Monday, 29 October 2012

Quote of the Week - Morrison

"Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another." 
-Toni Morrison

Sometimes I wonder how many lifetimes Toni Morrison has lived.  She just seems to know in the bone.

Such a simple sentence.  A lifetime of work.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Lana Wachowski and Cloud Atlas

I've never been a huge Matrix fan.  (Sorry.)  As a total cyber-punk head, it felt like a rip-off of the ideas of all my favorite authors and thinkers.  A very cool rip-off, but a rip-off nonetheless.  

The trailer for Cloud Atlas intrigued me, and bringing such a sprawling narrative to the screen seemed ambitious in a good way.  (I'm also not much of a Tom Tykwer fan (sorry).  Run Lola Run is sort of a script supervisor's nightmare, and didn't feel like much of a movie to me, and the other ones, whose names I can't even remember seemed more mess than beautiful to me.)

There's a hair thing going on here...

I don't see lots of movies in the theatre anymore - it's time-consuming and expensive, but I thought briefly about seeing Cloud Atlas.

Then I watched Lana Wachowski's speech before the HRC.  Wow.  Who is this fun, cool, engaging, smart, sensitive person?  She is charming, she is vulnerable, and most of all, she is on point throughout. This is a must-see, not only because of the socio-political issues it addresses so elegantly and personally, but because these issues of "coming out," of invisibility, of being seen, of the gaze - these issues belong to everyone.  In my work and life, I've never met anyone who didn't have a real them that they had to tediously and courageously work to release to the world, or one which they kept under lock and key out of fear of reprisal.

The speech was so wonderful, I went to see Cloud Atlas on opening day.  It had more beautiful than mess, but still had a lot of mess.  It was inconsistent, episodic, ambitious, accomplished, frustrating, annoying, engaging, needed better dialogue, too long, not long enough, maddening, and fierce.  Not surprisingly, my least favorite sections turned out to be the Tom Tykwer ones (and reminded me of the movie I least liked of his and can't remember the title of), but the Wachowski sections, while visually dazzling, often had that stilted feel to them that makes representation plastic instead of supple.  (And what is cinema but the opportunity to take art from the plastic to the supple?)

Definitely a hair thing
So, in conclusion:  see the speech.  Watch the speech.  The speech is important and succeeds 100% on every level.  Then, if you're intrigued, see Cloud Atlas.  For all its flaws, it feels like a companion to the speech - and, sadly, not the other way around.  The almost 3-hour film feels like a declaration of independence, and a mandate for the rights of personhood - not the worst thing to occupy the same cultural time and space as a Presidential election.

(Yeah, I keep linking the speech cause I can't find a way to embed and cause you should watch it!)

Monday, 22 October 2012

Quote of the Week - Anonymous

"'Up in our country we are human!' said the hunter. 'And since we are human we help each other. We don't like to hear anybody say thanks for that. What I get today you may get tomorrow. Up here we say that by gifts one makes slaves and by whips one makes dogs.'" 
- Inuit hunter in Greenland quoted in Peter Freuchen's Book of the Es­kimos

(tweeted by @TedHope via Delancey Place)

What's great about this?  Everything.  In a world of debt and tabulation, a world of accounting, taxes, haves and have not, in a world where we are now identifying ourselves as percentages -- the 1%, the 99%, the 47% (I mean - isn't this exactly how we didn't want to be defined?  What all fear of "the future" is based upon - that we will be nothing but numbers or statistics?) -- here is something simple to remind us that even though we think we have conquered nature and aborted any divine plan that may or may not have ever been in place, life is still seasonal, fortune still cyclical, and humanity based upon open-handedness.

I suppose if you want to be cynical, you can call it enlightened self-interest.  I prefer calling it the instinct for connection and intimacy - perhaps the thing that lead us to tell stories around fires and draw on cave walls.  I prefer to think of giving as the first seed of love.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Missing Nancy Botwin

OMG.  No more Nancy Botwin.

Am I gonna have to grow up now?

Cause, see, no matter how curious my choices were, or - to some people - questionable, I could always tune into Weeds and watch Nancy make some exponentially unsound choices that made mine look like kindergarten drawings to her Rembrandts.  She knew how to f*ck some sh*t up.  For real.

Indestructible as a cartoon character, with mad Cali style - Nancy knew when to take sh*t and when to give it. (Yeah - I have totally not mastered that.)  Somehow managing to be sexy in every situation, whether she was doing a brick dance or being the new mom setting up her husband to take a huge fall.

Just finished watching Season 8, which was pretty great. As unreal as some of the plotlines could feel, the characters seemed to get much realer.  There were some awkward moments that felt ripped out of my own recent life, where I was literally like, "oh....maybe I shouldn't have said that..."

As her life is crumbling around her (again) someone close to her tells her she'll be fine and she's so strong, which makes her look like she's going to disintegrate right there onto the ground.  (In case you didn't know - not helpful - really not.  We know we'll be fine and we're strong.  It's everything in between now and then we're gonna hate like hell, and the becoming even stronger that makes it all awful - no one wants to be that strong and fine - it's a totally isolating universe unto itself.)

I'm not sure where I"ll get my dose of "Oh no, she didn't," but I'm thinking Carrie (Claire Danes) in Homeland.

Her own special kinda brilliant cray cray

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Quote of the Week - Rosemurgy

“Having a core is to the apple
what having a core is to the body,
city, method, circumstances, endeavor.
Having a core is flower-shaped and hurts
in the way that having a shape hurts, which is to say
it hurts ironically, because to have limits
is not just to make a declaration upon a mountainside,
it is also to be the mountainside.”

All Objects Reveal Something about the Body
(thanks to Katelyn Lucas)
I had this moment, a few weeks ago, writing, where the word that just demanded me was "core."  It just insisted.  It was a clear message - I was neglecting my core.  I've always found Pilates super dull, but a girl has to keep her core strong in this world.  How else to extend outward?  Every dancer knows that.  I know that.  Somewhere, I lost it.

When you say core you are not just evoking our physical core - there is the core of our spirit, our core reasons for existing, the core is the place purpose springs from and the place that replenishes love.  It's where centre comes from and it's where chi resides.

Then this quote showed up on Katelyn's FB status and hit me.  I'd never heard of the writer, but I knew she was speaking to me.  That's what poetry does. It hits you in the core if it's the real.

Respect what comes from your core; respect what resounds within it. Strengthen it.  Build a fence around it if you have to, cause some people are coreless and will come try to take advantage of yours.  Let the right ones in, though, and get friendly with crunches.  ; )

Now listening:  Michael Kiwanuka on MBE 2012

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Benjamin Button Backwards

Wow.  Things have really spun out the last 4 months.  And not in a good way!

I had to have a check in.  Look what I found:

Things to Remember in 2012

1.  Let go

2.  Relax

3.  Consider the source

4.  Work less

5.  Check actions with short and long-term goals

6.  Let it come to you

7.  Leave space

8.  Release the outcome

9.  Learn time

10. Allow the new; let the old fall away.

I am pretty sure I mighta posted these already at the beginning of the year.  Looking back at this list, I have to wonder if I didn't manage to devise some obstacles to get me back on track with some of these goals - apparently, I was slacking.  If so, I'm pretty harsh - I can manifest like a Muthafucka - cause I created some seriously tough stuff that has forced me into a place of doing the 10 things on this list.

So now - I gotta reverse the flow.  Cause it's felt like Benjamin Button* backwards this whole time.  So now I'm idling in neutral, seeing how I can put this thing back in gear.  

*Note - yeah, I haven't actually seen that whole movie, nor read it, but I get the idea.  Anyway, maybe I don't wanna know the end...

Monday, 8 October 2012

Quote of the Week - Angelou

Love liberates. It doesn’t just hold—that's ego. Love liberates. It doesn't bind. Love says, ‘I love you. I love you if you’re in China. I love you if you’re across town. I love you if you’re in Harlem. I love you. I would like to be near you. I’d like to have your arms around me. I’d like to hear your voice in my ear. But that’s not possible now, so I love you. Go.’”

-Dr. Maya Angelou

"Let go" was on the top of my list of things to remember this year.  Even at the top of the list, it's easy easy easy to forget.

I don't think love means anything without containing the freedom to grow.  All love - not just romantic love - is about freedom in safety and safety in freedom.  If it isn't, well, it probably isn't love.

Let go.  All the way.  No cheatin'.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

The Other 50% - Good news!

"...there is no denying the anecdotal evidence that a major generational transition is under way."

This article in The Hollywood Reporter details the recent surge in female showrunners, and that a continuation is inevitable.  I'm always wary of that sentiment - there have been downturns before - but it's comforting that Cynthia Littleton and AJ Marechal are willing to report it as such in the Women's Impact Report.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Quote of the Week - Freston

“I’m a decadent gal. I want to drink. I want to feel full at the end of a meal. I just don’t want it to have any animals in it, for a variety of reasons.” 
-Kathy Freston

Yes!  Okay - I'm not vegan - cheese is way too important to me.  And creamy things.  But not eating meat does not mean that you don't like life, are parsimonious, or wear Birkenstocks.  Nope.

I became vegetarian when I found that I had no good reasons not to.  I am now a vegequarian, which is because I have reasons for eating fish sometimes.

This NY Times article gives some hope for the LA dining scene for vegans and vegetarians.  Despite the proliferation of vegan fast food, LA restaurants still lag behind those in other cities in offering vegetarian options.  There.  I said it.

You should eat what makes sense to you and feels right.  But go ahead and figure out what that might be every once in a while.  You change, your mind changes, your tastes change and your body changes.  You don't have to stay who you were  - it's not a great way to become the person you want to be.

And that's enough preaching for a Monday.  : )