Tuesday, September 08, 2009

"Torn"

I love Utah.
That's why even though I live across the country, I come about once a month to visit, but there are some things that drive me crazy about Utah... I just added parents in Farmington not wanting their kids to this video because it's "too leftist" to the list...

I definitely wouldn't want my kids to be encouraged to be a little better this year either.

8 comments:

Kiersten said...

Seriously. You wouldn't want little kids to be encouraged to "smile more" or be nice to old people or whatever. I went to Farmington. Pretty proud about that right now.

Andrea said...

That happened at my mom's elementary school ... Ridiculous! I am moving.

Christian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christian said...

Very interesting post. Hope you don't mind a hearty response.

I agree with what I see as the larger implications of what you are saying. I.e. that the perpetual sniping and faux outrage of political parties and their radical partisans at anything they can grasp at is often disingenous, emotional, juvenile, and unproductive. (I think both parties are exactly equal in their hypocrisy and corruption.)

For example, I think the recent protests over Pres. Obama giving a very apolitical, encouraging speech to schools students are ridiculous and damaging.
That said, I think this "I Pledge" video is quite a different animal, and I would be annoyed, not outraged, but annoyed if it was shown to my kids in school. Here's why:
1. To my knowledge, all the people in the video belong to a far wing of one political party. This might not be precisely analogous (although I think it's pretty close), but imagine if during Pres. Bush's administration, the same video was made with Sean Hannity, Chuck Norris, Ted Nugent, and a few outspoken conservative country music stars. That would be very obnoxious.

2. Their "pledges" were mostly apolitical and commendable. But we can't ignore the controversial political implications of some issues, even though the issue can be stated in seemingly innocuous ways. For example, there were a few pledges having to do with basic environmental conservation. I agree completely with that message. But it would be naive of me to deny that the mere mention of this topic has much deeper implications. The analogous example that comes to mind is if, in our Bush commercial, one of the conservative personalities pledged to "support our troops," by donating money for them to have body armor. When simply stated, supporting our troops with body armor to protect them is a universally good and innocent value, right? Well, yes, but someone who doesn't agree with the far extent (i.e. waging the war in Iraq) to which hard right wingers want to "support our troops" would be very annoyed at this being preached to their children in public school.

3. The hero worship of Obama is over the top nauseating. In my reading of American history, the only person I see who came close to it (I'm talking about before and during their administration, not years after, when nostalgia has set in) was Washington, and that was because he had basically single-handedly won America's independence. The direction and inspiration of the pledges seemed very much to Obama. Demi Moore pledging to be the President's "servant?" Shepard Fairey's Early Soviet era, constructivist artistic rendering of Obama at the start and end of the video? Little bit much for me.
Man, long comment. Sorry about that.

Andrea W. said...

I agree that the reactions to this and the speech have been WAYYYYY out of hand and just plain obnoxious. However, I'm with Christian. This wasn't my kids' school by the way, but if it was I wouldn't have been outraged, but a little bugged. First of all, just the whole celebrity thing is a little nauseating to me liberal or conservative. I'm not defending that reaction, they have a right to be polictically active and outspoken, but I just sort of hate how they've been given so much credibility on the political stage. I would much rather my kids watch the President speak about looking for ways to serve our country and others than Ashton Kutcher and David Arquette. Most of it was a great message about service, but again I agree with Christian that not all of it was non-political i.e. and though I disagree more than agree with Pres. Obama I'm not a foaming at the mouth hater. It did seem a little worshipful to me i.e. the graphics that Christian mentioned.

maWeesa said...

kook and andrea, thanks for comments... i disagree with you, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion... kooks, i think you win the award for longest comment EVER...

Teija in PDX said...

Amen sister! Thanks for that!

Christina said...

Yes, Amen. I think the message is what's important. Not WHO is delivering it. We should all pledge to be better. Isn't that what we are here on this earth to do?