Monday, December 12, 2005

The Ghosts of Christmas Past

Let's see if I can go 24 hours without anyone talking about Tookie Williams or Brokeback Mountain...

I was up every hour last night from a weird dream about Christmas from about 1960 to 1965. Every gift I remember in our home that was in some fashion heterocentric, American or Western civilization-centric propaganda, homophobic, sexist or racist (including those by omission or lack of inclusion of people of color) from the era flashed before me.

We spent all of a half an hour in the mall after my nephew's birthday brunch, coupled with a holiday-themed episode of "Gray's Anatomy" that pitted the pro-holiday characters against the against-the-holiday or just-not-in-the-holiday-spirit characters. That's what I assume brought on the strange dream. America has a lot to hold itself accountable for, from what I could gather. It was my good fortune to have come of age during the golden era of the marriage of the American toy industry with the promolgation and promotion of so-called "American" values. In some ways, it was supposed to be bucolic, yet on deeper inspection it was an insidious brainwashing of children, a fraud perpetrated on the young impressionable minds of the time. Someone ought to be held accountable for it. All the body dysmorphia, low self-esteem, and inexplicable rage of young people of color can find some connection to the constant barrage of images and ideas that came at us: the first generation to have grown up in the televised era of mass media.

And among the crimes committed is an unwillingness by the perpetrators to see the damage that they have committed against America's (and the world's) future. The very existence of the species could be said to be tied to the undoing of the damage of a relatively short period of time in human history. It is probably as important as a solution to global warming or sustainable energy supplies. If we want to truly develop the minds that will be responsible for fixing the problems created by humans in the 20th century, we'd best work to undo the damage already done and stop heaping more harm on the minds of our youth.

Then, maybe we won't have any more Tookie Williams, or need for a death penalty; or Brokeback Mountain, or need to teach and preach tolerance and understanding among people.

Or maybe I just need some chocolate... and nobody will get hurt.

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