1. The culture that speaks to me other than my own? Argentinian. I’m not just fascinated with Eva Peron, political passion and gorgeous Euro-Latino blending. These people (along with most Latinos) have much better emotional expression worked into their very core languages, and they do all the expressive stuff that I love to do and can’t get other white people to do with me. Singing and dancing are very high on that list.
2. The age that resonates with my sensibilities the most is US 1920s. The women’s suffrage movement established that yes, women are free citizens, too. While there was a certain level of hedonism that rose among women at the time, much of it was a thoughtful hedonism, partaking in real freedom. It was not necessarily an act of rebellion but a claiming what choices rightfully their own in the first place, even if those rights included voting, smoking and drinking. Society didn’t fall apart as a result of that – it was banning the booze that started the crumble.
3. The foreign cuisine that tastes like home to me is a combination of Arabic and Mexican. I do my own food fusion thing at home, and I’ve cooked that way long before it was trendy. While we’re not vegetarian, most of the meals I make at home are, and it’s the easiest to compose tasty dishes by pulling elements from those two cultures. It’s also helpful that the street I live on has at least five ethnic groceries.
4. The exotic scents that give me a sense of expansion and well being are sandalwood, jasmine and ginger lily. I got my hands on some genuine ginger lily essential oil once… I wish the grocery I found it at would bring it back.
5. I suppose the only spiritual traditions beyond my own that intrigue me are other forms of witchcraft. Certainly I admire brujeria, but I don’t resent men that much. As a Gnostic Wiccan I’m spiritually pretty satisifed.
6. The music from other cultures that pluck my heart strings? Pakistani pop music and hip-hop fusions get me moving, and I really enjoy African drum music.
7. If I lived in another age, say the 20s, I’d like to be in my 20s so I could vote too. Possibly my 30s, since I like my 30s thus far – it’s a very low bullshit age.
8. In another culture and time I’m still female. I may not be femme but I am a woman in spirit and body.
9. I don’t really seek out period movies so I can’t say I’m a fan per se. The last one I tried to watch was Marie Antoinette, operative word “tried.” But I do love fluffy, brain candy style movies and storytelling.
10. If I were to write a film, setting aside the screenplay I’m going to rewrite and find an agent for… I know it’s a cliche’, but I would write a story about an American family post 9/11 entitled the Art of War. Each section of the movie would be blocked off by one of Sun Tzu’s points on war, and an actual media clip of Bush going against Sun Tzu’s advice. All this would act as a backdrop to a family where the father is struggling with the economic collapse, his son wants to become a soldier and his Wiccan daughter brings home the Arab she’s been dating (and there will be a conversion struggle subplot with them.) I don’t love that period at all. It was the worst time of my life and the worst time to be American in US history. But I have some things to say about it, because in many ways I myself experienced the core culture conflicts of the time, and I believe that we need to see and try a different way of resolving conflict that is not always a win/lose pattern. The film risks losing coherence because it’s trying to microcosm a universe, but so what if I fail? At least I’ll have said what I need to say about that time.