Posts made in July, 2013

Trayvon Martin and a Conversation We Need To Have

Posted by on Jul 16, 2013 in Politics, Social Issues | 0 comments

The Media has been all over the Trayvon Martin case.  They smell blood in the water.  What they don’t smell is the resurgence of the civil rights movement.  People are waking up.  People are weary of being treated as less than the 1%.  People of all walks of life.  There are some who say this isn’t about race.  First of all those voices are the voices of the willfully blind.  Second of all–in a sense that this is a catalyst for a larger, greater movement they may have a point.  What started out as racial profiling, and the murder of a young man by a racist gun nut is serving as a focal point, a nexus for the anger at injustices large and small from groups that span the spectrum from gays, to women, to the elderly, to the poor, blacks, hispanics, latinos, transgendered.  We are all coming together because we truly understand that injustice against one ripples through the system creating injustice for all.  We understand, as the corporate fascists pray we don’t and spend billions of dollars to propagandize rugged individuality hoping we won’t realize, that we are connected through our humanity, through our cultures, through our lives.  No man is an island, despite the propaganda from the far and evil right.  When one man or woman dies we are all diminished.  We understand that even as the oligarchs work tirelessly to prevent us from realizing it.   Weep for Trayvon and honor him by standing for equality and justice for all.  Something the conservative right has forgotten:  Justice for All; not just those who can afford it.  Justice must be blind, not play favorites to the son of a judge who picked a fight he couldn’t finish then shot a boy.

The racists, the privileged, and the 1% don’t want this conversation to start.  They don’t want to talk about this because they don’t want the masses to compare notes.  They don’t want people to see what’s really going on because if people opened their eyes to reality, they would be outraged.  So you hear it again and again, “the jury spoke now drop it.”  “Shut up already about it.”  “Race baiting.”  All these phrases turned inside out to support the insupportable.  It is time and past time we had this conversation and ignored the evil that would silence us.  We are connected, we are Americans and we are strongest when we come together to fight injustice and build one anther up.

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Indie Film Legitimate–Horror With A Message

Posted by on Jul 14, 2013 in Politics | 0 comments

While horror is not generally my thing, I am interested in just about any story that is well told and any storyteller who has something worthwhile to say. So I came to have the privilege to view Legitimate, an independent short horror film that has a powerful message. Directed, written and produced by Izzy Lee, this film is intense and uncomfortable, as it should be because the message should make people uncomfortable.

She uses the genre of horror to convey a powerful message in a powerful way. Not only does the message need to be communicated, but also it is a message promoting empathy and compassion to people who are fully lacking empathy and compassion.

<em>Legitimate</em> is just over 5 minutes long and opens with the infamous quote by Rep. Todd Aiken, “If it’s legitimate rape, the female body has ways to shut that whole thing down.” Yes this short is a metaphor for the impact of rape on the victims. It is also directed at the calloused, hateful laws the GOP are currently trying to pass in state after state, enslaving women and denying them their civil rights.

It opens with a madam guiding a senator to a seat at a little table. He is given a drink and an exotic dancer comes out to dance for him. She is bound nearly from head to toe in a number of knotted ropes and throughout the dance she removes them one by one in a near striptease fashion, often handing the ends of the rope to the senator as she dances. While there is no full nudity the costume is quite skimpy and we do see her backside. The bindings of the rope are a clear metaphor for rape and the dancer removing them takes back her sexuality with each one that she removes. It is hers to give, not someone else’s to take and if it is taken from her by force that is not a referendum on her it is a condemnation of the one who would violate another person so brutally.

Of course the senator has no empathy for the victims and only sees the dancer before him as an object, a toy for his pleasure and entertainment. As he drinks his booze and watches the dancer he falls into unconsciousness. The next scene shows several women standing over him. Clearly they planned this together. Next we see them holding a jar with a monstrous embryo in it.

When next the senator wakes he is lying in an alley with his jacket over his face, blood on his shirt and no one around. The music in this scene is genius because it implies that something unremarkable has happened to him. It takes a few seconds for him to realize that he has been violated in a very profound fashion. The music starts to be interrupted by harder, more ominous music in short bursts while out of his crudely stitched up stomach comes the monster child that became of the embryo.

He is now face to face with the agony and horror of being forced to carry a physical violation against his will to its bitter end, with all of the pain and fear that comes with it. There is no one to help him and no one to care what was done to him. He is alone, in a litter-strewn alley. He is cast out and cast aside.

<em>Legitimate</em> was difficult to watch because it is so well done and so effective at conveying, for just those all too brief minutes, an inkling of what a rape victim goes through and the additional horror of the real results of the kinds of draconian laws the GOP and their fundamentalist allies are passing in state after state. It is a graphic visualization of a message for those who wholly lack empathy for rape victims. Legitimate is brief, intense and metaphorically brilliant. It is not for everyone, but if anyone can get a message of compassion for rape victims through the thick, sexist, misogynistic skulls of the current GOP it might be Izzy Lee and it might be with this film.

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