Advance Directive

"In the event of my death I allow my organs to be used for the following:

A. Transplant (Would be fairly shit of me not to mark this, and yes, of course)

B. Research (Whatever helps)

C. Therapy (That shrink session sounds horrifying, please explain. *Note that on further instructional reading this is never explained)

D. Education (A doctor has to learn somehow)

E. Cosmetic and reconstructive surgery (Surprisingly they are not separate categories, but due to the spirit of the later, yes. Fair warning, apply sunscreen often)

F. For-profit tissue services (Excuse me? I had to know more).

NPR has an interesting take on why tissue donation in general, while the most widely transplanted form of organ donation in the US, is a grey area as far as the severity of recipient and cost of procurement are concerned. For example, while tissue donation could go to reconstructive surgery for a burn victim, it could also go to lip injections, implants, etc.

I looked into the interviewee's own writings on the subject and, while I think he makes valid points about his concerns, the demonizing of Planned Parenthood on his site somewhat detracts from the efficacy of his argument. The NPR article speaks much more about tissue donation from deceased humans and not from fetuses, but I choose to take both with the appropriate grains of salt and mark "No." on my form.

Light reading before bed is very important, kids.


Currently listening to:

"Plastic Bag Theme" from American Beauty, by Thomas Newman

This will be the first of many selections by the inimitable Tom Newman, descendant of the great Newman dynasty and Trojan to boot (not to mention the most attractive of the family tree).

I had the great pleasure of detailing and titling the musical cues for this film in a final paper on film scoring. Below is the excerpt that describes the scene itself. The mise en scène fits just so with the childlike innocence of the eerily ascending and descending piano trill in a cue I had titled "Beauty."

“Beauty” Begins at 1:02:00, 3:00 minutes in total

"We begin to watch the paper bag dancing in the wind, an organic choreography of nature and plastic moving together without discern for the other’s composition. Newman’s delicate lullaby plays on piano in such a way that we feel like the notes are being played in situ, just like Ricky's [the love interest] monologue feels as though it is being spoken without forethought: the scene is crafted so organically that we believe the acting and music are coexisting spontaneously and happening for the first time. Violins support and play off of the piano, a subtext beneath the melody, which brings a sense of gravity to the innocence of the tune. The cue ends after Jane [the misfit daughter] kisses Ricky, signaling the loss of her ignorance of love and the imminent loss of her innocence as well. Ricky, who so often sees beauty in dead things (the bird, the plastic bag, the fallen leaves, the dead woman), for the first time sees beauty in something alive."

Let the entire track play first, sans scene.


Now watch the scene and notice how perfectly timed the cueing is with the monologue. Notice the musical and cinematic cuts between bag, boy, and girl.


More to come from Mr. Newman.

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