The Force Wakes the F*ck Up

MORE SPOILERS! RUN AWAY IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE MOVIE!

Ok, everybody left has already seen the movie or doesn’t care about spoilers, right? So let’s go.

Part 2!

Along with the business about Rey, there are also speculations and theories about whether or not Finn is a Jedi as well. Similar to Luke and Leia and Rey, he was separated from his family as a child. So he doesn’t know his background. He could be… maybe. But let me say this: I DON’T CARE. And frankly, I DON’T WANT HIM TO BE. Finn was mentally programmed to be a storm trooper, to work for and kill for the First Order. But what I find so damn incredible about Finn is that he woke up from that and could see the First Order for what it really was: an oppressive regime with no respect for individuality and a belief in leadership by dictatorial power. It reminded me of the the character in Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man” (which I admit I haven’t read in years but it is on my 2016 must re-read book list). Where a black character surrounded by whiteness realizes he doesn’t belong. When Finn takes off his helmet, Captain Phasma tells him to put it back on. He has to comply, stay in line, assimilate, just do what he’s told and be who he’s programmed to be. Just a number, not a person. It’s also very Nazi-ish. Ok, my theory gets complicated and debunked by the fact that Captain Phasma wears all black but you get the point. He’s a black man in a white man’s world who finally wakes the fuck up.

 

“I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me. Like the bodiless heads you see sometimes in circus sideshows, it is as though I have been surrounded by mirrors of hard, distorting glass. When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves or figments of their imagination, indeed, everything and anything except me.”   ― Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

 

My son is biracial with light skin but his light skin will not “hide” him. I won’t let him try to hide behind his skin color, to “pass”, to sleepwalk, to be invisible. Or to think that living in a predominately white community will shield him. I want him to be seen, to WANT to be seen. I also want him to be his own person in all ways. As a biracial person who identifies with and is influenced by multiple cultures and communities. As a boy who likes to wear pink socks and admires One Direction despite the bullies who tease him and call him “gay.” Narrow-minded little fucks. And as a kid who will readily check you should you assume he has a dad (“THIS KID has TWO MOMS.” chest bursting, big smile).

Today it was announced that the officers involved in the Tamir Rice shooting will NOT be charged. Every time one of these will not be charged announcements are made, I hear Billy Holiday singing Strange Fruit. Except we’re no longer hanging, but laying on the ground, left to rot. How many more of us need to wake up to achieve the critical mass necessary to really effect change?

I really don’t know the answer to that. I don’t even know if that’s the right question to be asking. I’m also not surprised by the ruling, because I expected this. It’s as if things are just so fucked up that sometimes I cannot see the change happening, I have no vision of what it could look like, where black bodies are no longer a body count. There is only surmounting disgust and disappointment and distrust. As if I’m sleepwalking. Just going along with it and accepting it for what it is. But I cannot raise my son that way. That’s not the behavior I want to model for my son. So every once in a a while, like today, I have to say “WAKE THE FUCK UP, JENNY!”

 

 

The Force Awakens

WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD!

I LOVED STAR WARS! Oh it was so good. My inner geek was practically orgasmic during the whole thing. And it got me thinking about a lot of deep stuff. I started with just one posting but the two thoughts seem disparate, so this will be a two-part posting.

Part 1!

There’s a lot of talk about how the movie creates Rey as a great role model for girls. Then there are the those who point out the other side of the coin, how boys are the ones who need to see Rey as the one who has inherited the force. True, but I also think Leia has been overlooked. In Episode 6, we learned that Leia was Luke’s sister (and we see how they got separated at the end of Episode 3).  Well apparently, she never followed up on that, never developed her skills and instead continued her work organizing with the rebels (now the Resistance). In a way she kinda reminds me of Elizabeth Warren, who many wanted to run in the 2016 Presidential elections, but she chose not to by saying that she had so much more work to do in the Senate. These are powerful women who have the ability to propel themselves into greater positions of power, but instead choose to stay at the grassroots level because they feel that is where their power is needed the most. That’s where they feel most powerful. It’s great for both boys and girls to see all the varied faces of women with power and influence, women who are leaders in every sense of the word. And for girls to find opportunities for leadership in everything they do, not just as POTUS or as a Jedi. I want my son to recognize and appreciate the female heroes on the side, who without them the hero probably couldn’t get shit done.

Gogo_outfits

On the matter of Rey having the force and being the next Jedi, I am stoked. I want a Rey action figure. And the Rey lego set with her hoover craft motorcycle thing. And I want to share it with my son. Last year I bought the set of IAmElemental action figures, and he includes them in his imaginative play of all kinds of adventures with Spiderman and Iron Man. I also got him the GoGo Tomago action figure from Big Hero 6. But get this, when I asked to borrow it to put in my office window but he said no. WTF? I begged. He said no. I pleaded. He said well… ok for one week. I had hoped he just forget about it but noooo. After a week he wanted GoGo back. Gotta be fucking kidding me… But I do need to return it because we’ve already had these conversations about letting his friends borrow his toys and only lending to responsible trustworthy friends with an agreed upon return date and making sure to follow up on getting the toy back. Oh god I am such a bad example…

…what was I talking about?

Oh, right! Rey!

I want my son to see more movies with girls and women in the role of the hero. THE hero. Too often she’s the sidekick hero walking behind some dude who’s the main hero. And she gets leftover praise for her actions when she was the support the hero needed in order to actually be the hero (see paragraph in the beginning about Leia). At the end of the movie, I want President Hillary Clinton to shake HER hand, not the guy who struts off the rocket ship in front of her. I especially want my son to see non-sexualized images of female characters who are the heroes. Goddess knows I love Wonder Woman (even had the under-roos when I was a kid!) and I do plan to see the Batman versus Superman movie with Wonder Woman in it. But there again, Wonder Woman was a character designed to be sexy. Batman and Superman get top billing and individual posters. And the movie title is all about them. Kinda reminds me of that Carly Simon song. And remember how in Episode 6, Leia was all sex kittened up for Jabba the Hut. Cause what’s the point of having a female lead character in a typical guy sci fi flick and NOT seeing her goods, huh? [<—sarcasm] Sure, appreciate a woman’s curves, but when her boobs are burgeoning out of her iron bustier, her hero status is diminished. When she makes some kind of sexual innuendo comment or uses her gender to influence the bad guy, her hero status is diminished. I loved Mako Mori in Pacific Rim because she was smart, non sexualized, and there was none of that sexual tension nonsense between her and Raleigh Becket written into the movie. But again, she was the side-kick hero. I want there to be a new Pacific Rim movie with more Mako Mori. And in the new movie, Gypsy Danger is HER jaeger and she’s the one spurring on her co-pilot. She’s the hero because she fucking rocks! She saves the day! Yeah! I want to see that movie with my son. Guillermo del Toro needs to get back on that.

And someone needs to make a Mako Mori action figure, damnit! To team up with the Rey Skywalker action figure I am about to order from Amazon.

 

 

 

 

 

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