Sunday, January 31, 2010

Reflection Pond #16

Fever Ray - Fever Ray (2009)

Karin Dreijer Andersson is a freak. As you should know by now, I mean that in the best way possible. I like weirdos and fringe culture. I revel in the art that makes us dwell on the uncomfortable aspects of our nature. Andersson is the type of musician that I crave to discover; self-produced, strange, creative, anti-establishment, hostile, angelic, post-apocalyptic, magical. She recently gave the greatest awards acceptance speech ever with a mask where her face appeared to be melting. She obviously doesn't give a shit about making anyone happy but herself. We know her from the group, The Knife, which consists of her and her brother and a home-made studio. They catapulted into the indie stratosphere a couple of years ago and now Andersson hits us with this amazing album as the alter-ego, Fever Ray. I hope that I will always have appreciation for artists like her and I hope that she will always appreciate fighting against the base bleakness that pervades popular consumer culture. Each year I grow older, yet I find that I only wish to push the envelope even further, to discover the weird. May we all find creative people like Fever Ray, who only hope to ignite us into learning something special about ourselves.

Milk - Gus Van Sant (2008)

When I heard that the movie Milk was directed by Gus Van Sant, I wasn't exactly sure what to think. Most of the time I like Van Sant's films but quite often I have a hard time embracing biopics. They have a formula that overcomes the story and so many directors who take on the burden of these type of films can't seem to escape it. Van Sant manages to walk the edge of the knife on this one. He does succumb to some typical storytelling guidelines in the biopic handbook but he also brings his own edgy aesthetic to the project. Besides, this is a story that is so relevant to our lives today and it's a story that reveals the foundation of a stand for equality that is our generation's civil rights movement. There is no mistake about the importance of the fight that Harvey Milk and so many others struggled for during the 70's. It is a fight for our nation's conscience. There are many on the opposite side of the right to marry who would say the exact same thing except for one glaring difference. One is guided by the glorious ideals of equality and love while the other is used to impose a strict restriction upon the way humans share their lives with one another. Funny how the latter group is the one always spouting about the evils of those who are trying to destroy our freedom, the very freedom that they won't allow their fellow citizens. It is unconscionable that we would create an environment where we restrict the sincerity of love, that we would put that language of hate into law. It is no surprise that our nation suffers when the divisive voice of malice guides our actions. That all people are created equal and that they may have the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is the very soul of this experiment of democracy. If you don't think that applies to all of us then you do not believe in America. You have accepted a distortion that is so far removed from those great words that you have become blinded by filth. Love, the most noble of all our emotions because it's the very heart of embracing another. It is the source of beauty and admiration. It is the most fabulous gift of all. How can we possibly take that away from someone and still say that we truly believe in the ideals of liberty. Perhaps everyone who voted against allowing people to love one another need to simply think about the twinkie defense. Dan White, the man who killed Harvey Milk, claimed that he had eaten so much junk food that he didn't know what he was doing on the day of the slayings. Temporary insanity, that's exactly what is happening to our nation at this particular moment in history. It's time to get that shit out of our system so that we can see straight again, see the truth in those words written by the founders of America so long ago.

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