In the middle of the documentary Examined Life begins the best of its 10 or so sequences. The sequence involves Slavoj Zizek, the Slovenian-born Hegelian. The philosopher says something like this: "What is love? It is not about idealizing somebody, but about loving everything about them—their perfections and imperfections. That is how we must experience life and the world. We must love all of it, its good and bad." It's not that he is saying anything profound, but that he is saying it in a garbage dump. The ugliness of the city is all around him; trash piles up to the sky. Broken refrigerators here, broken bottles there. The philosopher is at home. This is the rise of reason from the refuse of existence.
A mother polar bear emerges from her den: "It's fresh powder conditions up here... she can't help but enjoy the slopes!" Baby polar bears walk around: "Unlike humans, polar-bear cubs don't always listen to their moms." A lynx hunts in a snowy forest: "Those that live here are so hard to glimpse, they're like spirits!" The birds of paradise perform their mind-altering mating display, now backed by a JAZZY SOUNDTRACK: "Get down, baby!" says James Earl Jones. How humiliating.