Don’t Bother To Knock

is a candidate for Feminist Nightmare of 1952. Woman is stigmatized for her erotic nature. Jim Backus’ character quips, “all I know is what I read in the papers” [and]

Marilyn Monroe personifies an ideal female intellect, appearance, speech, behavior, dress, taste, gesture and dependence. I felt cognitive dissonance when evil peeped through Marilyn’s passivity; fear and disgust but not with the erotic, which evokes pleasantly lascivious feelings but at the incongruity of erotic attraction and murderous, thoughtless, predatory evil. 

The title, in the vernacular, “don’t bother to knock” characterizes female passivity. Females in the story include a girl of 10, an adolescent, unbalanced Monroe and Anne Bancroft. 

Lyn (Bancroft) to Jed (Widmark) "It's over."
Lyn (Anne Bancroft) to Jed (Richard Widmark) “It’s over.”

The authentic vulnerability Monroe portrays led me to reflect that, unlike her character, I gave no conscious attention to the future I was creating. Narratives promulgated in media, churches and temples supported  life having a purpose, even beyond death and a living human being personifies expression of faith. Monroe’s character is faithful. Religion isn’t needed to keep the faith but is a reminder that faith defines human being, however, religion is a narrative that validates the idea of a meaningful life.

(Belief in the state is religious, as politicians know: Stalin, Trump, Bernie Sanders and Hillary could affirm, after a couple martinis.)

My emotional cognition when viewing this film, brought up memories of when I’ve been unable to act on or even to speak of my desire, not unlike Widmark’s portrayal of Jed, self-protective; afraid of being used  in preparation for abandonment. Monroe’s portrayal of Nell’s confusion as faith encounters the irony of not admitting knowledge or knowing in what way life could be meaningful when love is neither durable nor trustworthy. Choosing on appearances, wanting to believe feelings but not trusting them, I learned I can get the love I can afford to pay for, dependent, helpless and terrified by my weakness and vulnerability in the face of it.

Nell (Monroe) & Eddie (Cook)
Nell (Monroe) & Eddie (Cook)

Not long ago, I viewed a YouTube video of Marilyn Monroe’s last filmed interview and I found a statement published by the last writer to have interviewed her, the day before she died.

Widmark & Monroe
Widmark & Monroe

In the filmed interview, she clearly explained the nature of the collaboration of a director and an actor.

Marilyn Monroe as Nell
Marilyn Monroe as Nell

I got no feeling of connection in the narrative between the writer and Monroe in the written interview but I felt a too familiar remorse.

At work, composing.
At work, composing.

A reminder that I became hyper-vigilant after unusual circumstances of my birth and of the first 3 years of life, when my mother, unable to care for me, first gave me to her sister, then to an orphanage. My older brother took misguided advantage of my weakness in creating his own misguided relationship strategy.

Survival left me keenly observant but distrustful, with expectations of abandonment and a strategy that continued to create this experience without knowing when or how I produce this result in relationships. I couldn’t admit the imperfection or the shame at my helplessness and dependence and that I felt my existence had been imposed on our mother by her love.

Repeated experiences of abandonment justify the need for hyper-vigilance. Shame was also validated by media and envy of the success of others, and supported by pleasure at the failure of others, confounding compassion since this feeling of pleasure makes me complicit in their plight. Morality and ethics seemed a matter of knowing what I can get away with. Since, I project abandonment and rejection, I’m also vulnerable to those who see it, making their revenge a part of the strategy: all that is required is to desire love and the situation arises. My brilliant mind.

I wish she was still around: mother and Marilyn.

The End

As A Producer,

…I represent the product, define its objectives and track its progress. I’m called, Producer, because it is my task to “own” the vision behind the product and where it should go, representing needs of both intended viewers and the enterprise. In light of resources and the creative team’s input, I choose what to work on when and make the call when a product has achieved its objectives.

When I approach making a motion picture as a product for consumers, consideration of public taste shapes both story and style. Depictions of physical violence and terror meet some popular tastes. Slap stick comedy, romance, satire and in every genre, love and erotic desire. A style appropriate to any particular audience can be found for every story. Understanding the audience expected to follow a story may be partially informed by focus groups or other opinions but ultimately, the audience for a movie reflects the spirit in which the story is told, a context for which a producer is responsible.

I contribute to a team’s completion of its work by planning and completing projects with team members acting as elements in a neural network that incorporates experience informed from the perspectives of their particular disciplines, including coders, testers and user experience designers, marketing leaders as well as musicians, editors and writers. I work with colleagues from all these specializations to design, build and perfect the product in the context of the spirit in which the story is being told.

Desire for perfection of the product is reflected in the approach of each team member to the task. In cinematography, for example, this shows up in heightened sensitivity to the experience of the object in focus, an emotional cognition about that object–this differs from rational decision making, because the cognition guides action before rational judgment and thus in anticipation of what happens next, which, since this is unpredictable, is often unexpected and offers unthought-of  opportunities to which the artist responds either on principle or again, emotional cognition. Camera operator, actor, director, grip, best boy, recordist and so on, all respond to experience with action in the moment, all guided by emotional cognition about color, light, sound, silence, movement, shape, tone, depth and context in a frame informing a process that Einstein referenced in describing his comprehension of relativity as not of his rational mind.

Children Of The Lesser God

These photos were made at a festival for children of farm workers and their families, whom I lived among in Santa Maria for a year, 2011-12.

I worked at the library for a while, straightening the rows of books in Spanish that were never checked out, though 85% of the 125,000 population of Santa Maria speaks Spanish at home and at work.

Schools there are bilingual but children are not asked to read the Spanish classics, like Don Quixote, nor do they understand the value of their Spanish and native heritage and grow to feel their cultural heritage has negative value to their potential for success.

%22indians%22 copy %22mexicans%22 copy 3 sisters 5 brothers a done deal accordionist accordionista aeropostal all eyes amazed american family americanfamily 2 approach with care at last beginning of a smile blue shirt brown eyes caught by the hat children of illegal immigrants

All Politics Is Local, Dr. Frankenstein

I regret not volunteering my time with a literacy advocacy group, when this was requested of me some years ago.

I scoffed at the idea that knowledge would make any difference, I was somewhat erudite at the time and I couldn’t see myself learning anything because there didn’t seem to be anything important to learn from reading narratives. I’d done that since childhood.

Academics have proved a mythical bell curve in which the ability for intelligent cognition for 98% of the population has modest mental capacity and 2% are bright. Regardless of our rational ability, however, we are not so differentiated in terms of emotional cognition, perhaps because this is more difficult to measure scientifically. The term, emotional intelligence is itself confusing.

The nature of agency makes us territorial and self-centered and emotional cognition tells us how anything encountered may impact our selves. From this set of responses, we weave the tapestry of our understanding of ourselves and the world which makes up personal narratives.

Like title insurance, which supports the fiction of ownership of land and buildings so rent is paid to the persona named on the title, our identity cards and numbers set the boundaries of our individual agency just as title insurance guarantees that taxes will be paid by the person named on the title and that that person alone can say who uses the property. Can you imagine how the Homestead Act affected the native population? 

Narrative fiction has value for readers. Popular fiction and nonfiction are generally more likely to be an opiate for the masses, guidance for agency. A popular narrative annoying me today is the myth of democracy in America. The election of a president and congress is produced at a cost of hundreds of millions, mostly in media purchases. Every 4 years a feeding trough is set up for media companies. The myth of democracy would collapse if those people over 60 chose not to vote.  We should try that next time.

That’s the reason for candidates like Ralph Nader and Bernie Sanders, to give the appearance of rational choices about salient differences. The other two candidates, the real candidates, are ambiguously related to concerns of most people. It’s not that these candidates are selected because their notions are irrelevant. Electoral government is based on the idea that a person can represent the interests of a number of others and as the size of a constituency grows, the less likely it is they will be represented. Plato felt 5000 is a maximum number and we number 400 million. On the evidence, it’s absurd and the result is that people complain that congress doesn’t reflect the interests of the electorate?

Unfortunately because the actual control of government is concentrated in a power structure and the power of a corporate body this size is immense, it looks like a no-exit march to environmental destruction now because the priorities those holding the power are thoughtless of the effect on the many.

We’ve been losing an arms race to ourselves. There are a few choices but they all move the focus of public expenditure from military, technology and policing to social welfare. To accomplish this only requires that we tell the truth that politics is local. The most corrupt aspects of our justice system are local. All social services are locally administered. Governance should logically be local and Plato’s model will probably work. 

It’s symptomatic of a recent failure of our form of government that an unprecedented number of formerly deployed servicemen are committing suicide, including some whose, work was operating drones from a base thousands of miles from action. If  my employees commit suicide as a result of their employment, you’d shut down the business. A crowd of people dressed in black would surround my place of business, carrying torches, screaming, like Dr. Frankenstein.