I knew I never wanted to see the movie “Prisoners” when I first saw the trailer. A couple years passed, and someone recommended it highly, so one Saturday night we watched it. I feel violated and abused mostly by the content, but also by the ending, and how badly the movie was put together.
It leaves me wondering: what is the percentage of movies and TV crime drama shows whose subject is the rape, abduction, kidnapping, torture, etc, etc. of women and children? We learned as long ago as “Clockwork Orange” that movies not only reflect society, they CREATE society. Gangs of boys recreated the rape scene in Clockwork Orange. Aren’t young men the target for Hollywood movies? Are these movies, then, a kind of training ground for perpetuating the woman-hating and life-hating violence that permeates our society?
Where are the positive movies, about love and cooperation? That when a natural disaster occurs, neighbors work together, to share food and resources, and support each other? How about movies that show a positive future where nuclear war is averted forever; the war machine is dismantled; and there is no more war? Where people learn how to communicate about their differences with love, or at the very least respect? (I do know there are peaceful movies, but they’re generally not the blockbusters that everyone knows about; we need to share the titles with each other, or they get missed. I’ll share two now: “Larry Crowne” and “Interstate 60”.)
Just today a close friend told me she thought war was in our DNA — to which I adamantly refuted her by quoting “The Chalice and the Blade” by Riane Eisler (one of the most important books of the last century per Ashley Montague, and me). In this book, she proves that before the current wave of patriarchy (which is only 5,000 years old), humans lived cooperatively, with plenty of cultures experiencing no war, no weapons, and no domination.
We can do this! We can live without war. We can live peacefully, cooperatively, kindly, in service to each other. The founder of Non-Violent Communication, Marshall Rosenberg, talks about our innate drive to be of service to each other. THAT’s what’s in our DNA. Our culture devalues that quality, but it’s there in each of us.
Most of us have heard: it starts within. Or lately: that’s the only place change occurs. OK, I believe it starts within, but I do not believe it ends there. I do believe every moment I am peaceful within, free of anger, resentment, and worry, I contribute to peace on the planet. That doesn’t mean I shut down my feelings. What works to help me be in a truly peaceful place (rather than in denial) is to practice gratitude and acceptance. When I get angry, I now know it’s because I’m not getting my way, and when/if I can remember that, I can move into acceptance. I’ll write about my journey with gratitude in my next blog.