How do we convince people who do not derive power from it or lose out as a result of it that the White Male Privilege does exist and that it would be almost universally beneficial to eliminate it?
Archive for the 'entertainment' Category
I saw an article this week on Facebook Depression – basically the idea that people who don’t have many friends on Facebook or whose friends don’t interact much with them can become depressed and suicidal. I suppose if you’re socially awkward or withdrawn normally, your Facebook life would reflect your normal life. Everything we do is a reflection of us anyway. The article makes a valid point, but omits one glaring and serious fact – our experience is what we make it.
Facebook may be depressing for some, but for others, it is amazing. For others it is a way to connect with friends all over the world that they might not have been able to afford to call or wouldn’t have felt comfortable writing. Facebook has made it possible for people to look up relatives they knew existed but had no idea how to contact. It has made that initial reach out to someone you wish you still knew just a little bit less scary and therefore; infinitely more possible. It has renewed relationships and friendships that people thought we lost and provides hope that we may get so see someone again, someday… if they’re on Facebook.
Sure, we may get annoyed when we see a lot of negative statuses, but Facebook forces us to accept that some people are complainers. If we cannot accept it, Facebook gives us the option to walk away, unseen, unnoticed, until we choose otherwise. It gives us an opportunity to support each other that we didn’t have in the past, not because we didn’t care, but because we didn’t know. We’ve learned that we can empathize with people we haven’t seen in years and simply because we were once on the same team or went to the same school. Those people, even if they exist in your life only when you want them to, by extension, enrich or diminish that part of your life only if you let them.
I can’t ignore that a lot of my friends are struggling, but I know for sure that Facebook is not the cause of their struggle. Their struggles are with their health, their relationships, their jobs or lack of them, and the frustrations of every day. Facebook allows us all to garner the support we need to wage daily war against the harshness and cruelty of life, even if it’s just in the knowledge that someone else is going through that too, and there is someone out there who does, indeed, know where we are coming from. Their status proves it.
Does Facebook cause depression? Maybe for some people it does, but it also weakens it. Facebook virtually fills the holes where depression would entrench itself until people we are connected with in the real world can take over. Our experience with Facebook is about how we choose to use it. Zuckerberg gave us a power we didn’t have – to positively or negatively affect people’s lives without being in the same room. How we use it is up to us.
A debate with a friend over whether or not I should buy a Kindle sparked a deeply philosophical discussion over the necessity for one. Up until now, my objections were mostly tactile, but the more I think about, the more this question bothers me: Do I really NEED a Kindle?
I am beginning to feel as though technology is complicating our lives in a way that is unnecessary and unnerving. What happens when every book is available on an electronic device or on the internet? Will we begin to close libraries? What will we do with all the books? Will there be arguments made about their storage? Their usefulness? Their destruction? Will it turn into another way to keep the poor uneducated, with no libraries and no money to access technology?
Granted, I’m going a little COnspiracy Theory here, but how is all of this technology actually BENEFITTING us as human beings, if at all? Aren’t these things supposed to be “connecting” us to each other? Then why are we all in our separate homes having coffee at our separate computers “talking” to each other through status updates and blog posts? I don’t think I can contribute to that any more than I already do. Plus, the mingled smell of coffee and printed paper still makes me swoon.
One of the reasons why some of my friends have respect for me a s a parent is because I spend so much time doing things with my kids. I don’t mean I spend time with them. ALL of my friends, mostly stay-at-home moms, spend nearly all of their time with their families. My friends who work, and I hope to be among them again one day, spend all of their non-working time with their kids. But not all of them are DOING things with them.
My daughter and I sing songs every day. She’s still a baby, so we mostly focus on the basics. She rocks the Alphabet. My son gets Circle Time almost daily. There’s the calendar, the money count, books relevant to what he’s currently interested in, pre-reading games, geography, and a variety of other activities. We do arts and crafts, science experiments, and play extended games of hide and seek. In addition to that, we stay current with what’s going on for cheap or free, or (thanks to my awesome parents) with a membership to the Zoo. Every Saturday we have some sort of activity – community days, walks in the park, a LONG drive to the National Museums to see dinosaurs, air planes, moon landers (all on separate trips, mind you!), etc… We plan things together as a family based on what my son wants to learn about, and we try to make sure his sister is as included as a young toddler can be.
I believe strongly that active parenting must be ACTIVE. The relationships we build with our children from such a young age determine our relationships with them for the rest of our lives. Their father and I chose this path because we wanted to be included in their learning process and we wanted it to be only natural to want to spend a day in the park instead of an afternoon watching ___________ (insert sport, TV show, movie here). The only way to foster that is to model it. I don’t understand what that’s not evident to most of the parents I know. We’re well aware to watch our language around the baby because we’re modeling speech. Why aren’t we also aware to model active lifestyles around young children because we’re modeling LIFE?
I have noticed several things this year including a drastic change in my writing style. I am less angry and less resenttful, at least most of the time. I’m not any more optomisitc, at least politically. I think the lack of action on the part of Obama and Congress burst my Hope Bubble. I did not expect a complete loss of faith in the American political system, but a trip to Ireland and conversations with locals there led me to believe that the world has lost faith in us as well.
My own long-term unemployment has given me the opportunity to get to know my children on a level I wouldn’t have experienced otherwise, and I have to say that I am quite happy with the way their personalities are developing. The craziness of a 4-year-old boy notwithstanding, I find that he has a sense of humor that will carry him through life when his intellect makes it difficult for him. My daughter, who chooses to speak only in phrases at 16 months and uses singular words only when absolutely necessary is also quite the jokester and a bit of a daredevil (which makes her Mommy incredibly nervous)!
This year I hope for a job, which will bring with it financial security and health care. I plan on writing a book and beseech the universe for the willpower and time to complete and publish it. I’d like to dedicate more time and attention here, because developing my political opinion writing can only be a good thing. I feel as though I have become a “real” adult in the past year. This year I hope to be a better one.
The Parent’s Television Council has decided to “scold” various TV shows for their representation of teenage sexuality. Most of the shows they chastised were geared towards adults, shows that young teens shouldn’t be watching anyway. Of course, whether or not a child should be watching a particular show should depend on the maturity of the child and the decision of their parents, not a Parent’s council.
Indirect censorship groups are gaining way too much power. Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club are censoring the release of Jon Stewart’s new book, Earth, for unknown reasons. Blockbuster and other video stores decide what they want to release to the public, and it’s usually based on the owner’s morals rather than actual inappropriate content. The rating system for movies in the US has absolutely no rhyme, reason, or rubric.
American’s are allowing their information, their books, their TV shows, and their movies to be censored with no knowledge of why or how. They put bling faith and trust in an agency without knowing the true purpose of the censorship. I’m so tired of being told what to watch, what to read, what to think… Even though I choose not to listen to these agencies, I find it more and more difficult to gain access to the information they don’t want me to have, even if it’s just a little sex on Glee.
I grew up listening to Michael Jackson. My father played the Jackson 5, I saw the Thriller video on MTV, I attened the “We ARE the World” event, I danced to his songs with my friends. There is no doubt that he was the most famous person of our lifetimes. He was an amazing musician, and incredibly talented singer, and a gifted dancer. His music will always be a part of my life.
Still, his life was a bit of a tragedy. The amount of pressure we put on celebrities to constantly be in the limelight, to give up a part of themselves to be in the public eye, to become icons (demi-gods) and give up something inately human and fallible in themselves is one of the worst parts of our culture. We have no idea who Michael Jackson really was. We know the stories, we’ve seen the tabloids, and we’ve heard countless accusations, but we ignored the fact that he was just a man. My hear goes out to the family of Michael Jackson. Oney they truly knew the man.