Posts Tagged With: Hollywood

Shake the Tree and the Rotten Fruit Fall First

Film producer Harvey Weinstein

I have watched this Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment”scandal” unfold the past few days and wasn’t quite sure how to tackle writing about it.

To those of you who may not know, Harvey Weinstein was and is (until last week), one of the most powerful and ruthless Hollywood moguls and film producers working in the world. The companies he founded with his brother Bob Weinstein, Miramax Films and the Weinstein Company have been responsible for producing some of the most seminal films of the past 20-25 years. Films like “Pulp Fiction”, “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “Trainspotting”, “Good Will Hunting”, practically the entire film catalogue of influential directors like Quentin Tarantino and put no-name generic actresses who literally came out of nowhere on the map and made them household names like Gwynnie-poo Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Lawrence.

Gwynnie-poo, Hillary Clinton and Harvey Weinstein aka The 3 Amigos

His reach wasn’t just in Hollywood, but reached deeply into political circles as well. He is one of the biggest donors to the Democratic National Party, was a huge supporter of Hillary Clinton and one of their biggest fundraisers in “liberal” Hollywood. His reach was global. He was named Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the UK and was made a Chevalier (knight) of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres  in France. His films have garnered over 300 Academy Award nominations over his life and dozens of wins.

British actress Romola Garai in “I Capture the Castle”, one of the more talented, intelligent but criminally under-rated and under-used actresses in her age group IMHO. Gee, I wonder why…

Well, it turns out that aside from being one of the most powerful men in film culture the world over he’s also one of the biggest pigs since he has a long and sordid history of sexually preying on vulnerable, and powerless women, which not only included aspiring actresses and models but also junior members of his company, journalists and just about any attractive female between the ages of 19 and 30 he encountered.

Renée Zellweger, WTF are you doing?

Look, I’m not even in the same country as Weinstein or work anywhere near the film industry but even I heard about the rumors swirling around him for years. It just took a wickedly good expose in the New York Times last Thursday to finally show the world what the film community has known for decades: Harvey Weinstein is a notorious lech who took full advantage of his place as a well-connected, wealthy, uber-power broker and deal maker to prey on women with far less power.

Follow any celebrity gossip site, and I’m talking about the better ones where insiders in the entertainment industry usually post blind items anonymously (like the comments section over at Celebitchy, Lainey Gossip, Blind Gossip and Pajiba) and the litany of Weinstein’s actions and the list of his partners-in-crime who covered his tracks (I’m talking to you Matt Damon and Russell Crowe) and well as talentless actresses who according to insider gossip allegedly and knowingly engaged with him on the casting couch so that they could advance their careers (Hey Gwynnie-poo, why haven’t you made a public statement since the scandal broke? Or you Blake Lively? Jennifer Lawrence? Sienna Miller? Jessica Alba? Gretchen Mol?)

Harvey Weinstein told Gwyneth Paltrow to do this S&M-inspired photo-shoot for “Talk” magazine back in 1999 even though it was incongruent with her then-blossoming career and image.

Only a handful of actresses and actors and other Hollywood insiders have since spoken up against Weinstein and in support of harassed victims like actresses Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan (Emma Thompson and Glenn Close, you rock!). The majority have remained silent and I find that to be the most telling thing about this whole story. Everyone is still afraid of Weinstein’s influence since he could literally make or break someone’s career. The thing you have to remember about abuse of any kind is that it can only operate and happen in dark, unlit corners where no one talks. Stay silent and you give an implicit green light and free pass to the abuser to continue what he or she has always done. In order to stop it, YOU HAVE TO SPEAK UP.

As far as I’m concerned, anyone who knew what happened and looked the other way or who still have not spoken up, is an enabler and that unfortunately includes some directors, actors and actresses who have worked with Weinstein over the years and are very talented in their own right…and sadly some people whose work I used to at least admire.

Bill O’Reilly and Roger Ailes. The FOX News network is well-known for its misogyny and chauvinism. It came from the top.

In recent months we have seen some very, very powerful and wealthy men fall due to sexual misconduct and harassment. People like the founder of FOX News Roger Ailes, FOX News nutter host Bill O’Reilly, comedian and philanthropist Bill Cosby and now Harvey Weinstein. These are all men with vast amounts of power, wealth, powerful connections, access to political power, everything you and I will probably never have.

Yet, they fell. And if they can fall, anyone can.

Some journalists have pointed out that perhaps it has something to do with how interconnected we are now with social media, the internet and technology given that everyone has cameras and recorders on their phones now. How in the past, women who were victims, suffered in isolated silence. They were isolated from each other and had no way of reaching out to other victims. However as the Ailes, O’Reilly, Cosby and now Weinstein stories show, victimized women are coming out of the woodwork, they are sharing their stories with one another. That in turn has emboldened even more women to come out of the shadows and share what happened to them. It gets the snowball rolling.

This isn’t really just about sex. It’s about using sexual degradation and humiliation to sexually harass someone in order to exert power over them and then silence them. Something has shifted in the general culture. I don’t think its going to be as easy as it used to be in the past for men to get away with this kind of abuse of power over powerless women. It’s not just in the film industry. It’s in the work place, corporate world, university campuses, its mothers who have internalized patriarchal values and transmit that to their sons within the family, it is just about everywhere.

I have maintained since I began this blog about 5 and a half years ago that there is a shift of the ages which is underway, call it what you will, Age of Aquarius, end of the Kali Yuga, Truth Vibrations, moving into 5D etc. Two of the hallmarks of the incoming age is respect for the Divine Feminine (and that includes respecting women as conscious beings equal in power and worth to men) and the impossibility of wearing false masks. Work against those two basic precepts and you are asking for trouble and asking to be exposed. Go against this incoming tide and I’m afraid, you’re not going to make the cut.

Harvey didn’t get the memo, that’s for sure.

 

 

Advertisements
Categories: Ch-ch-ch-changes, Pop culture, Shift of the Ages effects | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Diversity Card

diversity

As per my last post, I have been very busy with other projects which is why I have not been writing much at all. Even though I still watch what’s happening everywhere, even if the intent to write is there, the energy isn’t. The thing with starting your own business, you’re always told how much insane amounts of hard work is involved but until you actually start getting your hands dirty, you don’t realize how EXHAUSTING it really is. You’re constantly researching, networking, constantly meeting new contacts, following up and starting the process, over and over again. The thing with networking, it’s like anything else, the more you do it, the easier it gets but at times, some aspects of it can eerily parallel with what is happening in the larger world.

Case in point: The diversity issue (or lack thereof) which this year’s Oscar race has sparked (not helped of course by actor Benedict Cumberbatch’s ill-informed, unfortunate use of words which practically caused a media melt-down).
Ben, don't worry about it. It's all good.

Ben, don’t worry about it. It’s all good.

Now, the superficial, flighty side of me only pays attention to things like the Oscars as a fluffy distraction. They are just films after all, here today and forgotten about by next year. However the blatant lack of diversity and opportunities for persons of color or other minorities in the entertainment business and film-making industry as a whole has always rankled my nerves. Do any of you remember the show “Romper Room”? I used to watch it as a kid and I remember with sadness when the host would call out names of the kids she saw through the Magic Mirror at the end of the show. I knew I had one of those names which would never be called out.
I don’t understand why we’re living in a world which accepts a 5th re-boot of the Spiderman or Batman franchises in as many years but doesn’t see anything wrong in the lack of mainstream films, actors, narratives or stories focusing on, empowered and strong women,
persons from the LGBT community,
Australian Aborigines,
Muslims,

I think the last Muslim to ever be nominated in an acting category was Omar Sharif for “Dr. Zhivago”, where he played a Russian

Asians,
Haign S. Ngor won an Oscar back in 1984 for "The Killing Fields"

Haign S. Ngor won an Oscar back in 1984 for “The Killing Fields”

or Native Americans
Personally, I’ll watch “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” or “Thelma and Louise” any day over “Die Hard”.
If anything, whenever Hollywood  does cast someone “ethnic”, it’s usually a form of tokenism, at best, and always some kind of secondary or tertiary role, never a main one. At worst, it’s just plain ignorance and racism. Hollywood also has a long and ugly history of using “brown face” and similar devices in films.
The actress Merle Oberon was half-Indian but she was always depicted as “exotic”.
Jean Simmons donned brown face to play an Indian girl in “Black Narcissus”.
So did Hugh Griffith in “Ben Hur” to play an Arab sheikh.
Sir Alec Guinness donned brown face to play an Arab king in “Lawrence of Arabia” and a Hindu Brahmin priest in “A Passage to India”.
And who can ever forget the most embarrassing example of all, Mickey Rooney playing a Japanese man in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”?
The leaked Sony emails also showed up how truly bigoted and racist many Hollywood execs and studio heads are. So is anyone surprised that when persons of color are cast, they are usually portrayed according to negative stereotypes which reflect their worldview (evil, scummy Arab Muslims  in “American Sniper” or dysfunctional African-American families like in “Precious”) instead of being portrayed in a more positive, empowering or sympathetic light?
You can't pay me enough money to go see this movie voluntarily.

You can’t pay me enough money to go see this movie voluntarily.

Instead practically every year, there always some “coming of age” film about another white, quirky, awkward teenager from some affluent suburb with divorced parents or has issues around sex (“Juno”, “Thumbsucker”, “The Kings of Summer”, “Youth in Revolt“).
Michael Cera in "Youth in Revolt"

Michael Cera in “Youth in Revolt”

Every 10 years or so, there’s always a film which belongs to, what I call the “Idiot-Savant” genre. Again, usually white, male, misunderstood geniuses with challenging personalities or life circumstances due to their mental condition and/or intelligence (“Charly”in the 1960s, “Rain Man” in the 1980s, “Shine” in the 1990s, “A Beautiful Mind” in the 2000s, “The Theory of Everything”and “The Imitation Game” this year alone).
Not to minimize the Holocaust but there has been many Hollywood films on that atrocity or related to it over the years (“Schindler’s List”,“The Reader”, “Life is Beautiful”, “The Boy with the Striped Pyjamas” right off the top of my head) When it comes to other genocides I can only think of two, “Hotel Rwanda” about what happened in Rwanda and maybe “Ararat” about the Armenian genocide in 1915. I have yet to see something about what happened in East Pakistan in 1971, Cambodia in 1975, Algeria in 1954, Hispaniola in 1492 and many, many others.
I would love to see a Hollywood and a viewing public that sees and can accept a manly hunk like Idris Elba go toe-to-toe for leading-man roles with other equally manly hunks like Clive Owen or Mylène Jampanoï  becoming a Bond girl as easily as Denise Richards.
I think it should go to Idries.

I think it should go to Idris or Clive.

It’s not just film.  Activism around diversity, for the moment, is happening in the margins but it is inching closer and closer to the mainstream. I see this in the corporate world now and particularly in my networking discussions. Corporate culture has always been very strict, regimented, formal, conservative and about keeping the status quo. If you’re 1) male 2) white and 3) tall, you’ve basically got it made and you’ll more easily be considered for leadership and managerial positions. However, if you’re female, ethnic and petite (like me for instance) you have to work doubly hard to even get a chance to get your foot in the door, let alone an interview. Industrial psychologists call it the mirroring effect. The gist of it being that you will probably hire and consider people who are most like you first because that’s your comfort zone and it takes a huge amount of work to really see your own inherent racial biases clearly and work against them, which most managers either don’t have the time nor interest to do.
It’s a shame really that so many people don’t get it or don’t want to get it. I’ve already written why even in nature and in ecosystems, diversity is usually key to ensuring long-term survival of certain species and the ecosystem itself. Homogeneity is a dangerous place to be in for extended periods of time. I’m of the persuasion that the closer human systems come closer to mimicking natural ecosystems, the better off we’ll all be. That goes for the corporate world and the film industry as well.
Don’t believe me?
Watch this and really pay attention to what Ted Carns is saying in between his lines about disposability and setting an example to others.
Categories: Ascension, Ch-ch-ch-changes, Conspirio, Pop culture, Raise your EQ, This is why the planet is screwed up | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

What “The Flintstones” shows up about Hollywood

I’m convinced that if you watch this episode of “The Flintstones” called “Dino Goes Hollyrock” you have everything you’ll ever need in order to understand Hollywood.
It touches on cosmetic surgery, fake public personas, seeing celebrities when they are “off” and understanding the importance of your real home and where you come from.
Here’s Dino in love with Sassie…
Dino vendo TVeditada (Custom)
Dino meeting Sassie on the set…
Dino and Sassy
Dino’s reaction to being told his tail is “too big” and needs to be “cut off”…
SASSY
Sassie showing her real self up…
Sassie Wig
Including taking off her fake eyelashes…
Sassie Lash
I bring this up because of last week’s Oscars. I know its last week’s news for whatever reason, my FaceBook feed is STILL full of annoying Oscar stories. For some reason people find it to be almost as important as finding a cure to cancer or a new, habitable planet…
 Even then, watching the Oscars is like watching a train-wreck, you don’t really want to watch it but try as hard as you may, you can’t look away either.
To me it reminds me of a really bad version of high school prom or graduation…
The prom scene from John Hughes 1980's classic "Pretty in Pink"

The prom scene from John Hughes 1980’s classic “Pretty in Pink”

Everyone dressed up in all their finery, and on occasion, hitting it out of the ballpark…
There was only one woman ever who could rock polka dots AND stripes at the same time and that was Audrey Hepburn...with the help of French designer Hubert de Givenchy, towering behind her.

There was only one woman ever who could rock polka dots AND stripes at the same time and that was Audrey Hepburn…with the help of French designer Hubert de Givenchy, towering behind her.

And at other times not…
Demi Moore caught the bike-shorts-are-cool craze in the mid-1980s. This is what happens when you allow actors to do something they are not qualified to do (in this case fashion  design)

Demi Moore caught the bike-shorts-are-cool craze in the mid-1980s. This is what happens when you allow actors to do something they are not qualified to do (in this case, fashion design)

Everyone is full of fake smiles and shiny eyes and air-kissing each other when in reality most of them want to get into a fight with each other. Everyone having to sit down quietly and politely applaud on cue, even for musical numbers you’d rather boo off the stage. I honestly don’t think I could have sat in that auditorium, with a straight face, without cringing especially while Bette Midler was singing “Wind Beneath My Wings”, probably the cheesiest song of all time. (I’m going to spare you and NOT put the video here since I classify it as noise pollution).
However, I do love it when something “off” happens and even for a millisecond, you see people’s true colours flash.  Like when the screenshot of squares of all the nominees appear with their faces and you watch them the second the winner is announced, and just for that 1/1000th of a second, you see the bitterness, the rancour and the disappointment before the congratulatory smile appears.
Poor Leo, always a nominee, never a winner. Chin up Dude, you're in good company which includes Peter O'Toole, Richard Burton and Barbara Stanwyck.

Poor Leo, always a nominee, never a winner. (Chin up Dude, you’re in good company which includes Peter O’Toole, Richard Burton and Barbara Stanwyck)

You really can’t hide things for very long, no matter how hard you try.
You also see the politics of the Hollywood establishment come out as well. I mean English actress Vanessa Redgrave was persona non grata in some Hollywood circles after her remarks about “Zionist hoodlums” back in the 1970s. (Honestly people, grow up.)
La Swinton wearing a scarf designed by Bella Freud

La Swinton wearing a scarf designed by Bella Freud as featured in Vogue magazine

So I was very happy to see every girl’s current crush, English actor Benedict Cumberbatch photobomb the likes of U2.
Here you have, one of the most mythic rock bands U2, all trying to look serious and dignified, sucking in their cheeks, posing with their best angle for the camera and suddenly you have this  Tin Tin lookalike Jack-in-the-Box, springing up out of nowhere, just stealing their thunder completely.
Ben

Ben

Tin Tin

Tin Tin

To me, it showed that this guy has a very, very keen sense of humour and is able to see through the whole thing completely. He knows it’s a game and he’s not taking himself too seriously while he’s playing it. That makes him instantly cool and very rare in Hollywood terms.
***********************
Dear Tracy Tabernacle, Not only is your baby brother an “old soul” as he was rightly referred to by one of his drama teachers, he’s also a beautiful one. Please help him to keep his feet firmly planted on the ground, his heart in the right place and all the star-dust from getting into his eyes too much.
By every account, he's a really nice guy.

By every account, he’s a really nice guy, a good guy. (Photo: Helen Rushbrook)

Dear Ben, should you ever find yourself in my neck of the woods and filming at Mel’s Studio and getting tired of hanging around film industry types, there are a couple of great pubs in town we can go to for a burger and a pint because I’d be very curious to hear your thoughts on the following: why there is a dearth of plays from the Continent being put on these days in the English speaking world? Excluding Edmond Rostand’s “Cyrano de Bergerac” which has been done to death, it would seem that the plays of the likes of Schiller, Pushkin, Lessing (esp. Nathan The Wise) and further afield, Tagore, can easily be updated to a modern setting, modern dialogue and modern scenes. The themes are universal enough and anyone can relate to them. Why do you think there is a bias? About the Iffland Ring, Bruno Ganz deserves to hold it, but I’d wager that Klaus Maria Brandauer would be a close second; What do you think? Ben Whishaw in “Bright Star” or Noah Taylor in “Flirting”? If you could meet Wim Wenders and ask him a question about “Wings of Desire”, what would it be since I understand that’s one of your favorite films? I chatted with him once about the film and we ended up talking about Rainier Maria Rilke and how Rilke and Plato may have subconsciously influenced him in writing that film.
The poet Rainier Maria Rilke influenced Wim Wenders in no small part.

The mystical German poet Rainier Maria Rilke influenced Wim Wenders in no small part.

I’d also like to compare notes on the following with you: You walked away from death 4 times,  so did I (I’ve only written about 2 of the 4 times). How did you feel each time you did? My first reaction is to get angry. I understand your great-grandfather was consul general  in Turkey for Queen Victoria. My grandfather worked directly with all the Governors of Bengal during the 1930s under George V. Incidentally, how did you like teaching English to the Tibetans? I taught English to the Turks for 3 years and loved it. I know you love doing extreme sports, (so do I, albeit in smaller doses) and enjoy going to rock concerts (I’m usually in the front row at any show involving Radiohead, Depeche Mode or Arcade Fire) so I understand the adrenaline rush-thing from these sorts of activities but how do you balance that need at times particularly in light of the enormous amounts of quiet concentration and study needed when preparing for a role?
Lastly, I’ve never made Banoffee Pie before, which I know is one of your favorites. However, my Strawberry Tiramisu (which I make with shavings of Toblerone chocolate, custard pudding, ladies fingers, Bailey’s Irish Creme and fresh June strawberries of course) has been known to induce mania.
Give me enough notice and I’ll whip up a batch for you.
Cheers Dude!
Strawberry_Tiramisu_hero-5e2be19a-22c0-492b-837d-1cb4859fbd23-0-472x310
Categories: Politico, Pop culture, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Energy Refund (Right back at ya, Babe!)

I have a “3 bad films and you’re out” policy about Hollywood actors.
Make three films which are crappy and after that I won’t invest another penny in seeing anymore of your work. No Netflix, no paid downloading, no cable.
I won't pay to watch any of her flicks anymore.

I won’t pay to watch any of her flicks anymore.

Julia Roberts, Gwyneth Paltrow, Bruce Willis and Tom Hanks are already on my no-pay list. I used to like Kevin Spacey once upon a  time but after “K-Pax”, “Pay it Forward” and “Ordinary, Decent Criminal” he joined the list too.
How the hell could Keyser Söze ever be in "K-Pax". You lost your cred, dude.

How the hell could Keyser Söze ever be in “K-Pax”. You lost your cred, dude.

In fact, I wish Hollywood executives made their accounting practices more transparent. I’m still waiting for the day where I can get my refund back after watching a bad film. If your film sucks royally, I should be able to go to your home, knock on your door and ask for my $10 bucks back. (I’m talking to you Barbara Streisand especially for “The Mirror Has Two faces” – Hey, we can dream, can’t we?)
This needs to change.

This needs to change.

I bring up the subject of refunds because I have been checking our Cameron Day’s website and reading up on his excellent blog articles and watching his YouTube videos. [For those of you familiar with David Icke’s work around archons ( I refuse to capitalize them), this article and this article are especially worth a read.]
This video seemed to resonate the most with me. It’s a bit New Age-y but there’s some empowerment to be found behind it all.
Call it karma, payback, what goes around, comes around, reaping what you sow, this is really about sending back to people what they gave to you which you don’t want and then neutralizing it so you don’t get into that energy loop of back-and-forth and psychic warfare, whether it is negative projections, negative exchanges, negative anything.
Imps can't deal with their own medicine.

Imps can’t deal with their own medicine.

I have found that when you send stuff back to people, especially in their face, it inevitably freaks them out like no one’s business (funny to watch too, might I add).
Elvis' song "Return To Sender" is pretty good too.

Elvis’ song “Return To Sender” is pretty good too.

I remember once dating this one dude who decided to end things unceremoniously. When I asked why, his response was there “there’s just nothing there.” Now, I’m not one to cry over spilled milk for too long so I gathered my things and myself, wished him a good day and left. About a week later, after I had ruminated on things and chewed the cud a bit, I saw that this was not a big deal and it was good it had ended. No hard feelings, it’s just done. I realized he still had a few of my items so I asked him if I could fetch them. We got to talking on the phone and at some point he commented he was very surprised that our breakup was so civilized.
Him: You know, I’m really surprised you’re so OK with all this.
Moi: Yeah, it’s cool, it’s all good. Remember when you said that there was just nothing there?
Him: Yeah.
Moi: Weeeeellllll……. I ….pretty much…. feel the say way.
Him: (freaking out and suddenly up in arms) Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! There’s no need to be nasty and mean about things!
Moi: ???????? (It would seem it was OK for him to be bit callous and indifferent but when it turned out that I honestly didn’t harbour deep feelings either, it suddenly wasn’t OK anymore. Some people just can’t swallow their own medicine it would seem. Oh well).
i.chzbgr
What I like about this idea of Energy Refund is that it points out that there is always inevitably energy tied up with whatever projections which are sent out to us or even those we project outwards ourselves and it is in recognizing that there is bound-up energy within these projections and releasing it in a good way that we can let go of things in a meaningful and constructive way and then be able to move forward. There are tons of roles which end up holding us back  if we don’t issue the refund (i.e what is mine is mine and I’m taking it back, what is your’s is your’s and I’m giving it back to you). the role of blamer, the role of victim, the role of being used. Also, without you having to take on any extra karmic debt, you’re giving back rightfully stuff that belongs to the parasites, ankle-biters and energy vampires of this world.
It's all about bringing back balance.

It’s all about bringing back balance.

I would love to see what would happen if people suddenly started doing this en masse at the same time.
Have fun issuing your refunds!
RefundStamp
Categories: Ascension, Ch-ch-ch-changes, Pop culture, Raise your EQ, Shift of the Ages effects, This is why the planet is screwed up, Those unseen things | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.