Afro-Futuristic Vision #32 – The Un-thought-of Reality of Science Fiction…
The origin of Science Fiction can be debated, yet the closest approximation of the term’s first use was in 1851 (in Chapter 10 of William Wilson’s A Little Earnest Book upon a Great Old Subject): “Science-Fiction, in which the revealed truths of Science may be given interwoven with a pleasing story which may itself be poetical and true.”
Science Fiction is defined as a genre of fiction with imaginative but more or less plausible content such as settings in the future, futuristic science and technology, space travel, parallel universes, aliens, and paranormal abilities.
Science Fiction allows us to explore possibilities within the development of our world, daily lives and individual selves. When the average person watches or reads ‘Sci-Fi’, they naturally have a tendency to project themselves into the story, melding into the actions and morality of the character they identify with the most. For some, this becomes a way to escape the perception of harsh realities in their life and for others a way to awaken the areas in their psyche that have been dormant and unexpressed. Presently, Sci-Fi is almost a far-cry from the simple mechanisms, beeping lights and clunky space-ships of yesteryear. The genre has branched out to include Horror, Paranormal and Erotic themes in their story-lines. This evolution has mirrored the present view of the world as a global community and one has to ask who has influenced who?
Before going further, let us define the names or roots separately:
c.1300, “knowledge (of something) acquired by study,” also “a particular branch of knowledge,” from O.Fr. science, from L. scientia “knowledge,” from sciens (gen. scientis), prp. of scire “to know,” probably originally “to separate one thing from another, to distinguish,” related to scindere “to cut, divide,” from PIE root *skei- (cf. Gk. skhizein “to split, rend, cleave,” Goth. skaidan, O.E. sceadan “to divide, separate;” see shed (v.)).
late 14c., “something invented,” from O.Fr. ficcion (13c.) “dissimulation, ruse; invention,” and directly from L. fictionem (nom. fictio) “a fashioning or feigning,” noun of action from pp. stem of fingere “to shape, form, devise, feign,” originally “to knead, form out of clay,” from PIE *dheigh- (cf. O.E. dag “dough;” see dough). As a branch of literature, 1590s.
To cut and divide; to separate one thing from another, to distinguish. Fashioning, to kneed, form out of clay, something invented.
Now the interesting thing about the technology of words concerning the lifecycle of this planet on a whole, is the accumulative definition that submerges the actual energy or utterance of the word. Most people when they think of Sci-Fi, the accumulative definition in the memories is of space-ships, laser-guns and Man conquering space. Take a moment to think about that, Man (and when I say Man I mean the whole of the human being both feminine and masculine) needs to conquer what gave birth to him, needs to know more than they are capable of manifesting because they are already given all the information in the working of their own body which is the greatest ‘laboratory’. The accumulative definition of Sci-Fi takes us to a place where we are in touch with beings outside of our world and new ways of living. Something that we cannot touch beyond our scope of reasoning, yet nowadays things that are beyond our touch…we are touching. So how valid is fiction or was the technology of fiction just a cloak or veil. Going back to the root words of Science Fiction and their meanings:
To cut and divide; to separate one thing from another, to distinguish. – Science Fashioning, to kneed, form out of clay, something invented. – Fiction
Science Fiction in the original meaning, although many may have not have seen it, is the process of creation. The use of the right and left hemispheres of the brain. The idea and the physical manifestation.
To cut and divide; to separate one thing from another, to distinguish. – Left Hemisphere
Fashioning, to kneed, form out of clay, something invented. – Right Hemisphere
Culturally it is very important to keep at the centerpiece or foreground of thought for people of Nubian/Afrikan descent this acknowledgement. Science Fiction is a Eurocentric construct of entertainment that feeds off the perception of life from their cultural foundation. And rather than debase and ridicule its reasoning, it is better to recognize your own (Afrikan/Nubian) expression of life and perception especially when writing in this field. The reality is when you label yourself a Black Sci-Fi writer, you may face trying to expand the genre of Science Fiction to include Blacks. It is similar to the Civil Rights Movement, trying to get a people to recognize your self-worth by enforcing law. In actuality the goal is to get your own to recognize their self-worth. Maybe it is best to move forward and say you write Science Fiction from the standpoint of your cultural perspective rather than impose your views within a system that has not taken steps to include your vision. Sometimes I really do not know. Maybe that is the reason I took up the Afro-Futuristic Movement so I do not have to think so much about it. Although, it is interesting that the roots of Science Fiction as the words states are based on Afro-Futuristic Vision or Nubian/Afrikan Principles. Before I go any further, I wish to state that Afrika/Nubia/Kemet/TaMaRe does not have principles, science, psychology, philosophy and math. Those names are constructs that were born from the established expressions of our culture, and our culture dealt on another way of manifestation and expression. Of course, we as a people are coming back to that perception and the only way for us to communicate to have discussion about it, is to use the English language to inner-stand one another. Keeping this in mind will bring about a heightened dimension of perception and expression.
Some say we first entered the Sci-Fi Film genre with the movie Son of Ingagi, which is hailed as the first Black Science Fiction/Horror Film. So I decided to watch it for the first time.
Son of Ingagi (1940) Synopsis: A wealthy old recluse wills her fortune and exceedingly-gloomy house to a pair of newlyweds, Robert and Eleanor Lindsay. Years before, Dr. Jackson had been in love with Eleanor’s father, who was younger than her and did not return her love. N’Gina, an ape-man, Dr. Jackson brought back from Africa drinks a potion she had concocted in her laboratory, for a specific reason, but N’Gina turns on her and kills her, which is not what she had planned. Then he murders her attorney, Bradshaw, who is hunting for $20,000 in gold she had hidden in her gloomy house. Her brother, Zeno, an ex-convict, finds the gold but N’Gina isn’t bothered by the bullets Zeno fires at him and kills him also. Detective Nelson then goes looking for it.
En Gee Na, is the name of the ‘ape-man’ or supposed missing link (at least that’s what I get from his appearance, I could be incorrect)….stop right there…the missing link theory is a western on-going mystery that has involved just about every other person on this planet in a chase to find out how did man make his evolutionary jump. However, the answer to the proposed question by western culture has been answered in Sci-Fi, Manga, Sumerian Text, Dogon Text and so on. The Academic World has the information already they are just spoon-feeding the public. I purposely state it like this to make a point but probably it is lost in lengthy words…so I’ll just say it. The Missing Link question is not a question for the Afrikan/Nubian to ask…has nothing to do with us as far as us needing to know. Has everything to do with us as far as being involved…
Back to Son of Ingagi
Son of Ingagi is a ‘sequel’ to, you guessed it, Ingagi.
Synopsis: An expedition enters an area of the Congo jungle to investigate reports of a gorilla-worshipping tribe. After many dangerous adventures, they come upon the tribe they sought, only to watch as a virgin is sacrificed to a huge gorilla, who takes her away. The expedition follows the gorilla in an attempt to save the woman.
Ingagi was an exploitation film which not only glamourized big-game hunting in the ‘dark continent’ but also painted a possibly corrupted view of the inhabitants of the Congo (the animals and Twa people who are referred to as Pygmies). America’s view into the people of the interior of Africa continued to be twisted by Tarzan and King Kong.
Results of search:
‘”Ingagi” arrived in 1930 to satisfy a hunger for jungle pictures piqued by Theodore Roosevelt’s African safari and fueled by the success of such nickelodeon hits as “Heart of Africa,” documenting a 1915 Kenyan safari by Lady Grace Mackenzie, and “Hunting Big Game in Africa,” a phony account of the Roosevelt trip filmed entirely in a Chicago studio by Col. William Selig, one of the most successful and innovative producers of the day.
As only a handful of zoos and circuses exhibited apes during the early 20th century, movies featuring all forms of monkeys emerged as a popular genre, and some filmmakers, such as William S. Campbell, seemed to specialize in monkey-themed films, with “Monkey Stuff” and “Jazz Monkey,” in 1919, and “Prohibition Monkey” in 1920. Schoedsack warmed up for “King Kong” by directing “Chang” in 1927 (with Cooper) and “Rango” in 1931, both of which prominently featured monkeys in real jungle settings. The debate about evolution at the Scopes monkey trial of 1925 further spurred interest in primate pictures.
Capitalizing on the craze, Congo Pictures Ltd. released “Ingagi.” All advertisements for the film explained that “ingagi” means “gorilla.” And every ad and article stated that the movie documented an authentic, scientific two-year expedition in the Belgian Congo, produced by Sir Hubert Winstead of the Royal Geological Society, who appeared in the film along with American sportsman Capt. Daniel Swayne.
Congo Pictures, formed expressly to make the film, could afford only one print, and it arranged for a two-week run at a theater in San Diego, where it played to more than 40,000 people. But efforts to interest New York-based film distributors failed, and Congo had to book “Ingagi” theater by theater.
Congo rented Chicago’s Garrick Theatre, advertising the film as “an authentic incontestable celluloid document showing the sacrifice of a living woman to mammoth gorillas!” The Motion Picture News credited “lurid lobby advertising depicting a gorilla fondling a near-nude native woman” for drawing crowds to the Garrick.
“Ingagi” was an unabashed exploitation film, almost immediately running afoul of the Hollywood code of ethics created by the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors Assn. (MPPDA), a consortium of the major motion picture studios popularly known as the Hays Office. A week after “Ingagi’s” Chicago debut, the Hays Code was modified to state that: “Sex perversion or any inference of it is forbidden” and “Complete nudity is never permitted.”
The lure of the forbidden
That was a plus for “Ingagi.” Exploitation cinema during Hollywood’s “Golden Age” deliberately dealt with subject matter that the Hays Office prohibited, luring customers to “forbidden spectacle.” And “Ingagi” was loaded with it.’
Ingagi’s director and writer more than likely did not have our best interest at heart with the projection of their ideals on the big screen. And Son of Ingagi was no exception. En-Gee-Na drinks a portion that makes En Gee Na go bonkers and destroy the lab and does away with Dr. Jackson. Meanwhile, others conspire on Robert and Eleanor for their property and the hidden gold. The hour worth of film gave nothing to the community other than a western portrayal of Nubian/Afrikan marriage (separate beds), skullduggery, slapstick and poor old EngiNa burning up in flames. Well at least the newlyweds get the bags of gold and escaped the ridicule of its predecessor Ingagi.
These films have set a dangerous precedence in movies to come because of the already programmed stigma of the Afrikan/Nubian being closely related to apes. If not actual apes. There are many films where a gorilla kidnaps a European woman eventually becomes hounded then killed.
King Kong Mighty Joe Young Nabonga The White Gorilla Bride of the Gorilla The Monster and the Girl Untamed Mistress
And many more..
Each time one of these films played, in the back of the mind of Americans (all Americans), subconsciously they seen a Nubian man kidnapping a European woman. A beast of a man who later was controlled by the woman he held captive…
I cited this film because it is hailed as the First Black Sci-Fi/Horror Film when in fact, it is a Sci-Fi/Horror film with an all Nubian/Afrikan cast and nothing more. In order for a film to hailed as an ‘Black Sci-Fi Film’ it must have more than just the presence of our people in it. It must embody our principles and end with the morality told in our stories. At least this is my opinion, it must have these pre-requistes along with the Internal Technology of the body working in tandem with the Nature around it. With that being said, of the top of my head only two films come to mind: Avatar and Besouro. In these films there is the presence of Internal Technology as well as the principles of our people.
My point has another side….Movies program your brain…
Here are some results from searches (the following information is not my own and belongs to its rightful creators):
#5. No, You Can’t Separate Fact from Fiction #4. Stories Were Invented to Control You #3. The Writer of a Story Always Has an Agenda #2. You Were Raised — and Educated — by Pop Culture #1. Everything in Your Brain Is a Story
1. They Can Ruin Your Health
Studies have shown that adrenalin junkies get real pleasure out of being scared by horror movies, but in a variety of ways they may be risking their physical and mental health without even knowing it. When we watch an intense scene in a film our heart rate and blood pressure increase. This can and does lead to heart attacks, in people who have cardiovascular weaknesses. Those links are just two examples of people people who keeled over dead during The Passion of the Christ.
Even if you are young and healthy, watching horror movies can mess with you in ways you didn’t expect. When you get scared your adrenaline and cortisone levels spike. This in turn can dredge up repressed traumatic memories. The change in your brain chemistry reminds you of times when it was in a similar state, even if you had no idea you even had those memories. So if you have some really horrible event in your past that terrified you, being scared again by a movie can inadvertently make you relive it.
If your past is trauma-free but you’ve been depressed before, even tearjerkers should be avoided. A study found that people who had been depressed in the past were more likely to ruminate over the tragic parts of movies. This in turn may have been a contributing factor if and when they returned to a depressive state.
2. They Can Improve Your Health
Okay, you’ve seen hundreds of movies and you’re fine, so it can’t all be bad, right? Of course not, there are also health benefits to watching films. Comedies, for example, help lower your blood pressure; when you laugh for extended periods of time your blood vessels dilate. Intense laughter for 15 minutes during a film has the same effect on your cardiovascular system as exercising.
Even porn films can improve your health. In a study of women who were shown “female friendly” porn, activity in some areas of the brain reduced significantly. This was reported in the press as “Watching Porn Makes Your Brain Shut Down” but the details of the study prove that the parts of the brain that slowed down are ones none of us really want going a mile a minute anyway. The main area to “shut down” controlled anxiety, and the women came away from the films calmer and happier.
If you aren’t into porn, sad movies can have a similar effect on the brain. When you watch a sad film (assuming you don’t have a history of depression) you are more likely to come away from it thinking about loved ones and feeling happy about what you have. In one study where students watch an abridged version of Atonement, they rated themselves much happier with their lives right after viewing the tragic tale than they had just before.
3. They Can Make You More Creative
…if you’re five. This may or may not extend to adults, but a study showed that young children who watched short clips from the Harry Potter films, specifically ones that involved the use of magic, scored significantly higher on a creative thinking test than children who had watched something else. So if you have the mentality of a child and want to make something or tackle a hard problem, pop in a film with a bit of magic in it and you might find yourself being more creative than normal.
4. They Can Control Your Thoughts
Thanks to science, directors may soon be able to control when you feel scared or sad during a film. Thanks to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scientists can now see just how you react to every second of a film. In one study, participants watched an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm; The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly; and an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents “Bang! You’re Dead!” The results showed that 65% of participant’s brains reacted the same way to the Hitchcock clip, while only 18% were the same for Curb Your Enthusiasm. The researchers concluded that Hitchcock’s way of making movies allowed for “tighter control” of what the viewers experienced.
Maybe Hitchcock just got lucky that audiences experience his films the way he wanted them to. These days, however, it doesn’t have to be down to luck. At least one producer, Peter Katz, is using this technology to make sure the people in his audiences all experience the same level of fear, all at the same time. Even if directors don’t have the money or inclination to use this technology, other findings could still effect the way films are made. For example, scientist know that audiences’ brains react strongest to the soundtrack of films. While you may have always known deep down that that creak of a door was actually more terrifying than seeing the monster, fMRI’s have proven it. Perhaps less expected is that viewers’ brains light up almost as much when following the movement of a character’s hands. Both of these things can be utilized by directors to make sure your brain in completely in the moment during certain parts of the film, thus ensuring the entire audience reacts in the same manner.
5. They Can Make You More Aggressive
You had to know the controversial one was coming. Scientists, politicians, and parents have debated for decades if being exposed to violence through entertainment leads to actual real life violence. Overall the answer to that is probably still up in the air, but a new study seems to prove that watching aggression on screen can contribute to being a bully in real life, even if it is just in the short term. A study of 250 women found that when they watched clips of violence, bullying, or even just malicious gossiping, when tested afterwards the women were more likely to place importance, subconsciously, on words describing violence or aggression. The people on both sides of the argument (those who hate this type of game and movie vs. those who love them) both seem to overstate the findings of studies like these, one side saying all violence makes you a killer, the other saying it has no effect at all. As more evidence comes in, the real answer seems to be somewhere in the middle.
And there is so much more involved, like the images and behavior patterns mapped into someone’s genetic code and memory. With all this in mind, how many of us can say that we actually seen a real good Black Sci-Fi film? Especially since each point does not incorporate our principles in the creation of films. Ever part of a movie is a program and one has to ask what is on the mind of the programmer. The body is a biological machine that allows us to plug into the lower vibratory realm, plain and simple. The organs, fluids and tissue all have emotion, mind and energy….and they feed of its surroundings…What is being fed into it?
The FMRi Scanner is a form of External Science which in some sense is similar to the dormant ability of psychic powers that perform a scan of the body and project an image.
Results from a search –
Functional magnetic resonance imaging or functional MRI(fMRI) is an MRI procedure that measures brain activity by detecting associated changes in blood flow. The primary form of fMRI uses the blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) contrast, discovered by Seiji Ogawa. This is a type of specialized brain and body scan used to map neural activity in the brain or spinal cord of humans or animals by imaging the change in blood flow (hemodynamic response) related to energy use by brain cells. Since the early 1990s, fMRI has come to dominate brain mapping research because it does not require people to undergo shots, surgery, or to ingest substances, or be exposed to radiation. Another method of obtaining contrast is arterial spin labeling.
The procedure is similar to MRI but uses the change in magnetization between oxygen-rich and oxygen-poor blood as its basic measure. This measure is frequently corrupted by noise from various sources and hence statistical procedures are used to extract the underlying signal. The resulting brain activation can be presented graphically by color-coding the strength of activation across the brain or the specific region studied. The technique can localize activity to within millimeters but, using standard techniques, no better than within a window of a few seconds.
Something to think about…. Sci-Fi just got interesting after being dead for so many years…
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