Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Nit and Pick

The last week or so I have been busy care taking - myself. This is the week that phase one of my dental reconstruction begins and I wanted to see movies, eat, work out to compensate for all the eating and just enjoy record breaking warm temps before I become a shut in. That said I think I saw very different movies than the ones being debated today with regards to the Golden Globes.  And until I heard Regina King and Glenn Close speak I thought once again time is clearly not up.  But I had seen a fraction of the movies and was curious about those I had not yet. 

The first was The Green Book.  I loved it as it was acting times 10.  The music and story of Dr. Shirley was one I only heard on NPR as there was a debate about the Director and the narrative behind the two men on which this story is based.  I loved it as I saw it about learning and communication.  How we are introduced to someone and the roles of said relationship often are subordinate or secondary we have to accept and learn from this.  Being thrown into situations with people unlike ourselves means the learning curve is both fast and furious as it challenges every sense of our beliefs and temperament.  And from this we either learn to cope or we learn about someone else and can in turn accept them on face value and be just fine with that.   In reality this movie was driving Miss Daisy with an all male cast but there is no question that both characters were genuine and their dignity was left in tact. I think that is all the best we can hope when others recall us in the future.  To say that White Director of comedies could not nor should not do such a film is absurd as that it the point of the creative arts, to test oneself and grow and to ensure a story gets told. Sometimes the storyteller is secondary to the story and that all that should matter is the story.

I felt the same way with the BlackKKlansman as I had read the book and found the movie a slight deviation from the actual story but I loved it just the same as the fundamental core was not lost.   And when the real film came to an end with real news footage of Duke, Trump and Charlottesville this served to remind me of an essential fact:  That truth is stranger than any fiction.

The same goes for Vice. Again amusing, partially true as we know the end and in some ways how we got there in this journey so its bias is clear but the end clearly reminds us that again the story may not be 100% the end was.  So does the end justify the means or make the story less true?

I have not seen Bohemian Rhapsody as I recall Queen the real man and band so do I need to see a film about their history?  And then the controversy about the original Director who was fired nor the issues surrounding how the story did not discuss the complex history of Freddie Mercury and his sexuality. The man died of AIDS and if this is not a larger truth then I guess you need to see the movie to realize that the truth is not always one with a happy ending.  However after hearing the charming Rami Malek on Terri Gross and his speech at the Globes he makes me want more.  So I will see the film despite the critical bashing it received in The New York Times.

But then again criticism is just opinion and that is affected by gender, age, bias, etc so I realize we all don't agree with the critics or The Shape of Water would be a blockbuster.  So when the critics raved about The Favourite I was sure I would love it too.  No.  I felt it so off putting about Female Toxic relationships I just wanted to eat a cookie.  The women were unlikable and utterly uninteresting.  If I wanted to watch women out bitch each other I would watch The Real Housewives.... and as I do perhaps that is why I loathed it.

But of late I have really become exhausted over the endless knit and picking of how narratives should not be told by those who do not share it, that we must be constantly aware of any and every possible offense we chose to not offend, defend or even be interesting.  I loved the Wife and nothing about the story seemed implausible or any less real.  As in all relationships, personal or professional, we often make deals that to others seem untenable  But again we are all who we are and truth or fiction that is why I watch TV or Movies and read, to learn about others not like me.    I read another criticism about the Marvelous Mrs Maisel that I agreed upon but it did not make me like the series less as it is just a tv show and if I hated it I had the ability to change the channel. Same goes with books, music and the like, I have that power to not.

I was perusing The Atlantic (which again I subscribe try that reading and buying something to hold in one's hand and read) and what crossed me eye was an interesting article about a Gay Activist who loathed the acronym, LGBQT.  His belief was it further diversified an already marginalized group.  I agree and the same goes with hyphenated identities.  I stick with the one I share with the largest group, American and Human.   The more we distinguish ourselves from each other the further the divides in the larger society. And that has lead another collective to join the long list of other activist groups of the last decade - The Women's March.  They are too busy worrying about demographics, select agendas and of course all that it means to one over the other that we can safely file them under Occupy Wall Street.   So much for inclusive. What is the opposite? Divisive. Divide and ye shall conquer.  That may be the point for if you are infighting you are too busy to look outward where the real problems lie.

So what we have is a nation of Narcissists whose only problems are theirs and theirs alone. It is like being on Vanderpump Rules only less booze.

So when you go to a movie or read a book or see a painting and you find out that the Actor, the Author, the  Artist was a raging lunatic then what?  Does it make you look at the work in a different way and wonder how out of madness came this or in turn do you want it destroyed so that this is never a part of the history or culture of our world that we can in turn learn from?  Well learning aint' fundamental in America.

Much is made of Nashville and I have spent the better part of a year trying to destroy that mythology as I frame my book to look behind the history and the facts that have enabled me to understand this place, for now, I call home.  It is not a liberal city not even close if it was anything it was a lighter shade of pale when it comes to red as this is a very pink city and not a fun way unless you are a drunken Bachelorette.  Then hell it is put on the boots and party down.

But again my opinion and my experience are just that - my own.   If you feel differently write your own book to show the different side.  Every coin has two sides and we have many types of coins in which to pay our debts so choose the way that works for you.  When someone disagrees, chooses differently this is not about you it is about choice. I am not sure we are comfortable with people who make us feel uncomfortable as it requires effort to either understand or even to walk away. Like when reading a book, watching a show or going to a movie you have the option to throw it out, change the channel or walk out. Try that and find something else you like that can be the change you need and if it is change that is needed be open on how to find it. Keep nitpicking and as my mother used to say about a sore on one's harm it will never heal.  Sometimes wounds need time and sometimes they need help to heal and you find the balance but be open to sometimes finding a way you never knew before.

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