In the film 'Tropic Thunder' why does the Aum symbol appear behind the character played by Tom Cruise?
This isn't a minor point and I don't think it's nit-picking. Yes, I know Buddhists don't have 'ownership' of this ancient symbol BUT it is associated with us (and Hindus, and Jains and other eastern religions). In this film, the character played by Tom Cruise is an angry, self-centred/egocentric, money-obsessed, materialistic bully --- completely AGAINST what the Aum symbol represents! And yet, very clearly, he has a giant Aum symbol in his office. I have a theory about why this is, but it might be a bit... far fetched.
I understand Tom Cruise had a lot of flexibility with his character (for example, he chose the giant hands, the script was never written for him (he improvised), all his mannerisms and his dance moves were all his own creation). It may well be that he also choose to display the Aum symbol. The question is, why? What was his motivation?
Let's cut through the cheese here, Tom Cruise is a Scientologist and there is a known history of this dangerous sect trying to corrupt the typical westerner's mind about eastern thought. Take, for example, 'My name is Earl'. The concept of Karma portrayed in this sitcom is WILDLY corrupted and, although Scientologists don't use the word 'Karma' themselves, fits more with the Scientology philosophy of morality. 'My name is Earl' was written by Scientologists and stars Scientologist actors. Unfortunately, many people I have spoken to believe (or did believe before I corrected them) that the Scientology 'version' of 'Karma' was actually what Buddhists believe!
... could it be that in this film, the Aum symbol was deliberately chosen so that subconsciously people would associate it with the sorts of charactistics displayed by Tom Cruise's character?
Now consider this... if a crescent moon (or, more specifically, the Islam symbol) or a pictorial representation of the Prophet Mohammed (sp?) had been used there would be OUTCRY. The Islamic world would not stand for it.... you would see effigies burning and riots in the streets. So, why should we allow this PEACEFUL symbol (the Aum symbol) to be associated with corruption!?
Is protesting against the principal of non-violence? What should we do?
Am I simply reading too much into this?