The Purge And Promoting Violence

I’m not a violent person, and never really have been. I guess you could say I’ve always been a pacifist by heart. Truth be told, if I had been alive back in the 1960’s, I probably would have been a peace activist. With that being said, there’s a movie sequel currently playing in theaters that both it and its original from last summer, have gotten to me on a spiritual level because each totally promotes violence.

The Purge is the movie series I’m referring to. It’s based upon a simple premise of a futuristic society where one day a year for 12 hours of time, everyone may tap into his or her violent side, commit any type of crime, and law will not oppose them. In other words things such as torture, rape and murder are completely acceptable and legal during that time.

While I may love the movies and have a fond admiration of creativity which directors and screenwriters often come up with, this isn’t one of them. It stands against everything I’m working towards spiritually on this planet. What concerns me the most about movies such as this are the people who attend them. It is said that people normally see the movies they are attracted to. So what does that say for the amount of people who made up the 64 million dollar gross of the original or the 28 million the current one has already made? Does that mean that deep down inside many of those who see movies like this have the desire to be violent?

When I first saw the preview of the original movie last year, I was truly horrified of the storyline. While I normally seem to go see just about anything at the theater, especially during the summer, this was one I didn’t. In fact, it made my stomach turn anytime I saw that trailer. A few months ago when the new one started playing for its sequel, the same thing happened and I found myself even loudly saying “BOOOOOOOO” after it finished. I’m sure everyone around me thought I was somewhat crazy, but ultimately, the premise of this movie series has gotten to me that much.

I don’t want to ever become or promote violence on any level. While I may have had some rare moments of that during my alcoholism and drug addiction days many decades ago, my spirituality has brought me to the opposite side of that spectrum today. I sincerely try to do my best and stay away from movies that do nothing but glorify violence these days. Of course there are some actions movies I still watch that have some of this, but in the end I attend them solely because of the good triumphing over evil. The Purge series isn’t about that as much as it’s about bringing out a dark side within us. The fact is I don’t want to have a dark side and if there is any of that still within me, the last thing I want to do is enhance it.

I’m sure Hollywood will continue to create sequels to this movie given its latest box office surge. But I’ll continue to stay away from them and any other film that promotes violence to this level. That’s only because I believe what I spend my time watching, I will become, and I’m 100% positive my Higher Power would never want a violent streak within me.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

Showcase The Beauty, Not The Downfalls, Of Heavier People

I have always found beauty in heavier-set people, both male and female, dating as far back as I can remember. But I can honestly say I’ve never found beauty in the way television shows and movies frequently portray them, solely because it often increases the stereotypes and judgments made on those who struggle with obesity.

“Lazy”, “fat”, “stupid”, “slob”, “undisciplined”, and “slow” are just some of the negative stereotypes and judgments made on heavier-set people. While there are those in the world who may have gotten heavy due to deeper-seated mental and emotional issues, there are some like my partner who just come from DNA that’s predisposed to it. While I might be able to eat a whole gallon of ice cream and not gain a single pound, if he was do the same, he might gain five pounds. Thankfully, my partner does a great job of managing his food portions and since I’ve been with him, he’s slowly lost close to 60 pounds. Nonetheless, in doctor’s standards, he’s still considered obese.

I feel for him and all the previous people I’ve dated who are classified as this because I’ve seen first hand how too many often stare and make negative comments about their weight. I don’t usually go to any type of buffets with my current partner for this very reason, in addition to the fact that they also make us want to eat more than we need to. But what frustrates me beyond those day-to-day stereotypes and judgments made on heavier-set people is when I see plus-sized actors and actresses being placed in roles that only emphasis this even more.

Lately, I had to endure seeing a preview of the movie Tammy starring Melissa McCarthy countless times since I regularly watch quite a few movies and television programs. In it, she walks into a fast food joint to hold it up and while there attempts several times to jump over the front counter, but is unable to do so because of her weight. It’s meant to be a fun parody of the fact she’s too heavy, but what’s sad about it is this. Not only is McCarthy’s acting so much better than this, it sheds a negative light on people like her and my partner who may not be fit enough to do an athletic feat such as this.

The same type of thing happened in a previous movie McCarthy starred in as well titled Identity Thief. During one of its particular scenes, she attempts to run away from Jason Bateman on the side of a highway and the camera shows her slowly shuffling down the road. The director tries to show the ridiculousness of this by how easily Bateman catches up to her. Once again, it’s only meant to be a fun parody of how heavy she is, but it truly just adds to those negative stereotypes and judgments made on heavier-set people.

Throughout many of the other movies and television shows I’ve seen over time, there have been way too many great hefty actors and actresses doing things such as splitting their clothes, falling down, being picked on, belly’s popping out under the shirts, breaking furniture, and more all because of their weight. With such a rapidly growing obesity problem in the world on top of those negative stereotypes and judgments, I’m not finding these types of movies fun to watch anymore. Instead, I’m finding them sad and feel sorry for the many actors and actresses who are often pigeonholed into these types of roles because it’s all they’re given.

I’m very grateful though when I do see someone in the entertainment industry move away from these type of roles and go into ones that are able to truly demonstrate their acting talent. John Goodman and Queen Latifah are a few examples of some of those who have been able to do this. But there are many others who haven’t been given as much of a chance like Melissa McCarthy.

The fact of the matter is the world is already filled with enough negative stereotypes and judgments on heavier-set people that showcasing it negatively on the big and small screens is only making it worse. Hopefully all plus-sized actors and actresses will eventually stop taking on roles that only makes fun of their weight and instead do films that demonstrate their real acting talent. Until then, I choose to only watch the more uplifting fare that showcases the real beauty of heavier-set people like my partner.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

“So What’s Your Favorite Movie???”

“So what’s your favorite movie???”

I must be asked that question at least once a week and its answer is something that’s changed greatly for me over the years. I know the reason for that is solely due to one thing, my spirituality.

My spirituality today comes from so many things and movies happen to be one of them. For those that don’t know this about me, I’m an incredibly avid fan of watching them on both the big screen and the little one at home. I’ve been that way since I was quite young and it’s a given that I head to the theater these days at least once a week, sometimes even twice, to see one of the latest that’s opened. At home, I’ve also amassed a huge collection of them that’s now totaling over 700. So I’m guessing from that information alone, you can obviously see how much I really love movies.

As my spiritually has grown in recent years though, so has my tastes in the movies I go see at the theater or purchase for home. While I used to love the blood and guts of horror movies and the huge body counts in action films, I find them far less appealing today. My go to genre is a toss up now between science fiction and romance, but a close second is any type of drama flick in general. But looking back on the various phases of my life, I find it fascinating to see how much my answer to that original question I posed has changed.

In my grade school years, I probably would have said my favorite film was a James Bond one, most likely, A View To A Kill. By the time I got to college, I was a huge Arnold Schwarzenegger fan and when Terminator 2 got released in 1991, I thought it was the best movie ever. That changed after graduating when I saw a movie in 1996 that scared the bejesus out of me. Its title was Scream and it, along with its sequel in 1997 quickly became my new favorites. That all changed though when I saw The Matrix in 1999. Ironically, it was around the same time I saw this movie where I had begun a holistic healing path in life. It was then my spirituality really began to evolve and I felt The Matrix was truly all about that same thing. But as the new millennium came and went, so did what I called my favorite movie. Sometimes it was Harry Potter, other times it was The Fast And The Furious, and more than not it was something superhero related like X-Men. While I still had a broad range of movies I saw and bought, the common theme I liked most throughout them all was always the good versus evil concept.

Looking at the whole collection of movies I own, I can see how the majority of them deal with this. As my spirituality has progressed, I’ve come to believe that life is all about good versus evil, or if you prefer, light versus dark. There are many things in this world that are filled with great light. But sadly, there are just as many things in this world that are filled with darkness too. Living as an addict was just one example of when I was actually living in the dark.

I don’t like watching movies anymore that are filled with that darkness unless the light wins out in the end. So maybe that’s why my favorite movie today is really not about this type of battle at all, it’s about the one thing we’re all meant to share with each other unconditionally in this world, and that’s love. While it initially wasn’t at the top of my list for many years, I find myself watching this movie over and over again, year after year. It’s title? Serendipity. And it’s all about finding true unconditional love by chance and how that type of love when found is priceless.

So yes, my favorite movie today is a chick flick, go figure, but I’ll continue to treasure it anyways. While I’m sure there will be plenty of other movies along the way that I’ll enjoy just as much, I know at least with this one that my heart always moves immensely when I watch it time and time again. And that alone is the sole thing I seek on my spiritual journey today, with that being to remain in my heart.

I truly hope you enjoyed learning a little more about my love of movies and what my favorite one currently is. I decided it was best to end this article in the same way I began it, but hoping now that each of you will take the time to respond with an answer of your own.

“So what’s your favorite movie???”

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson