Monday, February 24, 2014

Forever A Bum To Your Own Family

                                         [picture from]

Remember those old Dr. Phil shows where he would yell at the "mooches"?

I often thought I wonder how many of them are mooches by choice. Sure some of them probably were lazy, "didn't want to work", spent their days hooked up to a meth pipe or pot bong, and playing Warcraft or something...

but what about the ones who simply could not get a decent jobs that would pay for a decent enough apartment, car and life?

While the economy implodes and our newcasters lie about the actual employment rates, how is it to be the person whose family has done well and they have not due to a variety of reasons?

It can be hell on earth.

Many do not understand.

Among some narcissists and some baby boomer types who never suffered, your own lack of financial success is always laid at the foot of your own shortcomings, even if you went to college and worked hard for years at jobs only to be laid off or had your health implode, such things do not matter if the dollars never poured in.

Poor people with better off families are told they are "no good" often for years. You can get a college degree, whip up the resumes, move to seek to improve the almighty career, and then when you are left holding an empty bag, realize those old time social connections aren't there either anymore.

I really worry about young people today who may have had parents do well, and then they go out into a work world that simply doesn't want to know. I went through the same thing but at least I could get a job to pay for a rented room, ramen noodles and milk crates. If there is no job though at all, one is in trouble and can't even manage that.

You're the bum, the elephant in the room no one wants to see or exist. To some of these people they got their first job about of school at the age of 18 and never faced the unemployment line. Maybe they have the right personality, right "look" for modern American. Maybe they did work hard but they also were given the opportunity and pay-out for their hard work.

It disturbs me how if one ends up in "throw-away" status in America, today it's not just the human resources manager looking at you with a jaundiced eye at your cheap suit or dulled shoes but your cruise taking, shopaholic family that definitely sees you as an "embarrassment" too. It can be emotionally devastating. Some people may have kind relatives who want to help them who care, but one thing I have noticed about some within the upper middle class world is they only want to keep company with their own kind. Your concerns are off their radar.

There's too many people out there who realized they became too poor even to be accepted, included or loved by their families, but then that one comes from the moral decay in America, and from the prevalent narcissism that is in many ways collapsing the economy from the top tiers to begin with.

Your lack of money is seen as a personal failing and if it lasts too long you are resented, hated and rejected.

In America today there are these class divisions between families. To the liberals who yell "First World problems" at poor or working class people in America who dare speak of their problems, sometimes the Third World sounds like a better deal, at least you are not hated or rejected for things that are beyond your control, your kinfolk are in the same boat with you. Many of the immigrants are smart because they share resources, there's no such thing as Mama or Sis living in a McMansion while their disabled or poor adult child lives in a broken down trailer with no running water or in a cardboard box in the street.

Even if you have a family that may have helped you years ago, there's a pound of flesh to be extracted. As the merciless employers rip out the carpet beneath you or your husband, rejection often comes from the family too. You are not a source of pride but someone to be ignored and hidden away. They help you with a car repair to keep you from the streets and their front stoop and their resentment grows and your self-respect dies. There is never enough money, only shame. Another job lay-off and the invitations dry up. These types who will tell you "We worked hard!" when you tell them not to be so down on the poor, will tell you straight to your face, people are poor because they deserve it. They will tell you that you are "entitled" if you desire a job that will keep a roof over your head and a car to get there.

                                          [picture source]

And that is a horrible fact of modern American life, rich relatives aren't so nice to the poor ones. Your Tea-Party loving shark uncle will write that all poor people are losers, as he is brainwashed by the elite to blame the victims of the economy while paying homage to the bankers and multinational corporations outsourcing all the jobs. Your mother who never went to college and got her good job via nepotism, and who won the insurance Lotto, will roll her eyes with disgust at you for years as she shops til she drops and buys a second home in Florida. Your sister will tell you that your 800 square foot working class apartment [even in a decent area] is "too small" for a visit and look down on you from turned up nose for eons. She was C and D student but because she married a six-figure she rose up the ranks in the family forever more.

                                         [from Zero Hedge]

Younger people forced to move home, sometimes will deal with the parents who will say "When are you going to move out?" as they struggle to get a job or an affordable apartment. Often the families are as merciless as the bosses who cut hours or wages. Older people face the middle life crisis of realizing they will never make their parents proud, they will be the family "bum" and that success has eluded for far too long. Hope taken away as one remembers one's old life where opportunity at least seemed to reigned supreme and one seemed to have a good future. Sad faced regretful 40-somethings living with disgusted elderly mothers. 20-somethings with heads hanging down low trudging down the basement stairs coming home from low-paid jobs telemarketing or doing day-care or filling out job applications with their father screaming "Mooch! Loser! Bum!" So many left unaware of what awaits them as they exit the college world into the you're just another number in line unless you have connections. One ponders how did some relatives do so well? Doors opened to them with ease, as the padlock on yours seemed to grow bigger.

Years of knowing you never could afford decent presents for nieces or nephews or vacations to see anyone. Knowing that you are forever a bum to even your own family because the jobs were as disloyal as they were.

Poverty is a scythe that cuts into relationships.  DNA doesn't always cross the class barrier.---The Squawker

Old Economy Steve

Generational angst is pretty strong when too many young people or Generation Xers had parents who had very different lives. I wonder what the psychological outcomes of this will be for millions who probably heard their parents call them losers or if that remained unsaid, the cloud of disappointment hovered like exhaust out of a pipe that never dissipated but filled the air with the stench of regret.---The Squawker

Monday, February 10, 2014

In Search Of The Underdog: Lionel Rogosin's "Come Back, Africa" And "Black Roots" Coming On DVD, Blu-Ray

If you've been following this blog for any length of time, you'll recall that we ran an extensive two-part interview this summer (by Chairman Ralph) with Michael Rogosin, who's the son of the late, legendary underground filmmaking maverick, Lionel Rogosin.  As Michael mentioned during the interview, he's working hard to restore his father's cinematic legacy, and make it available again for whoever wants to explore the themes that his father so tirelessly championed.  More information will before forthcoming -- and, hopefully, a review of these releases -- but, suffice to say, if you have any interest in alternative stories that largely remain untapped, or untold, by those who wield the keys to the red carpet, and the box need to check these releases out! I look forward to seeing the fruits of this vision myself...the relevant info follows below.  --The Reckoner

Street date: February 25, 2014

“Heroic … a film of terrible beauty, of the ongoing life it captured and of the
spirit embodied by Rogosin and his fellow artists.” — Martin Scorsese
Milestone Films is proud to announce the deluxe DVD and Blu-Ray releases of Lionel Rogosin’s 1959 shattering classic Come Back, Africa. After witnessing fascism firsthand as a soldier in World War II, Rogosin vowed to fight it wherever and whenever he saw it reemerging. In an effort to expose “what people try to avoid seeing,” Rogosin travelled to South Africa and secretly filmed Come Back, Africa under the constant threat of being discovered. When released, the film revealed to the world the cruelty and injustice suffered by the black majority under apartheid.

Much of Come Back, Africa was filmed in Sophiatown, a black ghetto and a vibrant center of music, art, literature and politics. Residents included Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, Father Trevor Huddleston, Hugh Masekela and four of the film’s main contributors – Drum Magazine’s author/journalists Bloke Modisane, Lewis N’kosi and Can Themba along with the already celebrated singer, Miriam Makeba. Even as they filmed, the township’s future was under threat. Shortly after production ended, Sophiatown was forcibly emptied, then razed and rebuilt as a whites-only suburb called Triumf.

In making Come Back, Africa, Rogosin’s goal was to reveal the harsh injustice of apartheid. To make a film that honestly and accurately portrayed life in Sophiatown (as he did with New York skid row inhabitants in his first film, On the Bowery), the filmmaker spent almost a year meeting with activists and writers, both black and white. Rogosin cast the film before writing the screenplay, basing the story on the experiences of the cast and crew. The actors created their own dialogue in order to create an authentic representation of their lives. Even 55 years later, the film seems emotionally raw and immediate.

Taking its name from the title of an African National Congress slogan, Come Back, Africa premiered at the 1960 Venice Film Festival where it won the Critics Award. In 2012, Milestone released the restored 35mm prints of Come Back, Africa across the US and Canada to rave reviews from the press and universal acclaim by the audience. Bonus features for the film include the remarkable An American in Sophiatown, a documentary by Lionel’s son, Michael Rogosin and Have You Seen Drum Recently?, by Jürgen Schadeberg, the renowned photographer/filmmaker who, as the staff photographer for Drum Magazine in the 1950s, took some the very first photographs of the young Nelson Mandela.

In the second feature of the deluxe set, Rogosin took the fight for equality to his homeland with his astonishing and powerful fourth feature Black Roots. The film, which is ripe for rediscovery, featured an extraordinary cast, including Reverend Frederick Douglass Kirkpatrick; attorney and feminist activist Florynce "Flo" Kennedy; and musicians Jim Collier, Wende Smith, Larry Johnson and Reverend Gary Davis. All tell stories of heartbreak and despair while their songs blow the roof off the rafters. In an extension of the famed shebeen scenes in Come Back, Africa, the participants in Black Roots spoke openly about politics and race in a way that is still rarely seen on screen. In 1970, it was a radical and daring move by a great director. A deeply humanist film, Black Roots combines tales of oppression with hauntingly beautiful images of the faces of black men, women and children.

Lionel Rogosin’s group portrait of a handful of civil-rights activists, bluesmen, and gospel singers, including the great Rev. Gary Davis, has been all but unseen since its 1970 premiere — which makes its home-video debut as the B-side to Milestone’s terrific release of Rogosin’s Come Back, Africa a cause for celebration. Angry, vital, and compassionate, it’s a mosaic of spoken testimonies on the experience of segregation and racial exclusion, intercut with stirring musical performances—Davis’s “Death Don’t Have No Mercy” is a bone-chilling highlight—and rapid-fire close-ups of young African-Americans filmed on the fly in New York. “If I can’t live my life in freedom,” guitarist Jim Collier wails at one point with last-ditch urgency, “I’ll burn the whole thing up.” The movie’s final minutes take up that promise: stern young men stare the camera down, a child pumps his fist in the air, and “Purple Haze” blasts on the soundtrack. From roots to revolution. —Max Nelson, Film Comment


The home DVD and Blu-Ray of COME BACK, AFRICA:
The Films of Lionel Rogosin,Volume 2 is a two-disc boxed set featuring:

Disc One:
Come Back, Africa. South Africa. 1959, 86 minutes. Restoration Cineteca del Comune di Bologna. From the 2K Restoration. SDH subtitles.
A Martin Scorsese Introduction. 2 minutes.
An American in Sophiatown: The making of Come Back, Africa. Directed by Michael Rogosin & Lloyd Ross. 64 minutes.
Lionel Rogosin talks about Come Back, Africa. Radio Interview, 1978, 19 minutes.
Come Back, Africa. Theatrical Trailer. 2 minutes.

Disc Two:
Black Roots. United States. 1970, 63 minutes.
Restoration Cineteca del Comune di Bologna. From the 2K Restoration. SDH subtitles.
Bitter Sweet Stories. Directed by Michael Rogosin. 27 minutes. Color/B&W. Documentary on the making of Black Roots.
Have You Seen Drum Recently? Directed by Jürgen Schadeberg. 1989, 74 minutes.

Street: February 25, 2014

DVD UPC: 784148013343
DVD ISBN: 978-1-933920-53-5
DVD SRP: $34.95 Item # Mile00133

Blu-Ray UPC: 784148013350
Blu-Ray ISBN: 978-1-933920-54-2
Blue-Ray SRP: $39.95 Item # MileBD00133