Thursday, February 16, 2012

"Lesbians," "If a Tree Falls," "Fat Frank" (film)

Wisdom Quarterly, , , ,
() "If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front" (Marshall Curry, Sam Cullman)

On December 7, 2005, federal agents conducted a nationwide sweep of "radical environmentalists" involved with the Earth Liberation Front -- an organization the FBI has called America's "number one domestic terrorism threat."

"If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front" is the remarkable story of the group's rise and fall, told through the transformation and radicalization of one of its members, Daniel McGowan.

Part coming-of-age tale, part cops-and-robbers thriller, the film interweaves a chronicle of McGowan facing life in prison with a dramatic investigation of the events that led to his involvement with the ELF.

Using never before seen archival footage and intimate interviews -- with members and with the prosecutor and detective who were chasing them -- "If a Tree Falls" asks hard questions about environmentalism, activism, and the way we are told to define terrorism.

"May I Be Frank"


Fat Frank Ferrante is a 54 year old Italian from New York living in San Francisco, who loves life, great food, beautiful women, and a good laugh. He is also a morbidly obese drug addict, who is pre-diabetic and fighting Hepatitis C. Estranged from his daughter, single, and struggling with depression, Frank is a typical American.

"May I Be Frank" is a true story documenting his transformation after he stumbles into CafĂ© Gratitude -- a raw organic vegan cafe. The staff asks, “What is one thing you want to do before you die?” And Frank replies “I want to fall in love one more time, but no one will love me looking the way I do.”

Inspired, the staff set out to make it so, saving his life, restoring his health (with vegan food), and giving him gratitude. Three 20-something men (
Ryland, Conor, and Cary) commit to his healing, coaching him physically, emotionally, and spiritually: Frank will eat only raw food, practice gratitude, visit holistic health practitioners, and get a weekly colonic. Frank gets a new chance at life -- a new body, a clearer mind, and a soaring spirit in 42 days.

In setting out to help him lose weight and gain health, no one anticipated the impact this one person
s journey would have on the lives of countless others. Frank’s story documents the essence of the human condition and what it means to fall in love again.


The gender-bending world of female pandakas (transgressive homosexuals) is not limited to America. The wild west of San Francisco and other American cities may get the most attention, but gays live everywhere.

The impulse, choice, or innate inclination seems rooted in the results of karma (vipaka), but individuals will certainly have their own explanations. Whatever the reason, tolerance and acceptance are called for.

We judge to our detriment. We discriminate and this becomes our karma -- leading in the future to our own discomfiting inclinations. We reap what we sow, and face what we have been: If we discriminate, we will be discriminated against; if we judge, we will be judged; if we hate, we will be the victims of hate.

() The not-so-sexy face of real lesbianism in America

Lesbians are less understood and somewhat less despised than male homosexuals, but the root issues are the same for us as a culture accommodating all individuals. Some yearn for a pure society free of all "undesirables." It exists when ALL are desirable. It does not exist when some are labelled, but striving for it creates a great deal of turmoil.

Our police hypocritically seek out "miscreants" and "rejects" the society creates (such as traumatized children who turned to drugs, obesity, or crime when they grew up), and everyone suffers for it. Lesbians may be strange or fascinating enough to most people to bring up the larger issues we normally cannot bear to confront as other "repulsive" counter-culture activists demand attention.

And these Nordic women, who may look "American," are in fact Dutch (and butch) Scandinavians from liberal-loving Denmark, the land of dikes (not to be confused with dykes). Left out of the conversation, however, are the xenoestrogens in plastics and other environmental (chemical) impacts on the unborn which affect gender expression later in life. Body and mind (and karma) interact.

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