Cheryl Pappas
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Archive for February, 2010

Disconnection Watch Words

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

“Nice people do not make interesting characters.  They only make good ex-spouses”.

Isabel Allende’s 2007 speech calling on passion and an end to violence against women includes this aside, where  she references being “nice” as the antithesis of passion.

“Nice” is a  primal direction, delivered mostly to little girls who dare to preview wild, passionate spirits.  It is the teaching that to express independence  means you are “bad” or “not nice”.   Disconnection from the truth of the self often begins early in life.

Watch out for these insidious  imbeds or outside personality directives that disconnect us from being whole and living passionately.

The Culture of Disconnection

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

If I were to choose one central theme of what is dangerous about our lives today, it would be what I call our “culture of disconnection”.   Being and staying alive used to require eye to eye, mano a mano, moments.  Or at least the conscious understanding that other people exist!

Facing one another wasn’t always comfortable or seemlessly fabulous, but there we were sometimes, “socially anxious” with no pharmaceutical pills on hand.

If we don’t “face” or consciously acknowledge the other, do other people actually exist for us?  This question nails the essence of where I live, the Los Angeles experience.  The daily road warrior driving where arrival is a miracle, given that people just can’t be bothered with other cars existing until he or she crashes into one.  But let me not digress.  

When other people fail to exist for us where we live,  how then do we grasp that people in other parts of the world exist?  Wars are much easier to wage when people are unseen and “enemized”.

I do acknowledge that technological “connection” is the delight of a majority for whom it is connection.  I just want to say, “Not so fast“.  Let’s look at what we’ve lost and found.  Let’s look at social results.

The brightest minds of the future will zero in on what I believe is a fundamental unhooking of human connection.  They will understand that many people were relieved to disconnect.  Thanks to email, twitter, facebook, and all virtual “connectivity” sites, words like “friend” (as in, how many thousands of “friends” on facebook do you have?)  have been emptied of meaning and tossed into the fog of chat.  

Even more alarming, this time is marked by the socially sanctioned ability to behave with extreme hostility, rudeness, even anonymity, providing unprecedented opportunity to strike out against others.

It seems like the “news” is all about reporting nasty feuds between celebrities  and giving them a public forum to spit at each other.  It’s an angry time with much that needs to be said.  I’m just getting started.

I personally believe that this is a culture of disconnection because the culture normalizes and encourages  the very worst in us to be exercised, hailed, and celebrated.  How disconnected is that?

The Disappearance of the Personal Question

Friday, February 12th, 2010

Basic truth:  in order to answer a question, and thus be empowered with knowledge, rather than stunned into silent  fear, you actually have to ask a question. 

Where do questions come from?

Curiosity.  The desire to know and understand.

Why are people not asking basic questions in America today?

I don’t believe that curiosity is dead.    Rather, the media screaming  terror and the high-pitched propaganda of corporate agendas have managed to nationally numb even some of our creative minds.   

To borrow a phrase from the 1960’s– spoken, perhaps, through a  pot-smoking haze –today is an excellent time to “drop out” from the constant blast of lies.  It’s time to “turn on ” the volume of our own intelligence.

When the personal question reappears, there may be a second American Revolution.  It can’t happen soon enough.

Friday Night BBC

Friday, February 5th, 2010

Memo to Kim Cattrell: 

I know you are appearing on a British talk show tonight.  I know you are speaking in a (well-publicized) English accent, that is purported to be your own.   I imagine you want to broadcast, LOUD AND CLEAR, that you are an actress, playing the role of Samantha Jones on Sex and the City.  In other words, you are an actress, not an actual American person whose name is Samantha Jones.  Okay.  I got it.

The demands of the acting career for women are insane.  I know.  The cultural demands on women are insane.  With   lauded exceptions,  my personal favorite being Meryl Streep,  actresses sign the invisible contract,  should they be lucky enough to land it,  to remain strictly inside the confines of one identifiable character. That character is Samantha Jones.  Yes, I know you’re rehearsing a Noel Coward play in London.  But remember: you are a famous American female character.  America comes first! 

More emphatically, you created America’s real hope in delivering Samanth Jones; strong, successful, sexual.  You are the trailblazer giving women permission to express aggressive, uninhibited sexuality, which men have forever claimed as their natural born right, on and off the screen. 

And here’s the kicker, Kim: your Samantha is over 50!  You have turned both ageism and sexism for women characters–and for all women–on its head.  We got you, babe, and we’re not letting you go. 

Here’s the thing.  You were way too good in that role.  It’s too late.  It’s too late to have a British accent.  Don’t traumatize your audience.

In making Samantha Jones, you have made yourself responsible for the psychological well-being of,  probably,  a generational mob of women. 

Don’t fuck us up.



    
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