linear data | the shape of water | make america great again | the rise of the minority and the rainbow coalition
The Shape of Water won numerous awards at the 2018 Academy Awards. Most notably for Best Picture and Best Director. As with his earlier film Pan’s Labyrinth, Director Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water continues the exploration of individual disenfranchisement and national conflict.
The Shape of Water was set in Baltimore, MD in the 1950’s. A period of time that our current President, Donald J. Trump presumably feels we need to return to—in order to “Make America Great Again”. I believe undoubtedly that the thought of his idea and many others like him in making America great again refers to the dominance of white nationalism, white privilege, and white supremacy in our national identity.
The Shape of Water intelligently turns the concept of the “monster” as “villain” into the embodiment of beauty found in the “other”. In a sharp contrast, there was the pundits—the alt-right propagandists/commentators on FOX News. Their description and analysis of the film was one of simply referencing “a woman having sex with a fish”. Debasing the motives of the film by decimating it and declaring it as a freak show. They also tried to politicize it by focusing their attacks on so-called “Hollywood Elites” and Liberals alike. Promoting the idea that the low viewership of the awards were due to the “American people” (I never feel they are talking about me or the vast majority of the America population when this phase is uttered on the political right)—being tired of politics in their entertainment. In reality, the film spoke truth to the oppressed, and marginalized: That they had a voice, even when unable to literally speak; that they weren’t second class citizens, a minority; and were free to be who they were in sexual orientation. In this regard the film was about freedom, the love that encapsulates freedom and the struggle we must undertake to possess that freedom.
In conclusion, I thought the film was masterly done and beautifully crafted. The lovely shades of green that permeated throughout the film. And the various ways in which water was manipulated was imaginative and powerful. True art.
In my interpretation of the film’s central visual construct (that being the ending sequence with the Amphibian Man and Eliza Esposito floating together in all-consuming rapture beneath the surface of the water), I wanted to create a rainbow coalition of linear and cubistic form to mirror this moment.
Debate: A discussion between people in which they express different opinions about something.
In September 1963 James Baldwin debated Malcolm X on the subjects of race, class, black identity, theology, integration, and white supremacy. I recently listened to the debate on YouTube (see link below), and found it riveting and constructive. Here we have two of the most celebrated, and articulate intellectuals of the time, in a civilized, yet powerful debate: Malcolm X defended his position of the sit-in movement as passive and non productive. He did so by injecting the need for forceful intervention by what he suggested as being “any means necessary”. While simultaneously being opposed to the concept of passively waiting for freedom—and inherent civil rights, and recognition as human beings as “something to be given” to the “American Negro” by the “White man”. In contrast, in reference to the sit-in protests and any violent response as a solution, “Baldwin argued that maintaining calm in the face of vitriol demands a tremendous amount of power.” He continued by expressing the belief that “when the sit-in movement started in the western world, I think it had a great deal less to do with equality than with power.” As a result of this analysis, it can be noted that Baldwin began to contemplate the important distinction between “power and equality” and “power and freedom.” Also, interwoven throughout the debate between Malcolm and Baldwin, was a civil discussion on the validity of segregation (and pure independence; in political, and economic constructs), or integration as the valid means of advancement in a dominant white society. And of course that debate continues to today: Taking its place on various social media platforms and newly authored independent (non-white owned media) online black commentary sites and publications.
The interior room of things. Colorful. Composed of data and moments. The beautiful memories we left behind.
Here in the interior rooms, we find the things we left behind. The data of memories and moments.
Impermanence, failing falling thoughts, and climate change.
There is a light that emerges within oneself that is not unlike a growing imagination and the scent of mint and tulips in spring.
Finding that inner flame and pushing forward. I have been hanging around the house today, relaxing and listening to music. As I create this post I am listening to the ambient sounds of Chihei Hatakeyama’s Void IX and Oophoi’s An Aerial View. Tonight is a night of immersing myself into all things formed through sound, smell, art, healing, and stillness. I went online and found a great place to order a small quantity of Tibetan medicinal incense. So I got some for inner and physical healing. It’s quiet here. I wish I could spend more time in this soothing, reflective, and safe environment. Doing art, hanging out with the cats, looking out beyond the woods in the backyard. Haven’t really talked to anyone all day. Here in the interior rooms, it’s amazing how often that happens. Nothing here all day, but the fall of thought.
In the curated conjecture of thoughts and emotions, the heart seeks refuge only in its own desires.