Tuesday, March 17, 2015
I guess you can tell by now that I love science fiction. There are three stories that stand out as exceptional to me.
The first one is Enemy Mine.
You know its funny we all go through life living with people who are different than ourselves. I've always been what I call color blind. The first friend I ever remember having was Hispanic. Her family immigrated from Mexico and her Mother only spoke Spanish. They made tortillas on a griddle in the back yard. Oh my gosh, it always smelled so good when they were cooking and my friend Ernestina would always make sure I had one hot from the griddle.We fought battles for and with each other but through it all if push came to shove we stood together. Its been a friendship that has spanned fifty years. The thing is I never realized she was different. We were both girls, we both went to the same classroom every day. We liked the same things. We both thought boys were stupid. It was only when I was older that I was faced with prejudice that I realized that we were different.
I went back to my birthplace a couple of years ago and we drove by my old house. It brought back so many great memories of a time gone by. Life was simple then. We had rules, no playing in the street. Come in when it gets dark, even if you are in the middle of a game of hide and seek. When your Dad whistles you come. Sometimes he had to whistle twice.
Enemy Mine reminds me of my friendship with Ernestina not because we were enemies that became a part of one another but because we were different. In fact it reminds me of a lot of friendships I've had over the years.
The second would have to be The Abyss.
The Abyss was so believable to me. I love to think that there are beautiful beings living under our ocean. Ones that can manipulate water into any shape they wish. And who want to do us no harm but only want to live in peace. That's where I want to live. Sadly the world we live in now is so filled with unrest and distrust of everyone and everything that if a friendly alien species was to try to contact us they'd get a very unwelcome reception.
Of course they could be like the aliens in Independence Day. But even then could we all come together to fight a common enemy or would we all be fighting against each other and destroy ourselves in the process? It looks like we're doing a pretty good job of that right now.
The last one is my absolute favorite story about aliens. Avatar.
It was so incredibly beautiful. But it all came down to a bully and a victim.
I have been the victim of bullies. And all bullies are cowards. When confronted, they run like the cowards they are. They are afraid to stand up for themselves. They prey on the weak because it makes them feel strong. I face bullies head on. But I didn't in the past. I let a bully take away the only baby I was ever pregnant with. I let bullies ruin the second half of my senior year in high school. And I let a bully take away sixteen years of my life.
I was married to a bully for sixteen years. I didn't realize it at the time but he was. I know the difference now. I know what it feels like to be loved beyond measure. To be cherished like the most perfect diamond. To be protected like a fragile flower. And to have someone to stand by me on the most difficult of journeys. When I had to lay my precious Bam Bam to rest, or when my Dad was in the hospital living his last days. He has been by my side standing with me. I never knew what I was missing. A partner that actually cares enough to stand beside me even when I was at my very worst.
Yes I was a bully. I'm guilty. I'm ashamed.
I had lived with a bully for so long that I became a bully myself. I actually took on his personality traits. It took a counselor, a therapist, a near breakdown and an antidepressant to get myself back to the person I had always been. A lover of life, people animals and nature. I was so afraid that someone was going to hurt me that I pushed everyone away first, and in so doing, became the worst part of myself. I've came to terms with who I was for that moment in time and apologized to the one person who stood by me know matter how bad I got. I love you Lance. Thank you for being the tether I needed when I was living in an alien world.
Friday, March 13, 2015
Apartheid: Apartheid as an officially structured policy was introduced after the general election of 1948. Legislation classified inhabitants into four racial groups—"black", "white", "colored", and "Indian", the last two of which were divided into several sub-classifications and residential areas were segregated. From 1960 to 1983, 3.5 million non-white South Africans were removed from their homes, and forced into segregated neighborhoods, in one of the largest mass removals in modern history. Non-white political representation was abolished in 1970, and starting in that year black people were deprived of their citizenship, legally becoming citizens of one of ten tribally based self-governing homelands called bantustans, four of which became nominally independent states. The government segregated education, medical care, beaches, and other public services, and provided black people with services that were often inferior to those of white people.
In an alternative 1982, an alien ship has inexplicably stopped over Johannesburg. When investigation teams enter the ship, they discover a population of sick and malnourished extraterrestrials, identified derogatorily as "prawns". The South African government confines the aliens to "District 9", a government camp that is located outside of Johannesburg. Twenty-eight years later, following periodic conflict between the aliens and the locals living near District 9, the government hires private military company Multinational United (MNU) to relocate the aliens to a new internment. Wikus van de Merwe an Afrikaner bureaucrat, is appointed by Piet Smit (Louis Minnaar), an MNU executive and his father-in-law, to lead the relocation.
Meanwhile, three aliens — Christopher Johnson, his son, and a friend — scavenge pieces of their technology from which they distill a fluid of their native provenance, storing it in a small canister. Wikus confiscates the canister from the shack of Christopher's friend, but accidentally sprays some of the fluid onto his face. Christopher's friend is subsequently killed by Koobus Venter, a sadistic mercenary soldier employed by MNU.
Under the fluid's influence Wikus' body, starting with his injured left arm, begins to deteriorate and become alien tissue. He is immediately detained and transported to MNU headquarters for experimentation, where it is discovered that Wikus' chimeric DNA grants him the ability to use alien weapons- which are biologically restricted to work only for alien users. In light of this discovery, Smit and his scientists decide to vivisect Wikus; but he overpowers them and escapes the facility. Smit orders Venter and his men to hunt Wikus down, while a cover story is published that says Wikus is a fugitive infected by an alien STD. Everyone believes the story, even, for a time, Wikus' wife Tania Smit's daughter.
Wikus finds refuge in District 9 and stumbles into Christopher's shack, where he learns that Christopher is hiding the lost command module of their spacecraft underground. Christopher discloses that the fluid in the canister would allow him to reactivate the command module and in turn, the dormant mothership, in which he claims he can reverse Wikus' mutation. To recover the canister from MNU headquarters, Wikus obtains alien weapons from superstitious Nigerian arms-dealer Obesandjo (Eugene Khumbanyiwa) and his gang, then he and Christopher attack the MNU offices, retrieve the canister, and flee to District 9 with MNU forces in pursuit. Appalled by the illegal experiments on his fellow aliens at MNU headquarters, Christopher decides to get help before curing Wikus, which will take three years. Frustrated, Wikus attacks Christopher and attempts to fly the command module to the mothership, and is almost immediately shot down by Venter and his men. They capture Wikus and Christopher, but Obesandjo's gang intervene and seize Wikus, acting on Obesandjo's belief that eating Wikus' transformed arm will enable him to use alien weaponry. Obesandjo's base is then attacked by MNU.
In the command module, Christopher's son remotely activates the mothership and an alien mechanized battle suit in Obesandjo's base which kills Obesandjo and his men. Wikus takes control of the battle suit and rescues Christopher, who promises to return in three years with a cure for Wikus. Wikus kills all the attacking soldiers before Venter cripples the suit, which ejects Wikus. As he corners Wikus, a group of aliens kill Venter by tearing him apart. The command module with Christopher and his son is lifted into the mothership, and they use it to leave Earth, while Johannesburg's residents celebrate its departure.
A series of interviews and news broadcasts are shown speculating about Wikus' whereabouts and the potential return of Christopher and the spacecraft, and what it may entail. MNU's illegal experiments are exposed by Wikus' friend and assistant Fundiswa (Mandla Gaduka), and District 9 is demolished, with all the aliens removed to the larger District 10. Tania finds a metal flower on her doorstep, giving her hope that Wikus is still alive. The final scene shows a fully transformed Wikus in a junkyard, crafting a similar flower.From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
District 9. The title and premise of District 9 were inspired by events in District Six, Cape Town during the apartheid era. Although segregation on a major scale is not part of everyday life anymore, or shouldn't be,discrimination certainly is.Sadly it crosses all races, religions, political affiliations, sexuality, and whether or not you are a woman.
I am a considered a white woman. My maternal Grandparents immigrated from Ireland. My paternal Grandfather was a Cherokee Indian. My Grandmother was white.
In my opinion I should be a White Irish Indian but there isn't a box for that on any form that I've ever seen. Maybe I should start a petition to create a new form with a line that lets you fill in your nationality.
I just got off the phone with my friend Honey. Yes that's her real name. Anyway her Dad was from Romania and she's Jewish. She is also married to a Mexican who immigrated from Mexico. It would be fun to see what her children would list as a nationality.
She told me a funny story that I'd like to share. She was in a department store with one of her girlfriends and her friend Gay called out to her to see where she was. "Honey, where are you?" The man behind her said. "You can't call her honey!". her friend replied, "Yes I can, I'm Gay." How I have wished that I could come up with the perfect comeback such as that was at a time like I had last week at the grocery store.
My husband Lance and I were at our local HEB buying our weekly groceries when I started noticing people moving away from us. Mostly me as when I would step away from Lance to get something from across the way, people would part like the red sea. I honestly thought I might have forgotten my deodorant. I even went to far as to go to the restroom and check my underarms just to make sure. Yep I'd put my deodorant on so it wasn't that. I was washing my hands and I happened to look in the mirror and it dawned on me. I was wearing a scarf.
I'm sad to say that I was a victim of discrimination. All because I was wearing a scarf. A scarf I obtained from TLC aka Tender Loving Care which is sponsored by the American Cancer Society. First of all let me assure you I don't have cancer, I have a thyroid condition that has caused me to lose the majority of my hair. I normally wear a hat which is perfectly acceptable in our society but because I chose to wear a scarf, a winter scarf, I was looked at with sadness, or disdain in equal measures. I'm sure the sadness was for my husband who was shackled to this horror of a woman who dared to cover her head in public with a scarf. I even have wigs but it was sleeting / snowing that day and I wanted to stay somewhat warm therefore I was totally clueless when I left the house that I would be looked down upon because "gasp" I might be a, dare I say it, MUSLIM.
It's funny I never thought about it but I felt like I had a contagious disease even though cancer is not contagious. Alopecia is not contagious. Being a Muslim is not contagious. Being Gay is not contagious. Prejudice is.
The next time you see a woman in a scarf please remember she is someones Wife,Mother, Sister, Aunt, Cousin and friend.Whether she is suffering from Cancer, Hair loss or is a Muslim, she is still a human being and deserves our kindness and understanding. Someday there may actually be aliens among us hopefully we will have moved on from our prejudices toward others but we certainly have a long way to go.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
The world lost not only an actor, artist and activist, it lost it's very first Vulcan on February 27, 2015. I lost one of my hero's.
The first episode of Star Trek was aired on September 8, 1966. I was 6. I can't really remember a time when Vulcan's weren't a part of my life. Oh don't get me wrong, there were other aliens that captured my imagination such as Tribbles, but Spock was always my favorite although Yoda is a close second. I even liked Jar Jar Binks. I know, I know he was an annoyance but his species was beautiful. So tall and regal with those absolutely wonderful ears. You just gotta love the ears on those guys.
Spock was my favorite for so many reasons but I guess the greatest thing about Spock was the whole eyebrow thing he did. I have never been able to raise one eyebrow while the other stayed down. It's just one of those things that I can't do. I also can't lick my elbow, although I'm not sure why I would but I saw it on TV a couple of days ago and mentioned it to my brother. He told me he could and I believe him. He is double jointed and can stand on his head and spin so if he says he can do it I'm inclined to believe he can. Since he was in the back seat of my car and I was driving at the time I really couldn't see if he could actually do it but will be sure and demand that he shows me he can the next time I see him.
I loved Spock and his lack of emotions and now after living a full and rich life I know that I would never wish to trade my human emotions for the emotionless life of a Vulcan but I have had times that I could have for a few minutes, hours, days or weeks. But in so doing I would have missed out on everything that makes us human. The laughter. The kind of laughter that makes your belly hurt from laughing so hard. The sorrow. The kind of sorrow that comes from losing your Dad when you wish you had him "For One More Day." Joy. When you find the one person in the world that lets you be who you are and loves you anyway. I'm without a doubt "The Lucky One."
So here's to you Mr. Spock, aka Leonard Nimoy. Thank you for giving all of us self proclaimed geeks a chance to know you as an actor, an artist and an activist. You lived long and prospered and I will always cherish the hours we spent together in darkened theaters or my own living room. Thank you for showing me how to love with all my heart, how to grieve with all my soul and how to forever and always be a friend.