on. These videos do have good intentions, and I’m aware that they’re often for entertainment purposes, but that doesn’t change the fact that they can carry damaging undertones. We, as humans, already have an unquenchable urge to always want more than we have. It’s human nature, and I’m guilty of it myself- hence why I think the culture of consumerism can be dangerous in feeding these constant wants and needs. Yes, they are entertaining, but on a deeper level, are they really messages that we should be subjecting ourselves to and admiring?

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I don’t think all product placement and advertisement is a negative thing, I more so have a problem with how content creators are going about doing it. If a YouTuber wants to recommend a product or a brand that they genuinely enjoy using and consider the investment to be worth it, than yeah, I’ll listen. Jenna Marbles is actually particularly good at this- she rarely flaunts brands and products excessively, but when she does recommend something to us, it’s something that we can find useful and practical. I think the line is crossed when YouTubers are buying just to buy, and flaunting just to flaunt.

Listen, Mia Maples and NikkieTutorials, you can do whatever you want with your money. And I agree that these types of videos can be entertaining and a lot of fun to watch, but everything can have a darker, deeper meaning to it. “It starts creating feedback loop and people have to keep outdoing themselves and do something more shocking, more outrageous, in order to stay relevant,” revealed another YouTube-watching friend of mine.

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The problem is, if you’re going to market yourself as just an everyday, relatable teen, you also have to deal with the flip side that viewers are going to attempt to follow in your footsteps. How can you justify dropping $400 in the blink of an eye on a pile of clothes or makeup, and putting it online, when the majority of your audience can’t even afford a pizza? What is the message you are trying to get across? And how do you think you’re coming across to young people?

I’ve noticed that a lot of content creators seem to lack “identity”, in a sense that they don’t come across as truly happy with themselves to their audiences. Instead, they seemingly promote their self worth with brands, products, sponsorships, and materialistic consumerism. I’m not saying that all YouTubers should analyze themselves on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs for us, but really, when the only content you can put out about yourself is what you’re buying, it definitely carries a gloomy message: “I am over-reliant on my possessions.”

Adolescent years are already hard enough on teenagers. When you take raging hormones, self-esteem issues, and then add in constant bombardment of materialism, the already fragile front of youth continues to crumble. We don’t need another video of a content creator exulting their purchases, but maybe, what we do need, is realness and empathy. We need role models who share their pain and their adversities, not just their pleasures and perks. Most of the time, all this really leads to is jealousy, comparison, and depression. What we really need is more love, more sharing, and more emotions- not just tangibility. We need more love.

Further reading: https://fulleryouthinstitute.org/blog/the-high-risks-of-consumerism

Pictures: http://magazine.art21.org/2017/01/09/this-week-in-art-1-9-1-15-artists-call-for-inauguration-day-strike/#.XKuI5ZhKjZs

https://lauramchugh1.wordpress.com/tag/consumerism/

Coming up next: Crystal Diary: The Unconditional Love of Emerald

*REPOST*: I accidentally deleted this!

The Sims is a very addicting game. That’s indisputable. But today, I’m interested in exploring the why of the game. Why is The Sims so addicting? Why has it aged so well? Why do we enjoy controlling tiny, pixelated computer people that can’t communicate with us or give us anything in return?

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The short answer, I think, is that humans are interested in playing the role of “God” to give themselves a sense of power and control. Which, I know, may sound dark, but I think there’s a lot of truth in that. Also, when I say we like to play the role of “God”, I don’t mean so in a theological sense. I just truly think that we, as humans, enjoy being the ultimate controller of our environment. If we have the choice to make things our way, we jump at the chance, and quickly organize ourselves into a natural rhythm.

My rhythm, actually, is one of the more mundane, conventional uses of the game. I like my sims to wake up at the same time every day, use the bathroom, take a shower, and eat breakfast, in that order. Then, it’s off to work, or school, for the majority of the day, until the sims return home, go to bed, and repeat the same cycle the next day. Does it sound boring? Yes, it absolutely does. But, for some inexplicable reason, I am absolutely obsessed with it.

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I think that part of the reason I want to give my sims a happy, normal life is because I want to replicate the life I’m dreaming of for myself. I love to imagine myself in a life filled with order, organization, and repetition, and my sims are a perfect embodiment of the lifestyle that makes me happy. When everything goes to plan in my sims’ neighborhood, I feel extremely at peace.

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There’s something called “escapism”, which I think really sums up the obsession people have with The Sims. Essentially, escapism refers to the idea that humans need to escape from the overbearing tensions of life, especially through the form of digital media. Maybe for you and your friends, it’s logging onto Netflix watching an adventurous television show, or taking a break to scroll through your phone, but for me, it’s The Sims. The game is a digital escape from reality- a place for me to create my own universe and fully immerse myself in it. Escapism, when used in a healthy amount, helps us to recharge our emotional batteries and give us a break from the toil of everyday life. It’s completely normal, and it’s something all of us do at some point in our day.
I’m curious if my diagnosed ADHD and OCD plays a role in my obsession with the sims, but then again, I know plenty of other people without those conditions who love The Sims as much as I do. Some people love to play the game conventionally as well- with a nuclear family, a family pet, a big, beautiful house, and a steady income. Other people enjoy the game for its interesting and even slightly humorous approach to death. Sims can die by old age, drowning, and electrocution, among other things, and are subsequently visited by the Grim Reaper to take their souls. Similarly to how a ten year-old girl might enjoy destroying her barbies for fun, teenagers and young adults alike find entertainment in killing off their sims. It’s just the element of shock and inappropriateness, I think, that draws gamers to giving their sims such horrible fates. To somebody who has never played The Sims, that might sound terrifying, but again, it’s all relative to the euphoria of being “God.”

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Additionally, The Sims has an element of storytelling that makes the gameplay appealing for writers, artists, and other creative minds. As someone who used to pick berries and flowers from my garden and pretend they were people living in a fantasy world, I liked the idea that you can be anything you want in The Sims. There are tons of expansion packs that introduce characters such as vampires, aliens, werewolves, and witches. The more expansion packs you purchase, the more intricate the game will become. I myself haven’t spent too much money on additional content, mostly due to the fact that they’re quite expensive, but I admire the appeal and purpose of these game enhancers.

There’s a deep reason The Sims franchise is so timeless and successful. It’s versatile, it’s creative, and it’s the perfect opportunity for both young and old gamers to explore their dream life. I am eager to see where The Sims 5 will bring us, assuming there is a 5, but I’m confident that it will continue to delight its fans with innovative, creative content. Now, I’m curious to hear your thoughts and experiences with The Sims. Do you prefer playing the game conventionally, or finding completely outrageous ways to (most likely) torture your sims? The possibilities are endless.

Escapism picture: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Escapism

Coming up next: The Movie Tag

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“We accept the reality of the world with which we’re presented.” -Christof


*SPOILERS! Watch the movie first if you haven’t already!*

Have you ever seen a movie that’s so, so good, it’s almost painful to watch? That’s how I feel when I hear the first few bars of The Truman Show theme.

If you tuned into last week’s movie review, you know I had a bitch of a time trying to find Chitty Chitty Bang Bang online. Luckily, The Truman Show is currently on Netflix, so you can head over there yourself if you’re interested in seeing this movie. And seriously, you have to. If you’ve gotten this far and haven’t watched the movie, close this page and watch it right now.

I was purposefully very sarcastic and cynical in my last review, but I’ll try not to be in this one. The movie is already so cynical and dark, it pretty much speaks for itself. So what is The Truman Show?

Well, it stars none other than the eclectic Jim Carrey. You know him for his slapstick humor, but did you also know him for his more serious performances? (As far as I’m concerned, he only has a few.) Jim Carrey’s performance is raw, singular, genuine, and above all, emotional. He slides into the role of Truman Burbank so quickly. Carrey really brings him to life in a seamless, authentic manner. You almost forget Truman is just a movie character. Though the film is marketed as a satirical comedy, that label is hardly the tip of the iceberg. Yes, it’s a comedy, but it’s also a cynical exposé of religion, media, government surveillance, and reality television.

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Essentially, the movie is about a television show called The Truman Show. Truman Burbank, the star of the show, has lived his entire life unaware of the fact that his entire life is being filmed and broadcast to the entire world. His wife is an actress, his best friend is an actor, and everybody in his city, “Seahaven”, are actors as well. And the city, for that matter, isn’t even really a city at all. It’s a giant freaking set, inside a dome, installed with 5000 24/7 secret cameras. Despite the fact that we, as viewers, know Seahaven isn’t real, it’s easy to consciously forget. We ourselves often forget to distinguish reality from fantasy, and Seahaven is a sharp reminder of that.

I feel like at some point in our lives, we all worry that the world revolves around us. I myself have been secretly worried in the past that my entire life is like Truman’s- a conspiracy that everybody is in one, except for me. Maybe it is, but I think the more likely scenario is our fight-or-flight instinct. We all have a desire to feel like we are in control of our own lives, for primarily survival reasons. It’s a very “you-can’t-get-me-if-I-get-you-first” feeling, in a way. The directors of the movie could have very easily glazed over this and made a pure comedy out of this conspiracy, but Peter Weir is a genius. The movie is funny, but it’s a dark, slightly uncomfortable humor. Humor isn’t the primary point of the movie, the point of the humor is to make the sadness of the film more bearable and accessible for viewers.

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Everyone is tuned in to watch Truman’s unassuming life, who, like I said, has no idea his entire life is a television program. At least, for the first thirty years of his life. If Truman never figured out his life was all a reality TV show watched by millions around the world, that wouldn’t be much of a movie, would it?

This does raise an important question. We (hopefully) know that what is happening to Truman is immoral, so why do millions of people tune into The Truman Show? Why does almost nobody see anything wrong with this? Because we’re fascinated by human behavior. It makes us feel more normal about our own habits; it comforts us. It’s not much different than turning on a reality TV show or tuning into your favorite content creator- we crave to see every element of their lives and compare its normalcy to our own.

In order to keep Truman from trying to get out of Seahaven, creators of the show instilled a traumatizing fear of water into Truman when he was very young. Truman witnessed the death of his “father” in a boating “accident”, forever leaving him with intense aquaphobia. Of course, there was never a real boating accident, and the man playing Truman’s father is just an actor. Nonetheless, Truman’s intense fear of water effectively prevents him from ever leaving. As I said before, all Seahaven’s residents are actors. They either have a set script to read, or they are fed lines to repeat via microphone by Christof, the creator of The Truman Show. Christof has overwhelming power over Truman’s life, but gives Truman just enough freedom that the audience can see his true emotions and natural human behaviors.

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Despite the fact that all of Truman’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors were technically real, Christof did manage to Truman’s personal life intensely. When Truman is in college, the Christof and the show crew have already picked out a future wife for Truman, Meryl. Despite Meryl suddenly appearing in Truman’s life and essentially pushing herself onto him, Truman falls in love with another “student” on the campus. The actress, whose real-life name is Sylvia, sneaks Truman out on a secret date so that they can spend one evening together before she is “taken away.” Sure enough, an man who introduces himself as Sylvia’s father, shows up immediately and drags her into a car. As she is being pulled from Truman, Sylvia tries as quickly as she can to tell Truman the truth about his life (“It’s all fake, none of it’s real, it’s a set,” etc.) Despite her efforts, Truman isn’t able to figure out what she means, and is left completely shocked when Sylvia’s “father” announces they’re moving to Fiji.

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Translation: Sylvia is being removed from the show.

Truman, of course, in his unknowing obliviation, really believes that Sylvia is in Fiji, waiting for him there. Even after his marriage to Meryl, he spends years planning an escape to Fiji where he can reunite with Sylvia. And if that’s not the most f*cking tragic, heartless thing you’ve ever seen, I don’t know what is. Truman even uses scraps of women’s magazines to try to recreate her face, so that he can find her when he gets to Fiji. Outside of the show, Sylvia is now a member of the “Free Truman” campaign, which demands that Christof end the show forever.

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Side note: the show’s adamancy to make sure Truman falls in love with a pre-picked actress never sat right with me. Wouldn’t it make more sense to let Truman fall in love with whoever he wanted, to make his feelings and human behavior more authentic and enjoyable to watch?

Anyway, fast forward past college. Truman is thirty, still working a desk job, married to Meryl, and still secretly planning his adventure to Fiji to find Sylvia. Around this time, Truman begins to notice strange, unexplainable events that all seem to revolve around him. A spotlight from the set falls in front of him, a circle of rain only follows him, and the radio in his car appears to be describing all of his movements. And then, shit kind of hits the fan when the actor playing Truman’s dad sneaks back onto the show and surprises Truman. Although Truman’s “dad” is quickly removed by other actors, Truman is decidedly suspicious and wary of his life. With nothing holding him back any longer, Truman decides to take his first trip out of Seahaven, and subsequently drags Meryl on an impromptu car trip.

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Though he has a deathly fear of water, Truman’s determination pushes him through, and he crosses the bridge out of Seahaven with Meryl (who is freaking the FUCK out, by the way.) Ironically, the scene in which Truman and Meryl are driving out of Seahaven is the most genuine moment they ever have together. Obviously, Meryl is just an actress who never felt any authentic emotions towards Truman, but on this car ride, they’re both screaming and having a wild time together. It’s fascinating, and twinged with humor as well. Of course, there is no freaking way Christof is going to let Truman get out of Seahaven, and he blocks Truman’s path with a series of implausible accidents. Truman floors it through warnings of a “forest fire”, but his journey is stopped short when he reaches “a leak at the nuclear power plant.” Though Truman jumps out of the car and tries to run into the woods, he is captured and held down by workers in hazmat suits. It’s genuinely disturbing to watch, and broadcasts a terrifying truth: those who dare to speak the truth are often seen as dangerous to society. And, similarly to how the show creators manufacture fears for Truman, our own government/society manufactures fears to keep us in line.

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After being returned to their home in Seahaven, a heated argument breaks out between Truman and Meryl. Truman, now fully convinced that he is being watched under some conspiracy, lashes out at Meryl when she denies his accusations. In a moment in panic, when Truman grabs a knife from Meryl’s hands, she screams out, “Somebody do something!” and breaks character, before being quickly removed from the show. He reflects on his strange life experiences with his best friend, Marlon, who is secretly being fed replies by Christof. “Truman, if everyone was in on it…I would have to be in on it.” We appear to see some wavering in Marlon’s eyes and voice, as if he himself is struggling to keep up this lie from his closest friend.

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Truman’s growing suspicion and awareness of the world around him reminds me of a book quote I’ve always loved. When we stop focusing on the small things in life and turn our attention to the big picture, when we question things, we see life in its painful, beautiful glory. I’ll insert the quote here, and let you chew on that for a while.


“Mom says each of us has a veil between ourselves and the rest of the world, like a bride wears on her wedding day, except this kind of veil is invisible. We walk around happily with these invisible veils hanging down over our faces. The world is kind of blurry, and we like it that way. But sometimes our veils are pushed away for a few moments, like there’s a wind blowing it from our faces. And when the veil lifts, we can see the world as it really is, just for those few seconds before it settles down again. We see all the beauty, and cruelty, and sadness, and love. But mostly we are happy not to. Some people learn to lift the veil themselves. Then they don’t have to depend on the wind anymore.” When You Reach Me, Rebecca Stead.


In an attempt to keep the show together and prevent Truman from leaving the Seahaven, Christof re-introduces Truman’s father, who uses amnesia after the accident as the reason for his prolonged absence. As Truman cries and falls into the arms of his “father”, audiences around the world cheer, and the show ratings skyrocket.

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After Meryl moves out and leaves Truman, he begins spending his time sleeping in his basement. One night, a member of the production team notices that Truman is sleeping slightly out of sight, and remaining seemingly unresponsive to external stimuli. Christof sends in Marlon to wake Truman up, but when he pulls back the blanket, the world is shocked to see that it’s only a dummy. Upon further searching, Marlon discovers a makeshift tunnel in Truman’s closet.

With Truman now missing in action, a city-wide search in Seahaven breaks out. Arm in arm, flashlights in hand, hundreds of cast members marched through the streets calling Truman’s name. To make the search easier, Christof cues the sun to rise in the dome, even though it’s the middle of the night. We watch Christof take control of the sun, and once again, a biblical allusion is made. His power as an almost celestial-like being is getting out of control, and he’s destroying reality with every move. Panicking, Christof realizes the only place they haven’t searched for Truman is on the water, despite his life-long fear of it.

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Sure enough, when Christof turns on the “ocean cams”, we see Truman sailing across the sea on a small boat, looking surprisingly happy and at peace. The world once again cheers at Truman’s discovery, but it’s unclear if they’re happy that he’s trying to escape, or just happy that Truman is back on TV. Nonetheless, Christof is pretty pissed that Truman is trying to escape, and simulates a dangerous storm to try to coax him back to land. Christof sends in lightning, thunder, rain, wind, and even capsizes Truman’s boat at one point in an apparent effort to kill him. “We can’t kill him in front of a live audience!” cries one crew member. “He was born on a live audience,” replies Christof coldly.

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Despite capsizing and risking his own life for the sake of truth, Truman somehow manages to pull himself back onto the boat and keep sailing. At this point, completely dumbfounded, Christof stops the storm and watches Truman sail onward. It’s amazing how despite the fact that he’s so close to death and losing everything, Truman appears to be, like I said, the happiest he’s ever been. He is finally pursuing his freedom, his right to a true life, and he’s clearly willing to die for it. He sails on peacefully, now having overcome Christof’s storm. And then, Truman’s boat hits the wall of the dome.

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My favorite element of this scene is that it’s completely silent, except for intense, instrumental music. We can’t hear Truman as he smashes his fists on the wall of the dome, gazing up at the sky in despair, the integrity of his life and trust now completely destroyed. It’s a physical manifestation of challenging fate and reality, physically touching what has restrained you for all your life, and coming face-to-face with your greatest fear. As he begins to walk around the inner perimeter of the dome, he appears to be walking on the water, as if he has taken on a newfound celestial form. He finds a stairway leading up to an exit door, which is really just another theological allusion- the stairway to heaven.

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Before he can push through the door, Christof speaks to him for the first time in his life through a loudspeaker coming from the “sky”,  and actually tries to convince him to stay in Seahaven. It really does come across like God is speaking to Truman, because all Truman hears is a man’s voice coming from the parting clouds. He introduces himself as the creator of the show. “And who am I?” replies Truman.

He tries to tell Truman that there’s no more truth in the real world than there is in his little dome world, but does ultimately reveal to Truman that yes, his life is a television show being watched 24/7 by millions of people. Christof attempts to comfort Truman by telling him that he is real, and so were his feelings, despite the fact that his entire life was artificially monitored. Irritated by Truman’s dumbfounded silence, Christof laughs and says, “Come on, say something! You’re on television.”

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With a slight smile, Truman looks up at the sky and repeats his famous catchphrase one more time: “And in case I don’t see you, good afternoon, good evening, and goodnight!” He spreads his arms, bows, and unflinchingly exits through the door. If you pause the movie at the right time, with his arms spread open wide, Truman appears to look figuratively crucified. As Truman leaves the show, Christof is flabbergasted, crowds across the world go wild, and Sylvia springs up and out the door to finally reunite with Truman.

That’s where the movie ends, and it feels so right. Christof has finally lost his battle to Truman, and Truman’s unconditional desire for accepting life beyond what is in front of him has won. We don’t know what happens to Truman after he exits the show, and it’s perfect. I nearly cry every. Single. Damn. Time.

We’ve now established this is a pretty hefty drama/comedy film, but the thing that makes The Truman Show so singular and remarkable is its cynicism. The Truman Show may just be a fictional movie, but it’s also social commentary on Christianity, metaphilosophy, simulated reality, existentialism, and reality television. This movie came out about twenty years ago, but it’s still relevant to our own modern society and personal relationship with media. With technology as our catalyst, we are the stars of our own Truman shows.

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As you may have picked up on by now, the character of Christof does take on some form of an analogy for Christ. He is the controller of Truman’s universe- the overseer of all, with the power of utter surveillance on those literally below him. It’s also noteworthy to mention Truman’s own namesake: is he really a true-man, we wonder? Yes, his emotions and thoughts are real and his own, but will he ever be able to accept a life beyond his false simulation? Will he choose danger, real pain, and freedom over the safety of what he thinks he knows? Truman basically answers that question in the intense sailing scene- he would die for his own freedom. He represents, a dark, desolate future where we repeat history again, but this time in the form of government surveillance. Truman really doesn’t give a shit, he’d rather be dead than live in a fantasy where nothing is what it really seems.

What we can infer, however, is that Truman and Sylvia will soon be finally reunited. Sylvia, the catalyst for Truman to lift the corner of his veil and see beyond what is in front of him; Sylvia, the only true thing in Truman’s life.

As I said, this is is hands-down one of my favorite films of all time. It’s entertaining, it’s funny at times, and ultimately, it’s extremely powerful. I’m excited to hear your thoughts as well on the film, and if The Truman Show has had a similar impact on your life. This movie is 10/10.

Movie trivia: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120382/trivia?ref_=tt_ql_2 

Watch the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loTIzXAS7v4 

Coming up next: Tips for sensitive skin

The Sims is a very addicting game. That’s indisputable. But today, I’m interested in exploring the why of the game. Why is The Sims so addicting? Why has it aged so well? Why do we enjoy controlling tiny, pixelated computer people that can’t communicate with us or give us anything in return?

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The short answer, I think, is that humans are interested in playing the role of “God” to give themselves a sense of power and control. Which, I know, may sound dark, but I think there’s a lot of truth in that. Also, when I say we like to play the role of “God”, I don’t mean so in a theological sense. I just truly think that we, as humans, enjoy being the ultimate controller of our environment. If we have the choice to make things our way, we jump at the chance, and quickly organize ourselves into a natural rhythm.

My rhythm, actually, is one of the more mundane, conventional uses of the game. I like my sims to wake up at the same time every day, use the bathroom, take a shower, and eat breakfast, in that order. Then, it’s off to work, or school, for the majority of the day, until the sims return home, go to bed, and repeat the same cycle the next day. Does it sound boring? Yes, it absolutely does. But, for some inexplicable reason, I am absolutely obsessed with it.

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I think that part of the reason I want to give my sims a happy, normal life is because I want to replicate the life I’m dreaming of for myself. I love to imagine myself in a life filled with order, organization, and repetition, and my sims are a perfect embodiment of the lifestyle that makes me happy. When everything goes to plan in my sims’ neighborhood, I feel extremely at peace.

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There’s something called “escapism”, which I think really sums up the obsession people have with The Sims. Essentially, escapism refers to the idea that humans need to escape from the overbearing tensions of life, especially through the form of digital media. Maybe for you and your friends, it’s logging onto Netflix watching an adventurous television show, or taking a break to scroll through your phone, but for me, it’s The Sims. The game is a digital escape from reality- a place for me to create my own universe and fully immerse myself in it. Escapism, when used in a healthy amount, helps us to recharge our emotional batteries and give us a break from the toil of everyday life. It’s completely normal, and it’s something all of us do at some point in our day.
I’m curious if my diagnosed ADHD and OCD plays a role in my obsession with the sims, but then again, I know plenty of other people without those conditions who love The Sims as much as I do. Some people love to play the game conventionally as well- with a nuclear family, a family pet, a big, beautiful house, and a steady income. Other people enjoy the game for its interesting and even slightly humorous approach to death. Sims can die by old age, drowning, and electrocution, among other things, and are subsequently visited by the Grim Reaper to take their souls. Similarly to how a ten year-old girl might enjoy destroying her barbies for fun, teenagers and young adults alike find entertainment in killing off their sims. It’s just the element of shock and inappropriateness, I think, that draws gamers to giving their sims such horrible fates. To somebody who has never played The Sims, that might sound terrifying, but again, it’s all relative to the euphoria of being “God.”

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Additionally, The Sims has an element of storytelling that makes the gameplay appealing for writers, artists, and other creative minds. As someone who used to pick berries and flowers from my garden and pretend they were people living in a fantasy world, I liked the idea that you can be anything you want in The Sims. There are tons of expansion packs that introduce characters such as vampires, aliens, werewolves, and witches. The more expansion packs you purchase, the more intricate the game will become. I myself haven’t spent too much money on additional content, mostly due to the fact that they’re quite expensive, but I admire the appeal and purpose of these game enhancers.

There’s a deep reason The Sims franchise is so timeless and successful. It’s versatile, it’s creative, and it’s the perfect opportunity for both young and old gamers to explore their dream life. I am eager to see where The Sims 5 will bring us, assuming there is a 5, but I’m confident that it will continue to delight its fans with innovative, creative content. Now, I’m curious to hear your thoughts and experiences with The Sims. Do you prefer playing the game conventionally, or finding completely outrageous ways to (most likely) torture your sims? The possibilities are endless.

Escapism picture: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Escapism

Coming up next: The Movie Tag