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Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Whole Range of Emotions in Under Two Hours

And there wasn't even great personal tragedy to spurn such emotional turmoil.

I feel as though I should start this posting by stating that I had no intentions to post today. This morning while planning my day in the shower I gave a passing thought to booting up and checking emails and coming up with some snappy blog post, but upon review of the clock, and the decided lack of snappy post material (not that this has stopped me in the past, mind you) to fore-go the blog posting for the day.

But something happened this evening that has left me unsettled enough to feel I need to put some thoughts down on paper so to speak. I went to the movies. Yep, the movies. I finally had the chance to go and see "The Help". I have yet to get to read the book itself, to be completely honest I for whatever reason have had little desire to read it though it is a topic I have "enjoyed?" reading of. Ugh, that sounds horrible. I have enjoyed many of the books I have read regarding slavery in America and the Civil Rights Movement. As in I appreciate the prose and tempo and the emotional tearing of the books along the subject and I am a firm believer that we mustn't as a people forget our past in order to better approach our futures, but enjoy the actual materials subject matter seems an inappropriate statement.

So, on the note of such literary subjects, I have often read books that can on one page piss me off, and on the next make me laugh with joy. I've partaken between two covers a heart tugging journey between fear, outrage and blinding heartwarming hope. But rarely does a film move me in such a manner. I'm not saying I don't enjoy movies, but audio visually I don't get the same attachment to characters in two hours that I do in the reading of a book. However; "The Help" managed to do this to me. From beginning to end you felt for the characters that were developed through the narrative. In the end I was torn between the rage at our treatment of members of our society, and inspired by the hope and human beauty displayed throughout the film and especially the display of courage at the end.

In the end I was left feeling that we've come so far. But despite that fact, we have so much further yet to go. I wasn't there for the Civil Rights Movement, though at times I wish I were. Maybe more appropriately I hope and pray that if I had been I would have been one of the strong ones that chose to do the right thing. But, I was born to late and grew up in a place somewhat removed from the standard issues of the Movement. I grew up in Alaska. And not only in Alaska, but a very diverse part of the largest city in the state. I went to the "Black" schools from Junior High on. I worked in the "R & B Niche" music store in High School. And despite coming from Alaska, moving to Casper Wyoming which is quite possibly one of the whitest cities in the United States, I feel that I have a more diverse mind set than many.

With all that said, and even though I feel like we as kids were very open minded and accepting I still recognize the simple truth that throughout the country there is a unhealthy dose of racial hate between all groups. I know it's known by the terms prejudice and racism, but lets face it. Under all guises and names, it's simply hate. And to be completely honest, I have no idea what to do about it. That's right, I don't have a single solution to offer. But what I can offer is that though I obviously feel that there is so much further to go, I also have hope that someday we will get there. Or as close to there as us humans can get for we are a forgetful bunch of beasts. That's right, I have Hope. Mainly I hope that I will live the best I can, and when the times call for it, I hope I will make the right choices and live honorably. I hope I will stand for what's right no matter the cost and treasure that which is most holy on this earth. Life. And in the long run, until we are all challenged to make such choices this is the best any of us can do. I know, I know, things are always more complicated than that. It's never as easy as choosing the right thing from the wrong thing. We humans have a nasty habit of muddling up the simply things don't we?

At the end of the movie, it is restated that we should love our enemies. In that Love is our victory. I can tell you that I'm not that good of a person, but I can at least try to not act out of hate, even if I can't find the room for love for my enemies. Maybe doing the right thing can simply be whittling out the choice that wouldn't be acting out of hate? Maybe someday that will be enough. Maybe it won't. But here's hoping that it will.

If you paid attention through this diatribe, I appreciate it.


  1. Awesome Q! The movie was amazing (and so was the book - fyi). Thank you for your post.

  2. Quite a moving post, Q. I've not seen the film but read the book when it first came out. Very powerful. I do remember the Movement - in the mid 60s - and its ongoing struggle to better all Americans and Humankind as a whole. Thanks for posting this. - Joe