December 28th, 2006

Coffee Squirrel

New Year's Coming

It's cold. The dampness makes it worse. Turning up the heat...

Thinking about Malcolm X makes me think about context. Eric and I are just listening to some tapes of his speeches that he bought at Goodwill. He was definitely a speaker to delve into the essence of things, unafraid to break open a seed to get at the kernel. I can't imagine the bravery it took at a time when he could have been killed (his home was fire-bombed) yet he would not be silenced. The speeches span his career as an activist and agitator: from 'white devil' time to 'If things were equal, we might talk. Before that time, don't tell me to put down my gun until you put down yours'. At any rate, he got me thinking about context, spin, blaming the victim and how to move forward individually and together. Why do we assume we have the same motives? Can one have motivations that extend beyond themselves? Not really. What extends beyond myself affects me, though. So I'm in whether I want it or not.

It's clear that our motivation for entering Iraq wasn't pure. What gets me is the whole idea of spin. I could go on for days about some of the issues I have with the cultural laws that have attached themselves to Islam, so this is not a rant about how peace-loving a faith is Islam. I also know how influential the West has been in the rise to power of these unwanted 'extremists'. What I'm curious about is perspective. In regards to our own nation.

Think of the Brits during the Revolutionary War. I'm going to have to do some more research on this. Were the colonists thought of as feral things? Certainly they were fighting in ways that astounded the Brits. They didn't come to 'give freedom' but to give a spanking to naughty, errant children. Those settlers, though, had to have felt invaded. They had been here for a couple generations by then, right? They didn't feel grateful. Why can it be so painful to see something from another point of view? For all the sound bites about everyone wanting peace, it makes one wish it were true. It's not. I'm not =that= naive. I understand how conflict can move us forward, but how to get to the point where we =use= it and have it move us forward rather than it spiraling out of control. That is the puzzle. As above, so below: if we find a way internationally, it can work for folks on a personal level, no? I live in a bubble and have a laugh now and again and treat those I come across as kindly as I can. Applicable, useful ideas for solutions? No one wants them. Good thing. I haven't got any...

To shake off the funk, I watched IDLEWILD. It could have used more dancing and a bit more plot. It was beautiful, though. And more Andre in the bathtub. Yum. Damn, Terrence Howard does sleeze more perfectly than almost ANY other actor. The actors playing Little Rooster and Little Percival? They are adorable and just glow. I wish I had been able to see it months ago on its opening weekend to support it. Fun stuff, a fabulous mix of CGI, Gangster films, song and pathos...And Ben Vereen!