Movies in the 1960s…

abstract analog art camera
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Steven Soderbergh just completed a second feature film using an iPhone exclusively. Very cool. This could be a big break for budding filmmakers and continue to flood the world of film / movies with even more.

The Hollywood blockbuster ruled.

Before streaming, film experts reported that there were more films made than there were screens to display them on – that was the late 1980s. Enter streaming and millions of films. The amount and size of flat screens increases and even though 4-walling movies (on theaters) does not begin to cover the volume of film home theater is attempting to meet the challenge.

As a Boomer I remember when cinema was a big deal. The Hollywood blockbuster ruled. There was a theater in a city south of my little town named the CineMart. They had ushers in red uniforms and hats that seated folks. Movies like “The Sound of Music”, Lawrence of Arabia” and Dr. Zhivago” played for a whole month or more.

“You can’t make movies, they only do it in Hollywood.”

Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” played for a whole summer in 1968. Music from the film played before the movie started. There were no short subjects, no previews and no ads – for anything. When the logo of Metro Goldwyn Mayer appeared on the screen the curtain parted as the film played.

There was an Intermission announced across the wide 70 mm screen and for 15 of 20 minutes music from the film played. People stayed until the credits ceased and the house lights came up. Even in my small town we saw Oscar winning shorts before the feature and slews of cartoons – mostly “Looney Tunes”.

That didn’t stop us

Movies were special. And of course there was a catch. My friend Paul and I made movies, mostly very bad movies. When we tried to get classmates to be in our very bad movies they invariably said: “You can’t make movies, they only do it in Hollywood.”

That didn’t stop us. Our High School Art teacher Mrs. Bernarzyk told us about the Fordham’s Young Filmmaker Festival in NYC in February 1968. Our bad movie – The Chase was our ticket in. It was very cool – movies day and night for 3 days. I met these geeky guys from Long Island make 3-D animation Godzilla films with models in their basements. The first YFF was during the first garbage strike in the cold and snow of February.

We saw a pre-screening of Planet of The Apes, cool.

I went home and made films with 3-D (pixilation) animation with chairs, sneakers, laundry baskets, rocks and sometimes with people too.

The last film I made in those days – King Chair that took 3 eight hour days to make was distributed with 2 other shorts and the only project where I made a $45 profit.

…. Later I adapted a James Thurber story – Unicorn in the Garden to a 20-minute plot-boiler of “Alien in the Refrigerator”

Making It Simple

EssenceFlameEternal

 

multiEarthReality

Why making it simple is dangerous:

When I look back to my childhood things seemed idyllic and I often long for those simpler times. The operative word regarding the simplicity of childhood is seemed. Childhood seems simpler for two reasons – our minds have not developed enough to grasp complex ideas, notions and systems; and two as the population increases with technological advances, climate change not-withstanding the world has become mindbogglingly complex.

a desire for “the good old days”

In my family I have noticed in my sibling that the loss of our father marked a shift in her to embrace the conservative values of my father and the nostalgia of my mother’s romanticisms. She may have thought she had fully processed her grief, but her reversion to a desire for “the good old days” became evident in her insular attitudes and an increased right-wing conservative political stance as well as a refusal to see that the world has changed around her.

These models of individualism while admirable create winners and losers

I suspect that those that embrace the desire for simpler times (of the past) are intellectually and/or emotionally stuck at a variety of childhood ages. They often long for parent-figures that will lead them to the Promised Land [1]. This longing is often expressed in ideologies that emphasize past philosophies of mythological successes such as rugged individualism, rags to riches stories and the like – mirrored in “The American Dream”.

President is a father figure that can solve all our problems

These models of individualism while admirable create winners and losers that in our current world fall apart. Winners either want to assist “losers” or they wish to punish losers for the most part. This is a longer discussion based on the failings of the patriarchy and its new god of consumer capitalism.

Simple answers are not enough for a prosperous people

The childhood longing for simplicity in a complex world leads individuals with antiquated beliefs to vote for Presidents that offer simple solutions to complex problems. Extreme examples of leaders with a simple answers philosophies lead may lead to fascist states. Part of the idea of a President is a father figure that can solve all our problems and make the world safe whether it be simple or complex especially in a failing patriarchal system [2]. (Even a woman president plays by patriarchal rules so that it’s impossible for any of us to escape patriarchal thinking.)

ensure the survival of the human species in the face of climate change

I used to think after President Clinton and President Obama were elected that I could “relax” and that things were taken care of. In hindsight neither of these Presidents did not institute enough nor the right kind of reforms to represent the majority of people economically, to adequately address the role of the military, or aggressively pursue the problems of climate change – though Obama did make some initial strides here.

Simple answers are not enough for a prosperous people. A president alone is not enough. Our representatives are not enough. As a citizen (and not a consumer) it is my responsibility to take an active role beyond merely voting for representatives and a president.

 

Major issues that need to be addressed and worked towards solutions:

  • To ensure the survival of the human species in the face of climate change
  • Superlative secondary education
  • Income equality
  • Housing
  • Corporate / Big Money out of politics
  • Fair agriculture
  • Addressing the future of work especially with regard to automation and robotics
  • Healthcare

 

These are complex and inter-related issues that can be solved when communities work together.

 

NOTES:

 

  1. The Greeks looked to the Elysium Fields of the west as the promised land of paradise. The west as myth woven with The American Dream was never equally accessible by former slaves. Even for those that felt they have achieved or are on their way of the American Dream they must belong to an educated upper class and have extraordinary luck. Also the Dream is based on the acquisition of “more” money of which there will never be enough.
  2. The patriarch system is a hierarchical structure with the Alpha male on top. It is based on power-over dynamics. There will always be someone over you and someone under you whether you are the most powerful person in the world or someone without any seeming power. The dangers in this kind of system is a focus on its internal criteria to the exclusion of those “objects: that ensure survival – the “object” that is a sacred being and the context of our home – Earth. Even though the patriarchy could be shaped to include earth and her bounty in a capitalistic economy the internal dynamic of winners and losers belies community systems

Cycles of Time, Chiron and The Body

 

time lapse photo of stars on night
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The Chiron Return in astrology is a part of the cycle of time when we turn 50 years old give or take a year. Chiron is a larger asteroid in the belt and is known as the wounded healer from mythos. Its return signifies an impulse to remember and/or resolve childhood wounds. In addition it brings a sense of belonging to Earth and entry into mastery.

astrology is an analogous companion that correlates with changes in how we age and grow

I look at astrology as a guide to small and larger life cycles – a guide to the mythos of life’s mysteries and not as a ruler. An astrology teacher of mine told me not to go backpacking to Desolation Wilderness (a National Wilderness area west of Lake Tahoe on the High Sierras) one weekend. She said I was under a Saturn Transit and that I could break my ankle or some bones. I thanked her and said I would be careful. I didn’t break any bones.

A mature emotional center is able to balance contradictory emotions and/or live with them

It could also be true that astrology is an analogous companion that correlates with changes in how we age and grow. Whether you view astrology as a loose analogous pal or a mythos guide the way of healing for me has been more arduous than the emotional roller coaster I rode over most of my life. It has been more difficult because the unresolved aspects of childhood wounding have been caught in a emotional – somatic combine where I have and continue to feel chewed up.

body memory becomes noticeable

After fifty, especially for those that have worked on themselves the emotional center matures and the intellect is then available to work more closely with parsing emotions and helping to make sense of them. A mature emotional center is able to balance contradictory emotions and/or live with them – as in tolerate the inconsistencies and contradictions without “acting-out” reactions. For those that have done deeper inner work a core or essential (being) self develops and is able to remain compassionately neutral in the comings and goings of emotional states.

The seeds of auto-immune diseases may begin when we are young

After fifty the emotional body bonds with the somatic (physical) body where body memory becomes noticeable to the intellect and enters awareness. For instance the body’s habits of the sleep cycle begin if we go to bed at approximately the same time every night. So if I go to sleep at 11 pm or midnight my body will prompt me to want to sleep at that time. I certainly can use my will or caffeine imbibed at 3 pm or after to push beyond the ordinary limit for sleep. All our habits, good and bad are held in our bodies.

Below the age of fifty it is easier to use our will and the plastic flexibility of the body to override body memory much more easily. The seeds of auto-immune diseases may begin when we are young and we don’t pay attention to the signs because of the plasticity of the functions of our bodies and our wills that push past physical limitations.

Awareness is the first step is solving a problem

As an incest survivor complex emotions of closeness due to love and abhorrence due to the infliction of physical pain by my caretaker and relative have come to rest in an autoimmune disorder of psoriatic arthritis. When I was a child I confused the bogeyman with the bugger man. I imagined that no one would want to touch me because my body was covered with abhorrent scabs and buggers from the nose. A relative tied me up at night in such a way as to affect me fingers where the pain of arthritis is rooted. The arthritis is analogous to the conflict of unresolved love and hate etc. stuck in the body.

Awareness is the first step is solving a problem. Most people intellectual know that they have a body but they are often not present there in the body unless pain draws our attention to an imbalance. Disease itself is not just emotionally based. The etiology of diseases is environmentally oriented due to an increasing toxic world as well as genetic.

To be continued…

 

 

 

Triggers – a personal story

corona

I’m no expert. I have lived with triggers all my life but didn’t know they were triggers until I was in my late 30s.

It was a body memory evoking trigger [that lasted] ten years

What is a trigger in terms of a psychological phenomena? Wikipedia describes:

trauma trigger is the subjective attribution that a psychologic stimulus caused someone to recall the memory of a previous psychological trauma, although the stimulus itself need not be frightening or traumatic and can be indirectly or superficially reminiscent of an earlier traumatic incident. Trauma triggers are related to posttraumatic stress disorder(PTSD), a condition in which people often cannot control the recurrence of emotional or physical symptoms,[1] or of repressed memory.[2][3][4] Triggers can be subtle and difficult to anticipate,[1][5] and can sometimes exacerbate PTSD. A trauma trigger may also be referred to as a trauma stimulus or a trauma stressor.[6]

Remembering times in my past where I had been mildly dissociated. I surmised that I may have been triggered and didn’t know it. Then there were the blackouts with substances and then without substances where triggers were most definitely involved, but impossible to identify.

I told myself that my body felt safe

One of the first pervasive triggers that I experienced lasted during all my waking hours for ten years. It was was a body memory that evoked triggers but in the beginning had no emotion attached to it and then there were fleeting feelings of sadness, grief and moments of profound depression. After those feelings passed the one that remained was rage. It was always there in the background.

The body memory was related to sexual trauma and PTSD symptoms. The specific body memory was a sensation in my jaw that someone was trying to open my mouth and I was resisting with all my might.

One of the difficulties with triggers are identifying that I have been triggered.

I told myself that my body felt safe enough to remember the trigger. Each time I noticed the body memory trigger its physical sensations and accompanying emotions I told myself that my body was releasing the memories.

One day after ten years I woke up and thought: “Something is different.” When I first acknowledged that the body memory had ceased it came back immediately. Within a few days it disappeared. It returns occasionally but is no longer a fixture in my life.

One of the difficulties with triggers are identifying that I have been triggered. Sometimes it has taken me days to realize I have been triggered especially if I feel angry or rageful with a seemingly rational reason.

The nature of being triggered flips me into being isolated because perpetrators isolated me to abuse me.

There have only been three times where I have been able to identify the source of the trigger. One was the body memory of sexual abuse, already mentioned above. I was with a client in his home. He pursed his lips a certain way and I had a visceral response of wanting to punch him and beat him up. I had to bite my tongue to calm down and restraint myself from beating him up. Why the trigger occurred was not in doubt, what it was – was uncertain.

In October of 1995 when I was driving back from having had therapy in Pt. Reyes Station I was driving under a plume of smoke from the Mt Vision fires that destroyed over 40,000 acres. The smoke made the sun red as it set. When I returned home I was inconsolably in tears. I called my therapist – why was I so upset? I had asked. “The fire is big and out-of-control just as your perpetrators were when you were young.” She suggested I use a coping tool to calm down and manage the trigger. I did.

The problems with most triggers are:

  • An environmental cue activates trauma from our past.
  • Once triggered we often enter a regressed or frozen state when we had been traumatized – and may not realize we have been triggered (a call for help to a support person or persons may be useful).
  • We may act out as a result of having been triggered. (This can be mild to major and perhaps life-threatening).
  • We may appear non-rational to others where they may shun us or they may also get triggered.
  • The desire to identify and control future triggers may consume us. Realizing this is an impossible venture is a good first step to work on defusing and working with future triggers.

The nature of being triggered flips me into being isolated because perpetrators isolated me to abuse me. So when I get triggered, especially when I don’t realize I am triggered I isolate. It was a strategy I used as a child to survive. It may or may not have worked very well but when I am triggered and don’t know I am triggered it remains my “go-to” strategy.

Thinking about what “just happened” and analyzing it with the thought that “If I can figure it out I can – know what happened to me; – I can prevent it from happening again.

Thinking was what I used as a child from inside the trauma to survive is a habit. But it doesn’t necessarily work very well to solve the emotional trigger of the trauma. Its one of the ways I perpetuate remaining isolated and lost in a regressive or frozen state of trauma from the past.

Its good to have a preemptive plan to deal with triggers in advance so we can get the help we need until we reach a place where we can deal with triggers more effectively.

This is where a therapist can assist or a self-help guide.

I have found that when I know that I’m triggered that I tell myself I am ready to handle it because I’m aware that I’ve been triggered. However if I’m triggered but am not yet aware of it, I know that I feel stuck, agitated, and/or distressed emotionally I try one of the following options:

  • I reach out for support
  • I ask for feedback
  • I ask for help
  • I sit with my feelings and try to identify what they are before taking any action.

This is just a sample and in no way is what I recommend.

What I do recommend is for you to come up with your own safety plan for dealing with emotional upsets, stuck places and triggers.

[NOTE: I was triggered by my partner when we were hiking Mount Tamalpais (in Marin County California). I told her. She wanted to take responsibility by wanting to know what she had done to trigger me. I told her I didn’t know and that it wasn’t her fault. I told her that I just wanted her to know in case she felt me pulling away from her during my process of the trigger and using my safety measures. I’m not sure she understood and decided not to tell her again if I had been triggered due to her response.

Often in dysfunctional relationships we put responsibility on others for our emotions. This is a reaction that does not make another responsible for our response. We have feelings. In relationships – couple therapy is a good idea to help resolve interpersonal communications and dysfunctional dynamics. Individual therapy can be useful too.

When a trigger brings up a feeling in one person and that one person blames another for their trigger – this is an incorrect understanding of a trigger. Conversely of a non-triggered person enters into an interaction with a triggered partner for example especially if the triggered person is unaware they have been triggered then a mess ensues. If the triggered person becomes aware they have been triggered and the non-triggered partner attempts to intervene – to fix the situation then what occurs still could result in a mess.

One possible way to prevent a trigger from creating a mess would to speak with your partner about your triggers. Explain to them they are in no way responsible for the emotional reactions they – the triggered person, may have and that they may need:

  • space
  • try to be patient – wait
  • for the non-triggered person not to make assumptions
  • know they are in no way responsible for having been triggered.

Some Flaws of Capitalism or…

wethepeople

Or Some Flaws of Capitalism in its Current Incarnation

 

These ideas are not a new idea or proposition set forward below:

Sixty years ago my family bought a GE toaster that I have and I use regularly. It makes good toast. I have had other toasters and a few toaster ovens that have broken and were eventually too expensive to repair.

a rubric of infinite resources, income and growth in a finite world

Capitalism after WWII was steeped in growth, craftsmanship and materialism. It was a time a massive rebuilding, re-population and expansion. Though mass production reigned, craftsmanship and materialism were the building blocks of capitalism. Labor unions, industry and government were partners in reconstruction after the war and there was a resplendent growth of the middle class and income.

Capitalism in its continual reinvention of itself relies on some major flaws. One of the most obvious flaws are the finite limits of growth. It operates under a rubric of infinite resources, income and growth in a finite world.

The vestiges of citizenship were degraded into “the consumer”

In the 1980s capitalism threw off the last vestiges of materialism in favor of mass consumerism through planned obsolescence. The shift from materialism to accelerated consumer based capitalism accentuated the flaws of the system and produced lemmings running to the sea. Capitalism became the religion of the land and democracy grew more entrenched as a slave to consumer-capitalism.

Corporations have become the new citizens who have delegated individuals as the consumers of goods and services.

The vestiges of citizenship were degraded into “the consumer” as political action committees (PACs) usurped individual citizens’ participation in government and re-election of so-called “representatives”. Congresspersons and Senators have become the servants of corporations in order to streamline government for accelerated capitalism. As citizens have become superfluous they have in-turn been plugged into being consumers of products and services of demagogue type of capitalism.

Corporations have become the new citizens who have delegated individuals as the consumers of goods and services. Products have been redefined into smaller parts designed to wear out swiftly and /or be replaced by newer “improved” models. Services are also degraded by dividing services into smaller portions, employing less qualified people and by outsourcing – language barrier problems (outsourcing is double-speak for layoffs).

The finite world is ignored for immediate quarterly profits

Another PAC strategy for corporate agendas is making “representatives” into divisive enemies so that either nothing is accomplished for individuals. One PAC strategy are “a no-holds barred” attacks against the enemy such as Republicans versus Democrats; Pro-Life versus Pro-Choice, etc. Democracy has been lost in the process and applies more to corporations than individuals. Giant powerful PACs are increasingly controlled by the top tenth of the one percent wealthiest individuals who ascribe to making more money and a consolidation of power.

The finite world is ignored for immediate quarterly profits. The focus of corporate/business and financial leadership is profitability in the next three months that can be extrapolated into a yearly goal. Looking into a future of the limits of growth based on finite resources is not built into consumer-capitalism. As a result the current reiteration of capitalism is systemically handicapped to deny finite resources through faulty cognitive re-framing. Some of this is the momentum of the capitalistic system fueled by greed and a lust for power and some must have a conscious design. At the base of this consolidation of power is an addiction of greed fueled by fear.

(Conservative/GOP) group views consumers below a certain income level and all liberals as potential servants, serfs and those needing manipulation

While consumer-capitalism within a broken patriarchal system has its own momentum that may carry many leaders of this movement along in a short-term gain (that looks long-term in the context in which they flourish) there is another conscious force at work. Some of the top tenth of the one percent of wealth in the world fights for increasing consolidation of power and wealth (call them A) while others fight for a more equitable distribution of wealth (call them Z).

A’s use their money, power and influence to create obstacles in government to further or block the agenda of the other side. When Newt Gingrich came into power he begun to characterize the opposition – the Democrats as “enemies” of the people. Before that time Democrats and Republicans may have vehemently disagreed with one another and their goal was to govern so they compromised to move their agenda forward. The current climate between Liberals and Conservatives is combat. There seems to be less compromise. Conservatives work at blocking Liberals at every turn. The result is no new legislation is adopted. Even in the current Republican block to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act has only left the ACA in shambles and disrepair. Its as if the GOP’s secret wish was (is) to replace the ACA with nothing. The A group is moving towards satisfaction with the ACA being replaced by nothing because they wish to see a world that existed before the implementation of the Income Tax – 1912. When US Congress is deadlocked and new legislation is passed the A Group is generally satisfied. The only times that the A group may be dissatisfied is when legislation that favors their position is not voted into law.

Since 1776 to 2015 the US has been involved in wars 93% of the time

The A Group views consumers below a certain income level and all liberals as potential servants, serfs and those needing manipulation to motivate them towards they’re agenda.

The A Group does not want:

  • Income equality
  • Advancements in public education – (or consumers to think for themselves for then they may become citizens)
  • Racial equality
  • LGBT equality
  • Women to have equal rights, equal pay, the right to have control over their bodies (pro-choice), equal protection under the law
  • Consumers to live in a world without fear
  • To acknowledge that Climate Change caused by and /or contributed to by humans is real.
  • Considers the ACA a hand-out and doesn’t want government to support public health for all
  • All government programs devoted to public welfare as entitlements to be (Social Security, Medicare etc.)
  • To have peace in the world unless monitored by a strong US military presence in order to have a foothold on remaining limited resources

The Koch brothers (see end note) could be considered the most identifiable humans belonging to the A Group while Libertarians, Conservatives and some Republicans are also A Group members. A notable Z-Group member is George Soros and his organization (see end notes).

FDR President Roosevelt created social nets to assist the US to move out of the Great Depression, but the final impetus that extricated the US from the depression and accelerated growth was the entrée into and winning WWII. Prior to the mid to late 1980s the premise of wars were to stop the spread of Communism as represented by the now former Soviet Union and China while expand US interests. Now wars seem to be oriented towards oil resources.

Earth’s nutrients are the raw materials for corporate products. Some of Earth’s nutrients are renewable – as in agricultural fruits and vegetables, farm animals etc. Some farming techniques although provide greater crop yield may deplete the soil in such a way to make it non-sustainable over the longer term. Other of earth’s resources such as elements – metals and oil are non-renewable and finite.

Capitalism especially in its latest consumeristic reshaping does not consider the resources from the Earth in its cost effect analysis in part to the patriarchal mind-set and in-part to shortsightedness – quarterly profits.

The consumeristic-capitalism has been marked by US Political struggles of almost a constant state of war. Since 1776 to 2015 the US has been involved in wars 93% of the time (see end note). The only period the US was not involved in a war was 1935 to 1940 during an isolationist period during the Great Depression.

The current Trump administration is a characterization of all that elitists members of the GOP and conservatives represent as well as a longing for the good old days before the income tax and in support of isolationist ideals. It represents patriarchal self-interest that contributes to increasing isolationism, mergers, and maximizing profits for the wealthy elite, disregarding any community-based profits based on sustainability, protecting natural resources – environmental protections while marginalizing, discounting and enslaving those that have less by:

  • keeping their wages fixed and/or lowered
  • keeping them out of labor unions and making “labor unions” a dirty word
  • dividing them into factions that war against each other
  • gutting public education and dumbing down citizen’s ability to reason
  • providing entertainment that discourages reasoning
  • providing entertainment that displays the hopeless world that they live and will live in the future (only much worse) and that one common person can be the hero or savior
  • promotes the “myth of the American Dream”
  • encourages disempowered citizens to fear so that a limited number of avenues are open to them:
  • The American Dream
  • Fundamentalist Religion
  • Blaming or scapegoating a group of people based on race or ideology
  • Providing simple solutions to complex problems often based on “the American Dream mythology”

 

NOTES:

  1. Koch Family https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koch_family#Family_members
  2. George Soros https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Soros
  3. US Wars https://www.globalresearch.ca/america-has-been-at-war-93-of-the-time-222-out-of-239-years-since-1776/5565946