Ron Jon

October 8, 2013

Let’s talk about sex. Let’s talk about sex in the 21st century, in the catacombs of cultural decline of what was vigorously constructed by the ancestors of the west that birthed the most sophisticated idealism and ratiocination of the transcendent known to man. After all, when Eastern Gurus have an infection they yield to the marvels of the West. And when a Chinese person is hungry, he thinks of KFC which has rapaciously tilled the Oriental soil, and has been eagerly embraced were one to believe the CNBC business propaganda. But this is a digression.


Mr. Joseph Gordon-Levitt takes his stab at contemplating what it means to be alive but spiritually dead. Love becomes decoupled from sexuality he argues. And this is plainly obvious to consider, and plainly obvious to observe in contemporary society. A despiritualized society, which is a necessary attribute of a narcissistic society which worships the self as the Absolute versus a grander being, say God, has no inclination of an intangible rational quality to sexuality that was once the terrain of the idealism of romance. Instead boys and girls run into each other to fulfill biological impulse. Sexual attraction has become completely materialized, vacating any pretense of rational idealistic qualities to the structuring of human society. The decline in quality marriages observed by divorce rates and bastard births is further testimony to the fact that people are matter of factly behaving closer to animals than their ancestors.


Let us not delve into the specific reasons why. Don Jon does not bother to. Instead the film is an examination of how utterly juvenile people have become. Jon, the protagonist, aspires towards nothing. His entire life is focused on getting laid and looking at pornography. He makes no qualms in his idealization of the sexual product now made abundant with greater computing resources. He averages over 15 masturbation episodes a week. And while he gets laid, he prefers the idea of pornography over the reality of selfish fulfillment that the physical intercourse actually is.


His idealism is confused in other words. Man by nature is an immaterial being. His consciousness is the active creation of an intangible space in physical reality. And that space needs to be constantly occupied. The failure of his parent’s generation, and their parent’s generation, and so on, in providing his generation an inheritance of a proper orientation toward occupying this space well, which is to say to overcome the desires that the self or ego has towards projecting its own grandiosity, is the hallmark of cultural decline made explicit at the rocky bottom.


No, pornography is not the problem. It is the quality of the person, or lack thereof, that, because he is left helpless in how to provide nourishment to his intangible world, which consumes the medium as a spiritual ritual. Typically we would find it inconsistent to have a religiously disciplined character be so self-effacing. Yet the routine and unabashed sin Jon commits merely furthers the notion that the Christian religion has failed to adapt to the times.


However, a metamorphosis takes place. The notion that sex is a means to a higher end, that it can act like a higher form of self-fulfillment than masturbation, is surprisingly learned by Jon through fucking a widowed classmate. I find it technically lazy that Jon needed a sexual shaman to guide his spirit toward revealing a higher meaning to sex. On the other hand, what other way is there for someone so set and comfortable in his ways to grow as a person? This is the problem with decadence. The comfort of alienation from living struggle does not compel betterment, and instead comes spontaneously.


Through this growth, the film demonstrates that his on-screen girlfriend also was a bit of a head case in her unrealistic expectations of what a man is. But it is merely icing on the cake that is prepared by the degenerating social relations of mankind by selling out to machined living.


Grade: B+



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