Tuesday, March 18, 2008

About Media, Monsters and Children

My cohort's blogs, It Depends, always dislodges something noteworthy from my gleeming molded cranium...or so I tell myself that so I dont talk myself out of getting in another blog. Today is no different. Observation 1: He writes,
"Came across a passage in my readings at job #1: From Mandy Jones, a former slave: “The way colored folks would learn to read was from the white children…when they came out of school…slip off somewhere, and learn the colored children their lessons…” Frederick Douglass mentions talking to a group of kids his own age (young teenagers, I think) of a different skin pigment who were encouraging him, hopeful that he would be able to be enjoy the freedom they were looking forward to.

Children embody the best and worst of us, brutally whimsical and honest, able to almost effortlessly see through the brick walls we feel so clever about constructing around them. To kids there was no good reason for a fellow youngling who was probably their constant playmate to not be allowed to read, so they- some of them helped anyway. ....The pressure would be applied and applied until they were molded into what their parents were. Until that day when they weren’t.

Children by their nature can be quite cruel. Also true to their nature; they are quite forgiving. Somewhere through the anals of adulthood, we forget how to forgive or are at best not interested in forgiving. We dont want to play anymore with you; we are quite fine not knowing you anymore. We adults write it off as "knowing better." As adults, we "choose." What a powerful force. However; with great power comes great responsibility! Not forgiving tends to hurt us more than the envy of our lust.

Observation 2: The Media; love or hate it, it is the most pursuasive barometer today. Truth about the matter, everybody's got something they aren't proud of lurking in their past, present or future. While I have no sympathy for the governor of New York, I have quite a bit for his family. NO, I wouldnt want a camera following me around 24hrs a day either; even though there is. Nonetheless, thats another blog, not this one. It Depends makes its point quite well again...He writes:
Took a long time. Still, I wonder if the Civil Rights Movement would have taken longer and been bloodier without media coverage. Think about it. There were still color-laws in affect a century after the Civil War had been fought. It wasn’t until photographs and newsreels put people’s bad behavior front and center for the world to see that lasting change (hopefully) happened.
It is ONLY the fear of horrible things happening to us personally or our families that pictures have the power to awaken and terrify the humanity within each of us. In addition to these examples I am reminded of Rodney King, Darfur, Indonesia, 911, Hurricane Katrina and the war in Iraq. Pictures and video remove us from the safety of "over there" or "that was then" to a time not so far away or now. No thief steals when he knows you are watching. The media remains the most powerful force in the world.... The pen is mightier than the sword. So the answer is YES, many things would have been worse without the media. Besides, few ever confessed without the evidence staring them in the face. Beware of those who protest too much....

Finally, to keep this short, as much as we want to believe in heroes and angels; we as people are pretty ordinary...pretty determined not to stand out or make waves. History records the few that stood against the masses. I dont know where I would be is such situations; I guess it depends on what day they caught me. We spend all our time trying to stand out but we dont want to be singled out...what an odd normal....


1 comment:

Andrew Stanfield said...

'We want to stand out but not be singled out'- Truer words were never written. Welcome back, Maximus.