We wake up on January 6, 2021 with the news of an insurrection: civilians invade the Capitol in Washington. Images with a bizarre aesthetic full of contrasts, between overflowing childhood, historical perversion, boredom that has exploded into social catharsis, international surprise. We are astonished witnesses to the insurrection in the capital of the United States. The scenes remind us of the aesthetics of Wes Anderson’s films, who reminds us that not all Boy Scouts are honorable, that it is not always easy to judge what has happened, and how difficult it is to establish the boundaries between good and evil.
What can we do in the face of human tragedies other than try to learn from them to achieve better societies and individuals? The militant humor and art could be resources to take a little distance, to put the news of the day in context with recent history and with art and culture. It is also important to mention that the social expression of anger was relatively predictable in a society that has been «deprived of liberty» due to a pandemic: Testosterone has accumulated with high levels of stress in individuals who have been bombarded with a «advertising of fear» and in parallel they have lost the rhythm of catharsis to which they have been conditioned, such as sports, nightlife centers, and other social rituals.
While as humanity we learn to find a compass that provides us with inner balance and social harmony, we are «stumbling», sometimes with news as notorious as a riot. Are we at a point of fed up, of «reset», in which Cuban doctors stand out for their work to save lives in the pandemic -despite the sentences and economical blockages that the island has historically received-, while the citizens of one of the most influential countries follow a shaman with Viking horns, fan of conspiracy theories? Those who know my educational work will know that I have been advocating for years for the need to teach to cultivate consciousness through meditation and learning in universal values and rights from childhood. But I am not here to evangelize, but to perform a cultural analysis between the events of Wes Anderson’s fiction and the complications and revolts during the change of presidential power in the United States.
One of the reasons why I have ventured to make this parallel is not only because Shahak Shapira agrees on the matter, but because of some symbolic recurrences. The invasion of the Capitol is said to have been led by so-called white supremacists, followers of Donal Trump, belonging to various right-wing groups, including the KKK. The planning of the event allowed various elements of the police and civil society to make transportation and lodging arrangements to be there on that day and spot. They also chose T-shirts with anti-Semitic, pro-Trump, nationalist images and texts, etc. Some wore T-shirts with the text «MAGA Civil War.» (Civil War «Make America Great Again») They were equipped with Confederate flags, cell phones, zip ties (which could be useful for taking hostages). The flag in question is considered a racist symbol of oppression and white supremacy, as it represents the war to maintain slavery, and later, the opposition to advances in civil rights.
Meanwhile, in Wes’s work, we often see military objects often: binoculars, maps, communication instruments -gramophones, ancient radios, tape recorders, radio-frequency systems, etc.-, as well as extravagant means of transport, and even bird costumes, Scouts and unusual outfits. You don’t need to dress for war if you don’t have war in mind. This attraction in art and societies to use military elements may reflect that we still do not understand that war is not the way to solve conflicts. It would seem like a «romanticization» of violence, which we hopefully learn to leave behind. Our societies are in transformation, if we are going to work for unity, as the Great Seal of the United States of America says: Et Pluribus Unum, then we must be cautious and prioritize harmony in society before the extreme manifestation of violence. I would venture to say that peace has been forged through words, music, and symbolic and peaceful acts of self-affirmation. For example: John Lennon’s song «Imagine», Gandhi’s non-violence speeches, arguments for the inclusion of Martin Luther King, etc. Rosa Parks created a difference in favor of the evolution of consciousness, without a single camouflage outfit, without a bullet, only taking her rightful place.
After the events, Twitter, where Trump had more than 8 million followers, and other social networks such as Facebook, censored the still president who is now the first to face impeachment for the second time. This has generated a debate in relation to the adequate control of the manifestation of «hate speech» or incitement to hate in social networks. To begin, it is pointed out that it is necessary to unify the laws in this regard in different countries. In parallel, many people have migrated from WhatsApp to Telegram, and Google, Amazon and Apple have closed the door on Parler, who had stood out as a social network and right megaphone. The coup de grace was the announcement from Amazon, as Parler used the servers of Bezos’ company. This situation favored a massive hack of the database, and 70TB of Parler have been leaked, including personal data of the users. This rekindles the debate regarding the limits of freedom of expression, and what tolerance means. Voltaire should be reread, among other great thinkers who at the time advised in relation to the virtues of tolerance to the monarchs of their time.
In Wes Anderson’s work, due to various setbacks, encounters and misunderstandings, mysteries and dramas, the letters are protagonists. This humble object seems obsolete in the current age of the Internet. The epistolary tradition has inherited us urgent or nostalgic letters, letters of the declaration of principles, -even like the Acts of Declaration of Independence-, or letters of love. Correspondence could once again be the communication resource, which allows us to write, reread, reflect on what we have written, rewrite, learn to wait before «sending», meditate on what our words will cause not only in others but also at the end of the day, in ourselves, because the Law of Karma, as the Law of Gravity, are not opinions, they are Laws. So; as everything that goes up must come down, everything that we send to others returns to ourselves.
Thank you. Love, grace and transcendence blessings
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