Monday, March 28, 2005

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

I watched two movies this weekend; Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet and Paycheck starring Ben Affleck and Uma Thurman. Now while on first glance these movies have nothing in common one being sort of a relationship comedy and the other being science fiction there was one common theme that ran through both.

That theme was the voluntary erasure of your memory. In Paycheck, Affleck's character works for months at a time on projects and then has his memory of that specific period erased afterwards so that he has no memory of what he did. In Eternal Sunshine both Carrey and Winslet's characters erased memory of each other because they were unhappy with their relationship.

Now mind you even though I could poke major holes in both stories I'm actually just focusing in on the whole concept of memory erasure.

What if it was actually possible to erase certain experiences and memories from our brain like they did in these movies? Just got out of a bad relationship? Go to the doctor and wipe that whole period from your memory. Whoosh! Did something really dumb that you wish you hadn't. Get strapped into a machine, one press of a button and whoosh! Met someone you wish you hadn't and want to erase that memory? Put some new age contraption on your head and whoosh!

Pretty cool right? I can think of plenty things I wouldn't mind erasing and definitely a couple of people I wouldn't mind forgetting as I'm sure all of you can. Actually I'd probably erase years at a time. lol. However while it might actually make it easier to cope with life it most likely wouldn't really help you in the long run.

We are partially the sum of our memories and experiences. While it would be really cool to only remember the good times, you do need to remember those bad times as well because as the quote goes those who don't know their history are doomed to repeat it. So you make a mistake, erase it from memory but then somewhere down the line you make the same mistake again. Definitely not cool at all.

Still I'm sure if you're like me there are plenty of times where like that R Kelly song says you wish you could "turn back the hands of time" or at least forget one or two items from our past. It might appear to make life simpler and easier but would it actually be doing that? How different would the persons we are actually be if it was possible to do something like that?

Just something to think about.

13 comments:

NeenaLove said...

i cherish the good and the bad. like you said... they make us who we are.

i love reading your blog!!

Abeni said...

If I could I would erase some patrs totally.I just think I would be a lot better if I could go back in time and wipe out some things,

Natty said...

Like you, I can think of many instances that I would like to get rid of! However, I feel that these have helped make me the person that I am today, complete with faults & strengths. (it is nice to fantasize about which moments would stay & which ones would GO!!!)

Campfyah said...

lordeee..they are many memories I'll like to erase from my mind...like i'd go and take out de whole yr 1995, I ein gine lie and tell no one, dat oh how good it is tuh have some memories atall...and past boyfriends and friends...swoosh...outta mind ha ha ha...

But hey, if yuh erase dem, then what do you have to look back on and laff at how stupid your were.

Anonymous said...

The human brain does not work that way JDid....which I'm sure you know. We all have memories, good and bad...most of us choose not to want to remember the bad, but still do. Time allows us to get over the bad.....eventually. What is important is that when he have bad experiences that we try to learn and become better individuals as a result of them overall.

BTW, it is a bit late, but Happy Easter to you as well. Dr. D.

Melody said...

I'd erase de bad years, but not de memory ov them--that way, I'd have youth an' de wisdom ov learnin' from experience--unlike how some say youth is wasted on de young. I'd have wisdom an' be young enough to capitalize on it--but wait, I AM wiser an' young enough to capitalize on it now!!

Big N said...

Interesting proposition. There's so much I'd love to erase.

BajanSis said...

Well I'm the kinda girl that is always trying to have my cake and eat it too so if somehow I could lose the memory but keep the lesson, then I'd be up for it.

BajanSis said...

Well I'm the kinda girl that is always trying to have my cake and eat it too so if somehow I could lose the memory but keep the lesson, then I'd be up for it.

Lene said...

even though the parts equal the sum... or what you said.. i would still erase some of the crap from my head. it's just sitting there using up valuable space...lol

notyouraverage.... said...

i haven't seen Paycheck, but i loved Eternal Sunshine. i like how the movie addressed the issue of 'erasure' and how, it showed, that even if you try to erase it, it still comes back. you'd know something was missing, and still end up repeating it. i had to re-watch it, right after, cause it wasn't until the end that i started clueing in - and then the earlier scenes became clearer.

Jazz said...

i would love to do some erasing too. deep post.

WIGIT said...

Although I sometimes think I'd be better of not remembering some things/ppl, I know that there are some mistakes I most definately don't wanna repeat.

How bout something that erases the memory but keeps the lessons.