Being John Malkovich

Written by Sam Vaknin

A quintessential loser, an out-of-job puppeteer, is hired by a firm, whose offices are ensconced in a half floor (literally. The ceiling is about a metre high, reminiscent of Taniel's hallucinatory Alice in Wonderland illustrations). By sheer accident, he discovers a tunnel (a "portal", in Internet-age parlance), which sucks its visitors intorepparttar mind ofrepparttar 110039 celebrated actor, John Malkovich. The movie is a tongue in cheek discourse of identity, gender and passion in an age of languid promiscuity. It poses allrepparttar 110040 right metaphysical riddles and pressesrepparttar 110041 viewers' intellectual stimulation buttons.

A two line bit of dialogue, though, formsrepparttar 110042 axis of this nightmarishly chimerical film. John Malkovich (played by himself), enraged and bewildered byrepparttar 110043 unabashed commercial exploitation ofrepparttar 110044 serendipitous portal to his mind, insists that Craig,repparttar 110045 aforementioned puppet master, cease and desist with his activities. "It is MY brain" - he screams and, with a typical American finale, "I will see you in court". Craig responds: "But, it was I who discoveredrepparttar 110046 portal. It is my livelihood".

This apparently innocuous exchange disguises a few very unsettling ethical dilemmas.

The basic question is "whose brain is it, anyway"? Does John Malkovich OWN his brain? Is one's brain - one's PROPERTY? Property is usually acquired somehow. Is our brain "acquired"? It is clear that we do not acquirerepparttar 110047 hardware (neurones) and software (electrical and chemical pathways) we are born with. But it is equally clear that we do "acquire" both brain mass andrepparttar 110048 contents of our brains (its wiring or irreversible chemical changes) through learning and experience. Does this process of acquisition endow us with property rights?

It would seem that property rights pertaining to human bodies are fairly restricted. We have no right to sell our kidneys, for instance. Or to destroy our body throughrepparttar 110049 use of drugs. Or to commit an abortion at will. Yet,repparttar 110050 law does recognize and strives to enforce copyrights, patents and other forms of intellectual property rights.

This dichotomy is curious. For what is intellectual property but a mere record ofrepparttar 110051 brain's activities? A book, a painting, an invention arerepparttar 110052 documentation and representation of brain waves. They are mere shadows, symbols ofrepparttar 110053 real presence - our mind. How can we reconcile this contradiction? We are deemed byrepparttar 110054 law to be capable of holding full and unmitigated rights torepparttar 110055 PRODUCTS of our brain activity, torepparttar 110056 recording and documentation of our brain waves. But we hold only partial rights torepparttar 110057 brain itself, their originator.

This can be somewhat understood if we were to consider this article, for instance. It is composed on a word processor. I do not own full rights torepparttar 110058 word processing software (merely a licence), nor isrepparttar 110059 laptop I use my property - but I posses and can exercise and enforce full rights regarding this article. Admittedly, it is a partial parallel, at best:repparttar 110060 computer and word processing software are passive elements. It is my brain that doesrepparttar 110061 authoring. And so,repparttar 110062 mystery remains: how can I ownrepparttar 110063 article - but not my brain? Why do I haverepparttar 110064 right to ruinrepparttar 110065 article at will - but not to annihilate my brain at whim?

Another angle of philosophical attack is to say that we rarely hold rights to nature or to life. We can copyright a photograph we take of a forest - but notrepparttar 110066 forest. To reduce it torepparttar 110067 absurd: we can own a sunset captured on film - but neverrepparttar 110068 phenomenon thus documented. The brain is natural and life's pivot - could this be why we cannot fully own it?

Wrong premises inevitably lead to wrong conclusions. We often own natural objects and manifestations, including those related to human life directly. We even issue patents for sequences of human DNA. And people do own forests and rivers andrepparttar 110069 specific views of sunsets.

Review of "Dora the Explorer - Dora's Ultimate Adventure Collection" DVD set

Written by Sherri Allen

Review of "Dorarepparttar Explorer - Dora's Ultimate Adventure Collection" Paramount Home Video, October 2004 DVD, 291 minutes Rating: Not Rated ASIN: B0002V7OHO Recommended Ages: 2 - 5

Review by Sherri Allen:

"We did it, we did it, we did it, yea!" Your children will be ready to celebrate when they help Dora and her best friend, Boots, meet exciting challenges and arrive atrepparttar 110038 varied destinations found in "Dora's Ultimate Adventure Collection."

This 3 volume set is made up ofrepparttar 110039 Dorarepparttar 110040 Explorer favorites Map Adventures, Rhymes and Riddles and City of Lost Toys.

Map Adventures containsrepparttar 110041 following stories:

Lost Map: Dora and Boots set off to rescuerepparttar 110042 Map after it is taken by a nest-building bird. Super Map: The Map becomes a superhero and helps Dora reach her super surprise. Three Little Piggies: The piggies escape from their pen. Dora and Boots hurry to round them up and put them back where they belong before Swiperrepparttar 110043 Fox can swipe their presents. Lost and Found: A game of hide-and-seek turns into a mission to find baby bluebird's mommy.

Rhymes and Riddles containsrepparttar 110044 following stories: Dora Had a Little Lamb: Dora and Boots meet nursery-rhyme friends as they help little lamb get back to Mary. Call Me Mr. Riddles: Boots wants to winrepparttar 110045 Silliest Riddle contest, so he and Dora embark on a riddle-filled journey to Tallest Mountain,repparttar 110046 site ofrepparttar 110047 contest. Backpack: Dora takes us back in time to Boots' and her first, very exciting adventure with Backpack. Big River: Dora and Boots make their way downrepparttar 110048 river allrepparttar 110049 way torepparttar 110050 waterfall to retrieve Boots' lost boot.

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