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Month: May 2010

The Physicality of Being

The Physicality of Being

“Avatar” is a fine movie with an excellent message, or two, or three. Watching it months after all of the hype, I was able to drop my guard, suspend my disbelief, and see its high points without resorting to easy cynicism. Though that may come later. The high points, aside from the wonderful images of Pandora, are its antiwar, anti-imperialist themes, along with an underlying critique of capitalism that no doubt has sparked many a conversation around the nation’s water coolers. We need much more of that. But there are other aspects which drew my attention as well, especially the idea of living in harmony with Nature, the interconnectedness of all living things, being physically in each moment, and the high contrast between the native peoples of Pandora and the imperialist forces from Earth trying to exploit or annihilate them.

The early part of the film is especially good, where Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), a handicapped Marine who has been … Click to continue . . .

Sensible Delusions

Sensible Delusions

The Scream, by Edvard Munch. 1893

 

Death in Life

 

Fall down breathe out the last
Fall down
Because belief is gone

Tripped up on the way
Tripped up
Because an earlier time
An earlier phase

Made one feel
That now was endless
Now was always

And the end was so far away
We could afford to give it all up
In the moment

We could afford to be reckless
With our lives because we thought
There was so much left in the bank

Time bank
Time lockbox

How much of aging is
A matter of
Coming to terms with a false sense of
Resignation?

How much of maturing
Is simply the rationalization
That we were wrong to hope for so much
When young?

We were right then for the wrong reasons
We are wrong now for the right reasons

It’s never too late to make
Insane leaps into the irrational

We’re always already there

 

— by Douglas … Click to continue . . .

Four Dead in Ohio

Four Dead in Ohio

Mary Ann Vecchio, kneeling by the body of the slain student, Jeffrey Miller. Photo by John Filo. 1970.
Mary Ann Vecchio, kneeling by the body of the slain student, Jeffrey Miller. Photo by John Filo. 1970.

We do not learn. It’s as if the past never happened. As if the millions of lives lost in war after war after war are all forgotten. And when people in the moment rise up and protest more of the same, they get shot down.

Forty years ago today, four innocent students were gunned down by the National Guard at Kent State in Ohio. Nixon had announced an expansion of the war into Cambodia a few days before, and protests ensued across the country. On May 4th, 1970, the war came home to America. Guardsmen on the Kent State campus fired more than 60 shots, wounding thirteen students and killing four. That sparked nation-wide outrage and the largest antiwar protests to date.

We do not learn. We give endless coverage to tax protesters, and next to none for antiwar rallies. We have … Click to continue . . .