Social Anxiety in Movies: Lars and the Real Girl

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Lars and the Real Girl is a quirky indie dramedy about a shy lonely psychologically-troubled young man who buys a sex doll over the internet and starts a (non-sexual) relationship with her, believing she is real. Continue reading

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Why Blade Runner is a Cinematic Masterpiece

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With Blade Runner 2049 coming out, I rewatched the original in preparation. I got to see The Final Cut on the big screen for the first time, and it was an incredible experience. For the past dozen years or so, Blade Runner has been one of my favorite films and a major inspiration on my writing, particularly the way it fuses science fiction with noir (my two favorite genres). Blade Runner wasn’t always a favorite movie of mine, however. The first time I saw it, sometime around 2005, I just didn’t get it. But after hearing Christopher Nolan, praise Blade Runner as his favorite film, I figured I must have been missing something, so a couple years later I gave it another shot.

Bad movies get worse with repeated viewings, good movies hold up with repeated viewings, and great movies get better with repeated viewings. Blade Runner is a great movie. The second time around, I appreciated the film a lot more, and my appreciation has only grown with each subsequent viewing. Having seen Blade Runner about ten times now, I recognize it for what it truly is: a cinematic masterpiece and one of the greatest films ever made. Continue reading

The Future of Football

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Despite the current popularity of the NFL, the future of the sport could be in jeopardy. With the preponderance of data about the dangers of concussions and CTE, will American football still be around 100 years from now, or even 50? Is there a way to protect the health and safety of players without diluting the game or diminishing the experience for the fans? Continue reading

The Evolutionary Advantage of Shyness and Social Anxiety

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I used to think of my shyness and social anxiety as a disorder—something wrong with me. As if I got unlucky and inherited a genetic defect. Then, I heard that social anxiety is not something you’re born with—it’s developed. Which didn’t make sense either because I’ve been shy and socially anxious my entire life. It wasn’t until I learned about evolutionary psychology that everything started to make sense. I was born with the tendency to be shy around strangers and worry about what other people think of me, but that wasn’t a genetic mistake. Shyness and social anxiety were actually an evolutionary advantage. Continue reading