Tag Archives: History

Entertainment to Spark the Mind

Hello y’all!  I’m back with another posting.  I rarely do these types of posts, but I feel that I cannot help myself in this case.  I don’t know how many of you saw the Super bowl over the weekend, but I did and I happened to notice the commercial for season 3 of the Hulu original, The Handmaid’s Tale.  Now, I’ve been deeply involved again in my personal Star Trek journey as I’m trying to watch the entire series (from The Original Series all the way to Star Trek Beyond) chronologically and that’s really been all I’ve been watching on TV, but seeing that commercial reignited by interest in that show.  I remember seeing trailers for it at the movie theater and various TV programs in the past about season 1 and I wanted to see it then, but it wasn’t until after the Super bowl that I finally started watching it.  If you haven’t seen it, be prepared for an INSANE ride.

The synopsis as per Google is as follows: “Based on the best-selling novel by Margaret Atwood, this series is set in Gilead, a totalitarian society in what used to be part of the United States. Gilead is ruled by a fundamentalist regime that treats women as property of the state, and is faced with environmental disasters and a plummeting birth rate. In a desperate attempt to repopulate a devastated world, the few remaining fertile women are forced into sexual servitude. One of these women, Offred, is determined to survive the terrifying world she lives in, and find the daughter that was taken from her.” HOLY SMOKES, right?!?!

I won’t go into much detail about it aside from this.  As what’s said in that synopsis, the now former United States of America is now a totalitarian society named Gilead.  In Gilead, women are servants to men in all aspects of life.  There are different classes of women, but none of the women are allowed to read or write.  How insane is that, right?!  The women are also forced into Plain Dress attire, and the men are kinda midway through it themselves, and the most horrible aspects of this all involved the violence in the name of religion.  And violence in all forms as you’d suspect.

Now, for those that haven’t seen the show or read the book (I still have to read the book myself), all this happens over the span of about 5 years or so where rights are taken away and people start getting brutally murdered either by gunfire or hanging.  Throughout the show, I’ve been thinking to myself, “How the HELL did the people who didn’t believe in these crazy people’s beliefs not leave?!”  Well, the way it’s shown from the episodes I’ve seen is that people fought back and tried to maintain their rights as American citizens until it was too late for them to escape and they ended up in a life of slavery due to their non-conformity.  It’s brutal.  Catholics, LGBTQs, unmarried couples, divorced and remarried people, and basically anybody else that does not believe in that particular protestant sect’s beliefs are hunted down and publicly hanged, or shot for their beliefs or lifestyles.  In a particularly hard scene for me to watch during episode 2 of season 1, two of the main characters, handmaids, are walking down a street in Cambridge, Massachusetts (where the show mainly takes place) and see St. Paul Church, a parish church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, being torn down.  One handmaid tells the other that the régime also bulldozed St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan to try to “erase” the fact that it ever existed.  Seeing that happen on the show just broke my heart.  I started to wonder what I would have done in that situation.  Granted, for at least the immediate future, I’ll still be here in El Paso where if something like this happened… wait, well first off, I think Texas as a state would throw up the proverbial middle finger to this protestant sect and go independent republic like we were from 1836-1845.  Granted, the Republic of Texas existed 183-174 years ago, that independent spirit of native Texans still is strong.  Anyway, with that said, again if Texas didn’t become its own republic again and instead became part of Gilead, it would be pretty easy for people here in El Paso to cross the border into Mexico and escape.

The question is, would people who didn’t believe in radical Gilead retreat or fight?  What would I do?  That’s really the question here.  What the hell would I do?  I didn’t give it much thought, I’d flee.  Now, that’s what I’m trying to figure out about how exactly to feel about my decision.  Does that make me a coward?  Does that make me a non-believer in Jesus Christ?  That’s what I’ve been struggling with.  I mean, sure, it’s said in a few scriptures to be willing to die for the faith, but at what cost?  It’s the double edged sword of laying down one’s life for Christ, but at the same time fighting for one’s life.  An argument can be made for both sides, in my opinion.  I have always just had a very strong sense of self preservation, so I’d find a way to escape and then find a way to fight back any way I could to overthrow evil.

With that said, my next question as I’m watching the show is “Why the hell didn’t these people leave in droves to escape either north or south?!”  From what it looks like to me, it went down like this:  First off, protests took place denouncing the beginning of the removal of rights, etc.  all the while, people believed that this protestant group wasn’t going to really take over the United States and as much crap as they were doing, the country would never cease to exist.  Next, and finally, when the United States of America ceased to exist, all the people who didn’t believe it could happen and fought back instead were then trapped and forced into either slavery, or outright murdered.  I could totally see this happening too.  I mean, who in their right mind would think that something like this could happen?  Ask the German people when the Nazi party took over in 1933.  Of course people say now that something like that will never happen again, but history has a tendency to repeat itself, and that thought alone terrifies me.

So, I’m going to keep watching The Handmaid’s Tale, as I’m on episode 7 of season 1 as of this writing, and keep wondering what I’d do in this world.  I love shows like this.  Shows that make me either think about my own life or make me dream about how I hope life will turn out for humanity as a whole is what sparks my interest.

Have y’all seen this show?!  What are your thoughts on the matter?  Do you question your life and the decisions you’d have to make if thrust into this situation?

Blessed be the fruit and praise be!

Advertisements

Learn-ed Moron

Salutations once again y’all!  We’re heading into the end of another week as this year really comes into the fast swing towards the end.  With that, television has brought me some happy and exciting feelings with CHRISTMAS (not “holiday”) commercials! Snowy scenes about gift giving and buying with kids, dogs, very expensive brand new cars in the driveways of multimillion dollar homes, and Santa Claus are filling the commercial breaks between shows now and to be honest, I can’t be any happier.  I LOVE the Thanksgiving into Christmas season the most out of any other time of the year.  I’m trying my hardest to NOT play my Blu-ray Christmas films right now!  It’s that fierce this year!

That’s not what I wanna talk about this blog though.  The thing I want to talk about is being Hispanic.  Heck yea!  I’m one of the 52 million people in the United States who can be counted amongst the people of various Hispanic countries.  Personally, (and saying it jokingly) I’m an American made with Mexican parts.  LOL!  As funny as I put it, it’s true.  I don’t think about it living in El Paso because as you can see here, El Paso is about 80.7% Hispanic.  There are only a few spots, and I’d venture to guess certain areas of the westside and most of the northeast sides of town where you may encounter people who don’t at least understand Spanish.  Everywhere else, though, sheeeeeesh… you almost better understand Spanish because especially if you look like me (and most of us do), people assume you speak Spanish first.  It’s even more prominent in the areas close to the border to Juarez, Mexico.  Most businesses along the area are run by Spanish speaking people, and you’d be really out of luck trying to go there and try to get somebody who even understood English.  Luckily for me, my brain works well enough where if I’m having a good day, I can transition seamlessly from English to Spanish and not even think about it.  Most days, though, my brain refuses to translate Spanish from English and I either forget my words or it takes me a minute to process the translation to say what I need to say.

I say all of that because I was able to see the first third of a new show on Netflix by the great John Leguizamo.  I’ve followed this dude’s career from back in the early days of the late 80s and early 90s and absolutely LOVED his specials on HBO dealing with growing up Latino.  Freak and Ghetto Klown really spoke to me and made me realize just how much in common Latinos live their lives.  His new special, Latin History for Morons, goes away from introspective views of living life as a Latino and instead shows the audience just how we came to be.  Even though I’m only a 3rd of the way through, there’s been so much information that he’s given me that I honestly didn’t even know, that I’m just blown away.  I’m appreciating my heritage a lot more than I did before, but at the same time I’m a little heartbroken about it too.  I know I’ve got a lot of Native American blood in me because of my skin tone and well the fact that I know my paternal great great grandmother was full blooded Comanche, and I’m pretty sure that I have a lot of Aztec blood in me coming from my mom’s side, but that can’t be verified because I really don’t know much of her history.  In any event, the reason I’m a little heartbroken about it is because in the special, John tells us the story about just how we came to be.  There were millions of people all throughout the American continent living in peace amongst each other until Christopher Columbus took a wrong turn thinking he was going to India that had him stumble upon the islands south of what is now Florida.  Long story short, he and his people violated women and children, killed the men, and brought the diseases from Europe to the Americas and that killed millions more.  The Spanish soon followed and went through what is now Mexico, brought their violence and diseases with them and soon killed the Aztec tribes, and most of them traveled north through here, oddly enough, and made their way a bit further north and then slightly southeast and west.  Some also went south and ended up killing the Inca via violence and diseases as well.  That’s as far as I’ve gotten into the show, and I can only imagine things remained crazy until that history started to blend in with the northeast section of America and the formation of the United States and all that violence and disease that was brought upon Native Americans from them.

It sounds so bad, doesn’t it?  The Aztec people were very advanced for their time, all of the Native American tribes lived off the lands that looked so incredibly different back then, especially in what is now Massachusetts and New York (it was all super dense forest), and the whole American continent was full of people just doing their thing living in peace.  Part of me wonders what would have happened if the Europeans wouldn’t have raped, pillaged, and killed the indigenous people to this land.  Things sort of worked out in the end, I guess?  Who’s to say, right?  I guess if it wasn’t going to be them, it would have been the English and the French to do it instead, but what would have happened if everybody that came here from other continents just let these people just live their lives as they were? Well, I guess I wouldn’t exist.  That’s for sure.  Haha!  My surname is Spanish and I’m Catholic too.  I wouldn’t have those things if nothing would have happened.  I might have still spoken English and Spanish (both badly as I do now, if you wanna know.  LOL), but I’m sure I would be speaking a language native to this area (well, back in the day at least) as my primary language instead.  It’s crazy to think about.  I know one thing though.  I’m glad that I’m me.  All the guilt of the Spanish, but all of the pride from my Native American people too now lives in me.  I just hope that if God blesses me with children, I can pass along all the history that I know so that they can know where they came from too.  Now, I can’t wait to get back home to finish the show and tell everybody that I know that has Netflix to watch it!