Tag Archives: connection

A message for ministers and a dream for all of us

A version of this is being shared with various ministers and newspapers:

I ask for measured measures about the virus. I’m alarmed about draconian steps and proposals. I am calling on all ministers to be proportional and wise, to not silence dissenters (who may have some valid points – after all, such a surreal situation deserves scrutiny), and to be aware that any enforced measures (such as testing, closures, bans, treatment, seizure or lockdown) have deleterious effects and decrease public trust and sympathy. Isolation creates economic and health crises. There’s a real threat of swift starvation for those in poverty. Quarantine can mean greater loneliness or relationship stress – from passive smoking to abuse. Mandatory vaccination is a human rights issue: not only is it abuse to insert a foreign body against your will, we don’t know what that body really does and if it’s yet safe. It also assumes this is the only model of healthcare, and we are aware that it’s a lucrative one. We have the inalienable right to our own bodies and to the care we choose. (I support natural medicine – the greater use of which would take the pressure off national allopathic medicine’s resources and allievate earnings loss amongst those workers). Many people are in fact voluntarily following official advice; and there’s a social collateral element which assists with that. The aggressive use of enforcement officers makes a democracy into a tyranny. I would like to see this country lead in its handling, by recognising the need to associate and to continue to allow us make our own informed sensible considerate choices, and that we can’t be together apart.

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I’m aware that the measures aren’t being followed by all and that there’s a belief that not doing so endangers not only yourself but others, and that governments have the right to take measures to enforce where safety is concerned… but that comes down to whether the establishment has executive powers over our own sovreignty, what model of government and healthcare we should have… all of which I’ll be taking up in forthcoming posts…

 

My dream… reverse no touch

In my dream, it was the opposite of what we’re asked to do. Instead of trying to avoid touch,  keeping far apart, avoiding physical affection…this was where we hugged and clasped the hands of even strangers if they were willing, for each touch was an act of healing and solidarity, and we needed to spread love to all.

It’s why there’s something counterintuitive, and perhaps suspicious about this.

Surely healing comes through touch, not avoidance? It feels like the premise for a dystopian sci-fi.

It recalls one: Metropolis where although the workers stand close in a lift, their heads are bowed and they don’t see or speak to one another, and they’re resigned to their minion life.

I fear that this distance will become standardised, that we’ll rely more on electronic transactions – which, unlike in person ones are trackable – and that this fear and wish to be a good citizen will make us more compliant and malleable generally. It’s a classic totalitarian sign to break up meetings and/or to require state permission to have them.

So as we try to be responsible and resist the spread, it’s good to be aware and to find other ways to connect.

Before things got stricter, I took a spread the love walk, silently and intangibly sending love to all those I passed (at the requisite distance) to their homes and offices, even their parked vehicles. I also greeted some strangers, smiled, and warmly thanked those that keep services open. And it made me feel happy too.

And if I sound naive – why should germs and fear have power over God and love?

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I’m aware that much of the world has gone into lockdown since I wrote that, and of the belief that being out is selfish because it spreads the disease. I’ve actually been out little, and I respect the health of others, but I have been doing some research from pandemics to papers to priestesses and Pasteur, and I am seeing different possibilities emerge, as I’ll share anon…

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Filed under medicine and health, society

Take This Waltz movie

This may be the only time of my life that I agree with the Guardian film reviewer, Peter Bradshaw. I will go even further and say that his review is far better written than by Philip French, in sister paper the Observer. I realise I have now raised my own stakes.

I was so taken by director Sarah Polley’s maturity in her debut, Away from Her. A young woman was able to craft a film (admittedly not her own story, but adapted from a book) about people twice her age on how creeping memory loss means a marriage longer than Polly’s lifetime is severed as Julie Christie’s character goes into a retirement home.

Unsure about the Picturehouse synopsis but encouraged by a friend and Polley’s previous work, I caught Take This Waltz in its frustratingly short run at our local cinema.

The maturity has gone. Not only are the subjects younger but Michelle William’s quiveringly raw acting once again lost me in the early scenes. I found her relationship with both men incredibly immature – rolling around, worse than puppies and teenagers. Many of the horrible things said in the name of affection between Margot and Lou were disturbing (eg the rape comments). Equally silly was Daniel, who she lusts for but cannot hold a conversation with, and with whom she bonds by blowing something dangling in the back of a taxi. Whether the long sequence with him was actual or fantasy, I struggled to see how they could have a realistic life together, as beyond the sex, there was little connection.

I agree that this film is unsexy and the supposedly erotic verbal description of what Daniel would do to Margot sounded as well crafted and enticing as pubescent toilet graffiti. He began well and then seemed to run out of description – but erotic talk is a craft; simply saying how much you’re going to fuck them is pretty lame.

As was the premise and much of the film. I hated the opening scene where Margot visits a historic fort and is asked to whip an actor in the name of public punishment, all being cheered on and photographed by tourists. I was never quite sure what it was meant to say. That bloodlust still runs high enough to feature as a highlight of a modern tour disturbed me. How Daniel’s egging her on related to their characters and relationships, I was unsure. That he sat with her on the plane home was one unlikely coincidence; that he lived opposite was one too far.

When Margot bursts into tears on her husband after another rebuffed seduction attempt and he says ‘what the fuck?!’, he reiterated my thoughts about the entire movie. Margot seems to have incredibly bad timing – her chef husband is cooking the main meal of the day. No wonder he wasn’t responsive.

The alcoholic sister in law was an unnecessary subplot, the only thing that gave was someone the chance to say how badly Margot has behaved by taking off. Geraldine’s brief disappearance was not sufficient crisis to bring Margot back to the family.

The swimming scene showing Daniel and Margot in synchrony was a beautiful cinematic idea but was based in nothing we saw with the couple, and so was an empty piece of choreography. We needed scenes to show they actually were attuned.

As for the them of being afraid of the inbetween – we never actually saw one. Margot is not in between relationships . Her marriage need not have died; she lacked the maturity to have any way of sorting its problems. I was surprised that such a childish coupling had been cemented in marriage.

Wisely I think the film is trying to say that actually Margot has yet to learn that passion and desire are not enough alone. It seems that her missing connections is more than about airports, but about people – but it failed to make one with me.

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