- Do not forget Michael Brown
- Do not forget how the media dehumanized him and tried to justify his murder
- Do not forget how peaceful protests were painted as savage riots
- Do not forget police armed with military grade weapons terrorized and arrested black civilians
- Do not forget Darren Wilson being awarded over $200,000 in fundraiser donations for murdering an unarmed black child
- Do not forget that this system was not built to defend us, but to control us
- Do not forget Ferguson
don’t know why i was avoiding it, but had bought a 3D blu-ray player just to watch it (after having missed out on the theater 3D version), finally watched it last night, and ok, sure.
i guess the rest of this post counts as “spoilers” although the book’s been out and the movie’s been out long enough that i don’t care.
heart-“warming,” the tale of a boy whose family dies due to a sunken ship, how he ends up on a lifeboat with a zebra, an orangutan, a hyena and a tiger, and how he ends up not dying somehow (there’s a weird subplot with a carnivorous island that can’t be true but looks very pretty).
at the end of the movie the guy tells the writer (this whole thing is a flashback framed around an interview) how he told japanese authorities “what really happened” after he was rescued, a story which involved his mother, a cook and a sailor, and confesses to murdering the cook. does this to “not sound crazy and tell a story about animals” except why lie about something in a way that makes you a murderer? that seems weird to me.
"which story do you like better?" the guy asks the writer at the end of the movie.
"the story with the tiger," the writer says. but what i actually hear him saying is "the story where you didn’t murder a dude."
I can’t stop thinking about the terrifying story of the Maryland teacher/novelist who’s being weirdly punished because he once wrote a novel that includes a school shooting. No one knows the full story yet… Maybe there will turn out to be more going on here? As is, though, it sure looks like an author’s Constitutional rights are being violated simply because of his fiction. Because he wrote about a taboo subject, a subject that’s so scary we as a culture dare not discuss it even in fictional terms.
School shootings are absolutely chilling, evil, nightmarish. So are police states. And in a healthy society, we should be free to engage with those subjects in fiction without fear of a “Soviet-style punishment.”
Last month at the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland, my co-author and I pitched a sci-fi adventure screenplay which met with enthusiastic response… until we mentioned that our heroine time-travels to prevent a school shooting. Producers gently broke it to us that school shootings–even theoretical, thwarted ones–were totally taboo in Hollywood. Even bringing up the subject of domestic terrorism was right out. One producer even gifted us with a hot tip: just change it from a school shooting to something cool, safe, and timely–Ebola. (Brilliant! I’ll just go do a “find” “replace” right now.)
That’s when it occurred to this novelist-turned-novice-screenwriter that Hollywood’s fearful hangups could stymie a screenwriter in a way that no one really can do to a novelist anymore. Even if a Big 5 press doesn’t buy your book, you can self-publish it. Thanks to freedom of speech, as a novelist in America you can choose to write about difficult subjects without fear of being censored, blacklisted, etc. The worst that could happen is readers could collectively shrug and dollar-vote you down to obscurity. (In other words, what happens to most of us anyway.)
As of today I’m no longer sure that’s true.
What baffles me most about the Patrick McLaw situation is that none of the big media articles end in “and this is frakkin nuts, WTF police?”
Objective journalism is one thing. Not commenting on a serious breach of law and abuse of power, stemmed from the basic inability to distinguish fact from fiction on the part of the law enforcement, is basically endorsing it.