helen hill - response

From: Jack Sargeant (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Jan 14 2007 - 16:31:10 PST

I've thought long and hard about posting this, I understand Helen has
friends here, that is as it should be, and i am not trying to upset
or offend anybody, but i really feel the following needs to be said

I don't really know helen hill's work, and never met her. it's
obviously a tragedy for her loved ones and has effected those
communities in which she moved, experimental film being one of these

however i am feeling that the outpouring of grief here is (becoming)
misguided, i can't help but feel that there's something a little bit
self indulgent when freya writes

"I've been really, really shocked and upset by the news
about Helen Hill. I've sadly never met Helen but from
all your descriptions she sounds like exactly the kind
of filmmaker I would have loved to have met. She wrote
fanzines, tried to help people, made beautiful films
and even had a pet pig!
  I feel
somewhat heartbroken already so maybe it is just as
well that I have never met her .

I'm sure you are all thinking the same thing that I
am, that this tradgedy wouldn't have happened if there
had been a real effort on the part of the united
states government to genuinely address the disaster in
New Orleans. I really believe this to be true.

I hate the government of the united stats of america."

so let me get this right, based on descriptions of her you are upset?
this is the same kind of mawkishness that happened when princess
diana died and frankly makes no sense. are you sad when somebody you
don't know who doesn't make films, doesn't make fanzines, and doesn't
have a pet pig dies? after all many many people who are like that
died in, or as a result of, New Orleans flooding and the socio-
cultural aftermath of these events.

moreover while i would agree that poverty and hopelessness have an
effect on crime i hardly think that the usa government (who i am
obviously not a fan of) are the only people guilty here, let's be
honest the crime rate in new orleans was hardly low when the
democrats were on office.

please note that i do not doubt that you feel genuinely upset, but i
think that this reads like you are colonizing her death, seeing in
her something that is like you, but rather than taking that as an
inspiration or way forward you are "heartbroken" and then full of
"hate" for the government.

perhaps, rather than dwell on her death as a source for sadness and
hate, use the example of her life...


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