Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Without scream, we have no power

Monsters Revolution Inc.

So I finally saw the DreamWorks kickoff summer movie entry, Monsters Vs. Aliens. I love that it plays with the monster movie genre. It is also quite short. Monster movie genre? Now I want to watch all the movies that it took its stars from:

The Blob 1958    The Creature From The Black Lagoon 1954

            1958                           Gojira 1954      
The Fly 1958

My children were watching another monster movie the day before we took our family summer movie outing. They were watching Monsters Inc., a movie deeply about fathers. Monsters Inc. has always struck me as a movie about the "old" paradigm of parenting (you know, the one where it was ok to beat your children). The film is a great metaphor. The monsters are the dads, and they run everything. They have and control the power. This "old" paradigm has to do with fear, and they get results by scaring their subjects into what they want. They are also removed from the home and from their children's lives. We are talking about classic gender roles here. The same gender roles that Richard Yates takes on in his Revolutionary Road.

Think on these lines by the Monster CEO: 

Henry J. Waternoose: There's nothing more toxic or deadly than a human child. A single touch could kill you. Leave a door open, and one can walk right into this factory; right into the monster world. 
Trainee: I won't go into a kid's room. You can't make me. 
Henry J. Waternoose: Our city is counting on you to collect those screams. Without scream, we have no power. Yes, it's dangerous work, and that's why I need you to be at your best. I need scarers who are confident, tenacious, tough, intimidating. I need scarers like... like... James P. Sullivan.  

This monster is your father.

So that door in which we don't want to let in a child? A father's heart. And the monster economy? Is based upon fear. So Monsters Inc. is really about the patriarchy? Yup.

I've talked before about the idea of an interior life. That is the option of something else beyond role. Maybe I haven't talked about this. It is odd, because this is the idea that I've been thinking about now for months. For April Wheeler, the heroine from Revolutionary Road, the lack of an interior life is a literal death sentence to her. She has and is only mother. Frank has his job. He is father, but his job provides another aspect to his being. He hates his job, yes, but he is able to leave his job and return home. He is more than his job. April's job never ends. It is a 24 hour-a-day job that she can't leave at the office. Oh yeah--that's where I wrote about this, I'll quote me. I put this on The Slate Political Gabfest facebook page regarding their June 19th show. (No one was interested in what I had to say though. . .)

I've been thinking about the *theme* of this week's gabfest wondering if it was called the revolutionary gabfest. Mostly I just wanted to say that I love it when the microcosm clicks with the macrocosm. The back and forth and the round and around. The revolving. Revolution! It can be a nation divided or a couple, the alien "other" is your "other half". The WHEELers were going to "revolutionize" the 50's. They were going to buck the system, which was an amazing comment about 50's America in 1961--that Yates could see through it then, when only now are large groups questioning consumer capitalism and what it requires as well as what it entails for gender roles. And this here is interesting to me that Emily didn't respond to the book like David did-who called the film mediocre (?). What is the role of women/mother? What happens when a stay-at-home parent has nothing but role? Frank hated his job yes, but he was more than his job. And young Iran? The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
There was a restriction on the number of characters, and so my post may be cryptic, but I was trying to get at the many revolutions that are coming up now beginning w/ the anniversary of the Tiananmen square massacre that I kinda wrote about. My Shakespeare quote at the end, hopefully shows that I'm siding with the rebel alliance. Our system of power based on physical force needs to be transcended. This is the revolution that I'm interested in. This is the freedom that I'm seeking. I want to move the monster economy from fear to love. All parties need a say. There was a reason why the patriarchy flourished and was employed in western culture. This isn't how it always was though, and there have been other cultures with much different gender roles. Our idea of women's work is "our" idea.

So I love it that the "worst", most incomprehensible monster from Monster's Vs. Aliens is a woman.  Her dream is to go to Paris--just like April Wheeler.  But, both are at the mercy of their husband's jobs and desires to be "Big Men".

The original monster that the Susan character is based on is from the 1958 film Attack of the 50 ft. Woman. Here is a blurb from Wikipedia about the 1958 original:

The story concerns the plight of Nancy Archer, a wealthy heiress whose close encounter with an enormous alien being causes her to grow into a giantess. She uses her new size and power to seek revenge against her philandering husband Harry and his mistress, Honey Parker.

The poster for the 1958 original has come under much criticism because the picture of the giant woman in it is not 50 feet tall in proportion. Compared to the size of the cars and people in the poster she appears to be at least 200 feet tall. . . Wikipedia

One interesting bit in Monster Vs. Aliens that I note is the destruction of the Golden Gate Bridge. Monster movies have a fondness for bridge destruction which was noted here. But what are we to think about this? Once I thought that I needed to study Jeff Bridges. He was the "bridge". I never really carried that out. I got "hurt" first--that is I underwent a huge William Hurt exploration. Perhaps I do need to write about Jeff Bridges who went into the Matrix way before Neo did, in the film Tron. There's another revolution. Jeff Bridges beat Master Control Program with the help of Tron, but in Ironman, Jeff Bridges essentially became The Master Control Program, which is the way of the Father.

When one examines myth, such as the Greek system, the "new" authority gains its power  by force, taking it by destroying the "old" father, but inevitably becoming that "same" oppressive authority. The son becomes the father by killing his father.

So how do we break the cycle? I note that most parents don't spank anymore which was a classic norm of parenting.  It is so hard not to respond with force for authority.  Shouting and fear work well from the getting-what-I-want standpoint.  My dark clone oppressing things smaller than its tiny self however isn't good though. Is the only way to become king by killing and acting like the tyrant?  

The monster economy operates from the 3rd chakra. This is the will to power. This is taking what one wants through force. The new economy must operate from the heart, the fourth chakra. This new economy will illogically be more powerful. This is illustrated in how Sully discovers at the end of Monsters Inc. that laughs create 10x the power that screams do. So the father will still have his role, but I'm not sure if he stays emperor and king in the traditional sense. He must know "the other", his spouse, and rule as one flesh.  And I mean this in all cases. There is no "other".  We are killing ourselves!

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Abe's Axe is a symbol. Like the firey wand of Hermes, it is the conduit for bringing into action manifestations from the creative imagination. He is not killing vampires so much as freeing living dead men. The great emancipator would like to bring you into the 4th dimension of consciousness. He is going to have to kill you to do this, though. Or, actually, just annihilate your ego to transport you. In this instance, his axe is the craft. A craft is both a transport and a skill. The magician's wand is both. A pen can be mightier than the sword. What's your craft? Use your symbol well. . .

Heal The King!

Heal The King!