i will (no man's land)

Reason Why Heathers the Musical is the Best #317

It contains lyrics like this:

“Hey, could you face the crowd
Could you been seen with me and still act proud?
Hey, would you hold my hand,
and could you carry me through no-man’s-land?”

“I was alone. I was a frozen lake. But then you melted me awake, see now I’m crying too”

“We can start and finish wars, we’re what killed the dinosaurs. We’re the asteroid that’s overdue!”

“You know, you know, you know, it’s cause you’re beautiful. You say you’re numb inside, but I can’t agree. So the world’s unfair, keep it locked out there. In here it’s beautiful”


But then also contains lyrics like this:

“I’ve decided I must ride you till I break you”

“Seems every time I’m about to despair, there’s a 7-eleven right there”

“Say goodbye to Shamoo”

“Whoa. You can punch real good”


Sometimes within the same song

here’s the thing: I liked la la land. It was a cute movie. the dancing was fun. cinematography wise? breathtaking

but you know what really, really bothered me while I was watching it?

all of the diversity in the background

they’re in LA. there’s men and women of every color dancing and singing in the opening number. it really reflects how diverse and wonderful LA really is!

and then the story begins and we zoom in on… two white people falling in love

one of whom is obsessed with preserving Jazz as a musical genre

look me in the eyes and TELL ME WHY a white actor had to play that role

Jazz has DISTINCTLY black roots

we could have had an interracial couple

HELL, we could have had a struggling black musician and a struggling black actress trying to get her big break

and it sucks because while I DO love Gosling and Stone and they did a great job

all I can do is look at the movie and feel the POTENTIAL that it had, had they casted their leads differently

so yeah it bothers me when they act like la la land was “such a feat” and they were “worried it wouldn’t have an audience” when like… come on. two well known white leads falling in love. gimme a break.

For today.

Let America Be America Again
by Langston Hughes

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There’s never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one’s own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean—
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That’s made America the land it has become.
O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home—
For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,
And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came
To build a “homeland of the free.”

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we’ve dreamed
And all the songs we’ve sung
And all the hopes we’ve held
And all the flags we’ve hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay—
Except the dream that’s almost dead today.

O, let America be America again—
The land that never has been yet—
And yet must be—the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine—the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME—
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose—
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,
We must take back our land again,
America!

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath—
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain—
All, all the stretch of these great green states—
And make America again!

No one made a move to help him, and she struck him once more with her power. The red marble splintered where he hit it, spiderwebbing toward me. With wave after wave she hit him. Rhys groaned.

“Stop,” I breathed, blood filling my mouth as I strained a hand to reach her feet. “Please.”

Rhys’s arms buckled as he fought to rise, and blood dripped from his nose, splattering on the marble. His eyes met mine.

The bond between us went taut. I flashed between my body and his, seeing myself through his eyes, bleeding and broken and sobbing.

 I’m just. Going to curl into a ball and cry myself to sleep okay? “No one made a move to help him” is just so…painful yet justified on their parts. Rhys has carved out this place for himself, this no-man’s land. And it’s what I talked about before with the question of how far he went and whether it was ever too far. And he walks an incredibly thin line here to truly fall in a neutral zone whereby no-one will help him…but they won’t help Amarantha either. But he’s alienated himself and I wonder about that over the last 50 years. With no allies but no real enemies either. Just emptiness. It’s not difficult to see how Feyre and Rhys bond so closely in ACOMAF with the similar experiences that they’ve had. 

And I also love that the follow-up to this, to Feyre realising that no-one was helping Rhys…is to reach out and help him herself. Amarantha has shattered her bones at this point, tortured her far beyond anything she’s ever endured…and she lies on the floor, bloody and battered and exhausted and she asks her to stop…She asks her to stop hurting Rhys. 

There’s some really painful parallels going on here? Rhys slaved for Amarantha for fifty years and didn’t dream of killing her for himself. He didn’t pick up that dagger for himself. He was content to let Tamlin have that final kill; he’d already told Feyre that. He picked it up for Feyre. He picked it up for his mate. Amarantha hurting Feyre was what pushed him into action. And that’s just. So important for their dynamic. Rhys saves Feyre in ACOMAF. But as I’ve said before, she’s already saved him in ACOTAR. 

And I love that it’s at this moment that Feyre becomes fully aware of that bond and how closely it binds her to Rhys. She still thinks it’s the bargain, the tattoo, but she feels it in this moment. As they reach for each other. As these two neutral people, the ones that weren’t worth either helping or harming beyond what was happening, these two battered, broken souls made to feel worthless by the world, who won’t lift a finger to defend themselves, reach for each other, help each other and take that first step together down a very long road to healing. 

There’s a line of thought regarding the faking of the moon landing which goes like “isn’t it CONVENIENT that we landed on the moon in the last year of the decade when we said we’d land on the moon, doesn’t it seem suspicious that it came so close to the wire,” which I have to assume is reasoning put forward by people who have far better study habits then I do, because if I was tasked with landing a man on the moon by the end of the 60s, we’d 100 percent have launched on December 30, 1969.

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There’s never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one’s own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean—
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That’s made America the land it has become.
O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home—
For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,
And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came
To build a “homeland of the free.”

The free?

Who said the free?  Not me?
Surely not me?  The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we’ve dreamed
And all the songs we’ve sung
And all the hopes we’ve held
And all the flags we’ve hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay—
Except the dream that’s almost dead today.

O, let America be America again—
The land that never has been yet—
And yet must be—the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine—the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME—
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose—
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,
We must take back our land again,
America!

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath—
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain—
All, all the stretch of these great green states—
And make America again!
—  Langston Hughes.