tisdag 2 juli 2013

Reflections (in your mind)

Machinima (created in Second Life) and Music
by Luci von Smörgås
Submitted for the 6th UWA Machinima Challenge.

Watch the video on Vimeo:

How does one make sense of this video? I think watching it a few times to gather your own (dare I say reflections?) impressions is the first step. Then you can read the following synopsis/explanation to understand the intent. Also, reviewing the definition of transgender on wikipedia might be helpful.

(Note that there is no appropriate gender-neutral pronoun in the english language.)
The first scene opens with a vision of feminine splendor (Luci) and the main character (Sam) dressed in black, in the shadows, observing, reflecting on whether or not it might be a more full experience to give expression to his feminine side. From Luci's perspective, the beautiful sunset is unhindered by shadows of doubt and distraction with such issues. Is Luci real or a reflection in Sam's mind?
When Sam arrives home he is confronted with himself, his own reflection. His thoughts pass from visions of being more truly himself to what he might become, his own little internal guardian angel insisting on the former. "Can you see where you want to be?"
Sam finds Luci again and asks her to help him. She obliges, and as the camera emerges from the closet (did anyone notice?), helping him dress more the way he wants and taking him along to a tranny bar where he does not feel particularly at home.
In the second scene, Sam has arrived at home and goes to sleep, only to be plagued by the relections of his day, simmering on the stove of his subconsious, ingredients of memory and imagination added to cook up a nightmarish stew. The amazon embracing him, encompassing him, smothering him, while warm, sensual and beautiful, is too much for him. Is it Luci or his own femininity?
Surreal as dreams are, he is transported to a rather scary and unhospitable place, trekking through tunnels to try and escape. "What if you could change your direction, change your situation just by changing your mind?" He feels like he is falling deeper through spinning blades that will cut him to pieces only to find himself on a rooftop, contemplating his own fate. "Would your decisions be any easier, what to hold on to, what to leave behind?" Luckily, his guardian angel intervenes and no part of his psyche gets dashed on the hard pavement below.

Religion, society's superego and enforcer of norms (however immoral) appears on the scene to convict him of his abomination, the sentence, to burn in hell, which isn't so much worse than the sentence passed by commercial interests, the freak show to entertain fetishists. Granted, it IS sexy and this is no moral judgement of those who are harmlessly involved in pornography. On the other hand, that is not where most people want to be.

"Transgressions require redemption..." can be construne as any excuses made for religions' organised persecution. It should be clear that the religious based focus on other peoples private lives is certainly a form of vicarious pleasure (among other things) for those involved. Hence, the religious leader procedes with taking advantage of his power, for more direct pleasure, similar to what has been exposed with the pedophilia scandal of the Catholic church. Who did they blame it on?...homosexuals of course.
The third scene is a manifestation of Sam's vision, to be fully himself, enjoy normal aspects of life and find love. If Martin Luther King Jr. were alive today, he might have said "It is not the contents of your panties or sexual preference, it is the content of your character and your ability to love." Ok, well maybe not, considering MLK's deep religious beliefs and the column in Ebony magazine (1958). But wouldn't it be wonderful?!
Second Life has given many people, among other things, the possibility of exploring themselves in a way that would create intense upheaval in real life. "What if you could change your reflection, be a different person, yourself unbind?" This is meaningful not just in the context of issues relating to gender or sexual preference. Maybe the exploration revolves around power, relationships, spirituality, artistic pursuits or business. Besides being a platform for fantasy, which is important in and of itself, the virtual world can help one make decisions based on experience, and be ready for that upheaval, if and when it comes.

"Perfection awaits it's creation. Will yours be simple or sublime?"

Full lyrics:

what do you see when you look in the mirror?
do you really like what you see?
can you see how you became what you are?
can you see where you want to be?

reflections in your mind
introspection revealing faults so unkind
perceptions , impressions fade with time
conceptions revised too late, contract signed

what if you could change your direction
change your situation just by changing your mind
would your decisions be any easier?
what to hold on to? what to leave behind?

reflections in your mind
deceptions obscure and make you blind
transgressions require redemption
have you paid enough yet for your crimes?

what if you could change your reflection,
be a different person , your self unbind?
how would you look? what would you be?
and what love would you find?

reflections in your mind
imagine, your thoughts unconfined
perfection awaits it's creation
will yours be simple or sublime?

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