Showing posts with label Movies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Movies. Show all posts

Friday, November 18, 2011

Prologue of Shuttered Vision from the Series Life Goes On


Prologue


 She was surrounded by flowers.  They ranged in fragrance and hue.  Some were lilac, some daisies, lavender, roses, orchids, hyacinths.  It was the colors that captured one's attention.  Unlike any she'd ever seen.  They were vivid, vibrant shades of sun orange, amethyst purple, sapphire blue, ruby red with amazing emerald greens.  Some shown in multiple colors like red and green for bloodstones. Dark carnelian red, smoky iridescent quartz. She stared into her sky; it always looked like sunset with vivid blues and purples mixing with reds and oranges. Cloudy enough to make a lovely image, but never so cloudy that it seemed gloomy.

She inhaled deeply as she lay in the field of flowers understanding the message she was being given as the scent of white sage floated laced with the fragrance of the flowers. Eyes closed she pushed deeper into herself.  From her field she could determine all she needed to know.  She needed to find who was calling her, had been calling her for months now. But always lingered the thought, this one is a stranger and doesn't want to be found. She felt the pressure of a hand. It was larger than hers, firm and rough.  The breath on the back of her neck was steady and calm.  He lay right behind her, right under her, right beside her.  In this place he was practically a part of her.

She tried to turn around to face him, but was stopped. The sensation was odd for her, these things were always under her control.  No one got to make choices for her here yet here he was stopping her. She pressed harder and was met with more force. Abruptly she turned and the world pitched to black.  She was falling through her field.  The flower base being ripped away as her nose was assaulted by burning flesh.  Her eyes flew open and she saw the petals smoldering beside her as they all fell.  She looked down to see herself falling towards pits of lava, banked flaming mounds of earth and oceans of burning water sizzling away, salting the air with it's demise. Creatures colored with flame and smelt snapped their jaws at her ready to devour her.  Flame winged imps and demons swarmed above them taunting them with the kill they couldn't have whipping them into a frenzy.  Sea leviathans with several heads and tails swam freely in the burning oceans eating all that crossed their path. Stubby, stumpy moss covered beasts resembling jackals roamed the flaming mounds unheaded.  There was peril at every stop.

She threw her hands in front of her face to shield what was coming her way.  Then suddenly she stopped falling.  An arm secured her at the waist as strong arms pulled her around and she pressed her now tearstained cheeks to his neck.

"Who are you and why have you brought me here?" she asked.

"I'm sorry. You were never meant to be here. I like your field," a deep masculine voice replied.

"What hell are you from?"

"The worst kind, the one of my own making."

She vaguely noticed that they were moving upward.  And within moments she was as she was before on her back in her field his presence there but not intrusive.

"How did you get here?" she asked him knowing that if she tried to face him again she would be dumped into his hell.

"I don't know. I've been trying to figure it out.  But I'm selfish enough to not mind if it doesn't bother you."

"You need my help."

"I have all the help from you I need.  Right here in your field."

"It's more than that.  You don't understand what I am, what I do.  No one shows up here that I don't already know."

"I should go --"

"No wait --"

"See ya next time Flower girl."

 Fiona awoke from a dead sleep with the stranger's voice still clear in her head. She clutched her head and doubled over in her bed for a moment.  She straightened and with a deep sigh reached for her journal and started cataloging the points of her dream so that she could analyze it when morning came.  She lay back on her headrest when she was done shaken.  Who was that man haunting her dreams?  He had been there for months now.  And over the course of time his presence had gotten stronger as he felt more comfortable with her. 

At first it had been just a brief but untimely intrusion.  She hadn’t even really noticed anyone was there.  Almost like an itch that was easily scratched.  She had determined it was nothing and it became so.  A brief irritation she had swiftly evicted.  But somehow he had found other ways in and had made her sanctuary his safe haven. 

Fiona lay back down and sighed willing herself to go back to sleep.  Maybe by the light of a new day she would be able to make sense of this chaos.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Next American Revolution


We live in a time where perception is becoming law.  You see it everywhere; in the government, on television, and in personal interactions with others.  But this to some degree can be said about all stages of humanity in its current Homo Erectus form.  Like all things, perceptions are mutable because no two people can have the exact same one.  We are greater for this, and in some ways worse for this.  In the end, different is better because it opens the doors to possibility, maybe, and the impossible. Perception accomplishes all of this.  In our age of instant information, perceptions travel faster.  At the speed of light even, which has to a large degree accelerated our rate of development, and our ability to ascertain our individual perceptions.  So we can just a quickly modify them.

Movie Poster
This thought process comes from watching a fascinating movie this weekend called Ruby's Bucket of Blood.  It was the story of a 1950s black woman in Louisiana who ran her own juke joint.  For people that don't know what a juke joint is, it's a speakeasy, a bar with musical entertainment. They were established by blacks in light of Jim Crow laws that barred blacks from white establishments.  So blacks created their own clubs.

The movie did the basic things and I was impressed by all of the stones the story and direction left unturned. They talked about segregation, homosexuality, spousal abuse, class within races, extended families. The most interesting aspect was the commentary about the different ways that people of color can discriminate against each other, and the way whites can as well.  They also dealt with a mentality and attitude that still exists to this day. They referred to it as 'slave' mentality.

Historically it has been thought of as the mental byproduct an enslaved people have to reject upon release.  The thought was it would take as many centuries to breed out as it took to breed in. But it is more than just a degree of perceived ownership, and not being able to make decisions regarding yourself or your children. It is more about a degree of perceived allowances in society.  What is acceptable and what is not acceptable as a person of color in a white world and vice versa? What is acceptable for a white person in a white world or a white person in a person of color world?

As I watched this movie I was startled to realize that most people who are not of color probably would not understand what the primary elements of this movie talked about because of context.  Meaning that if you are not a person of color who has experienced levels of discrimination you would have no idea what the underlying message was behind the movie.  In direct contrast there were aspects of being white that were confronted that most people of color would not be able to understand because they have not experienced that degree of discrimination that whites place on each other at times in regards to how to deal with people of color. And I wondered about that and the issues with not just perception, but with perspective and how these populations could ever find it with one another in such a short period of time.

Desegregation Protesters
The United States has gone through a myriad of changes in a few short centuries that other countries have taken nearly a 1000 years to sort through when you compare histories.  There are still people alive who remember Jim Crow laws and why they had to be followed.  My grandmother and mother are two of them.  This is when perspective becomes so very interesting.  The idea that I, a 34 year old woman in America, and anyone of my age group, has immediate family members that know of and willfully participated in the act of segregation and deemed it acceptable is a mind-blowing perspective if you really think about it. And while segregation was declared illegal in the 50's, then again in the 60s, with a series of subsequent laws as people searched for and found loopholes, the South was able to maintain it well into the 70's which was when I was born. Many people maintain that it is still very prevalent today.  Doubt me, check state report cards that break down academic achievement by race and note the ones that don’t have enough of a certain race to even rate it.  Schools are still segregated due to real estate markets and housing discrimination; another loophole for continued segregation that litigation is still dealing with. However, I see that despite that fact, my surroundings are a far cry from the world my mother grew up in. And even further still from the society my grandmother grew up in.  I find myself wondering at how I would've raised children in my mother's time.  Would I have raised them to fight, or would I have been fearful and raised them to survive?

Let me paint a picture for you. Some of you are mothers so this should be easy for you.  For those who are not just imagine. Try being a mother who has to deal with raising children in a world where even though the law has forbidden treating you and those like you badly, the people have made sure that they can continue with little or no penalty. On many occasions you have seen others hurt, beaten, falsely jailed. You yourself have been the victim of being denied jobs, denied good housing, and denied adequate medical care.  You don't know how you are going to keep your children alive without better pay, better food, and better medicine. Secretly you suspect that the system you have to work in would prefer that your children died. There were times when you heard people say as much. When you try to fight the injustice, on several occasions you are told that if you balk at this, your fate will be worse because people either don't want things to change or they are too weak to rock the boat.  But they all say you should be grateful for the scraps you have been given.  The ones in charge say none of you are worth it anyway. Stay in your place, and be grateful I don't take that from you too. How fearful are you as a mother with a son or daughter?  You decide that you have to train them to think and act in a certain way to insure that they survive.  You see, in a climate like this achieving is the least of your concerns.  Survival is the most important because you know that you have it better than those before you, so there is a chance that your children, their children will have it even better. But they have to manage to grow up and carry on. Just survive. So what manner of child would this raise?  What would be their goals and inclinations?  See the many, many ways that they would not coincide with the new reality they have been given that is so different from yours.

American Dream
This analogy works for all discriminated against populations and their reluctant oppressors.  Just insert the classification, race, social class, gender. The crux of all discrimination is a powerful group of people dictating what other people deserve, who deserves to give it to them, and why.  It’s bullying for adults.  Last I checked that wasn't supposed to be the American way.  Remember the American Dream; achieve and pull yourself up by your own bootstraps.  How do you manage that without boots I often wonder?  In this I mean food, shelter, medical care.  The basics. Despite that people have managed something. But how would you expect people to be who have been told that they can achieve, but only on the terms of others, and then blamed for their lack of achievement. It just becomes a fixed craps game where every roll is snake eyes because even if you somehow manage to 'do well' that was somehow given to you and not actually earned.


Even though it was called 'slave mentality' for blacks, the truth is other populations suffer and understand it so it isn't really a 'slave mentality', as it is a caste system mentality. And this caste mentality is felt by ALL in the society system. It is a series of ideas about health, lifestyle, culture, ideologies, wealth, success, meritocracy, class, race and gender that the American media and institution of government like to reinforce for population control. The importance of understanding this mentality is the key to a future America that can at least understand itself.  America right now is like an amnesiac schizophrenic.  It forgets all of its personalities as soon as it switches to another, and it can't recall the history of the one it's in.  It would be the highest of hypocrisy if the country knew what the word meant.

2010 Census Statistics
The truth is America is not equal, middle class blacks and Latinos still live in low income neighborhoods because they are barred from better ones fitting their income status.  America is not wealthy. There are wealthy people in America, about 10% to be exact.  America isn't mostly middle class; that is currently being wiped out by the greed of the wealthy.  America isn't democratic; states are currently putting in measures to prevent certain populations from voting.  America is not religiously tolerant.  Not a day goes by that someone on television isn't referring to or treating all Muslims like terrorists.  America is not peaceful. America has the most people incarcerated per capita than any country in the world (increased dramatically since the ‘war on drugs’ began in the early 80’s) and has been at war for the last 50 or so years on foreign shores.  America is not a melting pot or a salad bowl.  People are asserting their multicultural, multiracial status daily as more Americans are fitting under this distinction. Other global communities are reestablishing their communities in America. Populations are choosing to huddle together in distinct neighborhoods easily identified by their culture.

The other truth is that the only constant in life is change.  We are a country that has been divided by many issues.  Race, wealth and religion being the big three in my opinion. Race is a condition that is fixing itself if the rising production of mixed race children is any indication. Hopefully soon all children will be just what they are . . American children. No disclaimer, no classification. Wealth, another problem weeding itself out as the middle class vanishes and the opulence of the wealthy is being uncovered.  Soon they will be brought to task for the systematic stealing of money and resources from the American public. Because when the wealthy can no longer squeeze money out of us, they will turn on each other.  Their greed demands more. Someone wealthy enough to have power over this will stop them as they reach for their wealth. And religion, in light of recent events we see clearly how criminalized none Christians are in the media, while Christians are treated as 'lone gunmen' that don't represent all of Christianity.  Amazing that this isn't the case for Muslims. We define politicians citing religious right as the future of this country as lunatics. 

Human
What the media and government seems to not understand is that despite their careful cultivation of these issues to try and panic people into a frenzy, America has been giving them its own answer the entire time.  We need change, and whether they like it or not, we will have it. Even if we have to create it ourselves.




American Dream courtesy of http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-BoWTok3w1s0/TZCgx45BlPI/AAAAAAAAADg/lMsL07ezjzo/s1600/20081123_barack_obama_comic_01.gif


Human courtesy of http://www.mixedracestudies.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/MultiracialIdentityMovie.jpg