Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Thinking About America!

Joan Crawford. The awkwardness of her beauty was her beauty.

If I was to say something about Joan Crawford I couldn't have said thirty or forty years ago I would say, "The awkwardness of her facial structure created an allure, a way of being in touch with something you could touch and not describe well at all, but it was a beautiful thing to look deep within and think about what dreams inside of her essence, her essential beauty of spirit!" ~ Gregory E. Woods, Keeper of Stories [Feb. 14, 2017]

James Dean.

Soon after World War II, James Dean, the image of; gave birth to a sense of isolation and alienation to a generation that eventually led to the creation of cult followings of grunge, hippies, white street gangs, violent motorcycle clubs, Gothic, and so on... It lead to a disengagement that quietly grew into terrifying acts of white on other people violence steering thousands of white boys and men in directions the government used in insidious ways. The KKK latched on to that spirit, the movement of white men darkened in blood. White men who otherwise were privileged because they were white found refuge in various groups singing Dixie wishing for the return of the old South. It hasn't abated either. It is stronger today as Klansmen, and Klan sympathizers take positions in the Trump administration this time without much concealing of intent or identity.

James Dean. That is what he feels like. His legacy was part of what many non-white fathers had to lay out and interpret for their sons to incorporate into their adult lives. It has always been the strategies created to deal with the multiple recreations of white power that kept Black and Red people alive. Whether white Americans want to believe it, or deny the necessity of intelligent strategies we need does not matter to us. Our lives don't depend on their beliefs, or do they? If the answer is yes we need to re-evaluate our thinking, our believing, our living and our dying.

Gregory E. Woods, Keeper of Stories
Feb. 14, 2017 

Kim Novak, actress in 1958 with a Siamese cat from the film Bell, Book and Candle.
photograph by Eliot Elisofon for The LIFE Picture Collection Getty Images.

Steve McQueen and his wife, Neile, Palm Springs, 1963.
photo by John Dominis —The LIFE Picture Collection Getty Images

LIFE magazine's creator, Henry Luce's original 1936 mission statement
delineating his new venture's workmanlike method and its lofty aims.

LIFE magazine was a profound publication. It like other magazines of the eras it lived through took deep pride in its research, photographers, reporters and most important the written word's depth. One average person expressed their feelings about this type of reporting world events that touches me I'd like to share with younger people obsessed with lesser pursuits believing their depth matches what proceeded them.

Matteson Mae Emmaery Langan said, "this was my favorite magazine. period. end of story. far down the line was reader's digest before it was filled with more advertisements than writing. my grandmother, who knew I loved reading, would get me subscriptions for one for my birthday and one for xmas. I had a very happy and educated childhood. now that LIFE is owned by, you get nothing but political jibbery, and quite honestly, between what is on the news, and what you hear anywhere you go in the public and what your friends are discussing, it's more than enough. bring back the magazine that spoke through images and small quotes of words that said it all. please. this world is getting dumber, and worse as it is. don't pander to its inequities."

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