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A Black and White Allegory in a 1999 Movie, Pleasantville

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I just caught about half of the movie, Pleasantville. It made me cry, especially watching it today, the day after the Zimmerman acquittal. (I've watched it a number of times before, it being a favorite.)


Pleasantville is a wonderful movie, released on 1998, with an incredible cast-- William Macy, Toby McGuire, Reese Witherspoon, Jeff Daniels, and more. Here's a link to the IMDB page for Pleasantville

It's not a very realistic story, at one level, but it is total reality at another level-- about a city where everything is perfect-- and in black and white, living in something around the fifties. Of course, in reality, people don't live in a city where are all the things, the stores, the people are black and white. 
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But then again, so many people DO see things exactly in black and white, in their small world, limited vision of the world. 


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In the movie, magically, with the help of a genie in a black and white television, played by Don Knots, two contemporary, spoiled teens -- Toby McGuire and Reese Witherspoon-- are transported to the town and into a family. They find themselves in a black and white world and they start trying to wake people up. 

There is resistance and when a few people change from black and white to colored, meanting not black and white, there is bigotry against the "coloreds."


by Pleasantville movie


This is a movie about intolerance, about bigotry, about ignorance, about the parochial smallness of people who don't look beyond their immediate surroundings. It shows how a few people can wake up a whole town, how love and art and beauty can combine with incredible power, in the face of old power, in the face of violence and prevail. 


by Pleasantville movie


Perhaps it will take artists and some difficult teens to wake up "our" town-- the one that sold out mainstream journalists have put to sleep. That's a strong word, sold out. But these people in the mainstream media are extremely high paid, often making millions, (Keith Olbermann had a huge contract-- I believe $30 million) and I'm sure that Rachel Maddow makes over a million a year. They keep telling their viewers everything is great, or at least great as the poor Democrats can make it. And Fox, of course, tells more lies, more whitewashing. 

ironically, or maybe it's a case of synchronicity-- I'm reading a book, REWIRE, Digital Cosmopolitans in the age of connection, by Ethan Zuckerman. It describes how, even with the vast connections of the internet, people only connect with and use and see a tiny portion, one that's the same as they grew up with, the same as the people they are close to see. I'm only about 80 pages into the book. But there ARE ways to connect in new ways to new info and new sources.   

This movie gives me hope. If you've somehow missed seeing this, make sure you watch it. If you have seen it, I hope my little piece here brings back some "pleasant" memories.


After I watched Pleasantville, I watched October Sky, another movie that made me cry. And I've watched at least three or four times two. It's about a kid who keeps doing what everyone says he can't or shouldn't do.  i KNOW there are lot of those kinds of people around here. 

 

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

Rob Kall Wikipedia Page

Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com

Rob is, with Opednews.com the first media winner of the (more...)
 

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