Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Purple Ooze: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 & Stacey Moans

Why do the turtles wear masks? Symbolically speaking, masks actually reveal, rather than conceal. Whenever a character in a film wears a mask, they are actually revealing, rather than concealing, a true part of their character; so, why do the turtles wear masks (you would think they would want to conceal being giant walking turtles, but the masks around their eyes hardly do that)? Because their eyes are accentuated, it means our eyes should be accentuated to, i.e., there is something we should be looking at or for, such as their real talents, and not being mutations from the animal kingdom; why? This is a lesson we should apply in our daily lives as well, namely, seeing others for their real selves, not the superficial qualities they have (skin color, beauty or lack of beauty, male or female, all the things which liberals are pushing as the "true identity" markers of a person, rather than who a person is in their inner-most being; why? Because liberals can't control your ascent in wisdom, but they can control people they identify as minorities, but the turtles refuse to do that, and so should we). In other words, we are being reminded to see others as we ourselves want to be seen.
We have discussed this before, but now is the perfect time to analyze why "teenage, mutant, ninja, turtles" is so perfect and makes such great sense, especially if we start at the end of the description and work our way backwards. First, "turtles" have long been a symbol for meditation and the interior lifestyle. First because they carry their house with them in the shell on their back, so we can learn a lesson from them about "retreating from the world" as they retreat into their shells. Second, turtles move slowly, and the pace contradicts the hurried pace the rest of the world tries to force upon us (yes, even in ancient times, this was true). Given the qualities of a turtle, the strengths of the "ninja" are more apparent: a ninja cannot attain to the high level of fighting standards for which they are known without the life of meditation and self-reflection, so even though the fast moves and speed of a ninja seem out of place for a turtle, without the turtle's focus, steady determination and inner-reflections, the ninja couldn't emerge. While the "humanoid" turtles are really, really mutants, we have to remember that, on a smaller scale, you and I are both mutants as well: we are singular individuals, and you have your gifts that no one else has, just as I have my gifts no one else has. Each of us grow and develop in ways no one else does, and that should be embraced: we can't all be Superman or Black Widow, but Superman also can't be you, and Black Widow can't be me. Only through the interior life, and fighting the battles of the spiritual life, can we find our "mutation" and embrace it. So, why "teenage?" Because thees lessons should begin as early as possible in life. The longer we wait to discover who we are, the longer it takes to discover what we are meant to do, which means, the less time to do it. So, being a "teenage, mutant, ninja, turtle," actually makes perfect sense and is something we should all strive for in our own lives.
This post could have far greater detail, but there are two things upon which I would like to focus: first, the mis-interpretation of the name of character Casey Jones, and what the moment says of the film; secondly, the symbolic analysis of  the "purple ooze," the serum compound used to make people into animals and animals into people.
It's probably not realistic that a hockey player could beat a team of ninjas, but that's not the point: the point is, rather, that there is Jones, who has an identity and works for good, and then there are these faceless, nameless, identity-less people who work for bad. We've seen these ninjas before: they are the motorcyclists wearing all black in Mission Impossible Rogue Nation, and the storm troopers in Star Wars: the Force Awakens. When there is a "faceless" villain, it's because they have been eaten by the darkness of their soul. Please recall in Fast and Furious 6 when Dom's team fight on that airplane and the longest runway in the world, and as the team defeats members of Owen Shaw's gang (played by Luke Evans) the bad guys fall into that darkness because they are a part of that darkness. Granted, Jones wears a mask in this scene pictured above, however, he has a specific role to play on a team: he is an individual that is part of a greater whole where everyone has a role and job to do; that's healthy and constructive. In Shredder's camp, however, when someone falls, they are worthless and they just run over them with no regard for their fallen colleague. Why is any of this important? Individuals are stronger than masses. Rush Limbaugh is an infinitely stronger single individual than the zombie horde of liberals who vehemently hate him. As long as America continues to emphasize the virtues of individuality--and respect for genuine individuality in others, not "false" individuality that liberals celebrate--we will remain a strong nation protecting one another and the rights of others. This is what is at stake in liberalism and this feeds the importance of the "purple ooze." 
When Casey Jones shows up and defends news reported April O'Neil (Megan Fox) from some ninjas she angered when she stole their purple ooze, Jones uses his hockey equipment to do so, and for a very good reason. If you remember a film called The Heat with Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock, the the pro-socialist film had various images of Jesus Christ on velvet backgrounds playing sports, hockey being one of them. The point of their "joke" was that people who are aggressively competitive have built that into our religion and use it as a means of ministering the "virtues" of competition to those who prefer giving trophies to everyone who has shown up.
This is the villain, Krang, and what a perfect symbol of socialism he is. Please click on the image to expand for easier viewing. Krang is a dis-embodied brain with a robotic human for transport. In the top image, we see Krang the conqueror in full uniform with the "brain" being in the stomach area, rather than the cranium (more on this in a moment). When Krang is emerged, he looks like a piece of wadded up Bubbilicious chewing gum with tentacles (like the octopus symbols of both HYDRA in the Captain America and Marvel Universe, and SPECTRE in the James Bond universe). When the turtles first meet Krang (image three), Mikey knocks on the glass enclosure in which Krang keeps himself; Mikey looks in and sees his own reflection (image four) and then Krang's big eye stares back at Mikey (image five). This is the perfect socialist villain. When Mikey knocks on the door, it's like any optimistic person wanting to do good "checking out" what socialism is: what is socialism? That is harder to answer, because what happens is, you see your own reflection, that is, you see what you want to see and imagine being done what you yourself would do ("They won't take our guns and use our defenselessness to put "undesirables" in concentration camps, it's just to keep us safe from the criminals," or "They are only going to take the money of the really, really rich people, and rich people who are bad and don't deserve to be rich, and give that money to good poor people who have just had a rough time of it in life and need a helping hand, they aren't going to force all of us into poverty and keep the money for themselves,").  Then, we see the evil eye of surveillance and cruelty staring back at us only after it's too late. Krang being a "brain-in-a-vat," (one of the beloved symbols of socialism used in the 1950s sci-fy genre) denotes socialism because socialism itself was an intellectual problem worked out on paper by Karl Marx, it's not something that naturally happened on its own in nature in human relationships (which is why it always has to be forced upon people through bloody, violent revolutions). The robotic humanoid body Krang occupies is the relationship of a parasite to its host, a relationship which Krang wants to expand through his conquest of earth.. How do the turtles stop him? By "playing" a game they learned when they were growing up, a game of discipline and team work, because those two qualities are ultimate what will always bring down socialism and save the world from the miseries it seeks to impose. 
Jones' hockey defense scene demonstrates the real meaning of our gifts and unique individuality: just as each of the turtles comes to the realization of their own talents and how to fuse their identity within the team of brotherhood (which is what we see in both Captain America: Civil War and X-Men: Apocalypse) so Casey Jones and his athletic abilities also get highlighted, as a direct response to The Heat. We are given skills, talents and gifts for reasons, and we are meant to use them. This leads us to Stacey Moans.
April is actually a very edgy character: in a day when most Americans no longer trust reporters to provide an accurate view of reality and the truth, April's desire to track down what is really going on and risk losing her job for it (the first film) is truly admirable and a slap in the face to reporters in reality. April O'Neil is, in other words, an attack on contemporary reporters who fail to do their job and use their position as enablers rather than protectors, because if April wasn't doing her job, the turtles wouldn't have anything to do with her.
After Jones has defeated the ninjas and sent them off running, O'Neill asks what his name is; with his mask still one, it sounds like he says, "Stacey Moans," rather than "Casey Jones." This is a joke, but it's one with an agenda. In this age of liberalism, where art is being re-distributed to minorities (as the case with the all-female Ghostbusters, or minorities being given roles once played by white men) the film makers might have actually been pressed to make the character of Casey Jones a female for "diversity." But no, they didn't. By having Casey Jones momentarily NOT be Casey Jones, they emphasized their decision to go with a white heterosexual male instead of one of the darlings of liberalism. So, they have specifically made the character, NOT female. The feminist Stacey moans that this is an all-male hero-action cast, but the film makers didn't budge. As a female myself, and my own name being Kasey, good for them.
Now, the purple ooze.
Dr. Stockman (Tyler Perry) theorizes that each of us still has an animal gene within us from evolution, and when the purple ooze is used on us, that activates the animal gene, turning us from human into animals. We know this is false logic because it's the exact opposite for the turtles, but they have always been turtles and don't have a human gene to turn them human when the purple ooze is tried out by Donatello (more on this below). The purple ooze is merely a literary device to illustrate how Rocksteady and Bepob are all ready animals and the ooze used on them brings out what was not-so-far beneath the surface: their piggish and hoggish behavior. Why a pig and a wart hog? Because that's what liberals are, and that's what the "purple ooze" of liberal entitlement turns people into: pigs and hogs who think they deserve everything and sacrifice their dignity to being cared for as animals. Rocksteady's hair is totally un-kept, and knowing that hair symbolizes out thoughts, we quickly see how Rocksteady's thoughts are un-kept as well: he's all over the place and never even thinks to complain that his rights have been violated in being turned into a pig without his consent or how Shredder treats him, he just takes it. We know the color purple symbolizes both suffering and a king, because a good king will suffer for his people, not make his people suffer for him. Bebop's mohawk suggests he has a one-track mind, that is, all he thinks about is himself, because there is no hair anywhere else on his head; the purple color indicates that, far from wanting to suffer, he wants to be treated like royalty and we see this demonstrated as he attempts promoting himself throughout the film.
Rocksteady (the trashy-looking white guy) and Bebop (the purple mohawk) are small time criminals looking to advance their way up. They escape at the same time Shredder does and so Shredder recruits them to be errand boys, which is exactly what they have been and don't want to be anymore; why is this important? There is no advancement in socialism. None. Those who are at the top (party members), stay at the top, and those at the bottom (the workers), stay at the bottom,... oh, wait: liberals tells us that's how capitalism works, don't they? Yea, they fail to mention that it's even worse in socialism because the government keeps everyone exactly where they want them. The purple ooze, however, best demonstrates what really happens to those who follow liberalism. So, what is the purple "ooze?"
Dr. Stockman wants to make a name for himself by doing something really great, and he imagines how his name is going to little all the names of great men who have come before him. Why is this an important detail? Because that's also what Tyler Perry, the actor portraying Stockman, wants for himself. In other words, Perry isn't in film to make high-quality cinematic contributions to the Hollywood community, rather, he is using cinema to get rich and famous, which is why all his films have his name in the title: Tyler Perry Presents. . .  and that's not what any of us should do in whatever  it is we do in life. We have to be concerned with making genuine, worthwhile contributions to the whole of humanity in whatever field we excel, for the greater good, not our own advancement. When the brotherhood of humanity realizes the debt of gratitude owed to an individual who has made great strides in whatever area, then the individual is ready to receive the honor humanity wants to bestow. When, however, someone is determined to take what they feel they deserve, they haven't done anything worthwhile and they have failed to prepare themselves for it. If you invent a cure, for example, if you are ready to receive an outpouring of gratitude for developing it, then receiving the gratitude won't matter to you, because you have all ready received the satisfaction of knowing you have made an immense contribution to the well-being of others, and that is what will be important to you. 
The means of enslavement.
Krang, the alien warlord who is going to enslave all of humanity and temporarily uses Shredder as his own errand boy, just as Shredder used Bebop and Rocksteady, provides the purple ooze to Shredder to help him develop an army to overcome the turtles stopping him. Krang assures Shredder that Stockman is clever enough to figure out how to use it; why? For two reasons: first, Stockman will figure out a way because he's desperate for fame and recognition. He believes that, if he becomes famous and successful enough, he will basically get anything/everything he wants (when April, in disguise, approaches him, he mentions that girls like her aren't interested in guys like him, but when she demonstrates that she does know who he is, he believes he has a "shot" with her). Secondly, Stockman is played by Tyler Perry, and Tyler Perry "knows all about slavery" and turning people into animals: his cinematic work like The Haves and the Have-Nots, Temptation, I Can Do Bad All By Myself and Diary Of A Mad Black Woman, and being the divisive liberal he is, he's going to do everything he can (rather like Quentin Tarantino in Django Unchained) to cause problems between blacks and white, rich and poor, the literate an the illiterate.
So how does the "ooze" enslave?
At the beginning of the film, it's Halloween, and a parade takes place (invoking Spectre again with the Day of the Dead parade) and Mikey goes above the sewer and out into the open to look around and be part of the parade; he sees someone dressed like the Transformer Bumblebee; why? Of all the costumes the film makers could have chosen to have in that parade, why did they have the transformer Bumblebee? Because, like the turtles, the transformers also hide, they don't reveal their true identities but to a select few. Bumblebee seems to be telling Mikey, "Look, bro, don't sweat it, this is the way being a hero happens to us all."
It doesn't.
It does, however, reveal what you are all ready enslaved to. For example, Donnie (the purple, brainy one) is enslaved to his limitations, rather than his abilities; how can we say this? When he demonstrates the ooze's "power," he drops some on his hand, so instead of having "claw-paws" like a turtle, he suddenly has human hands, which is one of the necessary, defining features of humans from animals: our thumbs (if you have seen Spectre, when Dave Bautista's character Hinx uses his thumbs to gauge out the eyes of another assassin; he does this in illustration how he has sacrificed his humanity to revert back to being an animal, by not using his uniquely human gifts--his thumbs--to be a human and respect other humans; we can see the struggle with this duality in Mowgli and his frustrations living with the wolf pack in The Jungle Book).
Vern is the perfect example of what happens to someone who gets everything they want when they don't deserve it. What Vern did do in the first film to help April and the turtles is a perfect example of how each of us can rise to the occasion and find greater strength and courage than we ever thought possible; but there is also the problem of taking credit for what you didn't do. While it was the agreed-upon arrangement to keep the turtles' identities a secret, Vern getting the credit for saving NYC from Shredder turned him into an ego-maniacal jerk, and that's what happens when your interior life fails to develop, you don't fulfill your destiny (the soul's capacity for virtue) so instead of becoming a hero, you become a jerk because you can't bear the weight of success successfully. Staying in the shadows and the sewers helps the turtles learn humility and about themselves and their weaknesses so they are better able to discipline themselves so they don't become jerks. 
So, Donnie doesn't have to say that he wishes he had human hands so he would be a better ninja handling his sword, but the film makers tell us through his actions (please see above caption for more analysis).  Socialism, then, takes what it is you are enslaved to (drugs, sex, basic security, feelings of inadequacy [like Donnie feeling inadequate], the need for amusement [Mikey always wanting to be where the action is, like the parade], or desire for recognition [Raphael upset they are in the sewers when they saved NYC from Shredder]) and uses it against you to create an idea that utopia can and will exist (if Raphael has the ooze, his problems will be solved because then, they won't have to live in the sewer anymore, etc.). So, why don't the turtle brothers take the ooze and turn into humans?
Why a garbage truck? We can say that the turtles live in the "margins" of society: the sewers, the rafters of the basketball court, the dumpster, and the garbage truck highlights how they would be something to be thrown away like garbage but with the nurturing they received from Splinter, they became extraordinary, like "Wise Man" in American Ultra (Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart: Eisenberg's character was going to go to jail for life after his third offense, but the CIA put him through a program that made him an asset to society, rather than a burden). Even though socialists would throw out someone like the turtles due to an inherent lack of worth, they have taken that adversity and made it work for them (so being "garbage" has become the vehicle of their skills and talents). Using man-hole covers as weapons is a sign of "handiness" (conceived by anthropologist Claude Levi Strauss) which indicates intelligence: when you find an alternative use for something other than the explicit purpose for which it was conceived (in this case, not just using the heavy round metal discs for covering up the entrances to sewers, but using their qualities to become flying projectile weapons). Ultimately, because the garbage truck is a vehicle of justice, it illustrates the turtles "taking out the trash" of the villains and helps us remember that we are only trash in our personal lives if we think of ourselves as being trash and we make decisions that harm others (become villains ourselves). 
Reality.
Donnie tells Leo they will loose some of their abilities as turtles if they take the ooze, and, ultimately, he wants to be what he is ("Let me be the bad-ass for once," he tells Raphael, but just one time, he doesn't need to do it everyday). Leo, having the wisdom of leadership, knows we can't be other than what we are, or we are just pretending (a lesson Bruce Jenner needs to heed). Mikey, being the defender of dignity and optimism, knows dignity is absolute: there is no quality to a being's dignity, but a being chooses the amount of dignity they have in their actions, and the ooze isn't going to change that. Raphael, the most insecure of the brothers (which comes out more in the first film than this one), realizes that, in loving his brothers as they are, he truly loves himself the way he is, too, and to change anything about himself would be to disrupt the relationship the four of them have. Although the turtles may not be real life, the lessons they impart are. As simplistic as this is to state, a growing number of Americans would sadly argue with me until their dying breath about it: you can't be that which you are not. In the film, the turtles don't have a "human gene" the ooze can act upon and turn them into humans; in reality, an animal can't be a human, and a human isn't an animal.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner