Treatment Abuse, Behavior Modification, Thought Reform => Straight, Inc. and Derivatives => Topic started by: Anonymous on September 04, 2003, 02:15:00 AM

Title: "I will not be a victim"
Post by: Anonymous on September 04, 2003, 02:15:00 AM
I watched American Beauty the other night. This movie had always bugged me. I'd rent it and be unable (forgot) to watch it in the alloted rental time. One time I did watch it, but just didn't get the point of the movie. So, this drove me to rent it again recently just to see what was so great about it, ya know? Again I was put off by Kevin Spacey's personality immediately, but I let go of the offense to see what all the hype had been. The mom's obssessive, almost psychotic, personality really grated on me but I suppose this was the point. In suburbia where nothing is quite as it seems... Annette Bening did a wonderful performance in the car where she was chanting over and over "I will not be a victim" (in and out of sync with a self help guru's cassette playing) while loading a gun to seemingly off her husband. This is what got me to post. I sense some dark irony in this scene, but beyond the obvious, what the hell was that supposed to mean? What was that all about? The dysfunction of the characters in the movie reminded me of the Straight family(ies) collective and individual consciences. The main difference of course was that we were the object of the scapegoating which the dad was in the film.
Title: "I will not be a victim"
Post by: 85 Day Jerk on September 04, 2003, 03:09:00 AM
I first saw the movie at a friend's apartment, but wound up buying it for private viewing. I identify with the character of the boy next door who was sent away for "reprograming" by the military father so he could "get with the program."  My father was much the same way, though he was not physically abusive, he would shut off his attention and praise like a faucet whenever it suited him.  I was in my own little world much like the character was in the movie.  While I did not have a videocam, I did have a polaroid Handle and I excelled at taking strange pictures with it.  I would get on my 10 speed on a Saturday morning while the rest of the family slept and pedal the 11.7 miles to St. Pete Beach where I would spend most of the day cruising up and down the island from one end to the other running into high school friends and taking in the sights.  My stepmother was a cold and self centered spoiled bitch like the Annette Benning character who placed her natural sons way ahead of me on her list of priorities, yet could not fathom why we were drifting so far apart or why I introduced her to people as "Carole" instead of calling her mom.  My stepbrother even broke into my fathers bedroom and took a .32 caliber pistol which he placed under his mattress.  For this cute little "phase" he was going through, he was placed on a 5 week long refresher.  If it had been me, I no doubt would have had to find a new home under an overpass.  The unfairness and favoritism got to the point where I moved out when I was still 18, and had my room mates not proved to be so damn unreliable, it would have made for a lasting break away from the family.  I was forced by necessity to move back home.  Back to hell, and when it proved to much and the bipolar disorder took over, my family was gracious enough to let me live in my car.  If they only knew in the years to come, just how many times I stopped in front of the house in the middle of the night, drunk out of my mind and staring at the house while thumbing the sparkwheel of a cigarette lighter, they would no doubt wake up screaming at least once a week to this day.  I gave up everything to be a part of this American Beauty and walked away empty handed.
Title: "I will not be a victim"
Post by: Froderik on September 04, 2003, 09:36:00 AM
Never saw this movie, now I'll have to check it out when I get the chance. Reading your post reminded me of what I went through after getting out (7stepping) of VA straight. I'd been hanging out with some of my old friends and NOT getting high with them, even though they were offering it to me. (weed, that is, for you younger designer-drug-type folks) I think what happened is that I came home one day and was 'honest' about this, and my mom just kicked me out of the house. (If it wasn't because of that, it was for some other stupid reason. My memory is a bit hazy on why she kicked me out) I was 18, and looking for a place to live. An old friend put me up for a night and let me finish doing the laundry that I had to pull out of my mom's washer. I ended up living with my dad until I found a place to live in a group house on 27th and Howard. My dad dropped me off a mile north of there, and I carried my garbage bag full of clothes down to that area. It was a year and a half before I could (or wanted to, for that matter) live back with my mom. She needed help in a deli that she'd opened downtown. So life went on and I remember years later getting back from being a roadie on US tour with Lungfish and her telling me I couldn't live there.
Some friends took me in and I kept drifting around into my late 20's, never having anything going for me but music. Take care Bob,

Alex from Balto.