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Friday, December 23, 2011

Art Can Change Lives.

This is Part Dos of the entry about Demian Bichir being two steps away from getting an Oscar Nomination.

Let's make that one step.  He's going to have to steal Third base, which is not an easy feat, given that the Shortstop is there to fill the gap.  Third Basemen tend to be really agile and fast as well. 

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Sports. Wah, wah, wah, wah, wah, wah (Charlie Brown teacher's voice).  Third Base is the Oscar Nomination, and Home is the win.  The Shortstop and Third Baseman represent the haters who would love to snub a performance in a movie about a Mexican that doesn't belong in a gang or that doesn't relive the "Frito Bandito" stereotype. (See the video I posted in my blog entry about "A Plethora") Entiendes Mendez? 

The Golden Globes laid another huevo on this one.  They didn't nominate our boy.  I was pretty pissed at first, but then I realized the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (the committee that selects the nominees), handed out nominations to "The Tourist".  Yes.  The Johnny Depp/Angelina Jolie movie that everyone ripped apart.  I can't comment, because I had no desire to watch it.  It looked that bad.  Maybe that's why it got nominated under "Best Peformance by an Actor/Actess in a Musical or Comedy".  Someone watched this and thought it was so bad,  it was funny.  Quien sabe?

All I remember is Ricky Gervais, the host of last year's Globes, saying something to the effect that everything was in 3D, except for the characters in "The Tourist".


At the screening of "A Better Life" (at the SAG Foundation), a woman in the audience shared a very heartfelt story.

Chris Weitz, the film's director, spoke about how he screened the film in Washington D.C., hoping that our elected officials will have a change of heart about immigration reform.  

Shortly after stating this, a woman raised her hand to ask a question.  She began by thanking Mr. Weitz for making such a beautiful film.  

The film had completely changed her view on immigration so much that she quit her job at Homeland Security.  She witnessed, first hand, how innocent people (gardeners, housekeepers, construction workers, field hands) who came here to achieve a better life, were being thrown into the same mix with gang members, murderers, human traffickers, and other convicted felons.  

The woman began to cry, because she couldn't forgive herself for being partly responsible for deporting innocent people; knowing everything they risked to get to America and the possibility that they may lose their lives trying to get back to America.

Mr. Weitz, gentleman that he is, thanked her for the courage to share her story.  He offered some comfort by saying, "There's nothing wrong with wanting to protect your country."  There are really bad people trying to sneak into this country- members of the world's most dangerous gang and what not.  However, the people who want to come here and make an honest living aren't the ones we should be worried about.  There needs to be legislation to allow these good folks to stay.  

Last year, I performed in Josefina Lopez' play "Detained In the Desert". It was a protest to Arizona's Controversial, SB1070.  The problem with this law, like many of our laws, is that the language is too vague.  The vague language is what caused the uproar, fearing that law enforcement would exceed its boundaries and begin profiling, randomly asking "suspected undocumented aliens" for proof of residence, therefore violating peoples' basic civil rights.

If you'd like to read the law, you can check it out here: http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/49leg/2r/bills/sb1070s.pdf

One of the points discussed in the play is how people risk their lives, walking in the desert for days, to come to America.

Let's be real.  Migrant workers are not taking the jobs of American citizens.  I have no desire, nor the skill to bend over for 12 hours in a field picking fruit.  I'm scared to hell of heights, so you wont find me climbing up 100 feet, just to trim some rich lady's palm tree, while she's spending $300 to get her torta waxed and Vajazzled, or whatever the hell they do these days.

You know where I stand.  Many would disagree, because "The Law is The Law".

Enrique Morones, who heads Border Angels, (http://www.borderangels.org/) responds to this rationale by saying "So was slavery."

The woman who shared her experience had a change of heart because of this film.  Let's hope our government, America, and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will have a change of heart as well.

Merry Christmas.  Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All.

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