Control Complex

Far into the rabbit hole many have gone to enter a world that only a cinematic production can truly encompass in its psychoanalytic, oedipal glory. Becoming John Malcovich, written by the cult screenwriter Charlie Kaufman, has become one that many cannot deny seeing once more. Not to marvel in its oddity, but to finally understand the evolution of the plot and the references being made throughout it; even if it takes one, two, or three more viewings to do so. Every sentence being said is laced with the life works of Jung, Freud, and Eagleton, thus strengthening the psychoanalytic elements within the characters and within the storyline. Yet the only way to truly grasp the nature of Becoming John Malcovich is watching it, ready to learn more about the psyche and its properties. I encourage all who wish to embark on such an evaluating journey to watch such a masterpiece. Therefore you can create your own interpretations of our sexual frustration, repression, and transference as human beings.

The most driving, and compelling force throughout the entire film is the “vaginal quality” when inside the mind of one actor, John Malcovich. Whomever experiences the sensation, no matter the gender or sexual orientation, is automatically changed with who they are and what they stand for. Craig was once an unemployed puppeteer who was then turned into a crazed stalker. Lottie was once a pet store employee who then became a lesbian lover. But Maxine, who never willingly-experienced the Malcovich mind, was the one I find most fascinating.

While she did not go through a drastic transformation, Maxine evolved with the new findings of such a portal. The way she viewed his mind as a monetary fund in the instant she discovered its power, is almost demonic and diabolical. Who would ever want to enter someone’s mind when we have a difficult time uncovering our own? Who would even allow it to happen, when many only wish for privacy? The complete exploitation of John Malcovich’s mind and spirit can be traced directly to the one and only Maxine. While yes, Craig was the one to find the door to a world unknown, it was Maxine who saw it as an opportunity of wealth, strength, and control when it was not hers to take in the first place.

I also prompt the question, why does Maxine only stay with Craig once he is in Malcovich? And why does she start to enjoy Lottie’s company when in his mind? She seems to derive pleasure by controlling others, which she had over Craig, Lottie, and Malcovich himself. No matter the circumstances, Maxine valued her gains rather than what the effect may linger upon her multiple lovers.

Maxine’s narcissistic attitude and egotistical demeanor only tainted whatever she touched. But why so? What made her obsessed with control and wild with ambition? It must be part of the human psyche, yet what sanction? As we search for what may fuel such a mentality, remember that there is never a definitive answer to a complex set of ideas. We can only try our best to understand the human mind, and the triggers that play into our daily lives.


Link to Becoming John Malcovich Trailer:

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Dear Little Sister

Dear little sister,

Those freckles that lay upon your nose…do you see? Those are angels’ kisses, signs of love’s protection and security. And those careless red curls? The ones that seem to have a mind of their own as they toss in the breeze? Those show your vibrancy, your vitality, your fun-loving nature, some of the traits that make you you. As the years pass and the times go I have witnessed your transformation as the annoying little sister to the sophisticated young woman you are today, always being characterized by those freckles and those red curls. But lately, it seems as if your spirit has been stolen from you. The light behind your eyes is lost and the spark of your smile is no longer present. The look you give to your reflection in the mirror can kill, especially as your hands roam over your stomach and face. You hate what looks back at you with each judgment passed. You try to erase who you are by placing cover-up over the bridge of your nose and straightening the curl out of your hair. And the tears that streak your face as you beg to God, and plead to me, only fall heavier than the night before. No longer are you Chloe, but a distant self, one whose focus is on advertisements, boys, and attention.

I understand where you are coming from, I truly do. I once was you. Struggling to find beauty in what seemed to be an empty, vacant vessel. Never thinking I would surmount to anything when friends found boyfriends or when peers gained popularity. It does not seem fair that they are the ones who are blessed as you ache for such recognition. But Chloe, you are far more beautiful than you realize. You can offer so much to this world, and you do not even see it. It kills my own spirit whenever I see you goggle over a Victoria Secrets model and then compare your body to hers’. Because you are more than just a pretty face, but a girl who has a sea of opportunity to show yourself the worth you always had.

Men epitomize lust, want, desire in the darkest way possible. Their sexual beasts control their thoughts and actions without a second notion, especially among boys in their early to late teens, the same age as you. So as they associate themselves with young girls, like yourself, they begin to use their wit and charm. It will seem like they care, or they are interested, or they believe you are beautiful – which may all be true – but always consider the facts. Human beings are controlled by our primitive needs of hunger, safety, and sex. Despite what it may appear, they are continually driven by their sex drive. And what girl would want to be chosen out of a selection of libido?

Girls dream about the fanatical mystery of finding Prince Charming, and we become gullible by doing so. Not realizing love and lust are two separate entities. Especially once we reach that age where dating is acceptable, girls trust the partners to guide them through the transition. They do not take their love lives into their own hands, thinking the males in the relationship are all-knowing and experienced. But in reality, boys do not know right from wrong, good from bad concerning the treatment of young women. So they reach out to social medias to train them, groomed to be “womanizers”, “players”, and “hunks”. Nonetheless, women flock to these animals believing it is okay, it is alright to be treated like a piece of meat. Why is that? Is it the lack of parental supervision in their child’s life? Or is it the absence of teaching chivalry and class among both sexes as they grow older?

Do not base your worth or your value on the thoughts of the boys in your life. They are young and immature as they go through each interaction with an egotistical attitude, thinking they have you wrapped around their finger. Always remember the best way of navigating through men is taking each on its own merit. There are boys who fit the description of narcissistic flirts. And there are boys who value a mind and a soul in a woman. They are rare in species, but once you meet the right one, you will not want to let go. Because the one you want to impress is the boy you want to marry, start a family with, and grow old together.

Keep in mind that the chances of finding your Prince Charming in high school are fairly rare. Know when that day comes, whether it be in five or ten years, to be yourself. Do not try to be someone you are not. You want the man of your dreams to embody sophistication, class, heart, intelligence, kindness. Not to have pants around his ankles and a tattoo on his forehead. Good guys are out there in the world; they are somewhere. But at sixteen, focus on your life and who you wish to be. Do not search for “him”, because he will be placed in your life when you least expect it. And when that time comes, you will know that he is the one.

Remember that the man in your life will also love the way you look like without makeup, thinking you are the most beautiful woman. Which will only boost your self-confidence and the way you view yourself. But more importantly, you should be comfortable and proud of the features upon your face and the shape of your body, without the confirmation of any man. You were made in the image of God, but with a unique set of looks that no one else shares. The birth mark on your leg, the unruly eyebrows upon your face, the curves near your hips were given with you in mind. The fashion industry, television, and magazines have created a false sense of beauty that is unreachable for girls of different nationalities and family traits. ‘Beautiful’ women must be a size 0, 5’11”, no curves, long hair, with high cheekbones in the eyes of the media. Then what happens with the shorties, the curvacious, the pixie cuts? They are considered ugly or forbidden in association with such an industry. But those are the “unconventional” beauties that walk the streets, far from the requirements of high fashion. And those are the ones all women should aspire to be. They are different, unique, and gorgeous in their own way. The confidence in the looks they were born with is what makes them unbelievably beautiful in my eyes. They are the ones who have not gotten breast augmentations, nose configurations, or any plastic surgery of any kind. They are the ones who are proud to show off a thicker brow, a darker skin color, or a pair of chubby cheeks.

The industry does not depict the women of the world, since it is not a real representation of diversity’s beauty. So why relate your looks back to ones that are manufactured and photo-shopped with each advertisement? You are beautiful in your own right and your own way. There is no need to feel inferior when looking at billboards of half-naked women, because you are the one who is beautiful with the clothes on and the makeup off. Remind yourself of the beauty you see when going to the grocery store or filling up your tank, because these are the women we all need to look up to.

While looks influence our perception of ourselves, we should not base our worth in such a timely sanction. Our beauty is fleeting with age, but our mind is continually absorbing information and continually growing in knowledge. So I would like you to open your heart and mind to the power of literature. Reading a piece of writing can enlighten one’s ideologies, truths, and misconceptions. It reveals another world where people can delve into vast amounts of issues that people have faced for centuries, the battle between evil and good, black and white, wrong and right. Writers, such as Naomi Wolf in “The Beauty Myth”, have even used their works to convey the media’s toxicity upon young girls of this generation. There are books, stories, novellas, and articles that are easily identifiable in a world where, at one point or another, feel completely misunderstood.

Education, as a whole, is a chance to mature through inquiries and reasoning which is applicable with whatever path you wish to take. But a bachelor’s degree, an esteemed educational route, can provide a plethora of career opportunities which brings about a sense of stability, and a feeling of intellect. A person should feel much more secure in their mind because at the end of the day, you only have yourself. The confidence in your knowledge and experiences you have gained is what makes up who you are. Looks do not constitute a person. A boyfriend does not constitute a person. Only intelligence and personality have the power and the order to make up the best person you can possibly be.

As you go about your day getting ready in front of a mirror, stare and see the beauty in its reflection. You are gorgeous with the unruly eyebrows, the freckle-specked face, and the crazy, long red curls. Throw away the cover-up, throw away the straightening iron, throw away the scale, and be comfortable as who you were born to be – a confident, enthusiastic, social butterfly who will prosper wherever you may go. Just remember as you grow older, the only way you will thrive is by valuing education and valuing yourself. Because you were born to be loved, no matter the circumstances. I will always be there for you.

– Your big sister






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Transcending Over Time

Bigotry- the prejudice that is embedded in our veins and then cycled through our actions, thoughts, and ideas without a second notion. Negro. Wetback. Cracker. Dink. Terrorist. All derogatory racial terms that hold a sting of pain and ache of racism to those whom they refer to. But to the majority, they are indirect references to overtly unjust oppression.

Throughout history pioneers of open love and complete understanding have forfeited lives of solitude for the fight of freedom. Eleanor Roosevelt, Richard Aoki, W.E. Dubois are only few of the thousand that have left behind an footprint for us to follow. Yet there is one who has roused attention to a much neglected minority, and has not only influenced the African American community but others, even till this very day. Martin Luther King Jr. has led a nation through the darkest of storms in the hopes of finding harmony amongst genders, ethnicities, sexual preferences, and religions. Speech after speech he established a voice of wisdom and intelligence for the unspoken generation, especially with the “Birmingham Speech.”

While critically refuting all accusations, Martin Luther King Jr. argues against the clergymen, his colleagues of God, to defend direct nonviolent action and the healing properties of such. Yet the clergymen are not the ones who have mulled over the letter’s meaning. Decades of the shaken, the fearful, the persecuted are the listeners of such a profound message. And as of this moment, the Communist Party of China has instilled an inferiority within its societies’ psyche. As scholars begin to notice the falsities with a communist government, they wish to morph it. Chinese students have then analyzed any sort of documentation that may provide direction in their quest, and the “Birmingham Speech” is one. But why is a speech, written in the 1960s, being applied to problems in this day and age? Why does it transcend through time, space, culture, and language? What makes it that “special”?

A heart that desires a brighter day or a silver lining is also desiring a better tomorrow, one of sanctity, compassion, and happiness. As a mother, you wish for your child to attend a school without a bully. As a teenager, you wish to have the freedom to express individuality. But as a human, you wish for a life beyond worth and about acceptance. Martin Luther King Jr. acknowledges the fact that his overall mission is to be able to break free from the binds of inequality and bask in justice. His goodwill for the faith of humanity trumps all doubts and fears. To “live in monologue rather than dialogue” brings about a vision of negotiation, and soon compromise. Since all progression in societal values and social norms stems from a two-way give and take. Many countries who do not express the same sentiment, like China or Syria, have those who can relate to a text about submission and the resonating effects that last for a lifetime.

 A mind sways once a methodical evidence is discovered. To create a great sense of understanding and knowledge, one must deconstruct historical events to find inconsistencies in the opposing argument. In return, it validates one’s own consistency and credibility as, in this case, a victim of prejudice in the 1960’s till the recent day. Martin Luther King Jr. demonstrates forensic logic within the speech by referencing to World War II, a time period forever studied on a worldwide scope. The Nazi Party constructed a set of laws under the advisement of one Adolf Hitler, which included heinous acts of gas chambers and human experiments. But since those actions were considered “legal”, it does not make them moral or just. Rather, it makes it more psychotic when banking on extreme hypocrisy and strong power to fulfill one’s wishes. By divulging such a disgusting truth, Martin Luther King Jr. claims that a government does not always have the best intentions in mind for their people. Instead, they are accomplishing their own selfish dreams of superiority and control. Till this day, the struggle between goodwill and personal gain is prevalent. To those who justify these actions of mass prejudice, the “Birmingham Speech” shows that there is a difference with just and unjust laws. And that it is not the fault of the person being persecuted, but the ones who forbid such freedoms to be played.

Emotion’s ying is to logic’s yang as they play with the heart as well as the mind. But once the two blend, it forms a text that many connect to, even if it is an implied relation. Such as how the protesters of “Occupy Wall Street” and the fighters of women’s rights are taking their reflection they may see, and applying it to their own lives. The moment where other can see themselves within a piece, it is history in the making. 

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Why I Write

I wish to delve into my subconscious and retrieve my most monstrous lie, theory, fascination, obsession, creation, inhibition, and discover it completely by accident within my own writing. To have the moment where things come full circle and make sense in a world where sense is hiding. To have life become a little clearer in a mess of fuzziness. That is what I am reaching for – clarity, self-awareness, inner-sanctity. Ripping text with bare teeth and claw can leave my inner most beings of who I once was, who I am, and who I wish to be. But it does not need to be my own writings to find myself within. And it surely will require determination, motivation, and stamina to succeed in such a quest. But the result may not include our most raw selves, but something far bigger and expansive. Something many search far, but few find: Truth.

Where is truth when tearing apart a piece of work? But more importantly, what is “Truth”, coveted in all its being? Some may consider Truth the act of progressing through a text. Others may decipher it as the ending thematic result of a passage. Few may even say that it is what you make of it, as vague and uninteresting as that may seem. Love, Theology, Science, Gold, and Wine – all truths in one way or another, but it is the Truth? Pure. Unscathed. Uncensored. Truth.

I hope to uncover what Truth may be in writing, whether its detailed to one passage or generalized to all pieces. Yes, it is a very questionable subject that lacks boundaries or borders or guidelines. And anything can fall under the umbrella of Truth…Is that not what creative writing is all about? About being open-ended. Sharing one’s thoughts. Carrying different perspectives. Never having a definitive point. Ready for interpretation. Seeing others’ ideas would only shine a brighter light on Truth – whatever “Truths” those may be.

To the bold, to the analytic, to the curious: embark with me as pens take flight. Our journey starts now.


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