Strange Days are Here Again

As a college student in the early nineties — I classified myself as a theater major because my love for film and the theatrics surrounding its evolution surpassed my understanding.

I was completely immune to anything outside of the language of expression that subtly gave meaning to human involvement — in ways that is tragically lacking in this period of mandatory tracking and recollection.

My favorite films will always be recognized as classics that helped propel the mission of vivid storytelling.

Think Pulp Fiction, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, She’s Gotta Have It, Muriel’s Wedding, The English Patient, Trainspotting, Reality Bites, Love Jones and Strange Days.

Think a little harder about the last one.

In 1995 — Kathryn Bigelow was just becoming the respected filmmaker that she is today. Her relationship with industry heavyweight James Cameron had plateaued from personal to professional — and the script he wrote about an apocalyptic period of frenzied voyeurism through the lens of a street thug desperate for cash and glory — was destined to crash land into theaters under the direction of his former lover.

Strange Days featured an eclectically sound cast that included British heartthrob Ralph Fiennes, Angela Basset, Vincent D’Onorfio, Glenn Plummer and Juliette Lewis.

The plot didn’t follow the blueprint of a certified hit but, over time — the qualities that rendered the film useless during its release — accumulated into a goldmine.

We are currently embodying the seeds of what constitutes the oddest patterns of our existence.

Strange Days is set in Los Angeles at the cusp of the millennium. The streets are overrun with abandonment and the wildness of positioned victimhood.

A heralded and prolific black rapper is shot dead by corrupt White cops who view him as a societal threat.

Sound familiar?

The system is in overdrive as hungry polluters now have access to footage that depicts disturbing real life images and happenings that remain organically distorted.

There is no censorship or limitation to the value of what is being viewed and despite the damning evidence — law enforcement and government agencies still manage the coerced reactions accordingly.

The hero and heroine do what they must to conquer instituted evil but, in the end — even their passionate kiss amidst the affecting reunion — surrounded by bizarrely erected launches of Armageddon-inspired signals — can’t protect electrocuted nerves.

The closing credits played out to perfection by Peter Gabriel and Deep Forest to the tune of While The Earth Sleeps — only helps to entice wanderers with the tale of the future — that will eventually crumble — with the bits fitted to accommodate passengers of wanderlust and acquired discontent.

Strange Days are here to stay.

The current climate has initiated my quest to beg for the re-release of a film that details exactly how and when we lost our way as a nation.

We were destined for utter destruction.

That sounds way more dramatic than necessary but, the country with the anthem that aches more hearts beyond repair — is now at the command of headlights and alarms that respond without mercy.

It’s so Strange to claim citizenship with pride and confidence when your own kind struggles to breathe amid the debris of hate and approved brutality.

1995 seems like an eternity ago but when you fathom the script that was supposed to hold the secrets of the future — you can almost hear the applause of detractors who prayed for the unimaginable to come true.

Is Hollywood a cult of ill-wishes?

Perhaps. Either way — our fairytales and nightmares have the power to assuage the narrative’s quest for validation.

We have arrived at the destination of cryptic mishaps that dock at the trolling station.

You hate me and I hate you more.

The sky is blue and the sun still shines — but it burns. As we peel away the layers of dead skin — we realize there is nothing beneath the surface.

It gets even stranger after that but, you need to survive the scalding to find out what happens next.

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