Sunday, July 30, 2017

Just because you're different...

Last night we went to see a movie called Beatriz at Dinner. It showed a lot of promise: Salma Hayek looking unusually plain, John Lithgow in a more serious role (unusual for him) as an unscrupulous billionaire developer... We were even told Hayek's performance might just be Oscar-worthy. What could possibly go wrong?

But in reality, despite Lithgow and Hayek, the movie was pretty awful.  All the characters were stereotypical, none of them were likeable, none of them grew in their roles or appeared to learn anything from their interactions with one another, and there were WAY too many 70's-style interjections of fraught unintelligible mystical moments: rather like the callow and pretentious posturing of a third-year film studies major.

Not only did the movie reinforce all our prejudices about wealth and poverty and the victims of each, but it was also clear the writers had no idea how to end the film, any more than they had any idea how to help either characters or audience learn from the depicted events.

And yet -- there was this sense, just fleeting, that it could have been great; that the premise for the movie -- a humble Mexican massage therapist invited to dine with a ridiculously wealthy group of developers -- could have made a difference, could have offered a chance to cross that great divide. Which is, I suspect, why this image leaped out at me this morning; that sense that a situation becomes more interesting when you add a little variety, shake things up a bit. And so this poem, because I'm always optimistic that things COULD change, even when they don't.

Just because you are outnumbered,
just because you're different, or you don't fit in,
doesn't mean you don't belong.
Where you are is exactly where you're meant to be,
and what you add could surely be
exactly what is needed in this moment.

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