Poverty Is Not an Accident

Poverty Is Not an Accident
Nelson Mandela

Monday, May 31, 2010

MOVIE: "Ben X"

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Have I missed something with ASD (autism spectrum disorder)? I am not familiar with delusions and hallucinations as part of the spectrum, but I could be wrong. In a lot of cases, who knows what is going on inside the head of someone else? Ben is totally capable of rage and destruction. He could have easily gone Colombine on his classmates. LOTS of kids end up suicidal from the toxic and sometimes lethal attacks of bullies. The stats on suicide are much higher in the U.S.A. Bullies succeed because they are not exposed. The community seldom knows about the torture being perpetrated. We condone it and even encourage it by our stereotypes and slurs in media and public discourse. We think it is funny to mock someone with a difference. Ben made a choice to end the torment. Everybody in town would know who is trustworthy and who is a weasel. I thought his solution was brilliant. Now, back to the delusion or hallucination: perhaps it is his higher self from whom he gets advice, support and encouragement? Even the incompetent doctors admit Ben is very smart. He just relates to the world by a different set of constructs than a lot of us do. So, the delusion or hallucination may be a part of himself. Violence is no solution. Ben is smart enough to know that; it would simply escalate the situation. If someone is a jerk, shine a light on that and invite your friends and neighbors to see it, close up, in detail. No more shame! Behavioral health challenges are not our real disabilities; the REAL disabilities are the attitudes of the TAMs (Temporarily Able Minded). They are much QUOTE crazier END QUOTE than we are! But why is it that someone has to die before the media listen?

MOVIE: "Jerome Bixby's The Man From Earth"

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What sort of faith says its creator is omnipotent and is the One True Religion and yet is so brittle and fragile that a science FICTION picture could evoke such anger, masquerading fear that maybe, just maybe, thinking beyond What-I-Have-Always-Believed might damage or destroy it? Are we as offended by Santa Claus? This is a group of scholars, discussing possibilities, postulating, speculating. Should we strap bombs to our chests, walk into a crowd of nonbelievers and detonate ourselves? Can we not just celebrate our ability to ponder and to think, without personal attacks and implications that such musings are naive or unread? How do we know what the other has or has not read? Is faith based on love, or is it a desperate nightlight to impotently attempt to ward off fear and doubt? Me, I think Jesus would get a kick out of this film, and Buddha, too. Please, do not fly a plane full of people into a tall building full of people simply because some people think differently than you do. For a $200,000 budget, this was pretty good, technically speaking. I would have picked a better actor to play John, though. I don't think his brow ridge was as prominent as it should have been; he was too hairless and he had an American -- rather than old European -- accent. He learned English on the other side of the pond; he would not sound like a weather announcer on TV. I also think John would be a happier person than portrayed, and much more emotive with his friends. What a nice gift to the world from the death bed of Jerome Bixby! Joy, curiosity, mystery, tenderness: these seem a lot more faith based than fear, anger and insults. But then, I never ran an inquisition.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

MOVIE: "Free of Eden"

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I never would have believed I would ever give Phylicia Rashad, let alone Sidney Poitier, three stars for a piece in which either had performed. My main complaint: This is an after school special with cuss words. It is too naive, too simplistic and too much a manifesto on how to be a Black Republican (it is hard to pull oneself up by one's boot straps if one has no boots). I guess most of the people living in Eden are what: too stupid, too lazy to get up and out? Because, you see, there are no other factors that make it nearly impossible to escape poverty, right? Like: in the real world, some of the homeboyz to the bad guy would have snuffed Ms. Thing at the airport for snitching! THAT would be a realistic ending! Now, back to one of my favorite hobbies: the cussing. When Poitier opens his mouth to say something that rhymes with bull spit, my jaw dropped! Later, Ms. Rashad says something that rhymes with duck, several times, and my teeth fell out. To Sir With Love and Claire Huxtable KNOW words like that? They can pronounce them? The world has ended! You mean Black folk get to be regular folk, and do not have to constantly model perfect behavior, or be called race traitors or sell outs? Yet, most of the authority figures in this lil morality play cussed more than the not-too-street-wise-lookin teenagers in the flick. Music was tedious: a somber, forlorn, jazz trumpet in a public toilet, by the reverb. Lighting should have been much better where people were looking at each other through glass: Poitier's eyes were in shadow and he looked like some scary, B-movie bogey man. I loved Fast Freddy and wish he'd gotten a few more lines before . . . well. And if homeboy Poitier is so tight with the riff raff, would it not be beneficial to the denizens of Eden if HE popped his head in once in awhile, and not just order homegirl to pick up his slack? Wud up wd dat? The lil out take at the end of credits was lame. I would love to see Sidney Poitier bloopers! But not THAT one. Guess it was supposed to signify tender moment between daughter and daddy? Speaking of daughter: totally eye candy. But I kept looking for some of that backbone daddy has. I think Sydney (I guess she is named after a city in Australia?), born in the late seventies, will never really know the strength it took for Sidney, born in the late twenties. So the personalities are different. Do not get me wrong: Nobody should have to endure some of what Sidney Poitier experienced back in the day, but wow, what he did with that! So, maybe a sheltered life in post-Civil Rights U.S.A. softens the edges a bit more than I might like, but let us rejoice at the change. If you love Poitier, watch this. But it's not deep, unless you live (as, apparently, our heroine has) under a vast and unmovable rock. But my man Sidney could pee in his shoe while reciting the phone book, and I would be enthralled.

MOVIE: "To Sir, With Love"

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To all those of you who believe racial stereotypes are real, here is proof that it is a bunch of hooey and that you are full of hot air. Mr. Poitier can neither box, nor dance, his way out of a paper sack. I was dumbfounded. Until watching this, I thought he was totally perfect! Honestly, though: I needed a good, happy cry for joyful reasons, like how one person can actually make some sort of difference in this world. I needed to remember that I am right to think every person deserves dignity and that, given the opportunity, will break her or his back to live up to high expectations. What a CAST! Where are all those brilliant young people now, and what are they doing? So cool to see Mr. Poitier go from BLACKBOARD JUNGLE to this! Too bad the cast of TSWL did not have as much professional good fortune, though. Corny by the standards now? Maybe. Dorky clothes, silly slang. But it is not important. People want to learn, want to take responsibility, want to walk with our heads held high. This film is a lovely reminder.

MOVIE: "Not One Less"

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This happens in the U.S. to most vulnerable populations, all the time. When my roommate stranded me in a rural house with no utilities and no vehicle, I hand wrote notices and walked all day, posting them to people's gates, asking for help. The next morning, the sheriff came to my door, warning me that I was littering and to never do it again. Police stopped me once for hitch hiking. No public transportation was available and I lived 25 miles from decent groceries. When I explained my circumstances, one officer said he did not give a f*** if I am old; he would take me to jail and put my dog in the pound. When my goat was dying, I yelled for help from every passing vehicle. Nobody stopped. I am disabled and cannot bury the goat properly, so, last night, dogs dragged the body from the grave. The smell attracted other predators and scavangers and I woke this morning to find all my ducks and geese dead. I frequently eat from trash. The way to heal the planet would be to put the needs of children first. This would cause us to solve all social, economic, environmental and political problems in healthy ways. I am an adult; I am not surprised at the cruelty and indifference I experience. But I do not forgive that this happens to children, in the U.S., all the time. Beautiful movie. Show it to your students.


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What is the difference between Halliburton and CSNY? Halliburton guys dress more dapper and get hair cuts? Two hundred clams for a ticket? Oh, yes, GW Bush was a terrible thing. But Obama is in office now, and where are the voices, protesting war? People sing these memorized lyrics and speak of how artists and audiences need to get involved, need to sing more. Where are we singing; in the cemeteries, the mountains of Afghanistan, the streets of Iraq? Should we not be putting our own lives on the line to demand peace, now? Why are we so quiet? Is it because the only difference between Viet Nam and now is the fact that Bush was smart enough to recycle the same military personnel over and over, rather than reinstate the draft and risk political suicide? So, all the affluent people who can actually attend college are not in jeopardy this time, can focus on their studies and their individual solutions, pay lip service to pacifist protest, but actually do nothing to change anything? What HAPPENED to Change, anyway? MAYBE we will let out Queers in the military, but we will still not let them marry? And we will have anti-Queer preachers pray over us? Where is this change? Production quality here was terrible: out of focus, vocals overpowered by instrumentals. This was a disjointed apologia for the motivation of the tour. We learn nothing of the tour, itself. This is an infomercial for CSNY. Nobody is empowered; nobody learns anything; nobody has to break a sweat, make a commitment or actually change anything. This is an anthem for complacent tongue cluckers.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Kate sent a poem

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The poem is too desolate for me right now. It's too cold. I'm not saying I don't agree with it. But it isn't any comfort. Sorry.

I stayed up until 3:30am because I heard coyotes. I had to leave Nilly in the front yard, so any death smell wouldn't attract scavenger/predators to the back with the chickens and goats. I left my front door open, but sat on the porch for a long time, waiting for a sheriff I'd called but who never came. I wanted welfare checks for the night.

I finally lay down at 3:30 and slept 'til some time after 5, when the babies started screaming again. I let the ducks and geese out of the house and the goats out of the back yard.

I drank only one cup of coffee, wheeled Nilly to the dirt pile and began covering her. I've got one layer on her, but it's not enough. But my arms and legs are so sore from working on her for six hours, I can barely walk or carry things. I put an old pallet on top of her and came in the house to lie down.

I heard a ruckus in the front yard: chickens hollering , cats running in, baby goats screaming, trying to get in the front door.

Two dogs outside, after the baby goats, Willy trying to fight them off. They ran into my back yard. The big one had a bloody mouth. I picked up a PVC sewer pipe and smacked him over the head a few times, since he'd cornered himself in my fence. I let them run out. Weasel chased after them. I don't think they'll be back.

As I started to walk back out, I saw that poor, frost bitten rooster, who'd just regrown his tail feathers, father of a new nest of eggs, lying dead by the duck pond.

I ran out front. The baby ducks and geese were huddled together, right in the open, dead silent. I called to them and they all came to me.

The hens may all be hiding under the house. I heard one singing just a minute ago; it's about four hours later.

My legs are so cramped, I can barely walk. My arms and hands are so tired, it hurts to type this.

I will push more dirt over Nilly tonight and tomorrow morning. There's a heavy, iron grate, looks like some sort of farm equipment, about fifty feet from her grave. It must weigh two hundred pounds. I've sort of moved it before, to get something under it. I'll drag to Nilly's grave, once I've used that entire pile of dirt (10 feet long, six feet wide, two feet tall) to cover Nilly.

Before I started digging, I let the babies come to terms with her. They smelled her all over, especially one ear the little nanny liked to chew. They smelled all the hoses and tubes, tools, blanket, sofa cushions, the chair I sat in and the bucket my neighbor sat on. They even smelled my iced tea glass. They're not crying now. They all came to the grave and smelled her before I started covering her.

Willy, bless his heart, gently butted the dirt around her, once I'd started covering her, trying to uncover her so she could get up.

I think they all know she's gone now. The babies might cry a bit more when they crave milk and at bed time.

She was full of milk when she died. She was a great mother. She was taken from hers at a week old. I don't know how she knew all the wisdom of raising babies, but she knew.

She protected Willy constantly, since Willy is the gullible and trusting one. She protected those kids. She always warned me when someone was coming too close to where ever we lived.

She liked to eat cigarettes, cardboard boxes, junk mail, hard candy and those molasses cookies I'd bake with medicine hidden in them.

I can still hear her voice. Damnedest thing: I could swear I heard her calling me this morning.

The consciousness of that being was amazing: brave, kind, curious. She had an incredibly complex sense of humor. She never suffered fools lightly. She thought the sun rose and set in me. I could see her eyes smile when she saw me. Goats don't have many facial muscles for expression. They tell you what they experience through placement of ears, tail, stance and eyes. I always knew what she was telling me with those eyes. I held her eyelid up so she could see me most of last night, allowing for blinking. She watched me steadily. I could see how weary she was. I could see she was sad. I did not see fear. I saw a little pain near the end. She looked at me with complete trust, even when I was hurting her.

I never stopped talking to her the entire time.

My legs are on fire. I need to eat. and drink something.

She was an amazing gift in my and Willy's lives: a truly noble creature.

Everything melts

burns out:

lamp lamp-shade

the light itself

with no shade left

no world

belongs to you and you


to no world

you are pulled

by rain and light

on roads coming

and going

from everywhere

to everywhere

Jaan Kaplinski

The Same Sea in Us All

Translator: Sam Hamill

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Nilly died about 15 mins. ago

Click image to view full size. Nilly is facing camera.

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I don't know. She was fine this morning. Mid to late afternoon, she was sleeping in shade, not near Willy or babies, which is unusual. Babies eating lots of solids now. She didn't let them nurse often or long any more. I thought she was taking a break from them in the heat.

As afternoon went on, babies became more agitated, as Mommy not there.

IT was maybe 4 or 5 o'clock before I understood that something was really wrong. She had moved, was lying down, breathing labored. She couldn't get up.

I put her in my Radio Flyer wagon with an old sofa cushion and rolled her into the front yard, so I could yell for help from passing vehicles.

My neighbor called a friend with goats. Friend said she thought it was bloat and Nilly would be dead in 45 mins, if dr. didn't cut open one of her stomachs to release gas. No vehicle, no money for vet.

I took vinyl tube off my home made air conditioner. I covered it with hand lotion and forced it down her throat into her stomach. I pushed on her sides and she aspirated some. She also had watery diarrhea. Goats normally poop several dozen pellets, the size and shape of rabbit poop. If they're sick, the worst that usually happens is the pellets clump like black berries. I'd seen some black berries the last two days, but thought nothing of it, as everybody's looking very healthy. Had to be Willy or Nilly, as babies' poopies are very tiny, like pepper corns. It usually clears up in a day or two. No big deal.

Now, she's squirting out the back end: Not like a goat, at all.

She moaned a lot. I made a sling from an old blanket, wrapped around her distended stomach, would lift her 'til she hollered. Sometimes, she'd vomit, which is almost unheard of in goats, and sometimes leak out the back.

I would get loud and keep stimulating her when breathing got labored and she rallied at least half a dozen times.

Then, the moaning came regularly, almost with every breath. Her neck went slack and she couldn't hold up her head. I extended her wind pipe. I put a chip of firewood in her mouth, to hold it open, so air could pass more easily.

I went around to the back yard to get another sofa cushion, so she'd be more comfortable. When I got back, she'd stopped breathing. It was seconds. I guess I shouldn't have left her. As long as I stayed, she kept fighting.

I punched her in the chest, screaming, "Babies! Nilly! Come here! Come on! Come back!" I put my hand over her nostrils and sides of her mouth and put my mouth over the front of hers, vomit and all. I must have given her CPR for over twenty minutes. Several times, I felt small muscle movements, but she just couldn't come back. She was trying, even then.

So, I sat with her while her brain died. I thanked her for the babies, for her friendship. I let her know it was ok, that I understood, that I'm not mad at her.

She's in the front yard, still in the wagon. The babies went to bed in their dog house in the animal shelter. Willy went to bed on an old sofa I have out there for them. The babies had been running in the yard, screaming for her. I let them & Willy stay around through all of this, although the babies didn't understand Mommy was sick and kept jumping on her. But I wanted them to know when she was dead, so it wouldn't be as scary as having her just disappear.

I can't dig a hole big enough for her. There's a pile of dirt outside the fence. The people who lived here before had a LOT of trash and burned & buried much of what they didn't just leave lying around. The pile of dirt is at the top of a slope, about ten feet long and six feet wide. I will have to lay Nilly at the bottom of the slope and just push dirt on top of her. I can't let the wild dogs and coyotes get a taste of goat meat; they'll kill all the others.

I lost one of my best friends tonight. I called KUNM's request line. Fortunately, the person on the board is Bob Otty tonight: old hippy, radical, suspicious of station management, always signs off with "Always Look On tthe Bright Side of Life" by Monty Python and refuses to bleep out the phrase, "Life's a piece of shit, when you think of it..." I told him it's an emergency and I don't have Rachel's home number. Would he mind paging her and giving her my number and not tell anybody, since Rachel's always so worried about someone thinking she's abusing some privilege of her job, including her pager.

She called, confused and probably asleep. She's not very smart about human feelings and it took her awhile to understand that I didn't need her to help me, as Nilly was dead. I just needed a human being who knows how much those animals mean to me to let me speak my sorrow. She finally got it. I thanked her for not being mad about the pager and the hour. She was tender and kind and said not to worry.

Kate, they've taken SO MUCH from me. And I've gone through so much to keep my ANIMALS, at least, safe and healthy. Did they HAVE to take NILLY?!?!?!?

The goats sometimes browse on vacant lots near by. One is catty corner to my place. Today, a guy in a van was parked right in the middle of that empty lot, his side window pointed right at my house, staring at me. He stayed out there for about two hours, staring at me constantly. The neighbor who came over to help tonight recognized my description of his van. He owns the lot. If I go over there tomorrow and find rat poison or something, I will call Animal Control. But I cannot guarantee that I won't do something to the bastard. I've been all over that lot with my goats. If I see poison over there, I'll know it was him.

My goats never eat poisonous plants.

My friend is dead. One of the best friends I ever had in my life. I'm embarrassed to say, but Nilly was always my favorite goat of the 2.

I don't know how I'll handle the babies tomorrow. They'll probably witness the burial. I doubt I could keep them away.

I'm so far beyond grief, my heart feels dead. Tomorrow morning, I'll have to see my friend, stiff and dull eyed. I couldn't get her eyelids shut. I'll have to bury my friend in the heat and prickles, all alone. It will take all day.

Too Small to Fail!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

MOVIE: "Departures"

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Producers, actors and directors approached it with the same meditative and craftsperson like skill so essential to Japanese tradition. The music is not emotionally manipulative: it is a depiction of the strong and profound emotions of the characters which, according to Japanese etiquette, may not be expressed overtly, out of consideration for the well being of others. This film is a testimony to the agony of grief, the joy of existence and the poignancy of life. We in the West are at least as emotionally repressed and probably more prone to trauma, because we do not have well developed ceremonies to handle it. We do not have social permission to express what is profound, and are punished or ridiculed for such expression. Nokan (encoffinment) is a process of allowing loved ones to witness, and participate in, the preparation of the dead for cremation. Families also witness cremation. Tearing of the veil between life and death is very much more healthy than modern, Western funerary practices which segregate death so radically from the living that we can now pretend antiseptic denial: a process not dissimilar to trash removal, as can be seen in the ham-handed behaviors of one pair of undertakers in the film. Solemn and gentle ritual is vital for psychological closure for the living and mitigates the trauma. The nokanshi must remove ego from this process; there must be no reaction to the state of the body, be it decomposed, transgendered or anything else. The nokanshi must respect the needs of the body and the loved ones first. Later, the nokanshi may find his (or her?) own way of coming to terms, but not in the presence of the deceased or witnesses. The director was convinced, due to the taboos associated with funerary practices, that this film would not be a commercial success. It stormed the box offices in Japan.

Friday, May 21, 2010

MOVIE: "Ballast"

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This is a hopeful, encouraging, empowering film about the sorts of people whose lives have been too long silenced.

Speaking of silence: The sound engineer needs to be worked over for totally screwing up what could have been a really good film, but I'm giving it 4 stars for acting, lighting, script and honesty, even though I could barely hear the actors.

The problem with the dialect is the SOUND. Every word is understandable, WHEN there is decent audio. These actors were not miked correctly. Did they have a boom? A shot gun? Did they use anything besides a cell phone to record this? It's terrible! The motorcycle is so loud, it scared me, so I know the fault is with sound engineering and not with the streaming medium. But I had to literally hold my breath for dialogue at times, with speakers four inches from my ears, at full blast.

It didn't need a sound track; that would have ruined this. Besides, with the above mentioned audio issues, I couldn't have heard a thing, anyway. What the heck kind of music could one put to this, anyway?

Emotional repression is a fact of life among the rural poor. I can imagine that would be especially true at times for African Americans, who have a heritage of silently sucking up what the cold world has offered. This family is seriously traumatized. They act out in their grief in self destructive ways.

But, slowly, they turn themselves back toward the light, toward hope, toward initiative, toward study, toward love.

I'm very happy for these people. They didn't let the trauma permanently poison them. They won!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

MOVIE: "Far From Heaven"

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This is a queer movie; it is peculiar. It is not a Queer movie; it does not portray Queer history, culture or life in any authentic version of reality.

Mr. Todd Haynes, writer and director of FFH, was born less than ten miles from me and six years after, in the San Fernando Valley. I can tell you right now: he knew little about the Civil Rights movement of the time; none of us did. It shows in this film. No mentally competent African American man, raising a daughter on his own, would jeopardize her safety by such reckless behavior. Period.

I also believe Mr. Todd Haynes has some work to do on his personal issues about being a Gay man. I'm sure he, like I, was saturated and inundated with anti Queer propaganda of the late fifties and early sixties, during his formative years.

Let me make this clear: Gay cannot be presumed to be alcoholic, woman hating wife beaters! THAT IS A STEREOTYPE.

Oh, it's a very artsy movie, for sure. A lot of attention was paid to the "smoke and mirrors" to mimic a '50s melodrama. He wasted a lot of time on those details. The halting dialogue was farcical, gee whiz, and completely undermined the viewer's ability to relate to the characters in any but the most superficial ways. Not for one second would he allow the viewer to be immersed in the story telling; we must always be reminded that he made a movie. This movie was about Todd Haynes' ego most of all.

This is a movie of stereotype piled upon stereotype. The effect is similar to some cheap imitation of Andy Warhol or that guy who makes the giant "inflatables" and lobsters.

There is no there there.

He learned a lot in film school; that's quite obvious. And he bamboozled a lot of Hollywood snobs who want a chance to assuage their liberal guilt with pretty revisionist history.

And one, very crucial, but unnoticed detail gives him and his pandering house of cards all away.

Ms. Moore's dresses "hiked up in the back," to quote a constant warning from my mother, as I was growing up. No middle class little girl like me -- and especially no upper middle class housewife from Connecticut -- would EVER be caught in public with her petticoats showing and her hems not straight!

From opening overture to spring buds on a branch, I laughed at the sheer gall of this movie, all the way through. It's an embarrassment to Black folks and Queers.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

MOVIE: "Bottle Shock"

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I don't know the first thing about wines, mostly. It's odd, as I'm rather a foody, but nobody ever taught me and, frankly, I don't have the budget.

I almost didn't hit play on this one. See, I know what has happened to Napa Valley SINCE the great wine wars of '76. Guys like those portrayed in this film wouldn't have a snowball's chance these days. Speaking of snobs.

I only watched it because I'm curious about Alan Rickman's film career, having just watched "The Winter Guest."

Even though I could pretty much guess what would happen in France, the movie was so suspensful, and had presented the characters so well that I was aching for their success, I have literally bitten off all my finger nails.

I'm a native Californian. People who were willing to drive around on three tires are the real Californians. Cut me, and I bleed Steinbeck. I have to cheer for the Napa Valley folks in this one.

The music was wonderful, thanks. The sound, however, was muddy, had no full range and bad volume. When people spoke quietly, I couldn't hear them, and my speakers are, literally, four inches from my face, cranked to full volume to get through this one. bad.

Little details in this movie make it more fun. For instance, they had to hire 2 actors, get them chauffeur costumes and have them lean against the outside wall of the wine tasting, conversing as working people do as the rich hob nob. We couldn't hear them; they only appeared for a few seconds. THAT is film making.


Now, I need a nail file and, some day, a good glass of wine. But right now, it is 1:30 in the morning. I should not have stayed up so late!

Monday, May 10, 2010

MOVIE: "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead"

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OK, I guess I'm a pseudo intellectual fifteen year old girl then 'cause I enjoyed it.

Maybe it's my brain injury which, I fear, seems to be affecting more with time. For instance, When "Elizabeth R" first came out on Masterpiece Theater, I watched every episode on the edge of my seat. Tried to watch it on NF the other day and could not keep up. Sigh.

I think the Monty Python/ Waiting for Godot crack is pretty close, 'though I really can't bear sitting through another performance of either in my old age. I'm more a "Red Dwarf" gal these days.

So, with memory and concentration fading, I totally spotted myself with this one. Funny as a pickle eating contest at a chapped lip convention.

Personal note to
auc 1808773

The lack of accessibility to these movies for people who need captions is beyond me. I understand: even though I can usually hear, with Elizabethan accents, grammar and figures of speech, a little help might be nice.

I stopped the film multiple times to look up inconsistencies with props. There may, indeed have been tomatoes, MAYBE in Denmark, in those days, but would R & G have had access? The bath scene is more accurate than I'd have thought.

But I still find no excuses for the matches.

This is a fart in a chapel: it's only funny to those of us too tired or too inexperienced to revere Shakespeare as High Art, which he, himself, did not.


Sunday, May 09, 2010

MOVIE: "Lollilove"

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So, this is suppose to be an indictment of privileged people who exploit the homeless for their own career advancement and ego gratification, right?

Then, why were the cat and dog in this movie credited before the actual homeless people filmed here in closing credits?

I didn't watch this; I skimmed this. That was enough.

Did those real homeless people get PAID for being in this tragedy?


Saturday, May 08, 2010

MOVIE: "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas"

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Yes, it's Gilliam and a very nice film to look at as a result.


This is just another film about addicts. Addicts are completely narcissistic. The only thing they respect is their mind alterning chemicals. They're compulsive liars. They put other people's lives in danger because they're too impaired to understand they are not immortal, that their mind is altered by mind ALTERING substances, that what seems "brave" and "edgy" to them is simply irresponsible.

These are little boys with too much money to buy drugs and anything else they "want." They have frail egos and drug induced delusions of adequacy.

And Saguero cactus doesn't grow on any road to Los Vegas from Hollywood.

Oh, was there a war in Viet Nam of which everybody was sick? Funny, most of the world's population found some other way to deal with it besides turning into chemically induced sociopaths.

How ignorant of us!

As for we needing "more bizarre" behavior like this; that's how we got the coke queen/drunk GW Bush in the White House, mumbling, "you're either with us or with the terrorists."

There IS no "American Dream." There's just U.S. propoganda. So, if anything died, it was the delusional thinking that propoganda brought on. And how do we deal with that, kiddies? Get loaded and disrespect and endanger people who've done you no harm.

When he threw change at the waiter and walked out without paying his bill, I knew just what kind of boy he was: Spoiled, addicted, narcissistic and abusive.

This isn't a film. It's a temper tantrum.


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I've lived, undiagnosed, with Post Traumatic Stress, for most of my life.

I first saw "The Fisher King" well before I had a diagnosis. Until then, I just went through life, feeling inadequate or lazy or stupid, not knowing how utterly painful the nightmare really is. I didn't know other people weren't held down by PTSD like I was. I thought I was squandering my potential and I hated myself.

"The Fisher King" gave me permission to begin a path to recovery. Its main theme is hope: liberation from bondage, from trauma, from timidity.

"Jack" is always seen behind bars at the beginning of this movie: he's the real captive here, not "Perry."

I want to say something about production. I'm not from NYC and have never been there. But, whenever the subject of Union Station comes up, I immediately see the scene from "TFK," and smile.

And that Escher stair case! Holy smokes!

And the improve in that gorgeous Chinese restaurant!

And the lighting in Bellview!

And the defense of the homeless. Yes, thank you.

This movie probably helped me save my life. It is a dear friend. I was recently robbed and lost almost everything, including my VCR tapes. When I saw "TFK" in my "Play Instantly" thing today, recommended to me, based on my other eclectic and breaking-the-algorithm of trying to guess what I'd like, I was thrilled.

The moment I heard the name, "Babbit's," I misted up.

Every psychology class should be required to see this film. If you think you can "treat" or, more preposterously, heal people with behavioral health challenges, this should be required curriculum!



Friday, May 07, 2010

MOVIE: "Bickford Shmeckler's Cool Ideas"

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Who says young adults will only buy a ticket to male hormone exploitation flicks?

This has beer and other bongs, ogling and inflatable palm trees, sure. That's part of college/young adulthood.

But the pretty girl ain't no bimbo. The best peer advisor is really honest about himself and the protagonist doesn't cringe with adolescent homophobia. The "homeless" guy is not (as the insulting blurb on NF says) a "lunatic;" he's a guy in crisis looking, gently and commitedly, for a way back.

In fact, behavioral health challenges aren't used here to manufacture cheap snickers. It's a fact: life is hard and sometimes, one needs to recover. No shame in it.

It's not a stupid movie. It's not Stephen Hawking, but, no offence, dude, Stephen hasn't really published fun. Interesting, inspiring, but not a lot of deliberate fun.

So, not too cerebral. Not too bone head macho.

The togas scared me, at first. I had "Animal House" flashbacks that almost made me turn it off. But it went dang cool really fast, and I'm good with it.

And what IS frog-on-a-stick?


Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Off the Grid: Life On The Mesa

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These are not heroes. I guess middle class people wanted to visit these outlaws for some romantic notion. They're not romantic.

I have electricity and well water, but no sewage or heat. I have phone, because I have no vehicle. I have internet, or the isolation would leave me too depressed and despondent.

I leave the water off most of the time because the pipes burst when frozen and they leak. Landlord won't fix anything. I hitch hike or ride my gasoline bicycle. NO drugs. Maybe 3 shots of bourbon each for xmas and my birthday each year.

Kids don't need to be near what's going on out there. There are guns, drugs, toxic chemicals, explosives, rusted scrap metal, poisonous critters, extremes of heat and cold and no access to any help in an emergency. People set fires, shoot guns, get very intoxicated.

It's not a tribe; there's scant cohesion or sense of responsibility to self, let alone others in any consistent way. It's a group tantrum.

I'm sure the "progressive" elite in Albuquerque and Santa Fe will champion these people as "greens," "anarchists," and revolutionaries. They are not. Chaos is not anarchy.

Foraging junk to reuse is not environmentalism, if you are, in the same film, creating huge explosions of noxious smoke.

I put a lot of the blame for the necessity of their and my living arrangements on a society that shuns and vilifies people with behavioral health challenges. A lot of us would rather just live in squalor than "come in" to your "therapies" of toxic drugs, guilt trips and prejudices masquerading as "statistics."

But we're not all a bunch of hair trigger renegades, just waiting for a chance to scare the snot out of the tourists.
Don't know how you make a plastic greenhouse survive sixty mile wind gusts, like we get where I live, though.

What kind of society are we running when our children live like feral dogs?


Sunday, May 02, 2010

MOVIE: "Ship of Fools"

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The blurb here says this movie is "dark." BALDERDASH! This is one stinkin' funny, spot your pants comedy, if you're twisted and patient enough to actually pay attention. Psychologically and philosophically speaking, this makes Cameron's "Titanic" look like a kiddy pool (one wonders how anybody could drown in something so shallow).

I've had a crush on Michael Dunn since I was a kid, back when this came out. Those eyes! That grin! That voice! Intelligence and irony seep from every pore. I <3 href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ship_of_Fools_%28film%29">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ship_of_Fools_%28film%29