Daily Journal, Philosophy

Big fish

I’m a huge Tim Burton fan. (does that even need to be said?) Except for his iteration of Charlie and the chocolate factory…. which still causes me serious anxiety when I think about it. Everyone has their caveats that they need to get off their chest right near the beginning. In any event for a lot of people, that caveat, for Tim Burton films anyway, is often cited as Big Fish. Not me though. I loved Big Fish.


I loved the quirkiness of it all. And more importantly I loved some of the deep philosophical considerations it raises.

For example when some of the boys (and one girl) go to the local witches house (every town, as far as I understand has one of these) a bet is made to steal the witches eye. Now whoever looks into the eye of this particular witch will see how they are going to die. The scene is interesting, because the protagonist, having ‘seen’ his own death, considered this demise comforting because… well… he was old when the time came. For the rest of the movie he attacks life with gusto since he knows that whatever he undertakes, it won’t kill him. One of the other boys however is freaked out about seeing his own end saying, ‘I wasn’t even that old’. Or words to that effect.

I dreamed about this scene last night… and woke up ruminating its permutations at ten to four, when the sound of rain on the window panes… and the pacing of a basset hound (who, typically, would choose this moment in time to want to go outside to pee) dragged me out of REM sleep. Would I want to know the date and time of my death? And possibly the manner in which is happens. Would it help me lead a better life? That whole Carpe Diem – Momento Mori vibe.

As a theoretical exercise I oscillate between wanting to know and not wanting to know. I put the kettle on while I wait. I can see merit to both sides of the equation.  Seriously.. how long does it take to pee and come back inside? *he gives me that #$%& you look only a basset hound can muster before trotting off into the undergrowth*. I sigh. Fine, stay outside…

Seriously. Nothing but trouble.


  1. tara caribou

    September 6, 2019 at 10:44 am

    I don’t want to know when I would die either. I think it would complicate things. But I love Big Fish and actually I like the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie too. I am NOT a TB fan. Also, I’ve never seen any other version of that movie 🤷🏼‍♀️ but I LOVED the books when I read them in second grade. I can still remember that year I also read James and the Giant Peach and (what’s it called again?? ughhh memory!) the mouse and the motorcycle (among others). Great reading that year lol

    1. Jo

      September 6, 2019 at 1:02 pm

      I’m a massive fan of Roald Dahl. Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka… It just didn’t click with me. I really like Johnny Depp in other movies… like Edward Scissor hands, the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie… Fear and loathing in Las Vegas. Just not as a weird androgynous WIlly Wonka.

      That does sound like a great reading year. Fantastic Mr Fox and Going Solo are likely my favorites. Also his collection of short horror stories. He was a horror writer before he wrote childrens books.

      1. tara caribou

        September 6, 2019 at 7:27 pm

        I can believe that. Though, I’m not into horror. At all.

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