Thursday, June 14, 2007

Your questions answered, not quite 24/7

IMG_5666_1Since Carrie (and actually not Kimananda) asked, I would recommend Jonathan Safran Foer. I think Jonathan would agree. He's only written two books but now I'm a fan. Aside from that, I read Saving Fish from Drowning by Amy Tan and I thought it was a pretty good book about cultural (mis)understanding. I've read some other books lately that reminded me a lot of Margaret Atwood, who Im not overly fond of but if that's what you're into then I can recommend some of that too.

As for movies, I haven't seen one lately that has floored me, so I'll think on it some more. I really want to see The Last King of Scotland though.

And food? I like cambozola cheese. It's very creamy and mild for a blue cheese and it's delicious on top of lettuce, with some sliced tomatoes, toasted walnuts, pepper and a vinegarette. I've probably said this before on this blog.

Is television evil? (the extremely abridged version)

A man was hit by a car in an intersection a few years ago now. He had to drag himself across several lanes of traffic to get off the road while cars swerved to miss him because no one would stop. A similar thing has happened more than once at a skytrain station, where someone was attacked and then lay there for several hours while people stepped over them before anyone took the time to stop and check if they were alright.

In Canada (I can't speak for anywhere else) the incidence of violent crime is down, and has been dropping for the past few years. During the same period of time, the number of violent crimes reported on the news has increased significantly. The media thrives on telling us about all that is ugly and violent in the world. Is it any wonder then that there are a lot of people who choose not to participate in their communities and that there are people who don't want to help strangers out?

I saw a woman trip and fall on the skytrain platform a couple of weeks ago and an old lady tugged on my arm and asked if I knew what had happened. "It wasn't a man, was it?" she said "I think it was a man that pushed her down!" Now, why would she think that? Could it not be in part due to the fact that the news portrays the world as a place where old women should fear for their lives when they step outside?

More often than not, the mainstream news reduces important issues to personal conflicts between important people and tends to treat ordinary people like spectators, rather than participants. Instead of giving you the option to become involved in public life in some way, you are meant to think that politics is something only done by politicians, law enforcement is only done by the police, social projects are only done by the government etc.

I think evil only happens when people choose not to resist it, and people are far more likely to help each other out if they all feel connected to their communities, able and empowered to do things. The messages we hear on television are too often that we should be passive and fearful, and I think that is a very dangerous thing. Every moment you spend vegetating in front of the television takes a moment away from something more important you could be doing.

That being said, I like House, and *gasp* all the interns are gone! On the one hand, they irritated me, but on the other, I can't imagine the show without them.

I'm not completely immune.