In the Shadows of the 60’s 

Shadows of the 60's

It has been said that there has never been a time in history as tumultuous as the 1960’s.  I was in the midst of my formative years, and yes, was exposed to (in no particular order) the questioning of our status quo, a change in the ethnicity and idealism of the Kennedy Presidency, the Bay of Pigs invasion, the fear of nuclear war by “the Ruskies,” the cultural change to hippie free love, flower power, the use of mind-altering drugs, the re-introduction of bell-bottomed jeans, the race riots of the South, the Vietnam War, Kent State, an explosion of musical talent from Great Britain influencing  American culture and music, Woodstock  Music Festival and the Watergate break-in, the start of the downfall of President Nixon.

How is it possible with this former explosion of change, we dare to rant and rave about the political events of 2017?

No movie is perfect in its storytelling pitted against factual events. It can’t be, for movies are by nature entertainment vehicles. But, I believe if you stay true to the spirit of the time, capturing major events and people’s lives with integrity and send a message from which audiences can learn in the technological multimedia world of today, you may have created a timeless work for all to endlessly enjoy!

This is all to introduce the spectacular movie, “Hidden Figures,” The untold story of the brilliance of three women who just happen to be women of color, who were the real movers and shakers of our space program who NEVER got the credit! The human drama; the discrimination of the 60s and the integrity and class of these women is unmatched. The acting and story were so moving! John Glenn and many others owe their careers to them.

This narrative is not meant to give away the story as a whole, the plot or the most emotional moments of the film, of which there are many. Rather, it is meant to say that these women played very non-traditional roles in compassion to those white women who rose through the ranks through the usual channels in a man’s world featured in my previous blog, Success and Trauma-Three Women in Space.

Katherine Johnson, (1918-__) a brilliant mathematician, who ultimately with her analytical mind, enabled NASA to excel in many ways, including providing trajectory analysis for space missions  (including at  John Glenn’s request in 1962);

Mary Jackson, (1921-2005) began as a school teacher and later convinced a judge in a groundbreaking ruling to allow her to obtain pre-requisite courses in an all white school in Virginia;

Dorothy Vaughn, (1910-2008)  a math teacher who dutifully supervised “colored colleagues” in the colored computer unit for years without the title and pioneered the use of Fortran, an initial computer language as an expert programmer.

The definition of oppression – Prolonged cruel or unjust treatment or control. Prolonged oppression can lead to frustration, depression, anger and violence. There were many examples in “Hidden Figures.” The lack of recognition for women, particularly those of color, demeaning comments, lack of sufficient bathroom facilities, lack of inclusion, lack of respect,  lack of humanity, and very low wages, just to name a few.

Can we now say that we have come so far from that era? In some ways yes, however, take it from one who has experienced much discrimination, there is still much discrimination in our country, both subtle and blatant.  Perhaps we have just chosen to focus on other types of discrimination in 2017. The prime example, Katherine was called a “computer” throughout, as in Noun – person, place, THING. How more demeaning can you get? If not for amazing resiliency, patience and standing up and acting like an “uppity colored” in a few instances, Katherine, Mary and Dorothy NEVER would have made it.

Below I share two scenes, simply to contrast the typical versus a pivotal ground breaking moment in this film.

Trailer # 1-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EiZe6WONWY

Bathroom Scene

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzTjsDb-2Gk

Do go to your nearest movie theater to see it!  “Hidden Figures” will horrify, amaze and delight!

Post Script – If you are curious – What’s Next for NASA?  Read this –https://www.nasa.gov/about/whats_next.html

 

References – https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-story-of-nasas-real-ldquo-hidden-figures-rdquo/

https://www.google.com/#q=Definition+of+Oppression

https://www.nasa.gov/about/whats_next.html


DonnaGore-2

 

To schedule Donna R. Gore for your next conference, seminar or event, please contact ImaginePublicity.Phone: 843-808-0859 or Email: contact@imaginepublicity.com

Stalkers in the Movies

Stalker

As a crime topic in and of itself, we don’t hear much about stalking. It may be part of an intimate partner or family violence crime. Stalking was officially recognized as a separate crime in California in 1990. This crime can include a myriad of unwanted behaviors such as –writing, calling, accosting, harassing, threatening in person or via use of social media, following a person, spying, waiting at locations, leaving, sending unwanted flowers or other gifts. 

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics as of February 2016, 14 people in 1,000 are typically stalked within a 12 month period. Actual prosecution differs from state to state regarding the amount of emotional distress, fear or reasonable expectation of fear.  The range of prosecutable behaviors can range establishing the benchmark of emotional distress, establishing fear of death or severe bodily harm. BJS data indicates that those at highest risk of being stalked are those who are separated or divorced (34 in 1,000 people).  Those women ages 18 to 24 – 1 in 6 women are stalking victims while 1 in 19 men are stalked). 

This blog will discuss two examples taken from the big screen in different eras. Both films were billed as psychological thrillers.

  1. “Play Misty for Me”- Released November , 1971 ; Initial Budget – $950,000, Box Office Gross- $10.6 Million

   Starring: Client Eastwood, Jessica Walter and Donna Mills. 

Summary –A radio disc jockey, Dave Garver, broadcasting from a studio in Carmel by the Sea gets entangled with the wrong woman, Evelyn Draper, who wreaks havoc on every aspect of his life.  She begins her staking as a repeat caller, requesting the song ”Misty,” followed by a date, casual sex, after which she “just shows up” at his home,  restaurants with business associates,  she escalates her psycho demands,  there’s a suicide attempt, an invasion of Dave’s home and subsequent murder of his housekeeper.. more trouble, plot twists and turns.  (‘Don’t want to be a Spoiler!)

Trailer – for “Play Misty for Me”  “Get Off my Back…”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFLwJpW6cDw

  1. “Notes on A Scandal” Released December, 2006; Initial Budget – $15 Million, Box Office Gross- $49,752,391 Million. Filmed in London.

Starring: Judi Dench,   (Barbara Covett), Cate Blanchett ( Sheba Hart,  and Bill Nighy (Richard Hart)

In my opinion, this movie is an intellectual treatment of a topic with many  sophisticated layers as compared  to “Play Misty for Me.” Examples of the layers include the cultural British realm, a bohemian family with a child with Downs Syndrome,  an affair featuring an older woman pairing  with young adolescent, (versus the usual older man meets girl adolescent)  and a spinster, manipulating, obsessive, lonely lesbian school teacher who “blackmails in the name of love” thus creating yet another fantasy relationship in her mind alone, a knock down drag out fight. And…there is also a history, a back story of Barbara’s prior  torrid want to be love affairs  before setting her sights on the new teacher in town, Shelby.

Barbara looks for the weakness, the most vulnerable in her prey, weaves her tangled deceitful  web, feigning friendship, she inappropriately inserts herself in other’s lives as all stalkers do, and uses a dangerous affair initiated by Sheba to seemingly get what she wants.  There is a very effective use of voiceover narrative throughout this movie by the character of Barbara,  self talk and extensive diary entries. 

I will not reveal more, as it is so effective to view this movie live and in person. 

Trailer- Notes on a Scandal- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVcHKNgViyU

Postscript-  Why, why, why do movie producers delight in always portraying lesbians as psychos? It’s so unfair!   The extraordinarily talented Judi Dench  is “family” although it is not clear whether she is L or Bi…and it clearly does not matter!  I’m waiting for that mainstream “normal lesbian movie” maybe  by the time I’m 90. 

As for stalking, it is not letting go turned criminal. Watch out for stalkers. They may say they are motivated by love, but the cause is rooted in mental health issues , the inability to move on and inability to form healthy relationships.

In the words of performer Bonnie Raitt –

 “…’Cause I can’t make you love me if you don’t; You can’t make your heart feel something it won’t…” 

  

References – http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=973

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Play_Misty_for_Me

http://www.lyricsfreak.com/b/bonnie+raitt/i+cant+make+you+love+me_20022611.html

The Evolution of the Classic Movie “the Blob” to Today’s True Crime

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I had barely gotten my start on life, merely 4 years old when the classic horror, science fiction movie “The Blob” took hold like wildfire with audiences in 1958. In that era, people were concerned with aliens coming to earth, the possibility of nuclear war and “the Ruskies.” The anti-communist debate swept through Hollywood with screenwriter, producers and actors in the late 1940 and early 1950’s for alleged “Un-American Activities, rumors of communist ties generating a blacklist and prison that lasted though 1960. 

With all of these threats and innuendo, the public needed a “fake blob” to distract them from reality. What was this all about?

It all started in a Pennsylvania based studio in Valley Forge known for 250 religious films.  A group of devout Christians, “wanting to spread the Word” came up with this idea on a shoestring budget.  What?? The exact origin of the Blob is best left to speculation. The creators were ministers. They were long on visual effects and short on money. But the $110,000 budget, combined with red vegetable dye and silicone came to be one of the most successful “monsters” ever!   The blob’s purpose was to consume everything in its path.

Steve McQueen, an unknown actor at the time, took a comparative  paltry sum up front, playing the part of teenager Steve Andrews  and was never able to cash in later, due to his decision as a starving actor. Ahhh… the errors we make in life out of desperation!  In fact, before I even began the spark of an idea for this blog, lo and behold, there was already a cold war connection made from a comic book writer-

There’s also a subtle, weird, political message in the original Blob. Joe McCarthy had just been disgraced, and the Cold War was very much a fact of life … That’s what the Blob is – a creeping red menace – the Cold War.”

The Plot-Just the bare facts, as you really should rent this one!

A teenage boy and his girlfriend are on Lover’s Lane in a small town when they observed a meteor crash to earth over the hill. They investigate, and unfortunately an old man ‘pokes it with a stick” unleashing its ravenous appetite for the man and others in its path, including the local doctor, nurse, movie projectionist etc. In the meantime, no one pays attention to poor Steve Andrews who is treated like the “Boy Who Cried Wolf”. What can stop the blob from it’s all consuming horror? A few things seemingly slow it down…. But, you’ll have to watch it and see for yourself!    Just a taste of the original Blob-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdUsyXQ8Wrs

The Blob as Compared to True Crime:

This film could very well be a metaphor for crime in 2016.  What can stop the all consuming terror of mass homicide shootings, intimate partner violence, human trafficking, and death from opiate addiction that plague us? I don’t know.

In recent times the initial deadliest mass shooting occurred in July 1984 a  in San Diego suburb in which a gunman killed 21 people on a crowded McDonald’s Restaurant near the Mexican border-and it has continued as “nearly commonplace” to the present day, whether it is a lone disgruntled worker or a foreign terrorist, the “blob of crime” consumes all. 

We go to the movie theater now and are forced to think about our surroundings instead of buying popcorn! We are in Active Shooter stance. Refer to this former blog- https://donnagore.com/2016/03/02/active-shooter/

Maybe the Blob that ate everyone wasn’t so bad after all in comparison.

You be the judge!

References: www.history.com/topics/cold-war/hollywood-ten;

http://www.denofgeek.us/movies/the-blob/243202/the-strange-history-of-the-blob-movies

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Blob

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQ3If73-VJo

https://donnagore.com/2016/03/02/active-shooter/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdUsyXQ8Wrs

Is Fatal Attraction a Good Example of a Female Psychopath? 

 

Fatal-Attraction-Paramount-Pictures-1We know the dangers of women dating psychopaths due to the diligent work of homicide survivor, Sandra L. Brown, M.A.  They are not, for the most part, living in the shadows, they are living in plain sight. The low conscience spectrum where there is little to no conscience directing our moral behavior, no filter, no boundaries, and depending upon the personality disorder to full-blown psychopathy.

A good introduction to psychopathy is this YouTube interview between Sandra Brown and Michael Cross https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gevnRyRASDc discussing her ground breaking book, “Women Who Love Psychopaths.”  In fact, Sandra feels, based on her years of experience and research , there is a gender bias regarding underdiagnosing women psychopaths.

Females are manipulative and emotionally volatile, often using sex to manipulate.  Psychopaths, in general, separate themselves from their behavior. They possess no insight. They see opportunity everywhere as they have no barriers such as moral conscience to get in the way. They have honed their responses over time to mimic emotional responses.  How do they compensate or can they do so at all due to the insufficient wiring of their brains?

Criminologist and author, Dr. Scott Bonn, tells us in his Psychology Today article, How to Tell a Sociopath from a Psychopath, that psychopaths lack empathy, cannot form or feel real emotional attachments. These people often blend in well as they have good jobs and are well-educated. They are long-range planners, and form Plan B and C, just in case. They are organized and don’t leave a trail of clues. Con artists are examples. Serial killers, at the end of the spectrum of antisocial personality disorders, are totally lacking in remorse and most dangerous of all. .  Victims of such serial kills are viewed as inanimate objects.

Sociopaths, on the other hand, are very disorganized, anxious and prone to agitation and rage. They are the underclass who never gets particular notice in society. Dr. Bonn tells us that they may be able to form singular attachments, but have a disregard for society and the rules that bind us in general.

The Commonalities –Psychopaths and Sociopaths do have some traits in common. They each display violent behavior, have total disregard for the rights of others, ignore laws and social mores and do not feel any guilt or remorse. Therefore, based on these traits it is easy to be confused!

1987’s  Fatal Attraction and the character, Alex Forrest,  book editor

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Glenn Close as Alexandra Forrest in Fatal Attraction

For those of you who have not seen Fatal Attraction, it was almost never made, but its message was heard far and wide in many circles. After its release, men stopped cheating for a time, or were never so careful about their cheating. It introduced the public to psychopathy within the backdrop of normal family life. It demonstrated how things could get out of control without trying and the real potential, more than hinting, that there truly are female psychopaths in this world!

The film is based on a chance encounter and liaison with Alex Forrest, a woman who is intelligent, charming, manipulative and knows how to play the game to get her prey. She sees her opportunity and sets her sights on a seemingly average married guy who she can destroy for the pleasure of sex, and most of all, for the thrill of the chase.

A roller coaster ride ensues with Alex immediately taking control, setting the parameters, becoming more demanding of his time. When he balks and can’t believe, Alex can’t appreciate the fling for fling’s sake, she uses what only a woman has in her arsenal, feigned pregnancy.   When intrusive phones calls, lies and other invasions don’t work, her behavior escalates.  Among a plethora of evil deeds she visits his workplace, attempts suicide, throws acid on his car, makes friends and abducts his daughter, just to name a few. And, through it all, she has a twisted rationalization and blames him for all of her behaviors!

Series of Movie Clips:

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QY2L0GUoYU0

Pregnancy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZ5YPfWeYzA

Psychopathic Language Samples:

  • “Face up to your responsibilities,” “I won’t be ignored.”
  • You’re not going to leave me.”
  • “You’re my last chance; I don’t know what I’ll do. I can’t live without you; I’ll cut deeper next time.”

Attempted Suicide. Blackmail, Kidnapping Daughter, Attempted Murder of his Wife:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQw2w2KUNIA

Invading Family Territory: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAsBghop-hw

Lies, Lies, Lies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yg3w_8_fwIc

Destroying What his Child Loves Most – A New Live Bunny: (Warning Graphic) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecWhXP2jM28

Bathroom Scene Where Everyone Fights for their Lives from the Psychopathic Killer, Alex: (Warning- Graphic) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hd521kE7f0A

WARNING! The End is Graphic!

Alternate Ending:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GY_NQK7rJrY

Conclusion

I don’t pretend to be a psychologist or psychiatrist. But, I have lived an unusual life of many circumstances which could be called tragic and have worked professionally in many arenas with people from every walk of life. I am an insightful observer of humanity.  It doesn’t take a PhD to know that people with the character of Alex Forrest are out there.

Be wary of people like her. Trust your immediate instincts at the first sign of trouble. I would then seek safety first and get professional help should you not be able to walk away under your own power.  And, do read the writings of Sandra L. Brown and Dr. Scott Brown. They have so much to offer.

Donna R. Gore

 

To schedule Donna R. Gore for your next conference, seminar or event, please contact ImaginePublicity. Phone: 843-808-0859 or Email: contact@imaginepublicity.com