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this month's articles

New Basketball Coach Signs On

Two-time New York State Federation Champion in the high school ranks joins our ranks. [more…]

CEURE Travels Far and Fast

CEURE’s ultimate mission is to provide a highly qualified, certified teacher for every classroom that needs one, with special attention on “high needs” schools. [more…]

New Guy in Town

“I’m excited about being part of the rich legacy of this college,” Rochon told the Insider. [more…]

‘What Price Freedom?’

Commemorating the Niagara Movement Centennial [more…]

From the Editor

Notice anything different in this issue of the Insider? [more…]

Faculty Author

Kimberly A. Blessing: Movies and the Meaning of Life

What’s it all about?

You might not think a book that explores the answer to that question is something you could take to the beach, but in this case, you’d be wrong. Movies and the Meaning of Life: Philosophers Take On Hollywood, edited by Kimberly A. Blessing, assistant professor in the Philosophy and Humanities Department, and Paul J. Tudico of East Tennessee State University, is a collection of philosophical essays. They link the Big Questions of Socrates, Aristotle, Nietzsche, and other heavy thinkers to popular films such as Spider-Man, Fight Club, and Groundhog Day. The authors of the 19 essays include SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor George T. Hole, who discusses Plato and American Beauty, a film that collected five Oscars in 2000.

What’s delightful about this book is that it is so readable. It helps if you’re a film buff, of course, but the good news is that this book is fun if you’ve ever asked yourself, “What do I want out of life?”

Blessing, who is an expert on René Descartes, writes about The Truman Show. That film features a character whose entire life—unknown to him—is a 24/7 TV reality show. Descartes’s famous quote—“I think, therefore I am”—was his first effort to prove the reality of his own existence, and that’s the source of the connection Blessing draws between the 1998 movie and Descartes’s writings in the early 1600s. And oh, yes, Malcolm X makes an appearance in this essay, too.

It’s getting too late for the beach, but if curling up in front of a fireplace with a good book is in your future, consider this one.

—M.A.D.

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SEPTEMBER 2005/VOL. 04, NO. 1
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