Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Disenfranchized

I was going to post this last week, but I was embarrassed that it would be a pity-party-illo. But I have not been feeling very good about myself lately. Feeling very disenfranchized, (blank, chicken, debilitated, defenseless, dependent, disabled, disenfranchised, dud, etiolated, feeble, frail, gutless, helpless, impotent, incapable, incapacitated, ineffective, ineffectual, inert, infirm, paralyzed, passive, prostrate, putty, subject, supine, tapped, tapped out, tied, unable, unarmed, unfit, vulnerable, wimp), stressed, and I am wanting to hide. Forthcoming changes in my schedule. Back to 5 days a week, Monday-Friday, 8-5-ish. Add at least 1.5 hours of commute time each way, I am back to 5 - 12 hour days is what that boils down to. I am feeling a little robotic.



But enough about me. Let's talk about about race relations. I am glad Imus got canned. But, Come On, he was a "shock jock" and that was his "job description' for so many years. I think he just shocked the wrong crowd. He has been shocking me for years. But then many of things have been shocking me for years.

My son and I listen to rap. Yes, I love rap. I don't like the lyrics. But I love the beat. And he and I have constant conversations about the lyrics and the meaning and the degradation, for years now. And we both agree the sound rocks, the meaning behind the words, suck. But ... I do believe there is a huge gap in what is acceptable for white's to say and black's can say (to each other). And I can tell you, having conversations with my son brings that front and center. What his friends say at school to each, what they can't say to each other if they are black or white. I am confused about it and I see that they are just as confused.

We have forced fed M PBS specials on World World II, Slavery, race relations. D and I have meaningful conversations about what it means to be American, the bad and to good. We, as a country, have a terrible track record of being fair to any color but white. American Indians, Japanese internment camps, Slavery, Civil Rights, Iraq war. Our egocentrism can be frightening. We live in a big world, full of religions, beliefs, customs, that might not be our own. I experience it more in Seattle, but America is becoming a "melded community" of all sorts of beliefs and religions. I feel richer for it.

Another very disturbing development for the last two years in television advertising is the selling of Erectile Dysfunction (ED)remedies. In the beginning, I would rail against them every time they appeared on the screen. I make it a point now and then to turn the channel. But where is our modesty? Do I care that some 50-something-guy can't keep an erection therefore, I have to listen to these humilating and embarrassing TV commercials. And they seem to be multiplying! I see them more frequently, more vendors selling their little blue pills. All I can say, is: what do our kids get from this juvenile obsession with sex, what does the rest of the world think about our culture when these commercials run every 10 minutes? What did Rome look like right before the fall?

3 comments:

chronicler said...

Oh Kim, I couldn't agree with you more on all of this. Imus got bit by his own dog.

We have tried to teach and be mindful of human relations here at our place too. We have had meaningful discussions and I think we try to be mindful of other peoples feelings in our encounters. Of course, there will always be the thoughtless slip up of character on occasion and I am willing to forgive as I hope others will forgive mine.

But, as you say, somethings just should not be tolerated. The erectile disfunction commercials being one of them. The girls gone wild another. We have spewed forth these images and expect children to be able to deal with them better than we do. It is unfortunate that those types of things continue to be tolerated. It's not just TV. It's billboards and magazines and all types of other places.

I just wish the pendulum would swing more towrad the center for a bit.

I am sorry your work life is invading your life. I hope the commute doesn't wear too badly on you. I look forward to your inspirations. Here's hoping some "well filling" on your side so you can continue on as long as needed.

Judy said...

In Belgium we are very afraid of the changes the elections in June will bring.The party we are afraid af 'Vlaams Belang'has already been to court on charges of racism.
I hope u will be able to find the balance between work and free time.

madretz said...

Lots of food for thought here. I've never watched or listened to Don Imus so my opinions are limited to the general kindness that humans should show each other. People can be shocking and insulting, giving an 'in your face' attitude. This is part of the freedom that our great country has formed. But there are still lines that shouldn't be crossed and obviously he crossed that line. It's good that when it was crossed, action was taken. It sends out the message that this just isn't ok. And it's letting women know that they shouldn't accept that kind of language, not just from a different race, but from their own race as well.

I have to admit that I don't notice the ED commercials because we skip right by all commercials thanks to tivo. Unfortunately though, those commercials are popular because there's obviously a market for it. However they can (should?) be banned like cigarette and hard liquor commercials. Personally, my biggest problem with popular television is the sensationalism of many reality shows. The ones for competition or for mind/body/spirit/home improvement are ok as long as they don't focus on some kind of petty rivalry or cattiness. It all goes back to the general kindness all humans should have for each other.

Thank you so much for visiting by my blog last night. Truly, I'm honored since you did me the tremendous favor of showing me how to do the Pop Art. In response to your question about SPT, I used to spend some time on their blog last year but have never posted. I've submitted a few things to Studio Friday and was a regular at Illustration Friday for several months but have taken a break from most creative challenges for the moment.

I also hope you soon find a balance between work, life and art. Because you're creative spirit needs to continue to shine.