Media

Yesterday I watched a news broadcast I found deeply disturbing. I have been trying to gather my thoughts since then as I have been thinking about this for some time. I am going to do my best to present this as logically as possible and we will see if it leads to some interesting discussion.

It is no secret that the media holds the power to change public opinion. It is also no secret that it does just that. I believe that the biggest culprits are news media and Hollywood movies. Both of which I will discuss here.

Let’s start with the ABC news story that ran last evening about the opening of an arabic school in NYC. Go ahead, read the whole thing. This should not be an issue since there are other similar schools for other languages and they don’t cause controversy. For those that didn’t read, this school will not be taught all in Arabic, but that classes in the language and culture are mandatory. It follows US school system curriculum so what exactly is the issue? The fact is that we are now living in a global society. I think for our children it will be difficult to compete without knowledge of additional languages. Not to mention, it is extremely wise for US children to learn that there are other languages and cultures besides our own. Our nation is vast and we have a tendency to forget that there is a world outside of our borders that may not always think as we do. Not to mention that our view of that world is so skewed because all we know is what the media tells us rather than what we have experienced.

Now, let me tell you a bit about the story that ran on TV, the part that I found disturbing. You will see in the article this quote: “I think there’s a special problem with an Arab school because of the reality of the world that we live in today,” said Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind. “The sad reality is that a lot of the terrorism, not a lot, almost all of it, has come from a particular community — a minority — but a particular community. That’s a reality we better face.”

What you don’t see is that this is coming from an orthodox Jew. Now, I have nothing against any of these religions or cultures, but don’t insult my intelligence by having the only person in the report not condoning the school by a man like this. Do you notice that this guy has it out for Muslims? Do you see that he encourages racial profiling? He doesn’t recognize Martin Luther King day? But I am sure he would be the first one to throw a fit if we start racial profiling against Jews! If you want to report that some find this school controversial, do so, but don’t do so in a way that immediately raises my dander. I find this particularly dangerous reporting because most people aren’t going to even notice who they have used to report something and just take it as fact. *sigh*

Now let me talk a bit about Hollywood. Recently I have noticed that almost every movie I see has some derogatory reference to Muslims even when it isn’t the least bit warranted nor necessary to a story line. I remember this being the case with Christianity in my childhood. The most blaring example I came across though was with September Dawn. (The first September 11) Basically it takes place in Utah in 1857, an incident where a wagon train stopping for rest on their way to California is massacred by Mormons who had settled there after being driven out of Missouri. I had never heard of this story until this movie came out. (I know I have a few Mormon readers and feel free to correct me on this one, or present another side of the story since I am ALL for discussion on this post!!!)

In the movie, there is a section where the the local Mormon leader is remembering being persecuted by people in Missouri and there is whole sections of this that talk about Islam, Muhammad, the Qur’an, etc. Now I ask you, were there really that many middle eastern people in the mid-west in 1857? Maybe I am wrong but I think not. I don’t think it is a logical correlation at all. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong. It really just struck me as taking a shot at a religion that had nothing to do with the storyline once again.

My mother suggested that perhaps Hollywood was taking a potshot at any fundamental religion it could get its hands on. I suspect she is right.

Also, do you suppose this movie has come out because we have a possible presidential candidate who is Mormon?

Think people!

Open for discussion, much discussion appreciated. I’d like to see what others’ views on this subject are!

Studying

So some circumstances have suddenly made school and studying a much larger challenge.  Suddenly I have my daughter at all times now, and I am finding that poetry is not something that I can study with distractions.  Even if my daughter is playing quietly, it isn’t quiet enough for me to concentrate properly and be uninterrupted.  After all, who can concentrate on Wordsworth if one is listening for a child eating soap or filling the toilet with toilet paper?

Then there is the issue with her going to bed.  Someone replaced my daughter with a little monster who doesn’t want to go to bed and screams in her crib for half an hour to 45 minutes each night.  This never used to be an issue.  Well, a tantrum throwing 3 yr old is also not conducive to studying even if I am doing so outside on the porch in an attempt to escape the eardrum splitting sound!  And then once she quiets down and goes to sleep, around 8:45 or 9 at night, I sit down for a moment of peace and quiet and poetry and I fall asleep!

What option does this leave me with?  Yup, you got it, 5:30AM.  Last night I decided I would get up an hour early each morning to do my studying.  To commit to this, I need to be in bed by 9:30 at night in order to not be burning the candle on both ends.  I set my coffeemaker to have fresh coffee at 5:30 this morning, set my cup out with a bit of sugar and a spoon already in it, set my alarm, set my books out, and went to bed.   It worked!  I have always known I am a morning person and that I function better then anyhow.  The significant other was very very skeptical of this plan but I don’t think he fully understands the meaning of “morning person.”  I am at my brightest and retain the most early in the AM. (and he wonders why I can’t function after 10 at night?  I’ve been up a lot longer than he has!!!)  I maintain that this might be my answer to the current studying problem.  We shall see.

On another note, this means that I can still knit while my daughter is awake, keeping me nice and calm.  Last night I swatched for a sweater out of Aran Knitting, but I cannot get gauge no matter how hard I try.   I have officially decided that Lamb’s pride worsted is not going to work for this sweater.  Which is too bad, because that is what I have on hand and in the color I like.  I suppose I will attempt something else with it.