Last month I wrote about how Michael Wiese Productions, my publisher was assembling a compendium of over 50 of its authors “Top Ten Reasons Why it’s a Great Time to Be a Filmmaker. It’s free and available for downloading and sampling now at http://www.mwp.com/ I’ve already included my contribution last month but here are excerpts from my publisher’s preface to this 124 page e-Book.
Michael has worked in Hollywood and other places, producing Hardware Wars, and many other shows and documentaries on his spiritual journey to Tibet, Peru, and Bali. He’s a terrific person whom I revere. These excerpts from his article show why.
by Michael Wiese
As people all over the globe challenge the underpinnings and practices of banks, stock brokers, and politicians, those of us in media can do our part by challenging the destructive and morally vacant — almost invisible by its pervasiveness — vast meta-program that drives the Hollywood mindset and its output. It’s clear to those who look deeply that the very quality of human life on the planet is dependent upon storytellers (that’s right — you and me) to step up and transform the story mythos of our community.
Mythos is defined as “the characteristic spirit of a culture, era, or community as seen in its beliefs and aspirations.” Hollywood media is one of the largest U.S. exports. Embedded in so-called entertainment are American materialist values that are sold worldwide. More and more people fall under its spell so that now billions of people in India, China, and Africa have been taught to crave the consumerist lifestyle they have enjoyed for decades in American television programs and films…Most of us accept what we are told rather than examine things through our own experience. We have been taught not to trust ourselves.
• To an extraterrestrial observer, the purpose of human life would appear to be to sell things to one another. Perpetual consumerism drives over consumption and over-production. Planned obsolescence creates massive landfills…If the goal is to sell us more of everything, then the result is burgeoning personal debt, obesity, and an insatiable need to acquire more than your neighbor, creating alienation and competition rather than cooperation.
• We live in a world where the dominant force is male-driven. It’s aggressive, competitive, war-mongering, resource exploiting, and based on “may the toughest guy win,” “get it while you can,” “me first” philosophies. It is really any wonder why things are as they are? What’s missing is the female-oriented mythos based on nurturing, cooperation, preservation, and compassion. In the male-dominated media industry hierarchy, only 17% of its executives are female. (If the natural world utilized only 17% of its feminine energies, all life forms would be extinct by now.)
• It’s no surprise that most films, television, news, and commercials are violent, and sexual, and marginalize women in an attempt to convince us to buy more things we don’t need. Our diet of television news generates fear. Videogames teach children killing skills and disregard for life. Commercials and magazines have subverted sexuality (which can be a path to ecstatic divine states) into a kind of bait-and-switch game to flog their products.
• We have become slaves caught in habitual behaviors linked to our electronic machines. None of this is news to you or me. We are aware we are deep in the muck. We know it and we try to keep it at bay, hoping and praying that there will be a technological solution. Surely, someone will invent something. Maybe there will be a new Apple App that will fix it all. We shirk responsibility because we feel powerless to do anything. That’s where the change must come. What is needed is a new paradigm and a remembrance to older paradigms from the wisdom cultures of the world. We need new stories to tell, new visions to put forth, and awakened filmmakers to co-create them. This is where you come in.
The new vision would:
• Celebrate our capacity to be magnificent, compassionate, and generous.
• Welcome women to fully participate in the top decision-making positions in media, government, and all professions, to regain a balance in solving the great challenges before us.
• Convert “weaponry” to “livingry.” Convert national defense budgets to “plowshares” to eliminate hunger, poverty, and homelessness. (The $500+ billion that the U.S. spends annually on the defense budget would make quite a dent.)…The standard of living could be raised worldwide for everyone…At the moment, we can’t see what needs to be done because it’s all around us. Our own beliefs have to first be examined and changed. The filmmaker needs to make a commitment to transform and connect with other parts of his or her own mind in a profound way so that he or she will not just be making the same old stuff.
• Filmmakers and writers can stimulate this transformation by telling fresh stories that envision a world that works for everyone. Things are already headed in this direction, so you will have a tidal wave of energy behind you. Audiences will awaken from their slumber, realizing their own magnificence and power, their connectedness, their natural knowing, and the result can be a global transformation.
• The answers and solutions to our current crisis already exist among us. So in Occupying Hollywood, let’s make a new kind of film, one that envisions a world that works for everyone, where humans, animals, and plants can rejoice in our mutual dependency and interconnectedness. Remember, we live in heaven here on earth — let’s not blow it.
Click here http://www.mwp.com/ to read Michael’s entire article.