Thursday, December 9, 2010

On Not Getting It versus Insight

Two recent examples of this phenomenon crossed my view stream recently, and I wanted to comment upon them.

The phenomenon, visible all around you (especially if you look at Republicans and Democrats these days) is that of people who stubbornly, blindly, furiously, simply DON'T GET IT. You tell them or give them the information, and they do not or cannot see it. They persist in their stubbornness in seeing only their way, the right way. They blather on about their way, having totally and completely missed the actual point.


The two glaring examples of this that crossed my desk have to do with some (male) reviewers watching my favorite film of the year, "Black Swan," and a female reporter interviewing John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

Let's examine "Black Swan" first. I acknowledge that all art is subjective. People see what they want to see, based on their own set of experiences and life paths. The problem in the translation of "Black Swan," IMHO, has to do with the maleness versus the femaleness.

My perception of "Black Swan" is very much encased in the female mindset. I see it as a dream. Nina dreams of being the best ballerina ever. She shares this with her mother (who perhaps at one time had similar dreams). She sees the path to this dream resting in her ability to conquer perfection. So she studies technique, and becomes the best technical ballerina she can be.

But her male director tells her, NO! To really conquer the "Black Swan"/dark side of your personality/shadow side, you have to release the perfection. You have to be willing to risk, to feel, to experience life, in all its imperfection.

I think everyone is pretty much down with the story through these parts (male and female). But increasingly toward the end, the movie takes on flights of fancy/dream sequences/explorations of the creative mind. This is where many male reviewers seem to fall off. They resort to trying to take this movie literally.

Oh my God, she's turning into a swan. Oh my God, she kills herself at the end! Well, yes and no.

The way I saw it, from the middle of the movie on, she is still a little girl with dreams, trying to experience her own dark side. She is still trying to attain the perfection that she started out trying to attain. And if the director tells her she must be more sexual, she endeavors to do that.

Is it really a "lesbian sex scene" with Mila Kunis as one male reviewer crassly puts it? Or is it actually the bubbling of her subconscious? Her femaleness laid bare in trying to conquer her own sexuality? Did the experience with Kunis really happen? The director leaves you to wondering. THAT is the beauty of it.

Was she, in the end, enticed by Kunis? Enraptured by her? Wanting to sleep with her? Or was Kunis just the free spirit part of herself that she was trying to catch? Was she then, in essence, sleeping with herself, as the director had instructed her to do? Capturing through fantasy what she perhaps couldn't really capture?

And the end of the movie, that so horrified several male critics, who again WRONGLY take it literally, isn't really her dying. At least, that's not how I see it. It was the ballerina on the music box falling off. It was the end of "Swan Lake," as it's supposed to be. It was the grand spectacle of "la petit mort" writ large. Orgasm, the finale, "it was perfect." The end.

And it had to end in a big bloody spectacle, because life is imperfect, and bloody and messy. Life and love and passion and creativity. That's what I saw there.

So what that tells me is that the "Black Swan" haters need to have more orgasms and connect to their passions.

In the other subject, I confess, when I was younger, I was swayed by the tenor of the times, and my father. John Lennon and Yoko Ono were just wacky and crazy with this "Bed In" thing and preaching about peace. Nuts. Off their rockers.

I saw this in the frustrated questioning of the (I think BBC) reporter. She seemed to be perceiving Lennon and Ono as either complete nutcases, or fantasists wasting her time. She kept arguing about the seriousness of people dying in various wars, and they kept talking about how if people really thought about peace, peace could happen.

Yoko made quite an eloquent argument about "how can you shoot someone when you're smiling?" She was actually arguing quite complex spiritual principles. If you embody love, you cannot simultaneously embody hate. Hate is what causes killing. Hatred and fear. So if you choose love, if you choose peace, consciously, we would have no more war.

I understand that now. I sure didn't understand that then. Neither did the frustrated BBC reporter, who actually got up and stormed off at this point. She reacted as though Yoko were completely wasting her time, when in fact, they were both just trying to get her to understand.

And what will it take, as we have an insane stonewalling Congress on the horizon, for people to put down their arms and their stubbornness and finally listen and hear?



  1. Nice post, kind of drawn out though. Really good subject matter though.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Wow, that's crazy man. They should really try to do something to fix that.


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