the world only spins forward

So today I learned that a family friend who donated stem cells and spinal tissue got to meet the woman his tissues went to, and it turns out my dad operated on her decades ago in order to remove a necrotic third kidney, 

and suddenly all at once I see that, even though my father’s long gone there are so many people he helped save who got to live longer healthier happier lives because of him, and who still remember him and ask about him when they go to the hospital he worked at.

The world only spins forward. 

That’s of course not what I meant at all, that discussion was about this play [Angels in America] and how deeply grateful I am that I get to work on something so profound. It’s a love letter to the LGBTQ community. We were talking about, ‘How do you prepare for something so important and so big?’ and I was basically saying, 'I dive in as fully as I possibly can. My only longing is to serve and to keep the world spinning forward for the LGBTQ community in whatever way I’m meant to, It’s important to a community that I feel so welcomed by. The intention [in my comments] was to speak to that, speak to my desire to play this part to the best of my ability and to fully immerse myself in a culture that I adore.
—  Andrew Garfield about his controversial comments [BBC.com]

“My only longing is to serve and to keep the world spinning forward for the LGBTQ community in whatever way I’m meant to,” he tells Newsbeat.

“It’s important to a community that I feel so welcomed by.

"The intention [in my comments] was to speak to that, speak to my desire to play this part to the best of my ability and to fully immerse myself in a culture that I adore.”

andrew… andy… miss garfield…

alicorniansheepyllama  asked:

Martin Luther King Jr. was against gay marriage... Would you condone members of the LGBT community pulling down a statue of him because of that?

Oh, yeah; here we go with the equivalency questions. Yay!

First of all, if MLK Jr. was against same-sex marriage, that is a far cry from supporting the slavery of other human beings. Nor is it comparable to killing people simply because they are different than you.

But, to play your little game for a moment, I would be willing to bet that MLK Jr’s views toward same-sex marriage would have changed over time…just like those of many people who didn’t used to support it, but now do.

As they say in Angels in America, “The world only spins forward.”

Some days, like those we’re experiencing now, I wish it spun faster, but spin it does. We’ll get through this storm of ignorance, and tomorrow will be brighter for humanity.

4

This disease will be the end of many of us, but not nearly all. And the dead will be commemorated, and will struggle on with the living, and we are not going away. We won’t die secret deaths anymore. The world only spins forward. We will be citizens. The time has come. Bye now. You are fabulous, each and every one. And I bless you: more life. The great work begins.

[ get to know me meme | (2/5) favourite male characters | Prior Walter • Angels in America ]

And the dead will be commemorated and we’ll struggle on with the living, and we are not going away. We won’t die secret deaths anymore. The world only spins forward. We will be citizens. The time has come. Bye now. You are fabulous, each and every one. And I bless you: More Life. The Great Work Begins.
—  Tony Kushner, Angels in America
*dwight schrute voice* This disease will be the end of many of us, but not nearly all, and the dead will be commemorated and will struggle on with the living, and we are not going away. We won't die secret deaths anymore. The world only spins forward. We will be citizens. The time has come.

gaysails  asked:

top five angels in america quotes (or scenes if you narrowing down quotes is too hard)

  1. “I hate America. I hate this country. It’s just big ideas, and stories, and people dying, and people like you. The white cracker who wrote the national anthem knew what he was doing. He set the word ‘free’ to a note so high nobody can reach it. That was deliberate. Nothing on earth sounds less like freedom to me. You come to room 1013 over at the hospital, I’ll show you America. Terminal, crazy and mean. I live in America, that’s hard enough, I don’t have to love it. You do that. Everybody’s got to love something.”
  2. “The world only spins forward. We will be citizens. The time has come. Bye now. You are fabulous creatures, each and every one. And I bless you: More Life. The Great Work Begins.”
  3. “ In this world, there’s a kind of painful progress. Longing for what we’ve left behind, and dreaming ahead. At least I think that’s so.” 
  4. “Respect the delicate ecology of your delusions.” 
  5. “Fuck you, I’m a prophet.” obvs, this goes without saying
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It seems like a bad day for equality news. So, I thought I’d post this. It’s from Angels in America. There’s a great line at the end. You have to wait for it, but it’s there:

The world only spins forward.

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Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, »Ain’t No Mountain High Enough«

/// GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (Gunn, 2014)

The first thing we see in Guardians of the Galaxy is a Walkman, settled in the lap of a boy in a hospital hallway, watching the ribbon pass from spool to spool on a tape labeled: Awesome Mix Vol. 1. The second thing we see is the boy’s mother, a cancer patient, dying after giving him a present concealed in bright, cheerful wrapping paper tied with a blue bow. The third thing is the boy being abducted by aliens. This is an efficient introduction to what the film is about: family, loss, spaceships. And music.

Twenty-six years later, the boy–Peter Quill is his name–is an adult, your standard lone wolf space outlaw, making money and enemies as he scours the galaxy for hot chicks and cool finds. He has not for quite some time been the boy we met in the opening scene, who picked fights with boys torturing helpless animals over the sheer injustice of it. He still hasn’t opened his mother’s last gift. He’s still listening to Awesome Mix Vol. 1. It has become a very literal soundtrack of his life, a dozen or so songs which have not lost their magic in treks between planets or explorations of desolate moons. That song belongs to me, he protests futilely as an indifferent prison guard cues up Hooked On A Feeling; he delays his accidental team’s escape plan to go back for the cassette player.

So far, so fun, a charming and relatable through-line in a movie that gives main-cast billing to a talking tree. We are many of us familiar, I think, with the irrational, undeniable belief that a song has become somehow ours through a sort of spiritual osmosis, through the space we have given it in our lives, the accumulated passion it has bestowed and received; ours not like a possession but like a limb or a home, with that sense of a belonging that is beyond the transactional, that is somehow mutual even though, of course, the song doesn’t care about you any more than the weather does.

It was later that I sat up, startled and surprisingly grateful, surprised to be grateful to my annual explosive romp in an air-conditioned sanctuary from the unrelenting August heat (ah, unrelenting–see? I do it with weather, too): when green-skinned Gamora asks Peter what makes this mysterious artifact worth risking his life over, he says: “My mother gave it to me. My mom liked sharing with me all the pop songs that she loved growing up.”

All the pop songs she loved growing up. This struck me as a minor miracle, to see a framework for loving music wholly divorced from tiresome questions of meaning or talent or quality, to see pop songs valued partly for being “pop,” not through some nebulous boundaries of genre but as in, simply, popular: known to many, widely beloved. Peter’s mother may have loved them for any number of reasons; Peter loves them because she did. And because she chose to give them to him: to weave for him a link to her previous life, on a world which he has lost, music as history and shorthanded storytelling, as legacy, music as something which exists between our ears, yes, but also between each other. When Peter puts his headphones on a skeptical Gamora–“I’m a warrior, an assassin; I do not dance”–he isn’t seeking to impart the transfiguring properties of a particular song; he’s offering out a piece of himself, and inviting her to open, just a little, in return. He is striving to create a space of sharing. Sharing is caring–a moral so juvenile, they teach it in kindergarten! Only a quick glance outside shows it’s hard for most people to learn.

Outside, or inside: I am a timid and skittish creature, prone to curling inward, easily frightened by the endeavors of personhood. I am afraid of dreaming, of containing insufficient dreams, of wanting the wrong things, of wanting anything at all. I am afraid, most of all, of other people, which is to say, of my own reflection in the human mirror: of revealing myself too quickly or in the wrong order, of being examined and found wanting, of being seen as I am not or as I am. I am afraid of bodies, those decaying, fragile things. I am haunted by the love I have warped or destroyed through demands that it cure my fears, and by the love I have failed to give, by all the times a craving for something that felt like love led me to act out of anything but.

Peter is haunted, too: not just by his mother’s death, but by his own refusal to take her hand in her final moments, by the pleading he ignored in a moment of childhood cowardice which, you will note, did not serve as a lesson to make him suddenly brave. In Angels in America, Prior delays revealing his illness out of fear that his boyfriend Louis will leave him, and that is exactly what happens and keeps happening for six hours of theater: Louis, unwilling to face the ugly reality of disease, walks out on him while he’s in the hospital, abandoning the person he loves for anonymous sex and an affair with a married Republican. We do not automatically become the people circumstances require us to be. The nameless man Louis gets miserably fucked by in Central Park is played by the actor who plays Prior, a trick of stage economy that serves as a reminder that those we turn our backs on have a habit of lingering at even our sharpest edges.

Peter makes two trenchant observations about the violent misfits he finds himself allied with. The first is that the reason none of them have friends is that five seconds after they meet anyone, they’re trying to kill them. The second is that they’re losers–“I mean like, folks who have lost stuff … Our homes. Our families. Normal lives.” Gamora became an assassin after her family was murdered, her body weaponized against her will. These are connected, I think: it’s harder to reach out when you have memories of connections severed through malice or accident or your own weak grip. It would be nice if the difficulty meant somehow it became less necessary, but I don’t think it does, though certainly the calculations may change. The fact that you failed, or that life failed you, doesn’t mean you won’t be called on again. The fact that your mother has just died doesn’t mean you won’t be abducted by aliens. “The world only spins forward,” as Prior tells the audience at the end of Angels, and if you learn from previous revolutions it’s only ever because you choose to.

Peter does choose. It’s a comic book movie: of course he does. This, as much as all the punching and lasers and blowing things up, is what I paid my fourteen dollars in August to see: the fantasy of courage, which in Guardians is as helpfully illustrative as the picture books kindergarten teachers read out loud in the first week of class, to give small clumsy minds images to hold as they sort through the ethics of tattling or the dangers of teasing. The day is saved because Peter takes Gamora’s hand; in case you didn’t get it, the movie swaps her out for Peter’s mother long enough for Peter to make clear to us and himself that he is doing now what he did not do twenty-six years ago, the kind of cheerful unsubtlety which is my cinematic bliss. The galaxy is saved because what cannot be borne alone can be survived together.

Some things cannot be survived at all. Nothing can be undone. Louis eventually comes back to the hospital, to Prior, ready at last to cease failing in love, and Prior tells him, I love you, Louis, I really do, but you can’t come back. Not ever. Peter’s mother is not resuscitated by her son’s redemption, nor could she ever be. But five years after Louis finally understands that failing in love doesn’t let you off the hook, Louis and Prior sit as friends and among friends at Bethesda Fountain. At the end of the movie, Peter, brave enough now to look his lost past in the face, finally unwraps his gift to reveal–what more obvious, what more perfect–Awesome Mix Vol. 2, because sometimes, when you are very brave, and very, very lucky, you receive something beautiful. He settles in to let Ain’t No Mountain High Enough wash over him, tearing up at a song he doesn’t even know yet, because the song is only a small part of the point. Gamora wanders in and starts tentatively moving her head to the beat, a weapon still but one that might dance, not made anew but transformed in this small way still by her choice to reach out and hold on.

I’ll be there when you want me / some way, somehow: what a huge thing to promise. How strange, when we know in time we will fail even if only because our bodies do. How necessary it seems to me to do it anyway, sometimes. Maybe. I don’t know. I know that the best things in my life have come from reaching out, with all the strange, alien parts of me, and I know that it’s hard anyway. I saw Angels in America a few years ago, both parts, and cried at the final scene, at Prior’s parting words, delivered straight to the audience, a kind of magic as far as you can get from the CGI wonderland of summer blockbusters: just a person talking to people in a room, just people and words and an agreement to believe it’s more than that. And I bless you: More Life. The Great Work Begins, Prior says, and god, it is work. And it is great, in the broad sense of the word: substantial, significant, enormous. And it is always going on.

I don’t believe we get what we deserve. I don’t believe suffering is a simple catalyst for growth, or even often worthwhile. I don’t believe the beauty of life outweighs its horrors, or that future triumphs erase past mistakes. I believe that meaning is what we make it. That the universe is cold and extraordinary and indifferent as a song, and I don’t know anyone who survives it alone. I believe in the mundane bravery of reaching out when you find something, someone, that matters: reaching out over the highest mountains and the lowest valleys, across the widest rivers, across the whole damn galaxy.

– Isabel Cole

Isabel previously wrote for us about Liz Phair and Britney Spears.