I saw the film embrace today. There were four of us in the cinema, staggered through the rows. Four women, aged 20s to 50s I would guess. All different shapes and sizes. All eating a Cinema Nova choc top. 

The film is a well curated quasi professional documentary style of work, the protagonist and documentary maker being a mother of three, who went viral posting a post-body builder shot of herself on Facebook, tastefully naked, as her adorable husband says. 

I was initially skeptical that I might relate to this attractive, symmetrical, aesthetically beautiful woman encouraging us to love ourselves. I soon felt remorseful for thinking that way. 

The film introduced us to women around the globe, struggling with body image. The size 12 model, the transgender woman, the movie stars, the burns ‘victim’ (one of the most vocally audacious women speaking out), the bearded lady, the physically impaired. 

It was at times laced with a lightheartedness, at other times beautifully warm and touching. The most striking take home for me, was a tantalising hope that social media will globalise a new message, a new definition of beauty. 

Aesthetics is a battlefield and I have long detested the message of ‘beauty within’, because really, to change the way we feel, it is our construct of the beauty without that needs to shift.

Everyone knows that a nice person, a gentle soul, is beautiful. But not everyone sees that outward beauty is actually everywhere. It is not owned by the thin, the tall and the smooth. 

If you read to the bottom of this, thanks, you look amazing. 

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I would not have reckoned that one of these days talking about the weather would have deep, gritty, horrifying traction. Traction as in gears, as in implications. Real implications, for me. 

I would never have thought that tragedy ‘on the news’, in that television set, would be a click away from here. Like suddenly, at the drop of a hat, that person, those bombs, my heart, would all occupy the same space. 

Then again, who would have ever imagined this. That this would be it. That all the innocence we bathed in was an artifical, global ticking timebomb, and that truly, the only absolute would be that we are them, are us, and they, or we, are it. 

Crush their spirit so they cannot argue. That would be the words filling the edges of my Meme. The meme itself would be a fat white guy, lets call him Trump, on one side of a seesaw. The long wooden plinth would be bulging with the feeble effort to generate sufficient downward pressure on the opposite side of the fulcrum. That side would be an overcrowded seat teaming with minorities, all clammering to force an equilibrium. 

You would think that all eyes, and all fury, would be squarely aimed at equalising this farcical and parodic creature grinning maniacally across the way. Yet the over crowded seat would instead be filled with angry ‘others’, engaged in a bitter brawl, the wounded spilling over and tumbling to the ground. 
To put it another way, we are all in-fighting, and the beast, that dominant force of self serving capitalist free world jargon fuelled power, is winning. We are feeding the beast. It doesn’t want us to align our ideologies, heaven forbid we just manage to agitate well enough together to effect change. 

So lets stop it. Let’s stop hating. Let’s stop whinging about “political correctness gone too far” and “reverse discrimination”. Lets stop screaming at the ignorant about their white privilege. Lets be kind in the face of cis gendered ignorance. Lets allow others to identify however the hell they wish. Lets explain inequality to each other so that nobody feels unheard. Lets be powerful. 

If we do not, we cannot break this system. The gnomes of Zurich will keep oppressing us, and if they are lucky, we will wipe each other out for them. That way they will never be accountable for global atrocities, death and devastation.

Steven Stevenson followed the sun

His tanned legs were strong 

His stature was short

He sat in a hammock drinking a beer

He ate Lobster alone on a deck

He didn’t work anymore.

Steven Stevenson traveled alone 

His grey hair was cropped 

His nose stubbed

He had many sunglasses 

And one pair of shorts 

He stayed on the Island five days

And when he got back on a boat

He was done.  

I was looking at her. I said I think I may be having a heart attack. She told me it was anxiety. She said she had Googled it. I believed her, there had been many nights of broken sleep and high heart rates. No seriously I said, my chest hurts. My throat hurts. And no, I can’t go for a walk. Okay I will have a massage.

And fast forward, I was lying there. A Thai woman half my weight was leaning into me. I thought about the last few days, and whether they were enough. You know, if I did drop off the perch. I had a lovely Saturday with Mum. She stayed over. We watched movies and ate Messina. I had breakfast with Dad on Monday. He spilled coffee and took a photo of me with my own Camera, and he liked the sun on his face. He thanked me.

The last text I sent my daughter and wife said that they were my diamonds in a sea of high pressure carbon. This morning I made coffee for two polite and appreciative strangers. Yesterday I met the most tenacious kid I ever will, she made me feel like my work has value. This morning in the frosty moments I had walked Moss and paint spotted, and smiled at her existence.

So I decided that yes, it was enough. Not in any ‘I wish to die’ kind of way, but in the sense that if it was my time, I felt satisfied my last encounters mattered. I also wondered if I mattered. Seriously, in the grand scheme. Do any of us? The massage ended. I was not dying. Good for another day. But so you know, among it, what became apparent was, it isn’t what good I may have said to those I love, but what I’d left unsaid. It came down to what I hadn’t said that needed saying. Love is easy. Trouble is uncomfortable.

I will leave you with that. I am off air for a bit. I will say this though: speak up about what you do not want. Change it now. Otherwise you will find yourself being rubbed by a stranger and wishing you had the guts to say it.

 

thefitzroyflasher

thefitzroyflasher

words, love, hate, life, death, street art, feminism, GLBTIQ rights, human rights, anarchism, graffiti, tags, writers, writing, poetry, politics

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