Friday, June 19, 2009

distinctly american?

This is being written after the news was broken to myself about the supreme leader of Iran calling their elections free and fair. Although the western media has, as usual, brought its coverage of such a tragic and unfortunate event towards more of Super Bowl Sunday coverage than objective journalism, I feel that since I am thinking about the people of Iran's situation in relation to how we, the "free" live and may have sympathetic to others but do not do anything tangible and productive about it. We feel that feeling bad for others is enough. By turning our profile picture green on Twitter... will this result in change other than a the hue of a few thousand pixels? Maintaining our ideas that convenience reigns, it is terribly inconvenient to change a lifestyle to effect long term changes in how our choices indirectly or directly influence the ability for oppression to occur in the world. But apparently it makes a difference to us to be able to think that we care enough to paint our portrait green on Twitter or watch CNN to see if any brave Iranians have risked his/her life to capture 8 seconds of governmental brutality on their cell phone movie mode, makes us feel compassionate.

Now, what can we as Americans, the one's who are being painted as the reason that all of this is happening in that country at the moment, do to illicit real, actual change? Voting with our money, as invaluable as it may have become. This of coarse requires more effort and choosing products which are typically more expensive than the run-of-the-mill bargain, mainstream brand name products, especially in food and some kinds of products are unavoidable to support businesses which proliferate behaviors that enable unjust, inhumane and unethical behavior to persist on this planet. For example, this post is being typed on an Apple computer. The idea of quality in products which typically result in longevity in some kinds of niche markets, it is impossible to escape supporting a business that has ties indirectly or otherwise to causes that do mesh with our own.
So, s the fact that it happens on the planet enough to cause concern? Only when Fox News or MSNBC (which are the same product just a different brand in and of themselves) make a hoopla about things apparently. The underlying unjust that occurs the world, such things that actually effect Western Industrial countries citizens (or patriots if you employ such propagandized rheteric) by pumping them full of products that cause obesity, diabetes and cancer, or fund the use of child slave labor, etc. But it is good enough to sit at home eating Cheetos (fried artificial coloring) sitting on a sofa bought at Wal-Mart (made in China from child labor of trees from forrests that are depressingly depleted) in a cookie cutter house (in a community with a name like Deer Hollow or Quail Ridge where the animals whose namesake is exploited have been killed off or relocated as a result of the development) but that has become an American way.

It this distinctly American though? Is this trait that humanity has adopted? Have we reached a point were we strive for convenience above anything else? Apathy is more convenient than anything else.

Apathy is more convenient than anything else.

Apathy is more convenient than anything else.

Apathy is more convenient than anything else.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous25.6.09


    How are you doing? We enjoyed reading your blog together in San Francisco at Dallas's house (Mark, Victoria and Dallas!). But we still have no idea how you guys are doing.
    The drawings are great! More drawings. And your rants are dense. Poke holes in the writing, introduce some space and ground it in personal stories about your current time in Norway. Now's the time to document a unique experience, don't let it slip away. Less interior, more exterior. Basically, we want to know what you had for breakfast and what color are your socks in tandem with these ruminations.

    Love from the brief meeting of the Alfred MFA Alumni Association San Francisco "meet-up" chapter,
    Mark, Victoria, Dallas