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Bret Easton Ellis and Other Authors Discuss Film Adaptations

Film adaptations of novels, as well as other sources, have existed almost as long as the medium of film itself. Trilby was a best-selling novel in 1895 that was quickly adapted into an 1896 motion picture short entitled Trilby and Little Billee. In 1901 and 1902 a number of notable literary works were adapted for film, including Gulliver’s Travels and Robin Crusoe. Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol was adapted seven times as a silent movie before the first talking-film version, Scrooge, was released in 1935.

While many critics and moviegoers agree that the original source material is typically superior to film adaptations, there have been many exceptions to this rule. Steven Spielberg’s Jaws is considered a landmark film, while Peter Benchley’s novel is not discussed beyond its connection to the movie. Chuck Palahniuk, author of the novel Fight Club, went so far as to say David Fincher’s film adaptation made him “embarrassed of the book” because of the improvements made to the story’s plot structure.

Of course, not all authors share this sentiment. Novelist John le Carre described the book-to-film adaptation process as “seeing your oxen turned into bouillon cubes.” J.D. Salinger’s experience with Hollywood is emblematic of Carre’s take: after seeing the film version of his short story “Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut,” Salinger vowed to never sell the film rights to any of his works, including his famous novel The Catcher in the Rye.

Some authors have had mixed experiences regarding film adaptations of their work. For instance, Bret Easton Ellis has seen five of his novels adapted for the screen, including American Psycho and his debut novel, Less Than Zero.

Speaking about American Psycho, Ellis cited a large gap between the themes of his novel and those presented in Mary Harron and Guinevere Turner’s screenplay for the initial critical reception of the movie, which largely centered on the movie’s graphic violence, sex, and excessive social satire.

On the other hand, his views on the movie version of Less Than Zero have shifted from one extreme to the other over time. Ellis initially refused to watch the film due to the number of liberties taken by the filmmakers. More recently, Ellis has warmed to the on-screen depiction of his semi-autobiographical novel, praising the performance of Robert Downey, Jr., and stating that the cinematography and soundtrack provide a compelling snapshot of a particular moment in American culture.

In fact, rather than becoming disillusioned by the adaptation process, Ellis has expressed interest in Downey Jr. reprising his role in an adaption of the sequel, Imperial Bedrooms, and worked on a Hulu series adaptation of Less Than Zero.

On rare occasions, audiences praise both the source material and adaptation. The Godfather by Mario Puzo is regarded as the definitive gangster novel, while the film adaptation is consistently praised as one of the greatest films ever made.

A number of novel and short story adaptations have been celebrated at the Academy Awards. The first Oscar for Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay) was awarded in 1929. Recent winners include adaptations of Christine Luenen’s Caging Skies (adapted by Taika Waititi as Jojo Rabbit) and The Descendants, adapted by Nat Faxon, Alexander Payne, and Jim Rash from Kaui Hart Hemmings’ novel of the same name.


Jordan B. Peterson Explores Freedom of Speech on Campuses

Griffith “Griff” Littlehale is a digital artist who excels at creating works that effectively promote events in the local community. With a strong interest in philosophy, Griffith Robert Littlehale follows the wide-ranging lectures of author and psychologist Jordan B. Peterson.

In an August 2021 podcast titled “The End of Universities?,” Jordan B. Peterson explored the experiences of a student who escaped from North Korea and jumped at the opportunity to attend Columbia University. However, Yeonmi Park’s experiences on the contemporary US campus were harrowing, as she found that self-censorship was a priority at an institution that in public perception is a “bastion of free thought.”

As Ms. Park put it, there are many worthy causes to support, from animal rights to gender equality, but when the views accepted in college discourse are extremely narrow, unintended consequences arise. In particular, as students become afraid to voice unpopular views, basic civil liberties become eroded and each person lives in fear of offending another, rather than engaging in free civil discourse.

Ms. Park compares such a situation to a precursor of what led to the North Korean system she managed to escape. To her the current situation on campuses is naive and dangerous: “In the west, freedom was always there, so people miraculously think it’s always going to be there.”

Peterson concurs, noting that freedom is fragile and needs to be taken care of, because the default condition is often authoritarianism. Within the context of the discussion, atrocities of the past, such as in Stalinist Russia, should not be glossed over, but need to be freely discussed to ensure that the ideal of opposing views being aired thrives.

Color Theory and Color Schemes

Graphic design encompasses visual content created to communicate a message through a series of elements. In general, it applies page layout and visual hierarchy techniques to mold the user experience visually. It may be used in marketing, among other areas, to create pieces such as logos, advertisements, websites, and email elements.

Graphic designers understand typography, symmetry and balance, patterns, and color theory, among other visual principles and elements. Color, for example, is a design element that helps design artists determine the mood, point of view, depth, and light of a piece. Artists and designers often use the principles of color theory when creating a color scheme for their work.

The first color wheel ever created was by Sir Isaac Newton, who, in the 1704 book Opticks, described it as a seven-color wheel comprising red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. After a change made by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who eliminated indigo, the color wheel was again studied in the 20th century by professor Albert Munsell, who developed the Munsell Color System. The Munsell Color System identified the three elements of colors used to this day: hue, value, and chroma.

“Hue” refers to the color itself, which is different from any other and is represented by its name, such as blue or red. On the other hand, value is the lightness or darkness of a hue, which can be achieved by mixing it with white or black, respectively. Hues mixed with white are called tints, while hues mixed with black are called shades. The final element, chroma, refers to the hue’s purity, being related to saturation.

Traditionally, the primary colors in the color wheel are red, yellow, and blue, which, when mixed, form many other colors. The secondary colors combine two primary colors; in the traditional scheme, the secondary colors are green, orange, and purple. Tertiary colors result from mixing one primary color with a secondary color. In the standard color wheel, there are six tertiary colors, namely magenta, vermillion, amber, chartreuse, teal, and violet. Reds, oranges, and yellows are considered warm colors, while blues, greens, and purples are cool colors.

Any of the colors mentioned can be used by design artists with the help of a color scheme. Color schemes are logical, harmonious combinations of different hues that can be implemented in a specific project. For instance, a color scheme may be analogous, which means it uses colors that are next to each other on the color wheel, or monochromatic, meaning that it uses different values and chromas of the same color.

If the designer chooses colors opposite each other in the color wheel, the scheme is complementary. Triadic color schemes use three hues that are evenly spaced in the color wheel (blue, red, and yellow, for example), while tetradic color schemes use four colors arranged into two complementary pairs.

Designers and artists can create their custom color scheme by mixing tints, shades, and hues into numerous colors. One way to do this is through using software such as Adobe Color, which features diverse combinations for a specific color, or a photo editor that enables extraction of a color scheme from a photo. It is also possible to add neutrals–black, white, and grays–to a color scheme to help the other hues pop.

Descartes Finds Firm Philosophical Ground on “I Think, Therefore I Am”

A resident of Toledo, Ohio, Griffith Robert “Griff” Littlehale has diverse professional and personal interests that include art and philosophy. One of Griffith Littlehale’s favorite philosophers is Rene Descartes.

Despite its confident declaration, Descartes monumental yet often misunderstood statement “I think, therefore I am” has its roots in disbelief and uncertainty. Descartes was struggling with the fact that many of his firmly held beliefs had ultimately been proven untrue. He even acknowledged that his very senses may be reporting false information at the behest of some sort of “deceiver of supreme power and cunning.”

However, Descartes found a single “sticking point” that cannot be denied: the very act of thinking (even thinking thoughts that are false) assures his essential existence. Even if a supernatural “deceiver” is filling him with false beliefs, Descartes must exist to be deceived.

Assuming that Descartes is no different from other human beings in an existential sense, “I think, therefore I am” becomes a powerful philosophical tenet. Although humankind lives in a universe that is full of uncertainty, true knowledge is still possible.

The Basics of Philosophical Absurdism

A resident of Toledo, Ohio, Griffith “Griff” Robert Littlehale has a broad range of diverse talents and interests. For example, he is a passionate devotee of philosophy and literature. One of Griffith Littlehale’s favorite philosophical writers is Albert Camus.

Although he repeatedly rejected the label of “philosopher,” Camus gave birth to the philosophical movement of absurdism when he broke from the established existentialist movement through his early published manuscripts The Myth of Sisyphus and The Stranger.

While both existentialism and absurdism begin with an understanding that the universe is inherently meaningless, they differ in their approaches to coping with this lack of meaning. In short, existentialist philosophers call upon individuals to define their own essential character and life purpose in the face of a meaningless universe. Absurdist philosophers, by contrast, encourage humankind to embrace the meaninglessness of life and the absurdity that goes along with it. By concentrating on the natural tension between an absurd universe and the human need to understand it, adherents of absurdism can live lives that are both rich and authentic.

Jordan B. Peterson on Sustainability and Taking Practical Steps

With a focus on digital art, Griffith Robert “Griff” Littlehale excels in creating works that range from event posters to business logos. Griffith Littlehale has a longstanding interest in philosophy and enjoys the works of classical thinkers, as well as contemporary figures such as psychologist and author Jordan B. Peterson.

One issue addressed by Peterson in a rapidly changing world is sustainability, and how humans can contribute to creating a more positive future. He asserts that society must first fight back against tendencies toward apathy and “doom and gloom.” With a humanistic attitude in place, one should strive to take individual responsibility, rather than simply placing blame on forces larger than oneself. As Peterson puts it, first look closely at one’s own inadequacies and flaws, and then begin building oneself up as a more capable individual who can take a role of community leadership.

Peterson also emphasizes the importance of pragmatism and selecting causes that one can actually influence. This may require a mindset of looking at a short time horizon and immediate returns, where actions taken now have a profound effect. A sustainability example that he points to is overfishing and the challenge of ocean management. He defines this as an issue with definite end-goal solutions, that will not take care of itself unless people work to change the status quo. As Peterson describes it, it is a “solvable problem with potentially proper interventions.”

Locke’s Concepts of Personal Identity, Self, and Consciousness

Massage what makes you unique over dartboard background

Griffith “Griff” Littlehale is an artist who works in digital and sketching mediums, and has created works promoting local events. With a longstanding interest in literature, Griffith Robert Littlehale is particularly drawn to classic philosophers, from Socrates to John Locke. The latter 17th century thinker is known for his novel concepts of personal identity, as explored in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding.

Locke begins by defining the person as an agent, or entity, that is both capable of self reflective thought and is also able to envision a self that persists over time. Thinking is accompanied by a state of consciousness that may extend backward to past thoughts and actions, with the current self part of a continuum.

Locke explores the implication of this in scenarios such as Socrates, “waking and sleeping.” A single man has two separate forms of consciousness, with the Socrates “Day and the Night-man” presenting identities that are as distinctly different as Plato and Socrates. Thus, a single man can contain multiple “persons” who are unified within a shared soul. The self is by extension not determined by physical substance, or name, but by “identity of consciousness.” This concept was remarkable, for its time, in exploring the layers of self and identity, which we now refer to in terms such as the subconscious.

Toledo Homeless Shelter Provides Program to Help Families Succeed

Based in Toledo, Ohio, Griffith Robert Littlehale offers services as an organic chemistry tutor while studying philosophy, having read works by Albert Camus and René Descartes. Additionally, Griffith Littlehale gives back to his community by volunteering his time to homeless shelters, such as the Family House.

Founded in 1985, Family House occupies a facility on Indiana Avenue in Toledo, Ohio. Originally, the shelter welcomed single women in need and families but later shifted to a model that focused on providing housing to families. Resident programs at the shelter offer families and couples a place to stay and food and other necessities.

In addition to maintaining a safe place for families, the Family House also prepares residents to sustain their needs on their own once they’ve left the facility. The resident program includes married or unmarried couples with or without children and structures a plan for these residents to help them succeed and care for their families. The facility bars weapons, drugs, and alcohol to ensure the safety of its residents.

Absurdist Philosophy in The Stranger by Albert Camus

Griffith (Griff) Robert Littlehale is a resident of Toledo, Ohio, with a range of diverse interests and talents. A dedicated lover of philosophy, Griffith Littlehale counts Albert Camus among his favorite thinkers.

Although widely considered an existentialist, Albert Camus famously rejected this philosophical label. However, the themes of absurdism that permeate his work certainly reflect the existential notion that life is essentially chaotic and meaningless.

Published in 1942, Camus’ first novel presented the main underpinnings of his absurdist philosophy within a narrative framework. That same year, Camus introduced many of the same ideas in essay form through The Myth of Sisyphus.

Understanding that the nature of life and the world in general is intrinsically absurd, the main character of The Stranger, Meursault, reacts to a series of strikingly serious events with incredible passivity and indifference. Even when facing a death sentence for murder, he refused to explain or justify his criminal actions and instead “opened” himself to the “gentle indifference of the world.” Through both his words and his actions, Meursault exemplifies Camus’ philosophy of the absurd.

Albert Camus’ The Plague Delves into the Nature of Society

An artist who has created numerous original works in physical and digital mediums, Griffith Robert “Griff” Littlehale excels at posters, brand logos, and greeting cards. With a strong interest in literature and philosophy, Griffith Littlehale is drawn to thinkers such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Albert Camus.

A recent City Journal article brought focus to parallels between the latter author’s 1940s fictional work The Plague and the effect of the pandemic on society in 2020. In particular, the French author suggested that human society tends not to learn lessons from the past.

Set in a French Algerian city following WWII, the book delves into a fictional outbreak of bubonic plague and the way that it activates some “ancient aspect” of biological memory of citizens who see rats arising from sewers and dying in droves. There follow patterns of awareness and denial, with many people having forgotten that pestilences were possible. Other aspects of an outbreak that are explored include finding a balance between half-measures that downplay the threat and heavy-handed measures that curtail freedom.

While the novel is describing a fictional outbreak that is more concentrated and deadlier than the current coronavirus pandemic, many of the themes are worth revisiting in the hands of a master such as Camus. As he puts it, “Everybody knows that pestilences have a way of recurring in the world, yet somehow we find it hard to believe in ones that crash down on our heads from a blue sky.”