Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Where I Am

Happy Spring!

Looking for images of spring equinox (a day late), I saw this view from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: 
I'm down there! under that cloud coming across Lake Superior, on the far left. (A bit farther west, if I'm going to be technical about it, but close...) That white stuff is snow, we've still got plenty of it.

Boring, Scary Things 

Aside from the fact that satellites are taking my photo from space, mostly boring details are taking my time this week---airfare, hotels, getting a slide show for the author panel together ( not "slides"--what's the term for electronically projected photos?), and this morning, I got a temporary crown at the dentist. 

I always feel a little little & low after dental work. Some part of me registers it as me being held down and tortured... which, of course, it kind of is, even if it's for my own good.

I was thinking about how much we're expected to withstand in the industrialized, computerized world, and then to carry on as if nothing's happened. Flying hundreds of miles, having high speed drills in our mouths, --hell, even crossing the street.
Neurologically speaking, that's a complex task---and it's extremely dangerous. All the time, every day, most of us don't give it a conscious thought, but what does it do to us  on a subtler plane?

When I interviewed one of the people in the SVDP Immigrant/Refugee ministry, she said the first family they welcomed never went to the park across the street from their new home. The helpers finally realized the family was uncertain about crossing the busy street. They'd lived for twenty years in a Kenyan refugee camp, where there was no regular motor traffic.

I rarely hear people mention such everyday wear and tear in discussions about how anxious and depressed Americans are. It's got to be affecting us, but in my world, if you were to take a day off work to recuperate from a visit to the dentist, people would think that was very odd.

So much is coming at us, and a lot of it is dangerous (like a 4,000 pound vehicle going 30 miles per hour) or violent, even in the form of entertainment we choose to watch.

The Search for a Nonviolent Mascot

I noticed that while the Women's March signs and posters depicted lots of characters from mass media, such as Princess Leia, the posters for the #ENOUGH /March for Our Lives/ gun control movement do not.
I looked and haven't yet seen a single fictional face on a poster, just words.

Why not? I wondered.

And then I tried to think of a character who would fit the bill--someone heroic from contemporary pop culture who was not tied in with guns and violence. I could hardly come up with any.  

The iconic image of Princess Leia the Women's March used shows her holding her great big blaster pistol. 

 < Current Leia toy by Disney, for kids aged 4+

 Star Wars is not super graphic & gory, but it's about violent revolutionaries.  There's no question of them negotiating with the bad guys---it is hopeless, presumably.

Ditto Harry Potter, and zombie shows, and all the many, new superhero comics and movies. I'm so tired of watching fighting---bored, bored, bored with it on every level,  I haven't even seen Wonder Woman or Black Panther, though I am happy, in theory, that they star women and black superheroes. 
("In theory"--new faces, same story?)

I used Captain Kirk in my #ENOUGH poster, but borrowing his words was a bit of a cheat, really: 
he's a military man.

The rebooted Star Trek movies are more violent than the original series, but that was plenty violent too. Though they sometimes were regretful about it, they often resorted to shooting stuff up. 
(Still, I'm sure Kirk would find this era barbaric.) 

Is there a fictional pop culture character (not from religion or real history) who might be repurposed as a mascot for a movement for gun control?

WALL-E? who patiently builds things out of all the left-behind trash that has killed life on Earth? (Lucinda had used EVE in her Science March poster, but the story isn't anti-violence per se.)

Marz would point out Columbo, the detective who never carries a gun, but he's not well-known. There are other detectives like him who use brains, not guns--Miss Marple!--but not iconic images of them...

Hm, might could do something with the Doctor, from Doctor Who, with his/her sonic screwdriver. 

Three Nonviolent Lessons from Doctor Who"

Not sure a bull who sits in a flower bed is an image people will rally round... 
Though maybe:

Babe? Aw, yeah––remember when he bites a sheep, like a sheep dog, and is shocked to realize how violent that is, and learns to herd the sheep by asking them nicely. 
But he just looks like any other pig. (Wilbur!) Charlotte!

Seems we need some new stories and images for this movement---maybe, probably, some will emerge, or are emerging.

She's not fictional, but this one has: 


marz said...

Yep, I was reading this thinking "Columbo, it's Columbo, only Columbo". Not well known anymore. One amazing thing about Columbo is how fond people are of him if they know him at all. Never a bad word. Even some youngsters on tumblr.

I wonder if we're in such a stark transitional time that some heavy spiritual leaders will emerge, saying something almost new. Reading about evolutionary theory and how new stages must offer a "deeper and wider embrace" of everything that has come before. What kind of mythology will account for drills in our mouth and the earth, and Youtube?

Calling occupants of interplanetary craft!

"It is the time of the gods that have fled and of the god that is coming. It is the time of need, because it lies under a double lack and a double Not: the No-more of the gods that have fled and the Not-yet of the god that is coming."
- Martin Heidegger

Good luck on your panel!

Fresca said...

MARZ: I actually did consider using Columbo & one of his catchphrases---because he would look so good (fun to draw) and because he's so fondable.
Something like:

"Just one more thing...

About those guns..."

But then decided that it really would have been needlessly self- and only self-pleasing, not the sort of "deeper and wider embrace" I would like, since, yeah, Columbo's not well known now, and this is a Children's/Young People's March.

I hope young people will recognize Kirk in my poster, at least by his uniform and Starfleet logo---even if they think he's Chris Pine.

And even if not, "NO MORE BLAH BLAH BLAH" goes beautifully with #ENOUGH.

I agree we're in an in-between time of need---not sure I'd want a new god to arise though... That sounds ominous.
But then, these are ominous times--who knows what will help.

At any rate, I'm heartened to see people TRYING.