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thoughts

Thoughts on Parasite, the movie (spoilers)

Parasite, a movie released in 2019 and directed by Bong Joon-ho, has a lot to unpack. Depending on your perspective, you may choose to understand the moral(s) of the story differently. The ambiguity with which the movie’s narrative is executed may be seen as a narrative in and of itself, more about that soon. I believe that the intention of this movie is to provide an abstract narrative that I will mention in my concluding paragraph. There is certainly much more to say than what I’m covering here, I am by no means providing an exhaustive review.

The Kim family, at first, may be interpreted as parasites: entering a host (i.e. Park family’s life) and leeching on to their gullibleness. If you don’t wish to uncover any other narratives, the film continues to validate that initial perspective if you wish it to: the manipulative, uneducated, and unappreciative poor who are taking from the rich instead of trying to make their own success. Are they not smart and capable? This fits one of Merriam-Webster’s dictionary definition of “parasite”: “a person who exploits the hospitality of the rich and earns welcome by flattery”

We can dig in a different direction, and we might wonder if it is actually the Park families of the world that are the parasites. They survive and thrive off of the hard work of their drivers, their maids, the tutors they hire for their children, the (invisible) landscaping crew that create and maintain the fabulous exterior of their home, etc. All these skilled workers may not be rich monetarily, but they are “rich” with the skills necessary to provide the kind of comfort and confidence with which members of the Park family could navigate day-to-day life but could never actually provide for each other.

Let’s dive a little deeper. Merriam-Webster’s definition of “parasitism” states: “an intimate association between organisms of two or more kinds; especially one in which a parasite obtains benefits from a host which it usually injures.”

For a large portion of the film, the Kims and Parks seem to be settling in to something more akin to a symbiotic relationship than a parasitic one: one pays for and accepts the services of the other, the other provides labour and accepts payment. There doesn’t seem to ever be a real threat posed by either side to the other. But what about the relationship between the Kim family and the former housekeeper, Moon-gwang, and her husband, Geun-sae?

In this curious turn of events, the discovery of one another, a conflict ensues. It matters not that both the Kim family and the couple are attempting to accomplish the same general goal, they immediately see each other as threats. Instead of working together, they fight and are ready to kill each other over the potential to keep making meagre wages, money that the Park family sees as mere crumbs.

The ensuing violence and chaos hurt both families and the couple. If we follow the above-mentioned definitions of “parasite” and “parasitism” it is clear that none were parasites. The framework made up of families, workers, and the relationships between them and the roles they play, that is, humanity, is the host. How these relationships play out is inevitably dictated by an economic system, in this case, capitalism, which thrives off of pitting people against one another by creating class divisions, to maintain and empower itself. I am not interested in presenting a pro-/anti-capitalist analysis, I’m sure a simple Google search can present you, dear reader, with much of that content. I do, however, admire how the filmmakers were able to create such an abstract narrative that provides viewers with multiple interpretations to choose from, the choice being made, definitely, depends on the viewer’s own narrative.

Categories
thoughts

A Man’s Diary, Entry #1: On self-acceptance and self-respect

What a journey it has been and continues to be. My first poems posted here shine a little light on some of my own transformations over the years, themes such as burn-out, losing faith in myself, and giving up, and trying to understand who I was at the time.

Then came along a beautiful soul who has an ability to untangle my giant knots of thoughts and provide me with a different yet accessible perspective. To grow, I learned, I really needed to address, with myself, my tendency for self-resentment, self-punishment, not accepting myself for who I am, not giving myself the respect and love I deserved. I’ve reached only the first step (i.e. the realization) and only after a lifetime.

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thoughts

#restingboomerface

Ahem, how should I say this without being self-deprecating? I’m waiting for my next bit of poem-writing creativity to strike, so in the meantime, here’s a little bit of nonsense…

I’ve been thinking about the generic resting faces of the generations as seen by me, a millennial, and being in a silly mood, I decided to put together what I believe to be the message that they give off.

Resting Boomer Face: Why aren’t you ruining your life exactly the same way I did to mine?

Resting Gen X face: Is my all-knowing face on? It better be on because I know things, in fact I know all the things, and everyone needs to understand this! I’m the new boss in town!

Resting Millenial Face: Is my poker face on? I hope it’s on because I don’t want anyone to catch on to how little I know and how generally confused I am.

Resting Gen Z Face: Y’all full of shit aren’t you? I’m going to understand the nuance of your bullshit in a bunch of years, won’t I? That’s aight, watch me do this dance tho

And there you have it, folks, much of humanity explained in a few mere sentences.

Categories
Poems

Falling

My mind,
The angry fool,
Still stuck unpuzzling you,

My heart can no longer wait!

Let these words burst out of me,
Like my soul’s desire to tear towards you,
To mix with yours and become one,
And it would if it were not for my being.

As if fed by the morsel,
It must remain content with your touch,
Your kisses.

Your love is a source of inspiration,
Your eyes are a source of healing,
Your lips parted are silent beacons,
Their call to me louder than a whole world.

Your hands reaching out to me,
Radiating love,
And time slows down.

Dear lover of mine,
My gratitude deepens for you,
Each time our eyes meet,
And my mind must now follow my heart.

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thoughts

Writing poetry

Creating art, for me, is almost always an act of catharsis. Poetry is an interesting form of expression: when I am writing it, I am usually in a heightened state of lucidity.

A first step feels like all of my mental faculties are working simultaneously on extracting a lived experience.

A second step is more challenging: translation. Taking the language of memories, emotions, thoughts, sensations, et cetera, and finding words and phrases that validate them.

In that way, art (in this case, poetry), is like a vessel that contains more than just its author’s creativity, time, and literacy. It is like a vessel that contains a microcosmic view of the author’s particular experience of their world.

Unfortunately, poetry is not as readily accessible to an audience as, for example, a song, especially in the way that the author intended it to be received.

Insomuch as that may be the case, is it not a beauty of poetry that it elicits different interpretations from different people? All of whom are reading the same work, but each of whom connects with the poem as per their own lived experiences?

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Poems

A Masculine Perspection

Your feminine enthralls me,
Draws me;
My masculine sees you as beauty pure,
Incapable of seeing anything else,
And why would it try?

What does it want, you ask?
And quite right,
For trouble often follows it closely,

I will tell you what this accursed says to me:

Liberate your eyes,
Let them caress her every dimension,
Envelope her in your arms,
Warmth, worldly and deep;

Ignite a fire so powerful,
She will want to fight for her world,
With a fierceness that slows time,
A light that can and will shine,
Brighter, hotter, and longer than yours.

Let her be the architect and you the builder,
And so the designs would be so grand.

It says to me:

With every glance,
You will understand better why it is,
You’re drawn and fixated,
Incapable of seeing anything less than a goddess;

Cursed nonetheless,
A curse that the masculine seeks,
To unravel,
To turn from chains and thorns,
Into sustenance and warmth,
Continuity and life,
Tenderness and sensuality.

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Poems

The failed poet

Look at me,
My dear friend,
Before you ask,
Make careful your observation,
Of what presents itself so obviously;

And obliviously,
My unriddling has its limits.
What do you call,
Someone who is doomed from the start?

A poet whose pen beats?
With ink bright red?
Who can only share his lived esotericities,
In phrase-twists and wordly ideas?
Language already half-cloaked,
Experiences always slightly out of reach?

But most outrageously laughable,
He still wants to share his broken prose,
A worldly venture.

My dear friend,
I am the failed poet.