Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Kony 2012, Ryan Gosling, and the Subconscious

My latest inspiration has to do with the Power of Image.  Honestly, this particular inspiration first hit when I was a freshman in college while sitting in an America on Film class .  Professor Girgus (--and those of you who know him are smiling at the very mention of his name--) had an obsession with Woody Allen, Freud, and pretty women.  In this particular class, he was speaking of the subconscious (Freud) and the subjective vs. objective in regards to the way women are portrayed in American cinema.  He showed us a clip from the movie Rebecca by Alfred Hitchcock, where the leading lady was being photographed by her husband.

photo source
I can't remember Professor Girgus' exact words, but something he said triggered a deep knowing.  I had a flash of insight, if you will.  Film is powerful.  Film is f---ing powerful!!  Film (and imagery) in general has a direct line to our subconscious minds -- the same part of our mind that creates our dreams, stores deep memories and beliefs, and shapes a large part of our lives, whether we give it credit or not.  Think about it: our dreams play out like films in our minds!  What if our brains really don't differentiate the two on some level?  Which brings us to the Power of Dreams, which I won't touch on here.

The point is, I left class on that sunny day thinking, "There is so much GOOD we can do with film."  And a passion was born.

A few years later, I moved to Los Angeles on this notion, in pursuit of a career in screenwriting.

But I digress....

This past weekend, a friend told me about the Kony 2012 video that is floating around the Internet.  I came across it later that day and spend thirty minutes completely enthralled.

After getting over my disgust for Kony, I was then impressed by the guts this Jason filmmaker guy had.  I mean, he had a mission.  And it was a noble mission.  And he was getting his point across really really really well.  I mean, this guy can whip out a film!  AND motivate lots of people to do the right thing and help!  Wow!  Wow. Wow. Wow.

I posted the video on my Facebook page.  I went to their website.   I wanted to buy the kit!  (But they were sold out?) I went to their Facebook page. That's where I started seeing the controversy behind the video.

One guy said:
The whole "Kony 2012" thing is just a ruse being used by the military as an excuse to occupy Uganda. Vast amounts of oil were recently found there and now the government wants to get their grubby hands on it.
By the end of this year we will be $16 TRILLION in debt! We simply don't have the money to occupy yet ANOTHER country! We can't help everyone in the world. Here's another interesting fact.. Joseph Kony hasn't been in Uganda for over 6 years. I bet ya didn't know that.. I've noticed people are slowly realizing this. :) I can't believe it! The truth is growing.. FORGET ABOUT KONY! This is a very sick excuse for america to take over another country. Don't believe me? Find out more info about Uganda and Joseph Kony on your own..

People had filmed themselves, calling the whole thing a fraud.  Okay -- I thought -- I better do a little homework.  I sheepishly Removed Post (aka: took the video off my FB page) until I had more info.

I watched this  (most of it, anyway):
And this one:

This guy had some good points, I think:

Anyway, there seems to be something fishy going on.  Is there something fishy going on?  I have no idea.  Maybe this is all great altruism, which of course, I'd love to believe.   Personally, and after a little thought, I don't really trust something that says, "Hey, let's send some troops over to other nations and save the world."  Then again, my Aunt Rita, once when I was in a mild debate with her over American military, reminded me of Hitler, WWII, and how he needed to be stopped...  I shut up very quickly.  She was alive then.  I wasn't.

Another note: this video sure does make Obama look good.  Interesting, as it's an election year, and 2012 is plastered all over this video (and I guess all over the nation on April 20)... as if Kony the criminal were up for presidency???

Hmmm.  And Shepard Fairey, who designed the iconic HOPE Obama poster, is featured in this Kony video.  Did he design these posters too?  Can anyone say: subliminal?

actual poster for the Make Kony Famous campaign

I realize that I'm throwing all of this out there quite carelessly on this humble little blog.  I'm no journalist nor am I an expert on anything going on in Uganda or anything political campaign-y, therefore who am I to comment at all?

However, I do want to say that I believe that awareness of any injustice in the world is 100% definitely the first step to getting any problem solved.  And in the end, I'm glad I know about this Kony character, wherever he may be.  An interesting global dialogue has begun, and that in itself cannot be bad.  I give kudos to Jason and his filmmaking team for their craftsmanship and for getting a message(s?) across in a creative and powerful way.  After all, I was ready to go!  I was all set.  It got to me, yes it did!

Speaking of getting to me, I watched the movie, Drive, the other night.  My friend called just as I was about to press Play.  Ironically, she had worked with the director, (I had totally forgotten), and I asked her if it was violent -- because I don't do violent -- and she said, "No.  I mean, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was way more violent."  That didn't help me too much, because I didn't see Girl for that very reason.

But OMG!  I watched the entire film to my detriment because, let's face it, it was great filmmaking and the story trapped me from the moment Ryan Gosling first cracked that adorable partial smile, but OMG!  SO violent!

photo source

I admit it, I'm a lightweight when it comes to this stuff.  Usually, I go to sleep with lovely little Pinterest flowery, cute-outfitty, Goodnight-Moony, cupcake-y dreams floating around in my (yes) subconscious, but that night, it was not good!  To say I'm impressionable, well, says it all!  I have a really clean diet with what I let in my head.  I don't even watch the news.  (Facebook and word-of-mouth provide me with plenty.)  And last night, I was reminded why:    I couldn't fall asleep  and when I did, I had warped, weird dreams.

Later that night, toddler-girl woke me up crying for a certain stuffed animal, and, now awake again, I decided to go Pinterest it because those horrible images were still there.  Interestingly, the flowers and fashion of Pinterest worked!  It was as if the pretty images tape-recorded over the other bad ones.

The question is:  where did those bad ones go?  They are still there.  I can still see them, blurred, as I type.  They are there, with zillions of other things, buried.

I have (WE have) a lot to learn about the subconscious and the way it reacts to images, especially moving images, with music, words, and intentionally-placed items.  It's a fun study though, I tell you.

I'll leave you with this...  A psychologist/professor friend of mine introduced me to these YouTube videos a few years ago.  I HIGHLY recommend you watch them if this topic interests you in the very least.

.........Hmmm -- won't embed.  Anyway, check out Derren Brown on YouTube.  I recommend Subliminal Advertising and NPL.

If anything, I hope this post brings about a different awareness of your world, especially one where we are constantly bombarded with information and all sorts of who-knows-what.  Our subconscious is taking every bit of it in, and who knows what actions we are taking because that sneaky part of our brain likes to play at captain.  Personally, I'd like to be at the helm of my own mind, so I'm going to learn as much about it as I can, just to make sure my subconscious keeps its place as the wheel and not the driver.


g gammell said...

Excellent subconscious conscious stream of consciousness narrative

alabamaanimals said...

Great article. So they were sold out of kits. Hmmmmmmmmm. Agree powerful video and yes it has subliminal messages...that are pretty transparent.
Good job on your research !!!!!