Mr Midnight Movie Seeks the American Dream by Tackling White Guilt
Evenings should never be spent bent over a keyboard in an effort to relay rogue expeditions to the desert with the “inflammatory, but diplomatic” atheist, Mr. Midnight Movie, and “the world’s most brash, cheap” Jewish Producer. But as things have worked out, this has been the case during the course of the last year as I have had the frightening pleasure of familiarizing myself with the term “White Guilt.” If you are not familiar with the concept, it has been stewing inside Mr. Midnight Movie’s brain for many years. He states this is due to what he feels is the “perversion of civil liberties in America,” and the fact that he has “blamed every non-white person for the problems that arise for me as a white janitor in America.”
It has not been easy to follow along with this dialogue, as this humble reporter finds that often times the theme of their gig is of a sticky nature and it doesn’t always match up with my sensibilities. But we are not here for my sensibilities. The stigma of racism in America, and the subsequent struggles of the people affected through the generations is at best a difficult topic to approach as a white writer from Southern California, and at worst his messages can be misinterpreted as racist. But Mr. Midnight Movie and Jewish Producer are taking the topic of “No White Guilt” seriously and with open minds. I traveled with them to Palmdale, California last week for a production shoot of some video clips to be disbursed through their website and also to ask them some questions about their quest.
Samuel: Do you two see eye to eye on the topic of “white guilt?”
JP: I have to admit, my specialty is rock and pop music history. This is out of my scope, and at first I felt the topic of White Guilt isn’t much a fan favorite, understand? Mr Midnight Movie is driven to speak his mind and even said that I suffer from Stockholm Syndrome, which is absurd. He’s really in to showing the facts, and I’m really interested in him talking to people and getting a fair opinion from a cross cultural selection of people.
MMM: We don’t have to see eye to eye, because this is an open forum discussion. At first when I told Jewish Producer this is the direction I wanted to go with this, and possibly make a movie about this topic, he was furious, and fuming and threatening. It’s the first time I knew he was firm believer in the 2nd amendment, but I talked him down and we agreed to work together to try and deliver this message. Since then, we have been able to open a serious dialogue and expand on our vision.
Samuel: What do plan to accomplish filming in Lancaster?
MMM: This is the armpit of California. The government has done nothing but hurt the chances the fine people of Lancaster (and Palmdale for that matter) have of succeeding because they release and relocate former prisoners out here, which creates gang problems and racial tension. This does have an impact on other areas, specifically Los Angeles. But more importantly, I want people to learn about what we do, and who we would like to speak to with an understanding that we are open minded individuals. Black, white, Latino, left wing, right wing, libertarian – we welcome all perspectives and will continue to interview these people.
JP: We are impressed with the feedback we’ve received from people, but as one person told me, in Los Angeles, it is easy to die from encouragement. We never want to let our guards down, and we have to continue working extremely hard to get to higher levels, build a fan base, and eventually merge ideas with like-minded film makers with better equipment and more money.
The day was long, the team is extremely cheap, only offering me a water at one stop, and a rice, bean and cheese burrito later in the day. In the end their “hired hand” film crew of one was happy to announce that he captured close to two hours of footage that will be converted into mini-press releases as teasers. The team is expanding as they continue forward on their expedition to greatness (or obscurity). Keep checking their website for updates: mrmidnightmovie.com, they are also on Facebook and Twitter.
(Part 1 of an ongoing series covering the Mr. Midnight Movie Experience.)
Tags: american dream, atheist, civil liberties, generations, gig, keyboard, mr midnight, palmdale california, perversion, pleasure, racism in america, racist, saturday nights, southern california, stigma, video clips, white guilt