“Get Out” Jordan Peele’s Race-based Horror Movie: A look At The New Racism


Director, Jordan Peele said in an interview, “Horror stories purge us of our deepest fears.”Get Out” is a “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” horror movie in which Rose, a white girl brings her black boyfriend home to meet her parents. Chris, the protagonist, is a photographer who’s been dating a her for five months –the thought of visiting her family makes him nervous. Uneasy about the visit, he asks Rose if her parents know he’s Black. Rose plays it off, her advice is to relax. When they arrive, the parents are warm and welcoming. “Get Out” Blends race-savvy satire with horror. In this case, the villains are the liberal white elite, who voted for Obama and would’ve elected him to a third term, if possible.When the couple arrive at her folks’ house, the family’s reception is warm and inviting. Her parents, a hypnotherapist and a neurosurgeon, welcome Chris without batting an eye. But the Black housekeeper and grounds man have strange zombie-like behaviors. It all seems weird, to Chris, who is forced to smile and nod. He keeps in touch with his best friend, an airport TSA officer.The visit simultaneously occurs with an annual gathering, which brings a bunch of rich White elite’s over for a picnic. The family friends are far more accepting of Chris than he would have predicted. But their questions are annoying, When Chris snaps a picture of a young Black man, the brother attacks him, shouting, “Get Out”.Horror movies use humor to tone down tension; however, Peele takes it further, by clearing space for comedy to coincide with the mystery of what the family planned for their guest. This is the African American Experience in a horror film.” Peele said he wants people to feel this movie, to feel what the African American perspective feels like. Fear of the white suburban neighborhood, includes feelings of insecurity and apprehension about losing your black side. Peel went on to say, “not only have Black people not gotten the chance to put our perspectives on film, we haven’t been encouraged to dream towards that, because it doesn’t seem as though it’s a reality that’s possible. “We haven’t rewarded Black and other marginalized groups for their content. We haven’t told them that their content was of any value. Great content works, great story works. If it’s good, it’s good, and people will respond. The problem is we haven’t nurtured voices. Many artists get stopped before they even begin. “Daniel Kaluuya says his main concern was that he speaks Black people’s truth and experiences.In this movie, the person of color makes it to the closing credits. “Get Out” will be perceived differently among black and white audiences.I don’t like horror movies, but I had to face my fears and go see this movie; because I am a hypnotherapist and Peele used hypnosis as a vehicle to move the story forward. He capitalized on the Popularity and fear of hypnosis, using some of the techniques hypnotists use and expanding on the myths and beliefs of people. As writers, we start with a truth then ask what if? Peel begins with myths about hypnosis and people’s fears of it. The challenge for hypnotists to overcome is the confirmation that the hypnotist has magical powers, or that they control your mind and can make you do things you don’t want to do. The truth is hypnotists don’t have a magic power to make one do things that they are morally against. And this is more mind control than hypnosis; although, hypnosis is used as an induction, All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. In real hypnosis the subject (person has to agree and want it, Whereas the character Chris did not want to be hypnotized. These myths come from movies and stage hypnotists who are primarily entertaining an audience. And the subjects that they chose want to go up on stage and do funny things. They give the stage hypnotist their permission. However, the subject is always in control and can come out of the trance whenever they want to. As seen in the movie, Chris could bring his self out once he decided to fight it.In my opinion, the movie wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be, although I did jump a couple times, I enjoyed it. This movie is certainly worth seeing.

Source: “Get Out” Jordan Peele’s Race-based Horror Movie: A look At The New Racism

Retraining the Brain – Shifting Focus


This Way Up

The world is full of a lot of fear and a lot of negativity, and a lot of judgment. I just think people need to start shifting their focus onto joy and happiness. As corny as it sounds, we need to make a shift.

It is strange to be known so universally and yet to be so lonely.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/alberteins133182.html#cRzVZOHjpM8tGpjB.99

Ellen DeGeneres


Continuing the posts on Neuroplasticity and getting rid of bad habits.   Now on to steps two and three:

2. Observe what the old habit or pathway is doing in your life.

3. Shift your focus.

Habits are hard to break, we all know that, but one thing that helps immensely is observing, really paying attention to how destructive the habit is. Whether it’s spending…

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Ms. Heddy Through it All Chapter 7 “Any Love”


 

Several days later, I found a brown envelope resting on top of the mailbox. It was from Leon and inside was an 8×10 picture of him in his Air Force uniform. The brim of his hat covered his eyes. He looked handsome just as I remembered him, but without his rose-tinted sunglasses that camouflaged his blue eyes. Boy, talk about a big smile on my face you would’ve thought I received a million dollars in that envelope. I forgot all about what he wanted to ask me and put the picture on my dresser, which I gazed at often.

The following week I got another letter from him asking if I would marry him when he got out of the Air Force in 18 months. I didn’t have to think about it. I was elated! The thought of me and Leon being together for the rest of our lives was like sunshine and gorgeous blue skies year round. “So that was what he wanted to ask me!” I went running into the living room to tell Mama.

“Mama, Leon wants to marry me when he gets out of the Air Force.” I blurted enthusiastically. I felt like an eagle soaring high above the clouds. “Can we get married? Will you sign for us?” Mama just sat there in her chair looking at me; her pretty brown eyes were wide as an owl’s. I didn’t give her a chance to respond. As I thought about it, I realized that in eighteen months I’d be eighteen years old, and I wouldn’t need her permission. I wanted Leon to know my answer right away; I ran up stairs as fast as I could and began writing the letter.

Dearest Darling,

When this letter reaches you I hope it finds you in the best of health. I received your letter today. Yes! I’ll marry you! I can’t wait for you to get out so we can be married. I love you and miss you so much. Thanks for the picture. You look so handsome. I asked Mama if I could marry you, but then I realized that I’ll be eighteen years old by then. We won’t need her permission. Plus I’ll be out of school too. Everything is going fine in school. The principal came looking for me.  He scared me. I wondered what in the world he wanted with me. Did someone tell him I was smoking in the bathroom? Finally, I gathered up enough nerve to go to his office to see what he wanted.

He said: “Congratulations, Heddy! You made the honor roll this mark period.” All that time I thought he had found out about me smoking in the bathroom. Whew! That was a close call!

Everyone here is fine. Write soon!

Love Always,

Heddy

I put the letter on top of the mailbox where the mailman would always pick up our mail and send it off right away. The mailman was a friend of Mama’s.  Some days he would stop at lunchtime and have a cold beer and something to eat.

I told everyone I saw that I was engaged, but no one was as excited as I was. One day, when I came home from school, there was an Air Force Officer standing on our porch talking to Mama. She introduced him to me. I told him about my fiancé being in the Air Force and that we were planning to get married.  The officer smiled, congratulated me, and walked off the porch.

Mama told me that the officer came about Daddy. I thought it a bit strange that he wanted to talk about Daddy, when he had been dead almost five years.

I kept looking for a letter from Leon every day; three weeks had passed since I mailed my acceptance letter. This was the longest time I ever went without hearing from him.  Janet and the kids came home from Akron to visit. They had been living next door with Janet’s father since the break up, but by then had returned to Akron and was home for a visit.

I remember Mama was standing at the kitchen sink taking her usual shot of Seagram’s Seven Crown chased with a small glass of water. I was standing in the dining room when Janet came in and walked straight back to the kitchen. She and Mama talked for a while, and then Janet came back into the dining room where I was. I don’t remember what I was doing, but I was on my knees looking up at her from the floor, still excited about the marriage proposal.

“Janet, Leon asked me to marry him!” I said grinning from cheek to cheek. “We’re going to get married when he gets out of the Air Force.” I could not have imagined her response, not even if I had a hundred years to think about it.

“Heddy, forget about Leon.”

“What? Forget about Leon? Why should I forget about Leon? I thought you liked him! You know he is a nice boy.” Janet threw her hands up in the air.

“Aunt Pauline, I can’t do this!” She covered her mouth and ran out the door. I walked into the kitchen where Mama was still standing at the sink.

“Mama what’s wrong with Janet? Should I go talk to her?”

“No, leave her alone.  She’ll be all right,” she said as she poured a double shot of Seven Crown from the fifth she held securely in her hand.

Janet and the kids returned to Akron. I never got a chance to ask her why she said I should forget about Leon. It didn’t make any sense. He was a great catch for any girl— a handsome, intelligent young man with a bright future ahead of him. I was happy and proud that he chose me to be his wife. I didn’t understand why Janet wasn’t happy for me? Mama was silent, which was unusual she always had something to say.

The weeks flew by like a run-away roller coaster, but for me they dragged by slowly. Weeks passed with no letter from Leon. I kept reading his old letters as I tried to wait patiently for his next letter, though patience was not one of my virtues. Leon suggested that I keep his letters in an old shoe box. I did and I filled to the brim. He always opened with ‘Dear Heddy’ and closed with ‘Love, Leon.’ He used the envelopes that had the red, white, and blue airmail pattern all around the edges. I could always tell when there was a letter from him because that pattern stood out from the plain white envelopes. I got so excited when I saw that pattern in the stack of letters. I shuffled through the rest to get to his quickly. Weeks passed without a single letter.

All communication stopped without warning. I was worried and lonely for him. Each day left me sadder than the day before. He was gone. I had no idea who, what, where, or when—Unknown forces ripped him out of my life. I cried for hours and hours. The weeks turned into months. I wrote dozens of letters. I wrote and I waited, I wrote and I waited, I wrote and I waited. I pleaded and even begged him to write and tell me what happened, but I never heard another word.

 

Ms. Heddy Through it all Chapter 6 You’re My Everthing


Front view of a Lockheed C-121 "Constella...

Front view of a Lockheed C-121 “Constellation”. Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas (March 2007). Photo by Peter Rimar. This image was taken in direct support of the Aviation WikiProject . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The next day I heard shouting, banging, bumping sounds coming from upstairs. I ran to see what was going on, when I reached the top step I saw Janet and Howard fighting the in the hallway. I watched in silent terror as they wrestled knocking objects over that happened to be in the way—until Howard hollered; “Go down stairs Heddy!” Once everything settled Howard said he was taking me home. It was clear that Howard was highly upset, but I didn’t understand why I had to go home. I never had seen him angry before, never heard him raise his voice, curse, or even fight.

Oh No, I thought, I have to go home without seeing Leon! I was downhearted I wasn’t ready to leave, I had to think fast. My heart was racing like it was in a NASCAR competition. I didn’t have Leon’s phone number, but I knew where he lived. I saw Howard walking down the staircase and stopped him as he reached the last step.

“Howard, how long do I have before we leave?” He looked at his watch.

“We’ll probably leave in an hour.” I quickly ran upstairs and threw my clothes in my little black suit case and zipped it up then ran back down stairs.

“I’ll be right back!” I hollered, then ran out the door across the street and walked briskly several blocks down to Columbus Avenue where Leon lived. I knocked on the door. His brother peaked through the window of the door then opened it slightly looking at me. “Hi is Leon home?”

“No, he ain’t here. Who should I tell him came by?”

“Heddy, tell him Heddy came by. I’m sorry to come by without calling, but I wanted to see him before I leave.”

“Before you leave—where you going?” He opened the door wider.

“I’m going back home, to Meadville. We’re leaving in an hour.”

He observed me carefully then said;

“Let me get your address, he’ll write you… Wait… let me get some paper.” He went back inside and got a pencil and a small torn piece of paper from a used envelope. He wrote down my address.  I thanked him and said goodbye.Not seeing Leon before I left was deeply troubling me. I was afraid I would never see him again, but his brother promised that I would hear from him. From the very first time I saw Leon, I knew he was my handsome knight and shining armor. But I still wondered if I would hear from him or if he would simply forget about me and move on to the next girl in line willing and waiting for his attention and affection. The thought of losing him terrified me.

When I got back to the house Howard was ready to go. I said goodbye to Robin, and the other kids. Howard threw my suitcase into the trunk, we both got in the car then he backed out of the driveway and headed for Interstate 80 east. The drive back to Meadville was long. I was heavy-hearted and gloomy. It was quiet, neither Howard nor I was much for words. My thoughts centered on Leon. I hoped and prayed that I would hear from him again. And that his brother really would give him my address.

When we arrived in Meadville Mama was happy to see us. Howard stayed for a while and ate dinner before leaving. No one could refuse Mama’s good cooking. She wouldn’t let a visitor leave without feeding them and she always had leftovers in the fridge.

I ran up the steps to my bedroom and put “My Girl” by the temptations on my record player, then turned the dial to 45 and sat down on my twin bed listening to it over and over. Finally the music lifted my spirit and I got up and danced—swinging my hips from side to side and swirling around to the rhythm of the music.  “My Girl” was my refuge. Every time I heard that song, I thought about Leon.

 

A week later I received a letter from Leon just as his brother promised. From then on he wrote every week. As soon as I got home from school and walked up on that long gray wooden porch, the first thing I did was check the mail box for a letter from Leon. When there was one in the mailbox my heart smiled with sheer joy, it made my day! It didn’t take long for him to write that he loved me. That was absolutely blissful. We both were in love his letters confirmed it. Somehow hearing it in person was different from seeing ‘I love you’ written in his own handwriting. That sealed it—it must be true! I thought. I was his girl and I always knew he was thinking about me.

Shortly after graduating from high school he wrote that he had joined the Air Force and would be leaving for basic training in Texas.  I didn’t understand why he joined the Air Force especially during the Vietnam War. I worried about his safety and prayed that God would keep him safe.  Leon kept his promise and continued to write weekly. Sometimes I received two letters in one week. I don’t know how he found the time to write so often especially when he was so busy training, but he did and I’m glad that he was a man of his word. It made it easier for me. I felt close to him, as though he were there with me, and I with him. We continued to stay in touch by mail and I always knew what was going on with him and he knew what was happening in my life. His letters came from Air Force Bases in Wichita Falls, Texas and Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. The last assignment I knew of was at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Virginia.

Leon received a lot of training at those three Air Force Bases. He wrote that he was trained as a mechanic. His job was to fix the planes, even while it was flying in the air he had to go out on the wing to repair the plane. Daddy was a mechanic in the Air Force too! I imagined Leon standing beside an airplane just like a picture of Daddy I had seen of him dressed in his mechanic’s jump suite. Leon’s military career settled at Langley.

One night I was standing at the kitchen sink washing dishes. We had one of those stand alone white porcelain sinks with the double door cabinets underneath. I hated washing dishes; there was nothing to look at but the bare wall straight ahead. A black wall phone hung from the other side of the room next to the huge wooden cabinet that housed the dishes and food. The phone rang Mama walked in from the living room and answered it. She was talking for several minutes. I knew it was for her so I continued washing the dishes. After she finished her conversation, she called me to the phone. Puzzled that it was for me, I walked over to the phone as I wiped my hands dry and picked up the receiver from the cabinet Mama had laid it on.

“Hello.”

“Hi Angel, how are you?” It was Leon—I was shocked and happy.

“Leon! I’m fine. Where are you?” I asked thinking maybe he was in Akron and he would be coming to Meadville to see me, I hoped. It had been twenty-two months since I saw him. The day I left Akron loneliness set deep down in my heart—I yearned to be back in his arms again.

“I’m still in Hampton.” My heart dropped to the pit of my stomach.

“Are you okay?” I asked.

“Yes, I’m fine… I’m sending a picture. Look for it in the mail. How’s school?”

“School is good, I’ll be glad when I’m finished. My grades are great.” There was a Long pause. As I stood there waiting, I sensed something heavy was on his mind. I had no idea what it was, but I knew it was deep. I remembered how deep our conversations could get. So I decided to leave it alone and be grateful that he didn’t go into a long deep conversation. Something kept nagging at me, but I was afraid to push the matter. I felt something was seriously wrong and it scared me.

“What’s wrong Leon?”

“Nothins wrong Angel…” he paused again. I want to ask you something…” silence broke through and another long pause followed. This was the first time he had ever picked up the phone and called to talk to me.

“Okay just ask me.”

“No, I’ll wait.” What does he want to ask me? I wondered. It’s not like him to not speak his mind. He’s worried about something.

“I love you Angel.” I felt a rush of relief. He still loves me; it’s not that he doesn’t love me anymore, thank God. Silence fell on my ears again.

“I love you too Leon.”

“I gotta go.” He slowly said.  “I’ll talk to you later. Be good.”

“Bye honey.”

“Bye Angel,” he said softly as he hung up the phone.

There was something strange about his call; he never called me before in the whole two-year courtship. I always received a letter. And Mama didn’t say a word. That was too strange. I looked at Mama and wondered what she thought about Leon and me saying that we loved each other. Then I thought it probably wasn’t a problem since he was in Virginia and I was in Pennsylvania. That’s too far away to make a sexual connection.

Mama focused on me graduating from high school. She always told me I would be somebody one day. She made it her top priority to make sure I graduated from high school and NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING would stand in the way of her dream for me.

“Ms. Heddy Through it All” Chapter 5 How Sweet It Is


 

The smell of bacon, and fried potatoes and onions came up through the vents and cracks waking me up early the next morning. Janet had come home and was cooking breakfast. I was so happy to see her. She stood about 4’9” inches tall and was spunky.  She’d tackle anybody no matter how big they were. She’d say the bigger they are the harder they fall. Janet wore her dark brown hair in a short bob with a bang combed to the side. She had a pair of gorgeous round brown eyes that she used when expressing her thoughts and feelings. I remember her favorite phrase was “Nigga Please” The way she said it made me crack up—it was so funny. Janet was frank she called a spade a spade and walked with plenty of self-confidence and pride. And I loved her like a big sister.

After eating the kids went outside to play. Janet washed the dishes and I dried them and put each plate carefully in the cabinet above the counter. I knew Leon was coming over again that night; I had to tell her that I had met a boy. So, I told her about Leon and how we had met in the park and asked if he could come over. Janet stood at the kitchen sink washing the pots and pans and asking me a zillion questions like:

“Where does he live, Heddy?”

“He lives over by the park on Columbus.” I wiped the table with the wet dish cloth that was on the kitchen counter and sat down at the table.

“Where does he go to school?”

I was getting more and more uncomfortable with every question. I rested my elbows on the table and put my head on my hand; then I looked up at her.

“He goes to Garfield High School.” Janet returned the plastic milk carton to the refrigerator.

“Where did you say you met him?” she asked.

“I met him at the park down the street.”

“Who are his parents?”

“I don’t know his parents.” I knew I didn’t have all the answers. Actually, I didn’t know much about him at all. I guess I was too busy looking at him and wasn’t paying attention when he was telling me about himself. Janet turned and looked me in the eye.

“Heddy, I’ll have to know more about him before he can visit.”

I didn’t tell her that he had been over many times to visit. I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to have company, but I should have known. Mama never let me have company unless she was there watching every move and listening to every word like a hawk.

“He’s a really nice guy, Janet.”

“I’m sure he is, Heddy, but I need to know more about him.” She walked out of the kitchen heading towards the upstairs.

Later that day after calling around and doing some checking, Janet finally said he could come over. It was still daylight when the door bell rang early that evening. It was Leon, I ran to the door. He was wearing a black waist length leather jacket and black pants. I could smell his cologne before I reached the door. I guess black was his favorite color. He looked so handsome standing there smiling at me. A white two door Pontiac Grand Prix,  parked in front of the house waited with the motor running.

“Hi, Angel, I came to let you know, I can’t come over tonight. I’ve got to go to Cleveland, but I promise I’ll see you tomorrow, okay?” I was sadly disappointed I had spent half of the day trying to convince Janet to let him come over. The other half I spent hoping and praying that she would say yes. Just when she agrees to let him come over—he has to go to Cleveland! I couldn’t believe this was happening. I stood there stunned and paralyzed from the mouth down.

He gave a slight grin and waited for my response, but I just looked at him and said; “Oh, okay.” Yes, I was disappointed, but what could I say? I had a bad feeling, as I watched him step off of the porch, walk down the sidewalk, get into that Grand Prix, and ride off. I watched him until I couldn’t see him anymore.