Moments of escape can be moments of clarity!

"Oh, had I but followed the Arts"-William Shakespeare

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Bits & Bobs

Time to check in on all pursuits creative. The last two months have been productive. I finished my scene work class. It was great fun. What I learned I've been able to apply to all aspects of my life. In January it's back to conquering ASL (American Sign Language). So looking forward to that.
I nabbed the hand model job I auditioned for a few weeks ago. Go figure. It was an interesting assignment, nothing strenuous ,but a very long day. Becoming a hand model had never crossed my mind. I don't know if I could make a living at it, I just found very little joy in thinking about my hangnails so much!
The interview with Author John Connolly went well and was an enjoyable experience. I found combining ASL with the interview a satisfying challenge. I don't know what's next on that front.
On to what's playing in my ear. Steady rotation includes: "Hair" Soundtrack, Lucie Idleout, her emotions are raw and pure. In lighter moments I'm listening to Travis Tritt's "Down the road I go" It's a great Cd, straight through no skipsies.

Since I last blogged I've finished 3 books. The first was "Wench" by Dolan Perkins-Valdez. It's a story that takes place before the Civil War. Through the eyes and hearts of four black enslaved mistresses. Valdez speaks eloquently to us about Tawawa House, a resort in Ohio, where slave masters vacation, away from their Southern plantations and Southern wives, bringing with them their Black slave mistresses.
Valdez writes agonizingly of the psychological bond the women have with the men who enslave them and dehumanize them, but at the same time are their lovers and the fathers of their children. When these women interact and mingle for the first time with free Blacks, running away becomes for the first time an option. The complexity of the slave/lover relationship makes that decision a choice between two different kinds of death.
The book was poignant and at time a tortuous read, but well worth it. Actually written by a Black woman, read this book instead of that other one. I will review the other two books later. Reel of the week is next.

Catching up with the BAU....Sorta

Seriously behind again on "Criminal Minds" episodes. It's a busy time of year. So I'm reviewing episodes 9 & 10.
In Episode 9, "Self fulfilling Prophecy"  Rene Auberjonois, plays Colonel Massey, the headmaster of a military academy. When six cadets are found hanging in the woods, it is ruled a mass suicide. The BAU is called in to confirm the conclusion while helping the locals determine the reason behind the suicides.
Now I interrupt my review, because, well I admit it I fell asleep. I know I can't believe it myself. It's just the episode was a might slow. I did wake up 45 minutes in,  just in time to catch a very tasty exchange between Morgan and Hotch, regarding Hotch's trust issues and secrecy involving Strauss's drinking problems. That was worth waking up to. I continue to enjoy CM when the focus is on the team and the  interactions between members.
Episode 10, "Bittersweet Science" was, for me the best episode so far this season. Shawn Hatosy of "Southland" fame stars as Ryan Hall.  A lower tier boxer, striving for that one big break that will change his boxing luck from mediocre to great.
He is under tremendous pressure to come out a winner so that he can use the proceeds to help his son, who is dying of leukemia. He cracks under the pressure with pernicious results. Shawn Hatosy's performance was compelling and heart breaking. Charles Dutton's understated performance as Tony, Ryan's trainer was the perfect push and pull to Hatosy's. There was no sleeping during this Episode, it was that good!
CM is on Christmas Hiatus for the next two weeks. I will use my time wisely.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

" Let me just say: Peace to you, if you're willing to fight for it"

My Reel of the week is a documentary from 1971 called "The murder of Fred Hampton" Fred Hampton was a young college educated Black man who was murdered by New York City policemen while sleeping with his pregnant girlfriend at a Black Panther Party owned building. Fred's purpose in life was to be the voice of the disenfranchised people, in other words listen up Occupy Wall Street people , back in the 1960's we knew all about being the 99%. Fred started out as a deeply committed member of the NAACP until after the assassination of Martin Luther King. Seeing what this Country has done to non-violent leaders he started to feel that Americans needed to take up arms to protect themselves from the police.
The Back Panther Party was all about empowerment and Civil Rights and uplifting people, (the arming of members was where they went pear-shaped, police tend to get antsy and trigger happy, when they think of the angry and disenfranchised having guns) The BPP,marched for equality, started free clincs and breakfast programs for school children. believing that Solidarity starts by nourishing people from the inside out.
The New york City police department wanted to put an end to the BPP, which represented to them a challenge to power structure of America. So how do you do that? You kill the leader and hope the organization will scatter. That leader was Fred Hampton whose prophetic words foretold his fate: "I believe I'm going to die doing the things I was born to do. I believe I'm going to die high off the people. I believe I'm going to die a revolutionary in the international revolutionary proletarian struggle"
All through the documentary listening to his impassioned , ardent speeches, I kept having to remind myself that Fred Hampton was only 21 years old. Had he been allowed to live, what else could he have accomplished.
The New York city policemen who murdered Fred Hampton were cleared of any wrong doing by a grand jury. The Family of Fred Hampton filed a civil law suit. A reenactment   and second look at the physical evidence also statements from the other BPP victims proved that Fred was sleeping at the time of his murder. The suit was finally settled in 1990 and the family was awarded an undisclosed amount.
I recommend this documentary for not only the 99%, but everyone. Because the struggle continues.