Binding divides

Standing on our side of the divide it’s often difficult if not impossible to see across the corner at the other side. Like when my husband decides to have his rice prepared in a certain way and I think it can be done in another way, a simple situation right? No, especially not after his said something that ticked me off and I consequently reacted in a way that got his back up. Previous words like resurrected ghosts hold court over the new situation. Sadly they never sway in the cause of mercy, they scream for a bloodletting. 

A few weeks ago I listened to a discuss on the absence or low representation of minor ethnic groups within the British movie industry. A valid discussion, one that needed to be had, we live in a world that has changed a lot over the years, it’s only reasonable that we seek to see this changes represented on our everyday media, but in so many ways the world still stays the same. That is not altogether a bad thing as a sense of familiarity has a way of maintaining our sanity, gives us a feeling of ownership and control, however, I digress. The first step to making a movie starts with picking a script or a story line, thus a writer(s) produces a script and the movie producer adapts it to the screen, picking a cast that matches the characters in the story.

 How absurd would it be to find Harrison Ford playing the role of *‘dibia anya nzu’* or Orlando Bloom the role of a poor farmer in a village deep within ‘Ijebu Ode’. Don’t get me wrong both actors are of the best stock, however, cast in a role portraying an African man and his deeply held sentiments they would fail woefully as their pale skin alone betrays the absence of a blood linked intimately with the harsh rays of the Africa sun. 

One might argue that we change the script that in itself is a quick fix. A script is more than a reflection of the writer’s mind; it’s a reflection of the society the writer finds themselves in. There is also the fact that movies need to be sensational in order to evoke an enlightening response from the viewer, except in the case of trashy or pornographic films which on some level still evoke a primal response from the viewer. This might sound offensive but in order to produce movies which showcase the minority groups in a balanced percentage of the cast we might be digging up stereotypes and cultural differences which might be subject to miss interpretation and might offend people. Is it possible to dictate the tune without paying the piper? 

Today I heard about the ban of the burkini in France, I can’t help wondering when we advocate for acceptance are we also accepting of others. Like the story in the first paragraph, we often fail to hear the other side of the story, deafened by our demand to have it our way. Europe is very accommodating in its view of people’s freedoms and rights, in other societies people are merely tolerated for the length of their visits, their views are not discussed much less accepted. Their presence is evaluated based on cash returns. This is not to say that everyone who is affected by this ban is un-accepting or rigid in their stance. Saying I am not racist isn’t enough, standing up against any injustice due to racism affirms your stance. Saying I am accepting of others isn’t enough, dissuading others from taking a heated stance is required in today’s society. Is it possible to embrace another while standing at akimbo?

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Impact on the next generation: Fiction/Pop culture.

When perplexed by what present day society classifies as normal in relationships, I find my perspective by resorting to creative thinking ” Imagine you were living your perfect life everything is going your way and you were confident. No crazy hormones, head firmly in sync with heart. In walks a sexy cute guy, the one that looks like his not even trying to be hot but then he opens his month and says the words of the song or acts in the way the hero in a book/ movie did. Would you still think the situation ideal? What would your reaction be? Would you proudly play out that scene in front of an impressionable mind? if you would then enjoy. A very easy system for detecting the trash out there.

A lot of today’s songs and movies go against the grains of what society should embrace as suitable for young people. Classifying 50 shades of grey as romantic and suitable for 12/13-year-old (depending on where you live) is what I have issues with, the rest of what it depicts, I leave each to their own. In my mind romance is created by two people who respect each others individuality but also their decision to be together. No ones views are superior to the other, each motivates the other to be better. It’s a balanced mix of give and take. No superiors,no inferiors. Don’t get me wrong there might be a leader but not one that is possessive or controlling. I find that 50 shades of grey depicts quite the opposite of romance.

Here are some reviews of 50 shades of grey book and movie worth considering:

“One argument that baffled me was this idea that 50 Shades is just a book and only fantasy, to assert that any book that’s sold that many copies is just a story, in my POV, is naive and ignores almost all of human history. Societies have always been defined and redefined by its stories. Fiction IS NOT INERT.” By Kristen Lamb

“At this point I am thinking, okay everything that is happening in this movie is freaking ridiculous and how can women enjoy this crap.This movie is extremely bad, it’s what you get when Nickelodeon decides to venture into the world of pornography. I have paid money to sit in a movie theatre and watch garbage that is simultaneously destroying my brain cells, perpetuating the Prince Charming myth, decreasing my faith in humanity and portraying women as irrational and incompetent.” By Yves Edwards.

Reviews of the book:

The New Zealand Herald stated that the book “will win no prizes for its prose” and that “there are some exceedingly awful descriptions,” but it was also an easy read; “(If you only) can suspend your disbelief and your desire to – if you’ll pardon the expression – slap the heroine for having so little self-respect, you might enjoy it

“At least people are reading. You’ve no doubt heard that before. But we don’t say of the diabetic obese, At least people are eating.” Source: www.newrepublic.com

Pretty woman would be my idea of romance.  In the movie Richard Gere has the wealth, looks, mannerism and confidence that accompanies his social status. Julia Roberts on the other hand though not wealthy walks with the same confidence, she knows what she wants out of life.Equal powers, equal rights. None superior, none inferior. She does learn a lot about social etiquette during her time with Richard but leaves when she starts to feel unhappy with the situation. Richard ddecides to pursue her and does so knowing she has the right to say no.  

Many of us are still emerging from the myth of a prince charming who saves us from every harm and creates a cushy luxurious future to the realities of love fostered by two wholesome individuals. We owe it to the coming generation to be careful what myth we create today through fiction. Don’t always think everyone would see your perspective or do the right thing in reality. The chances of one person misinterpreting you exists every time.This presentation of romance for a teenager can be disastrous. That’s all am saying.