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GhettoPhysics: An Interview with Will Arntz & E. Raymond Brown

by Edie Weinstein

What happens when you merge the concepts of quantum physics, sexual politics, power struggles and social justice? And further, what do you get when you blend the creativity, talent and storytelling ability of two writer/producer/film-makers? The result is: GhettoPhysics: Will The Real Pimps and Ho’s Please Stand Up? It had its inception in 2005 when "E. Ray" took the concept of his book by that title and began shooting footage of an interview with Princeton scholar Dr. Cornel West with a Panasonic video camera. He brought on board Will Arntz who produced What The Bleep Do We Know? The movie has a similar, if edgier feel to it, with documentary interviews fused with a dramatic story line. In addition to notables such as Norman Lear, Byron Katie and John Perkins, the team also interviewed authentic pimps and prostitutes who ply their trade. Sit back and take the ride and then "speak truth to power!"

Wisdom: Is the title a play on the word metaphysics?

E. Ray: When I wrote the book in 2005, and got to the second chapter, I was saying "From Metaphysics to GhettoPhysics". Both conversations are about power and energy and relating to the world. I’m familiar with the mind-body interdimensional aspects of dealing with the world, interacting with it and expanding our understanding. I’m from South Central L.A and there is something in that vibrational signature that I wanted to make relevant in that conversation.

Wisdom: You both bring to the table your own life experience and I noticed, E. Ray, that there was metaphysical training that came along with your sensibilities from where you grew up.

E. Ray: I explored a lot of Shamanic and metaphysical studies, indigenous world views and theological paradigms in a broad sense.

Wisdom: Will, what drew you to this project, with regard to your background and history?

Will: My first job out of college was as a research laser physicist and I majored in physics and math. After a few years I got interested in the metaphysical side of things. I ended up studying with a couple of teachers for a total of 20 years. It was in that mode that I made What The Bleep? which is where the physics came from as well as the metaphysics and bringing the two together. What happened after I did Bleep was I was sort of done with movies. It had been a big dream of mine and I wasn’t going to do them anymore. I didn’t feel the inner compulsion or a desire. But I thought that if I could do something to help people, I am happy to do it. I had a chit chat with the Universe and said "I’d be happy to do more if you could think of something good for me to do. Make me an offer I can’t refuse." A month later, E. Ray shows up with an hour long pilot of the film. He had gotten to that point and got it in my hands because he had seen Bleep and liked it and thought we should work together. I watched it and thought "Oh my God, it’s the offer I can’t refuse!" I was drawn by the humor and awareness and felt it was a great way to bring some of the lofty concepts of metaphysics to people in a very straightforward way. That’s the thing about the ghetto; there’s not a lot of double talk. It’s very street savvy; "this is what’s going on." I just couldn’t say no and the rest is history.

Wisdom: What would you each like to see your creation do in the world?

Will: There are really three points. One is that we live in a world where there are power games going on all the time; social, political, economic and how people are always trying to talk you into doing what they want you to do. Not necessarily what you want to do, but what’s good for them. Number two: not to be tricked into that and number three, to be conscious of your choices, so that if you are going to do that, do it with an awareness of the game going on around you. Then make a conscious choice on your part. That’s how you get your own personal power back. That’s how you have a more fulfilling life by doing your own dream and not someone else’s. If we can get people to be aware and choose for themselves, that’s all I hope for.

E. Ray: I love hearing Will share, because he is someone from a different cultural background contrasting mine, to launch this message and vibration out. He articulates it really well. In the thought field, we are bombarded by distorted messages. In the main stream media or electronic messages, we get inundated with what I call the " ‘ho chatter".There is an aspect of the critical thinking faculty that is dormant and maybe we can bring it out of that dormancy. It’s like being a catalyst or throwing a rock into a pond and seeing what the ripples do and effect the thought field in that way and awaken the critical thinking intelligence.

Wisdom: What I had seen on your website were the words "the movie they don’t want you to see." Who is ‘they’ and why the resistance?

Will: Traditionally people in power want to stay in power and will use that in any means. We are bringing the question to the power structures and it is a revolutionary film in that respect. The people in power who are manipulating you through gross means, economic means, media pressure don’t want people to wake up and start questioning what’s around them. That’s the history of the world. If you start questioning where your hopes, dreams and desires are coming from, then things are going to change. People in power fundamentally don’t want change.

E. Ray: We are referring to that proverbial ‘they’, the pimp wizard behind the curtain. You get behind the curtain, you find that it is a ‘ho elitist person who inherited that role from generations before.

Wisdom: How would you each define power?

E. Ray: It would depend on the context; what realm the power is going to show up in. Political power is about your ability to leverage and bring about determined outcomes. About being able to wield resources and capital. In the midst of all that, there is the internal game that is going on on many levels. There is the biblical quote "What does it profit a man to gain the world and lose his soul in the process?" You can gain the world pimpin’ but lose your soul ‘ho’in’. You can play Let’s Make A Deal, but you go for the wrong door because you thought it was about gross materialism. Power is an internal conversation at the core. I would define power as something you can be at balance with in the cosmos. If you don’t have any balance then I don’t see how you can have any power. It is certainly something that you can share as well as direct. We think "How can I get some power from an egoic perspective and hoard it? How many units of power could I have?", rather than "Is it something I can channel and be at one with?"

Will: Of course, I’m a physicist, so I define power very differently. Power is the ability to do work. It is the ability to change something and move something from one place to another. As such, there is no value judgment on power. It’s a force of nature, like gravity. The question is : How is that power being used? Of course, that gets into ethics. The power itself is the ability to effect change. If you have political power, then you can manipulate things so your buddies get a tax break, or you can move things so that there are more electric cars on the road and we’re not burning so much gasoline. It’s a force, it’s neutral. Then again, how it’s used..welcome to the human world.

Wisdom: So, how do we move from this awareness to inspired action that can make a positive change in the world?

Will: Once I started looking around the world and seeing what was going on, I just couldn’t stand it anymore. I started looking at these rich corporations that are making hundreds of millions of dollars by exploiting people and putting them into poverty; and thinking "That’s not right." That’s what we’re trying to do in the movie; showing some of the games that are going on. When people really get the sense of what the corporations or people at the top of the power structure are doing, they’re going to say "No more. Please stand up. We’re not going to take this anymore. We’re not going to let these people do these horrible things around the world." I think, how do you inspire people to do that? You just show them the inner qualities. I read a study recently about racism and not just among the races, but against Gays. If you take someone who hates Gay and then they end up working with someone who’s Gay, then after awhile they don’t hate Gays anymore. All it takes is one connection to another group and then something magical happens and you drop all that pettiness. What we’re trying to do in the film is show people how these things are connected. I believe in the intrinsic goodness of humanity.

Wisdom: Is there a way of discerning between paranoia/conspiracy and education? I’m guessing that you want to go for the education route.

Will: The very term ‘paranoia’ implies something that’s not real. What we are trying to do in the film is real talk. These things are going on and not to be paranoid about it, because when you are paranoid, ‘they’re out to get you’. Conspiracy is all cloak and dagger. What we’re saying is that these are the things that are happening in the world. If you get into the conspiracy thing, it could be problematic. I am going to sound like a conspiracy theorist, buy one of the ways people in power stay in power, is that they come up with a label for something and they use it in a derogatory way to discredit. For years, I was in two spiritual groups and they were labeled ‘cults’, so all someone in the media had to do was call one of these spiritual organizations a cult and it was immediately discredited. All the media has to say is that it’s a conspiracy theory and everyone writes it off. That’s a manipulation. By using these little phrases, they discredit something that may, in fact be true. You can look back in history and see the famous one people talk about where Hitler came to power. He was elected Chancellor, but there was still a senate. He had his people burn down the government buildings and blame the communists and after that, they named him the unlimited dictator. That’s what people in power do. We’re trying to expose that kind of thing so that people will say "No, no, no. We know what you’re trying to do." Part of my goal in this film, is to give historical perspectives. How much do we really learn from history?

E. Ray: It’s a code. We’re speaking in language code. I call it creative language code synthesis. If you talk in an academic code and a business person’s code and a street person’s code all at once, now the brain is code sensitive. Everybody is an insider in the conversation and nobody is invalidated or marginalized. Everyone can learn from each others’ perspective. What is used manipulatively by power structures is this language code thing, what Will just talked about. If people are fed at the lowest level of intelligence, they start to become shaped like this. One of the things I would say about this whole conversation about conspiracy, is that it seems to be used as a code word to short circuit the ho’s critical thinking. If you look at the nature of the word... ‘con’ is ‘with’ and ‘spire’ is ‘breathe’, so that just means to plan something together. We conspired to have a phone call right now. Are people in power having conversations where you’re not involved in the conversation and planning agendas out? Come on; of course they are. We’re all conspiring. Can we conspire in a certain direction?

Wisdom: How can we, as you say in the movie; "Speak truth to power?"

Will: That’s what I spent the last two years and E. Ray spent the last six years doing. How do you do it? You speak the truth and you don’t shut up and you get it out there, realizing the forces of the world will try to keep it suppressed. There is a movie coming out called " I Want Your Money". It’s a conservative film touting big government and bashing Obama, backed by the Republican Party. They have millions and millions and millions of dollars to release the movie. I’m releasing this movie from my own pocket. You’ve got to realize that the forces in power have their tens of millions of dollars and we’re sort of David and Goliath fighting a little battle here. That’s the way it is. For everyone, you just do what you can where you can. The ‘ho mind’ is like "Gee, I can’t do anything." Everyone can do something starting where they are at.

E. Ray: I would add to that, I feel that everything we are creating from moment to moment is going to involve communication. Speaking is going to allow you to wield and impact and create in the world. We are independent equilibriums. We each have a routine and take care of mundane tasks and never have to challenge power. You never have to go before a powerful group of people and you are in a minimized position. That becomes your equilibrium. When you go to speak to power, it’s hard to get past that perimeter. Most people aren’t going to burst into the boardroom with Donald Trump and say, "I need to check this out." They’re going to be apologizing even before they get to the door. I came from nowhere. I was an author who had a little ‘ho change idea for a book, took that and parlayed it forward. I have to become bolder in saying certain things. What I’m conditioned to do if I’m not in that kind of energy, is support, allow, acquiesce, go with the flow. To speak truth to power, a lot of times it’s about going against the grain and knowing somewhere deep down, this has got to happen right now...become that announcement. I don’t think a lot of people have that equilibrium.

Will: We’ve been talking about power and manipulation and control and I would like people to know that although that is in there and it is very important, it is not a typical documentary that is heavy and you walk out of there depressed or you walk out of there wanting to shoot someone because they are doing nasty things in the world. We went for a more uplifting thing. There’s humor in it; it’s sort of like What The Bleep?, there’s a dramatic story that’s going on. It’s also good entertainment. When people are being entertained, they actually learn much better. It’s Friday and Saturday night at the movies.

E. Ray: We’re putting forth the exploration of the archetypal expression of both figures of pimp and ho. On one end, there is the negative expression and yet there is a possibility of an evolutionary or benevolent figure that has savvy in wielding the power as well. We need our benevolent pimps.

Go to www.ghettophysics.com and find out where it is playing in a theater near you.

Edie Weinstein is a Bliss Mistress who invites people to live rich, full, juicy lives. To read about ways to live your bliss go to www.blog.beliefnet.com/blissblog  

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