Is it a failing of my own, or has the world gone a tad mad? I cannot grasp the extent to which situations, circumstances, behaviors and relationships have dwindled to an appalling naught. Little, it seems matters as it once did. There is no desirable code of conduct among us anymore. I blame the times, our leadership, and the choices we seem to have made. Everything else is out of my grasp.
If there is any doubt about the truth, insist on evidence as proof. Demand, require, argue, protest, urge, exhort, and assert your unwillingness to be complicit in a lie. Insist on honesty. #Resist falsehood.
We’ve got sort of shoot the messenger administration in power. Senator Durbin reports an appalling truth and he’s faulted for the fact that the Congress can’t pass DACA legislation. People who’ve contributed to America, and lived here for years are being deported, and surely we can’t blame Dick Durbin for regressive policies carried out by the administration and its cohorts. Clearly, it’s their racism that is responsible for failing to allow immigrants who dream of a better life and whose dreams have been fulfilled during nearly a lifetime in the United States to continue living the American dream.
Most Americans come from a long line of dreamers. We are descendents of men and women who came here to start over and to do better. Chances are that your grandpa was an immigrant, or that great grandma came through Ellis Island. An ancestor worked the railroads or participated in the gold rush of 1849. There may be a Revolutionary War veteran on your family tree; he came to America to escape persecution. Some came for economic opportunities. Others travelled across the seas to find a freer society.
Still others were forced here against their will, and lived here enslaved until the Emancipation Proclamation attempted to integrate them into American life. Racism, then as now, worked to keep these newly minted citizens from enjoying their liberties and rights. Americans who were brought here in shackles have traversed a tougher road in becoming part of the fabric of this democracy.
The main agenda for the dominant party today is a kind of war against people of color. The urban poor are the principal targets of this unprincipled party line. The tax bill, immigration policy, the fight over healthcare, attacks on Medicaid and the defunding of CHIP, the call to close the borders, all affect services. Education, transportation, housing, are all left to flounder and founder under the burdens of making the wealthy a lot richer. Tax cuts to businesses and their owners will not trickle down to citizens living in or on the boundaries of poverty.
The predominantly white, rural poor may still support the underlying principles of a racist political regime. They are also financially at risk, but they may feel gratified that inequality takes precedence in our national life, and white supremacy is not just condoned but a guiding political ideal. Is having token representation reward enough for their loyalty?
Tamburlaine cut up the earth once upon a time in Marlowe’s brilliant text.
He marched across the map, laying claim with a stomp of his foot to the world he was conquering.
It is a moment of supreme madness, yet one of extreme beauty.
To carve your place in places that do not belong to you, that is the madness.
The ferocity with which the character says “And this is mine” as he ravages the known-world, that is wherein lay the beauty.
Well, in truth, in some locales around the globe it has already peaked, but here in NYC we await the balldrop some 13 plus hours from now, and counting.
One two three … midnight and happy new year.
In an era of frankness (well not in the political arena or in our “civic” lives, but certainly in films), why do so many bio-pics present such a bowdlerized view of their subjects? Sanitizing and censoring the lives that the persons of interest led seems an unpardonable treatment.
It may be possible to excuse Hollywood for masking Lorenz Hart’s sexual inclinations in the 1948 film, Words and Music. But the times they are a-changin’ as Bob Dylan would put it. Shouldn’t we be more forthright about who Cole Porter really was in De-Lovely than we were in 1946 in Night and Day? The Kevin Klein version from 2004 hints only slightly at the double life Porter had.
The facts of a person’s life may not be as straightforward or as simply depicted as we’d like to think. Allowing for artistic license and interpretation as well as for the p.o.v. of the auteur, the life on the screen cannot replicate the life as it was lived.
The movie about Sylvia Plath’s relationship with Ted Hughes, Sylvia (2003) is based on a collection of his poems. To the survivor belongs the turn of the tale. Even the esteemable Richard Attenborough while harnessing the talents of the superb Robert Downey, Jr. misses the mark in revealing Chaplin to his audience. While I will confess to having it liked it, I agree that the movie underplays the dramas inherent in Charlie Chaplin’s rich and controversial life.
Putting a coat of varnish on an old beat-up piece is one way of making it look shinier and maybe younger than its years and wear. Like “fake news,” the ever-so-popular-with-the-conservative-base meme, varnish gives an illusion of things being other than they are. Let me explain what I mean about “fake news”– for the most part this is a term used to denigrate the factual. Varnish, in its way, denigrates a reality as well; it alters –or attempts to alter–the age and condition of the furniture to which it is applied. In this way, varnish is truly a fakery, while “fake news” is a slur against truth.