Sense 8 Finale: Hopelessly Idealistic or Naive?

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I was HEARTBROKEN when I discovered that they cancelled, Sense8. Thus, when I found out that they would be returning to create a finale, I was ecstatic.

This is by FAR one of the most original and intricate shows in terms of sexuality and sexual relationships. I applaud the show, the actors and actresses, the writers, really anyone and everyone who helped make this show a reality because we needed to see more LGBTQA+ representation in the media. Personally, I think movies and tv shows are the way that minorities can be represented authentically and uniquely.

The notion of radical empathy is one that often comes up when discussing shows and movies such as Matrix, Cloud Altas, 13 Reasons Why, The End of the Fucking World, or Sense8. Radical empathy can be defined in many ways, but in it’s purest form radical empathy is an attempt to empathize with someone who is completely different from you. The way that artists go about portraying radical empathy is completely up to them. For instance, in 13 Reasons Why, the graphic sodomization scene is brutal and hard to watch, BUT it’s hard to not empathize with Tyler and feel his pain.

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It’s almost impossible to stop empathizing with him, even when he makes the choice to commit a school shooting.  In either case, radical empathy is effective and is the new wave to show the audience life in someone else’s point of view.

What’s a better expression of radical empathy than an exploration of how everybody deserves pleasure, in whatever form they can find it? In a very real sense, all eight of these people are each other, in a way that ignores gender or race or other societal constructs that divide people into neat categories.

By ending Sense8 in their EPIC orgy, they yet again show the importance of accepting each other in all form no matter their gender, beliefs, religion, sexuality, or relationships. They illustrate all forms of love and suggest with their finale orgy scene that the best way to heal the world is through love.

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It isn’t about beating any one bad guy, or any one awful ideology, but, rather, to find better ways to care for each other, to love each other, and, yes, to make each other feel really good. Naive or Hopeful? You decide.

 

Scandal: The Final Season, Final Episode

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I was a Scandal fan from the beginning, but I must say the last season, especially the last couple of episodes of the final season felt rushed and unfinished. By the end of the series, I was left with so many questions:

Does Abby find love again? Will Huck find love? Is Cyrus’ only punishment his guilt? What about Olivia’s mom? Did Jake deserve his fate? Did the Gladiator’s get off easy? What does the portrait in the gallery mean?

I still haven’t been able to fully digest everything that has happened within the 7 seasons of Scandal. Those who know me know that although I’m interested in all of these questions, I am more fascinated by some of the larger themes and notions that were discussed through the final episode.

Even though I can write a lot about several different ideas, I want to focus on a dichotomy that is present from day one, the idea of good vs. evil, heroes vs. villains, and gladiators vs. monsters.  Oliva passionately declares:

This is bigger than us,” […]“This is about the country. This is about patriotism: the end of politics, the beginning of leadership. It all has to come down, no matter the cost. . . We are not the heroes of this story. We are the villains. This is your chance to be a hero. This is positive change,”

There is one line from her dialogue that has stuck with me, “We are not the heroes of this story. We are the villains.” If her declaration is true, then why have we been cheering for the villains. The question arises, when did each character go from becoming a gladiator to a villain? Or, were they ever really heroes at all? Olivia once said…

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Since we established at the end of the series that they aren’t the heroes or the gladiators of the story, so I guess they are the ladder… Personally, I think that the dichotomy, the notion that they are one or the other takes away from the complexity of the show and the complexity of politics. Yes, they have all done some horrible things, yet, the writers decided to murder one of the most innocent Gladiators in the group. What does this say about justice? What does this say about positive change? That people must sacrifice their lives in order to spark a change in others?

Honestly, I’m not sure. I think that’s the problem. Scandal had a HUGE platform, and they were able to bring light to so many issues and bring BLACK representation to a national platform. Oliva Pope openly told millions of people that minorities and BLACK people have to “be twice as good to get half of what they got.” Even in the finale, Command, REAL command spoke to a bunch of old white men and explain how HE ruled the country under their nose for YEARS! Talk about black power!

They could have strived for greatness and they did in the beginning BUT I don’t think the last season, the last two seasons embodied what Scandal is actually about, and don’t @ me! You know, I’m right…

 

 

13 Reasons Why: Beyond the Reasons

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***TRIGGERS AND SPOILERS BELOW***

I’m watching 13 Reasons Why: Beyond the Reasons. I challenge anyone who is watching 13 Reasons Why, Season 2 to watch the actors, actresses, directors, and psychologists talk about some of the themes from this past season. Themes such as: the complicity of silence, the importance of intervention and recovery.

Whether you like the show or not, I don’t think anyone can dispute that they did open up a discussion about some important societal taboos such as rape, female and male sexual assault, suicide, suicide attempts, mass shootings, mental health, heroine addiction, homelessness (especially youth homelessness), and even rape culture with their metaphor of “The Clubhouse.” Damn, they tacklers a lot.

I love that shows like 13 Reasons Why, The Sinner, and even Empire. Although problematic and controversial are using their platforms to start the conversation, to break the silence.

It’s very interesting to see what these actors and actresses have to say about their performances and portrayals of such important stories lines and characters.

The Concept of Self-Destruction

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“Almost none of us commit suicide. Almost all of us self destruct. It can come in the form of an urge to drink, smoke, overeat, or even wreck a perfectly happy career or marriage.”

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Hi Friends!

I was watching the movie “Annihilation” last night, and a theme that was portrayed in movie really stuck with me. The concept that I can NOT get out of my head is the concept of “self-destruction.”

I realllly liked the idea that everyone can self-destruct or self-sabotage. “Annihilation” does an amazing job of showing how different people can self-destruct. It was a really good insight into the human mind and psychology.

For example, one character chooses to deny her addiction and corrupt lifestyle, and in the end she ends up succumbing to her inner rage. Another, devotes herself to external mysteries (religion or a higher power) as a way to scapegoat her inability to understand her own problem. Some simply accept their self-destructing ways as unavoidable and become their demise. Some allow themselves to be consumed by their problems until they become shells of pain and torture those around them. Some will do anything to avoid their pain they’ve been expose to emotionally and physically. Lastly, some acknowledge their mistakes and are consumed with self-loathe. In the end, they end up seeking out misery as a penance for their sins.

Which ever form of self-destruction the character has, the result is the same in all cases: we are all doomed to the same fate if we allow patterns of self-destruction to continue in our lives. In the end, we all become something different than who we were before. We become someone else.

I challenge you to examine your life and detect the form of self-destruction you use in your life. I challenge you to spot it and change it before it rules your life. I challenge you to break the cycle. I challenge you to live your best life without apologies. I challenge you to be you. 

It’s Offical… I’m the Grinch.

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Now, I’m not the Grinch because I dislike Christmas. Although I must admit, it’s not my favorite holiday. I’m the Grinch because as he so articulately stated,

Help me…I’m feeeelinnnggg.

There is something about the holidays that makes people joyful and hopeful. Maybe it’s the thought of gifts from loved ones or the knowledge that the New Year is among us. Whatever it is, it does make us appreciate some of the things we take for granted.

This year is the FIRST year I celebrated the holidays at a workplace or organization. The feeling is unlike something I’ve ever felt. Co-workers I acknowledge with a slight nod, walked up to me with small gifts in hand. Yes, I’m aware the generic card in their hands was probably given to even one else in the workplace, or that the message could pertain to me or Cindy Lou. But the point is, they tried and that’s more than what I can say for myself.

While they took their time thinking of others, I was thinking about how ready I was to runaway. Runaway from my responsibilities, from work, and from most of my coworkers. Nonetheless, receiving small gifts of appreciation, well-written Holiday cards, and hugs from the same people I acknowledge with a slight nod gave me the feels.

At the end of the day, while I was locking up my office, I couldn’t help but think about another Grinch thought…

What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!

This Holiday season, I urge everyone to think about the things that do not come from stores. The “little bit more[s]” of the Holiday season, the things that cannot be duplicated or reproduced. The things that touch your heart.