Monday, May 29, 2017
Taking stock by Richard Schemmerer
The seed catcher’s transgression or taking stock
I am not for you I am not against you
I am not for the viewer with his whiny needs
I am a seed that pops up no matter what
or who’s out there because there is no out there
Something Vito Acconci could have burbled out of a bubble of thought
with the intention to provoke a reversal of perspective.
Taking stock from time to time is as important as physical detoxification. Sometimes we think the past is like a roadblock and only the future can save us from the present circumstances but in truth it is the past which prepared the ground we take now for granted.
I grew up smiling at the Woodstock generation they sounded like a sad failed social experiment that self destructed by becoming a catch word like love generation or the derogative “Hippie”.
Hippies where a cultural out growth in my mind more infamous than famous for bongs, long hair and free sex than a valid counter culture movement that initiated a revolution in thinking.
As I take stock now I am forced to acknowledge that my ideas of unconditional love and global identification free from a national agenda and unburdened by discrimination was birthed out of the labor of love by sweating youngsters who broke down the old barriers of race, gender, orientation and that I was the blossom that sprung from their seed.
Taking Woodstock is an underrated effort from Ang Lee who rose to international fame bringing us the Cowboy drama “Brokeback Mountain” which I thought was a very fine movie but a bit overrated.
Of course as a gay man I was extremely happy that BBM got nominated and won some Oscars because it is the rare occasion that a gay themed movie rises to such fame.
BBM ended with the death of its hero who struggled under the weight of finding love outside the standardized norm and got beaten to death by others who faltered under their misconception of what is or makes us human giving into a dehumanizing rage that has been preached from Politicians, Christians and other pulpits for way to long.
A residue of elation still lingers on my minds comfort zone and I look back at the Woodstock era in reference and I have to give credit to them for the joys in my personal life because their ground work gave me the strength not to kill my gay self off but embrace it as a gift and to give myself a platform to excel to reach a desirable potential.
True characters have such conviction in their human rights to pursue their own brand of happiness that I only now understand the implications of the Hippie movement and can now embrace its resurgence all around us.
They made it possible for me to even think about being liberated, free, equal and that I can stand up for it free of shame or guilt.
Director Ang Lee offers such a sensitive direction to guide us so subtle through his movies like a good, the perfect father that by the time the movie is over our hearts a full of hope and so open that even the Russian army could find love in it.
Without Woodstock my coming out would have been a timid, shameful hazing and maybe I would still linger in a closet of guilt to find excuses for being different thinking I am not equal. I still would be running around begging for acceptance from everyone that crosses my path maybe forever and ever.
Instead I can stand proud in my own shoes because Woodstock had broken the dam opened the artificial gates created by a hyper moralized society that had already began to strangle itself and to self distract on its own frame of hate.
The ideal family is not a concept imprisoned by moral values even its inventers can live up too but the ideal family/society values its diversity and finds strength in the love we all desire and deserve.
All I had to do was walk out onto the stage of the world to proclaim “you are either with me or against me and if you are against me it’s you who misses out on my beauty”.
I was so busy expressing myself that I was ignorant of the price others had paid.
I was busy catching up with my karma to change it forever.
Looking back I see myself chanting “I am gay and I am not going away” or “I am Queer and I am staying here” standing proud walking in the down towns during many Pride parades yelling “Closets are for clothing only” looking back I appreciate the power the Hippies generation transferred to me because they had the courage I could imitate it and make it my own.
“Taking Woodstock” took my heart and adorned it with a refreshed sense of wonder and reminded me that the heart has to be shared with all and that it is worth the ache to keep it open at all times because the capacity to Love one another is what unites us and makes us human.