Before I start I just wanna say well done to Phillip Schofield who came out as gay last week. Really brave of him to talk about it on live tv as well.
I wanna talk about on what scale music, film and tv shows can be influential. I’ll start with music. Growing up I listened to Brandy, Mariah Carey, boy bands and girl bands like Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys, Take That, Westlife etc. Music just makes you feel good. You feel it in your body when it makes you wanna move and dance and sing, your mind and your heart when you hear something you relate to and in your soul when your hear something uplifting and inspiring that resonates. So music is a very powerful thing. As a child you don’t have any concept of what sex, drugs and violence are. Well you shouldn’t anyway. You just sing along to it because that’s what kids do, they copy what they see and hear. But like I said there’s no concept or understanding of what these things are and it’s a lot different to learned behaviour from those who are close to you. So I don’t believe the idea that music or music videos can make you violent or sexual or take drugs. I think with music, you’ll gravitate towards what’s happening for you at that time or what you can relate to. Mood, lifestyle, life events. Saying that though I do think music perpetuates certain ideas. In Rap/Hip-Hop/Bashment there’s a lot of homophobia. But where does homophobia stem from? Religion. The idea that money equals success, which in the current economic and political climate is kind of true. But only in the sense that you’re not struggling to make ends meet, and because we live in a society based on capitalism. Being able to take care of yourself and your family shouldn’t be a dream or something to be achieved or something that you have to break your back for, it should be something that’s already in place and available to everyone because it’s a necessity. Artists draw inspiration from what’s around them and what’s within them and a large part of art is storytelling. So if we wanna stop gun violence, gang violence, drug dealing and poverty then we need to get to the route cause of those issues, and the causes will always lead back to Politics.
It’s perfectly normal to have crushes on artists and film stars. But I think with the white washing of the media, white women and white men are seen as some sort of prize and as the ultimate object and epitome of beauty. To the point where people will bleach their skin to look lighter which is so sad. No one should ever resort to that and it’s disgusting that people are made to feel that their dark skin is ugly because it’s not. I don’t think the media is the only reason for this, I think the history of slavery and segregation has a lot to do with it as well. Positive representation is important because it shows us that we’re more than what we’re told we are day in day out and it shows everyone else too. Black female and male leads in film and tv shows like How to Get Away with Murder with Viola Davis, Denzel Washington who’s starred in so many great films, Star Trek Discovery with Sonequa Martin-Green and Black Panther, which completely turned everything on it’s head. It’s all very heart warming.
I watched Bombshell yesterday. Wow. I was shocked to see what it’s like behind the scenes at Fox News. Shocked, but not surprised. Something similar happened to me a few years ago. I started working at Amazon (the stories are true, I quit after 3 weeks because it got to the point where I could barely walk. a lot of people there had leg injuries, to the point where they had to wear leg supports from all the walking) and the guy that trained us offered to give me a lift to and from work because it was quite far from my house, it wasn’t just me it was a few others as well so I accepted. So we got chatting and he asked me what I did in my spare time, hobbies/interests, I think at that time I’d just started my tumblr but I didn’t mention it, first of all because I didn’t want anyone to know about it, second I didn’t want to give him any opportunities to pretend he was into the same things as me as a ploy to spend time with me outside of work so I just kept it vague and gave generic answers. I’d already told him I was gay, I tell every guy this from the start so they don’t get any ideas, doesn’t stop them trying though. After I answered him I said what about you? He mentioned that he writes and sells his screenplays so I was like oh, I like to write as well. He asked me if I’d be interested in helping him with a script and that he’d send it to a publisher and I’d get some money for working on it, so of course I said yes, it was an opportunity to develop my skills and gain some credit for my work. So he asked me to come over with my laptop so he could tell me about the concept and show me how to write a script, so I did. Looking back now maybe I should’ve insisted we meet in a public place, but at the time I thought well we work together so he’s not gonna do anything stupid because I can easily report him and it would be awkward, more so for him than me, also he knew I was gay and that I wasn’t interested. So the first time I went round it was fine. I think it was the second time I went round that he wanted to teach me a technique to get into the creative flow, he was standing up on the other side of the room and I was sitting on the sofa and he told me to think about my first sexual experience, luckily for me I’d already looked online for techniques for writing so I thought this was a bit weird, I asked him why and he said something along the lines of opening your mind. So I sat there and thought about it, then he told me to put my head back and close my eyes so I did, but after a few seconds I felt uncomfortable and weird and I thought what does this have to do with writing, so I stopped and said yeah I don’t think that’s gonna work. So after that I started working on the script at home and we kept in touch after I left Amazon. I’d email him the script to show him how it was coming along and we didn’t see each other until I moved into my new place. So I invited him over to catch up (not exactly a smart move but I thought I’d been to his place so it was only fair that I invited him to mine) and he was telling me about the publisher in London and what not, then when it was time for him to leave he went to hug me, I was a bit hesitant but I gave him a quick hug and then he started kissing my neck, immediately I pulled away in revulsion and I said urgh what are you doing get off. He said sorry and then left. After that we still spoke for a bit on Whatsapp and I suggested we meet up and go for a drink to talk about the script, he said he couldn’t and I never heard from him again. So clearly it was all a Weinstein-esque ploy and he was only gonna give me an opportunity if I slept with him, so I really feel for these women who have been victims of coercion, sexual harassment and sexual assault. I hope the fate of Harvey Weinstein, Bill o’Reilly and what’s his name sets an example to other men in the business that this is completely unacceptable behaviour.
As much as I dislike reality tv and what it encourages I did have some favourites that I used to watch. The Real Housewives of Atlanta and Mob Wives. There’s a running theme with the things I’m drawn to, and that’s strong, outspoken women. So shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer were very influential for me, not just as a woman but as a starseed. Dimensions, the warrior archetype, mysticism, witchcraft (I’ve only ever done one protection spell and a spell to return any curses back to their sender. I don’t plan on doing black magick. I prefer to use light to fight darkness). Star Trek, not just because of the concept but because I like how it promotes tolerance and co-operation between different races. The same with Buffy, things aren’t just black and white, demons can be good and civilised and people can be bad. It’s Yin and Yang. There’s potential for light in what’s dark and potential for dark in what’s light. Then there’s The Matrix, it’s gotta be the most inspiring and influential thing I’ve ever watched. The Wachowski’s are geniuses. The aesthetic: cyberpunk, futuristic, dystopian, tribal. The fight scenes are incredible. The concept, the metaphors. Neo and Trinity’s relationship, they’re so cute. In fact, I’m gonna dedicate a whole post to it.
Music, film and tv shows are important because positive role models aren’t always available in real life. Art can teach us, inspire us and provide hope. Like this: