Remember, remember, the 5th of November

Movies, Reviews

In a couple of days Great Britain will celebrate Guy Fawkes’ Night, a tradition that has not become popular in the United States or better, although it was imported with the thirteen colonies, it died out following the growth and the development of America as a separated unit from the United Kingdom. Differently than Halloween, which has become a deeply felt celebration, the Bonfire Night-being apparently too much related to the Protestant, Puritan celebration of victory over the Catholics- lost importance rapidly until it disappeared.

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Who was Guy Fawkes and why am I even telling his story? Well, I learned about him in second grade, when English started to be taught in Italian primary schools during the Nineties, and my marvelous Teacher Michela introduced us to British English and the culture of the U.K. I remember my first carved pumpkin, my first English pudding, my first Christmas cracker, my first singing of Molly Malone, my first reciting of Auld Lang Syne, my first Tea with milk, my first A’s in English class (lol), my first recital of We Are The World -years after it was released in the US of-ha course-ha, and finally my first Guy Fawkes’ dummy made out of my brother and father’s old clothes.

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His story dates back to 1605, when he and his friends wanted to blow up the House of Parliament in London, but he was caught and imprisoned on November 5th, giving birth to the celebration of the English Thanksgiving for dismantling the Gunpowder Plot. Long story short, what they do overseas (but not here in the US) is to celebrate the 5th of November with fireworks, bonfires, and burning a dummy that looks like Guy Fawkes, while children knock on doors asking for “a penny for the Guy” (yes, this happens not even a week after they went around annoyingly trick or treating for All Hallows‘ Eve). Let’s get to the point now: have you ever watched V for Vendetta? Yes? Good! No? Go watch it NOW!

V for Vendetta

Created by: James McTeigue
Based onV for Vendetta, 1988 – DC Comics by David Lloyd and Alan Moore
StarringNatalie Portman, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea, John Hurt
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures

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In a dystopian future ca. 2020, Americans are almost all dead and fascists rule in England. V, a vigilante wearing a Guy Fawkes’ mask, saves a TV reporter, Evey (Natalie Portman) from rape, and forces her to join him not before teaching her something with what I would call harsh but necessary manners. For 12 months, from Guy Fawkes Night’s Eve to the 5th of November of the following year, V “plays games” with Evey in a sort of “Phantom of the Opera style”. But I am not going to spoil the movie so please, watch it and see for yourselves what happens next.

What needs to be said is that the film provides food for thought: “People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.” Basically what I understood from watching it over and over (and again last year after my head shaving madness) is that if you want a revolution, it has to start within yourself in order to have effects on society. People who are the victims of oppression and some kinds of distraction, enforced to live wearing masks, can actually remove them and replace them showing their true self. To remove these masks you have to dedicate yourself, to gain knowledge, to get informed, to turn the lights on and face the shadow of society, but you have to repress and sacrifice part of your social self in order to succeed. Evey’s torturing rituals are painful to watch, but after all that pain there is one big truth that gets revealed to her: “You said you wanted to live without fear. I wish there would have been an easier way, but there wasn’t.” She is at complete peace, without having to rely on someone else’s help, looking for it on the outside because she is has strength within herself. Both V and Evey went through traumas before getting reborn like Phoenixes, burning and raising back again from their ashes. “What was done to me, created me” V says, and no major truth has ever been told.

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My previous studies on Freud may influence my perception of this character, but I found fascinating and tremendously relatable (metaphorically!) that he was imprisoned, used as a lab rat, tortured until he reached a point where he could no longer recognize who he was. He wants revenge and freedom from tyranny detaching himself from what it means to be human, to be a social animal, and he chooses loneliness or better, aloneness over community, sharing, relationships. He has an extremely strong mind, but also a kind heart and a just spirit, and what he does, he does it with a purpose. Today he would be considered a terrorist and a psychopath. Although he is highly intelligent, he does not corresponds to the standards of normality.

Let’s try to look at this man from his characteristics more than from his actions, then. V stands for justice, he wants people to know the truth, to wake up and to pursue freedom from oppression. He sacrifices himself so that people can live in a free world and although he loves Evey, (which is quite understandable) he suppresses his feelings for the greater good. Is there anyone capable of doing something like this as of today? I doubt it. Would we need it? Yes. I mean, would you judge Batman for his actions? No, he’s a hero. Just like V, and sympathizing for him does not mean we are sociopath. Understand? Capish? Very well. Now let’s go watch this movie. Again. After all, it’s a tradition!

Christmas Pudding With White Sauce

 

 

Again …on shaved heads, after #USElections

Haircut Madness

0b5e9f68f3e565f98942cc81a0841e02Along with Natalie Portman in V for Vendetta and Charlize Theron in Mad Max, the recurring image when I stare at myself in the mirror is Britney Spears many years ago. I do not recall what year it was, and I may be too lazy to actually google it so I will just use what I remember from that time. The world was under shock because apparently everybody believed she lost her mind just because she shaved her head. Is this the truth? Do we have to be mad crazy, as women, to have our hair cut so short? Should this practice be considered an actual purge, for whatever sin we want to expiate?britney-spears-shaves-her-head-bald-britney-pictures Pink, the singer, had short hair forever and nobody thought she is crazy. I guess it is a matter of seeing a person actually change her look. People are reluctant to change. I do believe this more than ever, now. People fear change, and by trying to deceive themselves choosing what they believe will make a difference, they actually pick the “good ole option” that makes them feel secure. I will go back to this in a minute.

People are reluctant to change

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Buddhists and other “religious” monks get their heads shaved as to show their beliefs, the way they want to disconnect from earthly connections while getting closer to God. The only thing that I can think of while reading “getting closer to God” is that NIN’s song which is way different in meaning, and if you want to know more, just go check it out. Nine Inch Nails apart, this thing of believing that getting your head shaved makes you lose individuality or strength has to stop. Why? Because this is exactly how I felt while seeing chunks of my hair falling, at the hairdresser’s. Yes, I confess. This socially conceived practice as a disruptive way to “say something”,  was embedded in me, until I actually had to personally feel it. And dislike it. Maybe that is why Samson was the very first figure I could feel related to, and I am not even a religious person.  More than this, it was disturbing to think of judgements from people, how they could identify me as a skinhead nowadays, symbolizing aggression in a world where apparently you need to shock the average human being in order to get a reaction. Last but not least, as some said “you look more badass” I was bothered by the thought that boy-looking girls lack of femininity (Ruby Rose is not feminine then? Come on!), leading to the most straightforward question “Are you a lesbian?” …because even if I were, I cannot see how that would be a problem, but the tone of their voices while asking that question made me upset. In other words, I was dead tired of having judgmental human beings define me, and in a way, this is why this blog came into existence.

reasons-why-you-have-to-see-ruby-rose-liveIn so many ways I am now untouchable. Only those who are not devoured by their own preconceptions get closer to me, and as I got used to my aloneness -not loneliness- it is somewhat funny to try them, watch them, and experiment all this on me. Society makes you and others believe that only with Pantene-looking silky hair you can be attractive and pleasing to the rest, that if your appearance does not stick to the norm (a norm created by whom, exactly?) you are an outcast, a problem to be solved, sometimes a threat. But, if you are a threat, then they will try to belittle you because by saying you are threatening they are giving you power, and people are so sensitive to power or what they believe this power is, that they need to kick you out of the game. Although you were not even playing and you honestly were not even giving a damn about it!

nbc-fires-donald-trump-after-he-calls-mexicans-rapists-and-drug-runnersThe results of these elections, here where my home is now, made me ponder (as if being an over thinker at times were not enough). I have always dreamt of “the land of the free and the home of the brave“, willing to be part of it, to live in and on it. I was not considering these humans though. Humans are humans, no matter where you go, and I am sorry (or maybe not) if the way I am formulating this sentence is for any reason offending you. Humans rely on fear. People fear the newly elected President of the United States because of what he said, or did, or said he would do, being scared of his power… without realizing they are the ones giving him power. As part of a -society-, human beings have “the power to give power”, or to take it away as far as I am concerned, as I thought they were doing, judging me, when I feared they could define who I was. Shame on me!

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…and while most humans are freaking out over Trump‘s victory, the future, and what may or may not happen, on a more positive note I would ask: “what if he tricked you (who voted for him and not) all? What if he knew that saying what many wanted him to say he got all the votes he needed, if counting on misogyny, racism, violence, etc he actually got you all at his feet and now he is going to screw you all over by acting humane (in the way humane should be defined)? Oh man, this would be tremendously beautiful. Music to my ears in my imaginative world. An act of intelligence taken to its finest! Is he that intelligent though? We do not know yet. Berlusconi definitely was not. But that’s another story… This may be wishful thinking, but it definitely sounds more interesting than overdramatize, because remember people: you create what you can imagine. Learn how to imagine properly and stop fearing people’s power, because it is you all giving powers to the people you fear. Ugh, wisdom.Guess what getting a haircut can do to you! Meanwhile, in Massachusetts, this view:
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