How I feel about gun control

First off, as someone who never owned a gun, and possibly wouldn’t/shouldn’t be able to, my bias is probably going to be skewed in favor of gun control. However, I do get it why people want to own guns…in certain situations. In America, people like to engage in vigorous activities that require guns(i.e hunting). People will point fingers at Europe and do a comparision of gun control over there vs. over here. But…we are not Europe. Nobody hunts in Europe, practically. Therefore, is there any point in arguing for looser gun control over there? When practically the only recreational use for such a violent instrument is not even a concern or demand? Here it is different…That being said, while I respect the wishes of those who want to use guns, we have a problem. I firmly believe that if we want to cure this cancerous problem, we need to get rid of it first. Then, and only then. do we focus on the underlying problems. Think of it this way. If you want to get an alcoholic or drug addict to stop drinking, you remove the drugs and alcohol first. Then, after that, you address the underlying issues. “Ok, Tommy, we’ve taken the drugs away from you, now we can get you a job or do whatever it is you need to do to get back on your feet, and we talk about why you do these destructive behaviors.”  It’s the same thing with guns. If we keep allowing youth, regardless of who they are, to be able to access AR-15s, so easily, (which make sense: Why do people need an AR-15 in daily use?), then we’re going to get more people who commit shootings. It’s what they call a multipronged approach. Also it’s a dialectical approach. Who says that it’s one thing or the other? Why can’t it be both? Verily, it is so. Also the NRA is wacko. They are a pathetic, unfeeling, self absorbed group of nutjobs that wish to instill fear in the hearts of common folk so they can push their excessively gun centered objectives, whatever they are…In my opinion.


Ubu Rois

Ubu Rois is a french play from the late 1800’s (I think 1880’s or 1890’s) that our theatre company, Anodyne Artist’s Company, is possibly planning on doing. It is an unusual play because it mixes extreme(and I mean extreme) political satire with an intense dose of absurdity and vulgarity.  We have never done anything like it, at least since I’ve been here.  What I do know about this play is that it is very much apropos to our current times. The play in question revolves around a crazed, power hungry, greedy selfish idiot named Father Ubu, who wishes to seize the throne of Poland and take power for himself without even knowing how to govern a nation. Sound familiar? Yes, the play basically describes our current political situation in a nutshell. Even though, and this is the interesting part, it was written in the late 1800’s as I mentioned before.  Intensely relevant, vulgar, and funny throughout, this is a play that is designed to shake heads, blow minds, and cause intense reactions. In other words, this is thought provoking theatre.

As such, this play is not for everyone. Nor is it meant to be I don’t think. We are actually thinking of marketing this play to the college and university crowd, of which there is an abundance of in Minnesota. Although, one caveat I have regarding our potential audience is, I don’t know how it will go with the community college crowd. I have friends who go to Saint Paul College. I myself go to Century College, along with a few of my workmates. Those colleges seem to me to be a little too ‘pedestrian’ in their outlook. From what little I’ve seen at both SPC and Century, I can’t imagine that the people there would be very open to the idea of a play with characters that have names such as Captain Whorehouse, and a VERY trump like figure that regularly calls people ‘horny piglets’ and so on. I don’t know if the maturity or the understanding is there. But I don’t know entirely as I am extreme part time student.

To engage in thought provoking theatre, one must be able to acknowledge the thought provoking processes within them. A question that comes to mind regarding this is, “What do we want to say about our lives through this play?” Such a question floors me. To think for a moment that anyone is interested in what I have to say about my life experiences is rather baffling to me. And also very risky. I am an eclectic person, with disabilities. I have a lot to say, but it is not within most people’s realm of experience, which makes it scary to really reveal myself. And to be honest, there’s a lot going on in the disability world that I am not aware of. I don’t even know the semantics or mechanics of what goes into my funding to go to Anodyne! I have a vague awareness of it but other than that I don’t have much knowledge or awareness of how it all works! Which is sad really. But the truth is is, there is a lot to say about the world, about my world, through this play and other venues. So I am willing to explore that and take the risks.

Black Panther-Hollywood Miracle or Hollywood Pandering?

So the adaptation of Black Panther(the comic book series, having nothing to do with the actual Black Panther party) has arrived in theatres and it is a hit.  It’s being hailed as a groundbreaking movie in it’s portrayal of African culture and it’s portrayal of an almost entirely black cast. Now, I’m conflicted. One the one hand, I’m very happy that Africa is getting a ‘reimagining’, as Lupita Nyong’o put it in an interview with BBC. But is the answer to a whitewashing of Hollywood a complete reversal of said whitewashing? The trailers were rather reminiscent of ‘Coming To America’ the classic comedy from the 80’s where Eddie Murphy portrayed an ‘African prince’ coming to America. While this wasn’t a comedy, it had some of that feel to it. There weren’t a lot of actual Africans in the cast, it was mostly black people, and it did have a little bit of that artificial feel to it. On the other hand though, this movie is very political and very topical and relevant to today’s times. The fictional Kingdom of Wakanda, where most of the story takes place, is an isolationist, technologically superior kingdom that refuses to aid other countries and ends up being taken over by a crazed megalomaniac dictator who wants to kill all his enemies and go to war needlessly. Sound familiar? Yes, the main villain does have parallels with Donald Trump, perhaps. But his motives are much more complex. And that’s a thing I love about this movie as well. All the characters are multidimensional, something that can be lacking in Marvel movies to date. And rarely these days, particularly with a Marvel Movie, do I find scenes in a movie that just stick with me. There are several moments in this movie that stick with me, at least a little bit. And it’s not the action scenes either. I’m not going to spoil the movie for you the reader though.

So all in all, a fantastic movie. Even if I take issue with the excessive afrocentrism to a certain extent, it is a good movie. Worth watching, easily one of the best Marvel movies to date.

Jukebox-Mughal E Azam

Here is a collection of beautiful songs from the film Mughal E Azam, an old, elaborate Hindi movie detailing a saga from the Mughal Era. I have had a soft spot for the Mughals, expecially when I was a child. I find them fascinating, and there is something shakespeare esque about the dramas that unfolded during that time.


 Finally got to see Padmavati, or Padmaavat, or whatever they ended up calling it. It was a cool movie, albeit one dimensional. But what do you expect? It’s Bollywood. I didn’t see anything that warranted such furious protests on the part of the Rajputs. In fact, the Muslim community should have been outraged and so should have the feminists. This movie is pretty much keeping in line with a more fundamentalist or conservative Hindu mentality, focusing on the warrior caste ethics of honor and duty, and it sells a hindu inflected brand of chauvinism in a way. Rani Padmavati was a strong woman who never really got to just be the ruler that she was meant to be thanks to her husband. In the end, her most defiant act of self expression was to kill herself at the end, which was followed by a narration claiming that this was a victory for Chittor. Also, can we just pause for a second to look at how they portrayed Alauddin Khilji, the (muslim) villain? And the (also muslim) Sultanate of Delhi? I find it in bad taste that they cast ruthless, barbarian muslims(all male, no women amongst them except for their queen who was not even from that kingdom) as the exclusive villains of the story. Nevertheless, these are perhaps just quibbles. From an entertainment perspective, it was entertaining, dramatic, beautiful visually, but a little too drawn out.