whfs: in detention with Chappie, Elysium, and District 9

Prelude
Atlantic – video love note from our Italian friends!
from the desk of A.A.A.A
In the wake of COVID-19 —
call it a staycation, call it being grounded, call it marshall law, heck-called it a family-fun meditation retreat. However you’re framing life today, Don’t panic, we’re certainly not. We’re alone together and its worth appreciating that odd solidarity. Once we understand the scope and course of this virus we can make better decisions within our respective communities. During this global detention…i mean yoga retreat…while we ruminate on how we can more effectively advocate for one another

as best as we can we can relax and recharge our batteries
What we do seem to know is this virus is like an invisible fire. Luckily, we have teams at CDCWHO & covid19.colorado.gov announcing credible information to the public so we can all stay informed. Fortunately, communication is easier than ever before! Think about it, we have access to knowledges from the previous eras. With all this technology assembled and passed up through the generations, all the way back to the codetalkers of time and memorial, getting the appropriate information to everyone, even in internetless areas, is getting better.

Personally, raather than expecting to “returning to normal” I’m expecting to be living in a new normal. Who knows, like labor, maybe what new life comes out the other end of this pandemic|economic shift |ecological crisis will be better than what we had. Whatever happens, it will depict our interdependencies and will reflect into the future as how our era responded in an emergency as the compassionate (albeit often idiotic) biological family we are.

Intro
As stated in the previous post this month’s whfs picks: Chappie, Elysium and District 9 are off-topic from our real pandemic but not unrelated. Instead of the spread of illness, we see various responses to socio-political unrest. In all three of these films, we see racism/classism/speciesism bleed into new forms of hybridity thru the blending of intelligences and consciousnesses. In Chappie and Elysium, we see human-robot mind-melding and in District 9 shares alien-human hybridity. In all cases, we see humanity in the desperate throws of class warfare we see a shift to hybridity, the protagonists utilize their new intelligences to act as humanized weaponry, and we see varying levels of conflict resolution.

Notes on Chappie.
 R. Tomato Rating 
“Chappie boasts more of the big ideas and visual panache that director Neill Blomkamp has become known for — and, sadly, more of the narrative shortcomings.

 32% TOMATOMETER Total Count: 223

 56% AUDIENCE SCORE User Ratings: 49,699′

Takes place in the international hub Johannesburg South Africa.
Hr 1 min 10ish Chappie confronts maker. Maker says he can’t move Chappies consciousness into a new body. Chappie doesn’t give up on survival. Wait, Is the maker, Deon, suggesting consciousness is attached to the body? That’s kind of fixed mindset mentality, no?

Hr 1:30ish Is it the pacing, the wicked haircuts, or the cheesy sentimentality of this film that makes me want to rewatch Fast and the Furious? Probably all of the above.

Hr. 1: 43 What does chappie mean by “forgiveness” when saying, “Now I forgive you badman.”
Hr 1:45 The maker becomes the machine! Chappie successfully transfers Deon’s consciousness into one of the police drones. (see Artful Design quote below)

Notes on Elysium 
Comments Pending

Notes on District 9
Film within a film. Audience follows Wikus Van de Merwe (Sharlto Copley) as he sloppily responds to significant civil unrest. In Johannesburg, the arrival of possibly ill, violent aliens pejoratively called prawns have been forced into ghettos. In a power-grab, the agency invades to evict and Wikus comes into contact with the alien’s fluid-based technology (min 30ish). The further this movie universe unfolds the more we see the complexity of all of its faces.
Min 39ish Welp here’s the ET-esque quarantine. When we humans find something we don’t understand we occasionally torture ourselves or others out of fear. I would call this scientific malpractice. All is fair in love and war or not bad scientific practices are just bad practices. Its always worth doing things better, no? But because of their grotesque behaviors objectifying a patient Wikus’ eventual noncompliance and escape is all the more satisfying (min 44)

Overall
Based on what I’ve seen so far is that Fiction and non-fiction bleed into one another in Chappie, Elysium, District 9.
~The Non-fiction, the reality, in them is seen through the brusque sense of humor (how would you describe the film’s humor?). A strength in these films is that there isn’t distinct lines of good and bad instead they play in the murky middle ground where political hierarchy meets social power.
~The science-fiction (sci-fi) elements are these incredibly conscious forms of technology and hybrid generations. An over-exaggeration of the actual technology’s progress albeit cool to consider.
~The blend of reality and sci-fi :. these are (non)biodiverse communities grappling with what it means to raise a consciousness into being within a given socio-political climate.

I’m probably overthinking these films, maybe they weren’t intended to be thought-provoking yet there are many reasons why their fun to analyze. The two main reasons I like to play with these films is because they grapple with:

a. the complexities of guardianship and parenthood aka where hegemony becomes multilateralism.
I learn from this film that what i can do as a conscious being who’s evolving interdependently within a changing community is to respectfully communicate what I need from & as leadership.  I think all three build empathy between youth/parents/guardians/community leaders as it demonstrates that passing down knowledge, or communicating in general, can be a cumbersome process. And going a step further than interpersonal relationships these films depict unpredictable changes in socio-political diversities as well as comment on expressions of superiority complexes.

b. the interlacing of biological & mechanical entities
briefly I’ll explain this by quoting an expert in design and Stanford professor Ge Want, “what we make, makes us” (Artful Design: Technology In Search of the Sublime. Last sentence, last page. On the topic of the intelligent design see also, Dr. Philip Butler’s Black Transhuman Liberation Theology, p. 18)

The whfs drink pick is tea
“Tea. no matter where you are in the world, or what you call it, it’s still just hot water steeped with ground-up dried leaves and flowers.”

Thanks for reading. Raise hell peacefully,
Anne Arkhane

p.s. Recognition is due to the Arapahoe and Cheyenne, not to mention AIM of Colorado, for being so warm in welcoming new generations into the rocky mountain front range. (And a shout out to the Meskwaki Nation & G. Sioux Nation).

P.s.s.There are seriously more important things happening in the world around us than us watching a film. Also, you might have serious things grabbing at your attention. If what is on your mind is serious to the point where you feel Ill, despondent or are making plans to terminate your life please reach out to your emergency contact list which can include the national suicide hotline 1-800-273-8255 take a moment to look up your local number. Our Colorado Crisis Services: 1-844-493-8255. Take a moment to make your I.C.E. list if you haven’t.

P.s.s.s If you aren’t to the point of wanting to call but need some uplifting
allow me to share what I’d do if i were in your shoes and feel free to try it out as a part of your self-care plan:
Rather than wasting my own time planning on how to kill myself, I’d plan on how I’m going to save my own life. I’d locate and open up the letter that my past self wrote to my current self and after thinking about it I’d write a letter of encouragement to my future self and seal it for later. Those letters would include my
Bored to the point of Nihilism Activity List:
10 activities to try before I die of [boredom|dred|annoyance|insert reason].  Make sure the activities within current means. Example list:
1. jump around, jump around
2. jump up jump up and Get Down
3. read a play and really become the characters,
4. play dress up
5. try my hand at stage makeup
6. find my best scene. Act it blindfolded.
7. write a love note, take a picture of it and send it to a friend.
8. drink water
9. pick a film. watch it.
10. write out my response. turn it into an airplane. send airplane to the folks, plants, volleyballs around me, or take a pic and send it online.
11.  draw a comic strip

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