I want to begin this post with an apology; this will be my first post in over a month, and it’s not even going to be an actual movie review. The reason I have not been posting as reguarly as I would like to, is simply because I am a college student who is being swamped with a little more work than they were expecting. The last film I saw in theaters, before this weekend, was The Magnificent Seven (not counting my time at the Austin Film Festival, which will be discussed in an upcoming podcast episode). I also would like to insert a sort of disclaimer before I truly get into the meat of this post: this post was written by me, and by me alone. I didn’t even consult with my two colleagues, Will and Nick, whom I love and respect, as to whether or not I should even write this. This piece is something important to me that I felt compelled to write.
Now, moving on. There are literally dozens of people like myself that recognize that the latter half of this year has been totally dominated by talk of the presidential election. Regardless of your political affiliations or opinions on the two candidates, you have to admit that an unwritten rule was written that stated, “no conversation can take place without mentioning the current state of the election.” Now that it’s finally come and gone, what have we learned from it? Or, perhaps more importantly, did it actually live up to the hype? With those questions in mind, lets’s jump into the review.
With it’s many twists and turns, the election proved to be mezmerizing to the masses. Even those like myself – that is, only the smartest people who are able to see above the pettyness and all the political rhetoric – were hypnotized in the beginning by the complexity of events that the election was composed of. It seemed that something new was brought to the table every week, and it most certainly kept things interesting.
However, as time passed, I found myself reguarly checking my watch and rolling my eyes at every new twist. Yet, the film dragged on and persisted with its narrative, appearing to have no intentions of deviating from its established trajectory. So, like many others, I lost interest in the story and begged for the movie to be over so that I wouldn’t have to sit through another minute of it. It was too long, too confusing, and way too angry.
The acting in this film is what took me by surprise the most. Even the movie’s least experienced thespian, Donald Trump, refused to break from character throughout the entire run-time. While the actors and actresses definitley suffered from their poor scripts, I think they proved themselves to be masters of their craft.
The entire movie seemed to be dedicated to the premise of “how ugly can we really make things get around here?” And geeze, did they make it ugly. There were times when my nearly perfect eyes could not take any more violation, and I was forced to avert them from the venom that displayed itself on the screen. This was, without a doubt, one of the worst looking films I have ever seen.
X-Factor: 0/10, The Results
You’re probably assuming that, given the score and title of this X-Factor, that I was in favor of Hillary. Well, my friend, you’d be wrong. I shared similar distaste for both candidates throughout the campaign process, and I even opted not to vote (seeing that my state would be overwhelmingly red). However, something changed in me last night as the results were coming. Only then, and much too late, did I really begin to grasp the severity of the events unfolding around me.
This is the part where I take off my glasses and carefully place them on the table, then fold my hands together and take a deep breath, letting you know how serious I’m about to get.
For a long time, I’ve refrained from bringing up politics in my writing. I write to entertain, and discussing politics often turns people away. That is why I avoid bringing up touchy subjects in my writing and in our podcasts. I write because I want to entertain people; I want to make them smile and forget about the things that have been haunting their minds all day, even if it only lasts for a few minutes. I write because I love people.
There comes a time when entertainers feel the need to bring down their fourth wall and talk to their audiences face-to-face (metaphorically speaking). So, dear reader, I want you know that this is that time for me.
I go to school in Memphis. As many are aware, Memphis is a great city that is filled to the brim with vibrant history, especially when it comes to the history of the Civil Rights Movement. During my time here, I have created relationships with people I would not have gotten the chance to had I not come to Memphis; people that do not look, sound, or even think like me. Many of these people have become more than just friends, they are my brothers and sisters. I’m not saying these things to brag about myself, I’m saying them to inspire sympathy from you. I’m sure that you have many people close to you that you consider your brothers and sisters, and I want you to think about those people now. I want you to picture them, smiling at you, laughing, and simply enjoying life.
When I woke up this morning and went to my classes, that was not the picture I was greeted with. Instead, I was met with my friends, my brothers and sisters, whom I love with all my heart, in fits of anger, sadness, and overwhelming fear. It’s very easy to pin these reactions as simply being young men and women overreacting to things they don’t quite understand, but I want you to think deeper than that. I want you to think about how it might feel that the man who just won the election has been telling you that you are not worthy of living in this country. I want you to think about how it might feel that he has openly expressed his distaste for you, your family, and your community as a whole. I want you to think about how it might feel for him to promote the idea that we should all be scared of you, because you are a dangerous and unpredictable individual. NOW, I want you to think about how it might feel that almost 50% of the country voted this person into office. It’s one thing for one man to say all these things, it’s a different thing entirely for millions of people to agree with him. Today I was surrounded by brothers and sisters who felt like their country had turned their back on them, and my heart is breaking for them.
In the end, “The Results” were more than just Donald Trump being elected to office. They are representative of this country’s trajectory, and they have legitimatley and literally struck fear into the hearts of many of our neighbors and friends. The reasons that people voted for him are irrelevant, what is relevant is what he represents and what will happen in the future.
Memphis is infamous for being the place where, in an act of hate, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. As a person of similar faith, MLK is a man whose teachings I reguarly look up to. King believed that love was the most powerful force for change in the universe, and he and his followers exemplified that belief by standing strong and showing love to those who refused to love them. If love did not become the driving force in each and every one of their actions, then their actions would not have had the same impact.
I’m writing this post because it seems to me that love is no longer the dominant force for change in America. Love has been replaced by fear and hate. I’m not here to point fingers at anyone; I do not blame those that voted for Trump, I do not even blame Trump himself. I blame all of us. I blame us for allowing love to step back into the shadows and letting fear and hate take center stage. I cannot change the results, but I can encourage everyone who reads this to let love rule over them, to let it guide you in every action, and to let it fix what has been broken in this nation.
The joke is over, so I’m not going to give this peice an “Overall” section. I’m simply going to leave you with a few quotes to think about. Thank you for reading, and God bless.
“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.” – Luke 6:35
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8