Sunday, August 12, 2012

Rise Up / Wise Up

Though I am admittedly not a fan of summer time block busters, I finally went to go see The Dark Knight Rises.  Unlike other films of this genre, I’ve always admired the themes presented in these Christopher Nolan films.  It is for this reason that I was surprised when so called “left-wing” movie critics accused the film of being elitist propaganda claiming that Batman is presented as a crusader for the right-wing agenda.  Though like its predecessor The Dark Knight (which explored the dilemma of battling an uncompromising terrorist, i.e. The Joker), the third film in the series uses real life current events, in this case the occupy movement and the inequities in the disbursement of wealth in this country, as a plot device to enhance the complex nature of the human condition.   Not only does the TDKR explore how the arguably noble motivations of multi- dimensional characters (both antagonists and protagonist) can have disastrous results, the film can also be interpreted as a cautionary tale of what can happen when the plight of the marginalized/ disenfranchised goes unheard and eventually turns on society.  As a result audiences are allowed to question the actions of heroes while sympathizing with monstrous villains.   I swear sometimes you pretentious lefties have no fucking social imagination.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Voice of Descent

"The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality. There comes a time when silence is betrayal."  - Dante

 The United States of America has a rich tradition of assasinating our leaders and then celebrating them on their day of remembrance. Though throughout our public school education we are indoctrined with the I Have a Dream speech, we are not exposed to a diffrent side of Dr. King.  In a speech condeming the violence in Vitenam, Dr. King voiced his opinions and concerns of the morality of the American society.

I have walked among the desperate, rejected and angry young men.  I have told them that Molotov cocktails and riffles would not solve their problems.  But they ask, and rightly so, “What about Vietnam?”  They ask if our own nations wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems.  And I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly about the violence in the world today; my own government.

…We have destroyed their (Vietnamese) their two most cherished institutions; their land and their crops.  This is the role our nation has taken, the role of those who make peaceful revolutions impossible by refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that come from the immense profits of overseas investments.

I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, as a nation we must undergo a radical revolution of values.  We must radically begin the shift from a thing orienyed society to a people oriented society.
Unfortunayely, as we all know, Dr. King became a victim of the same violence he opposed. Whille nearly 44 years later we have forgotten that hisassassins has yet to be prosecuted, we are bombarded with the black and white images of Dr.  King preaching non-violence.  To you I ask, Why erase history when it can simply be rearranged.
After posting my initail thoughts on the celebration of MLK Day on a popular social network, a fellow student responded:
They assassinate them because they want the "lower" class of citizens who is the labor force to stay exactly there, down. Unfortunately for us, but fortunately for the wealthy. Bright side of the story is that we still have their ideals to built on and inspire future generations.     
My response to this staement is that it's not enough to think in terms of "us" and "they". We need to accurately identify who "they" are. Its a shame when they use the image and memory our leaders to propagate their agenda, and even worse when we buy into it.  It's wake up time.