political

Art imitates life, which imitates art…

On a plane to Paris, and I manage to pull up 12 Years a Slave. Thanks to my parents, I’ve always been one to seek out the art that pulls some type of emotion out of me. Stirs my thoughts in ways that my environment might otherwise not let me explore.

There was a point, where Fassbender’s character has a conversation with Pitt’s character, about how there will come a day where there will be a reckoning. It echo’s me back to Lee’s White Man’s Burden, where the societal rolls are flipped in order to explore the human experience.

That brings me to our current events, in the States, where I do believe we are on the precipice of a reckoning. First Nations are no longer relegated to the “out of mind” position that the reservation system sought to contain. Voices are now being heard, that should be heard. They’ve been drowned out by the arrogance of those who think they know best. And now, those who have consistently been trampled upon and shouted down have the opportunity to rise.

But…and there’s a big one…we run the risk of just letting the pendulum swing back the other way instead of stopping it in its tracks. So the choice is ours, all of ours. Will we return the favour and punish all for the sins our predecessors committed, or will we – as T’Challa found – find a better way forward for all by recognizing the failures of those who came before us and recognizing that we are not them. We are better. We can be better. We can listen to each other, learn from each other, and grow into a better society.

The phoenix must be consumed by its fires before it can be reborn, renewed. All of our myths talk of this. And now, we must be part of it, without letting the chaos consume us and burn us with its hatred.

Grab your humanity!!!!

So I’ve been watching, because I do that kind of thing, and the one thing that I’m noticing about a good chunk of the discussion is the lack of humanity. This primarily came up because there’s a bullet that likes to remind me that I dodged it. Every time I listen to this person open their “mouth” I find the absolute loss of empathy and humanity coming out of it. There’s an extent to which it saddens me, but that’s not my responsibility nor did I dig the hole that keeps getting deeper.

Then I reflect to the grander picture. Our society is a very, very fine balance; as any society is. Law attempts to be humane but there comes a point where Lady Justice has to put her blindfold on and decide based on what we’ve decided, as a society, is guilt or innocence. Being on either end of that spectrum doesn’t determine the presence or absence of humanity, but how we dole out the consequences does.

In our current climate we’ve subsisted on soundbites and half stories for decades, which for the folks my age was the whole premise behind Reality Bites. We love the tidbits, we love filling in the gaps and making new stories out of them, but we really hate having to own up to the fact that we jumped the gun. This leads us to the whole false narrative issues we’re starting to see play out in our media. Our need for “right now” not “wait and see”.

This is where I’m going to tell you – grab your fucking humanity. Put yourself in a mental situation that doesn’t include whatever bubble you were cushioned by growing up. Consider it a thought project safe space, if you need those. Imagine being in a situation that many people these days are finding themselves in – in our multi-ethnic society – that seeks a specific individuality that is based on a specific group ideal. How and what would you do in that situation? Do you have all the facts? Could you truly make a decision based on what you do know?

Our human experiences are all different. We may not be able to know exactly how someone else feels based on our individual environments, but we can relate and we can imagine to try and find that point. It really isn’t that difficult. It’s just easier to default to hate because it doesn’t require any real rational thought or discussion. When we do that, and when we approach from that direction – that is where we find the points we can make a change for the better. And I would really like to see us do better.