Sunday, November 30, 2008

Children in Politics

Why put images of children and children’s voices on the media in this fashion? Could adults not ask? Of course they could. But someone somewhere thought that having children ask would be cute or attractive. It is an abuse of our children to have them appear to say words which are really not their own. This is the adults of society using the psychological implications of the innocent child for political gain. And this brings the child into a/the dominant hegemony before being aware enough to think for him or herself.

Look at this:

This seemingly benign use of children is an indoctrination tool being used on the children and then being presented to the public as a spectacle.

Someone in the public then chose to subvert the message through juxtaposing symbols resulting in this collison montage:

We get the point. Don’t we? This media producer sees the correlation between using our children to propose Obama’s presidency and using them to propose Fascism. But who is abused and who is the abuser? Is this how we hoped the shifting of the power of media to the masses would be used? Perhaps some would see fun in this juxtaposition. I see only abuse of the meek in both productions. Through my intuition I feel sick about this use of children in this new “free access” media. When the powerless are used by the powerful there is something off, whether it is on Youtube or Network TV.

Let the kids alone. Let them enjoy their undetermined youth. Should we parade them?

No, we should not parade children in political campaigns. Yes, these depict beautiful moments. Beautiful private moments forever stained by discussions of adult motives:

Is this serious professional journalism? Perhaps they are producing the media which they believe to be desirable? And who are they? Adults.

At least Michelle Obama thinks she should protect her children’s privacy. This is a noble cause but not the whole truth. While talking about protecting their privacy, we see the children in larger than life images behind the hosts of The View:

Children are not intellectual adults. They may have the capacity to ask many pertinent questions (even if done innocently). This use of children is an appeal to the psychological aspect of our fondness for children. Political candidates and commentators use children for these purposes.

In this video, images of young children are paired with a child’s voice-over. Imagine as you listen and view if the images were the same and either John Mc Cain’s or Barack Obama’s voice was the voice-over.

Well, how did you do imagining our (political) adults as the voice instead of the child? Would it have the same impact? What if the video did not invade the privacy of the children in the footage and just showed Obama or McCain explaining their opinion? A novel idea perhaps? Have the candidates speak.

I suggest we get the children out of political fighting. Maybe the candidates will have to come up with more than a 10 second sound-bite.

The aging among us

This is originally a post for a class in BECA, SFSU but if you ignore the text in brackets then you can experience it as it is - i.e without class implications.]

It is (intuitively in the Gitlin sense) a fact that the elderly members of our society are treated with less than optimal respect. In the vein of intuitive discovery (that Gitlin has used in his post on pop culture which we have read for this class) I assert that it is easy to convince people that the elderly deserve to be appreciated more than they are. (This insert is a little long but you might just let the music play while you read on as the tone of the tune/soundrack has an aesthetic element which lends itself to the sentiment of what I am asserting. Otherwise forty seconds will inform you.)

However, there are people in society who know this as a result of their experiences.

Among this population are these young medical professionals who (presumably) care for the elderly. The way in which they have taken control of "the means of production" (as per Marx) is an indication of the true humanistic nature of some members of our society. They wish to do good. They have done good by attempting to understand through "ethnographic" analysis what it is like to be old.

(In the Gramscian sense perhaps) One could criticize this exercise as a useless crumb thrown to the agressive train of humanity which will never accept our geriatrics as fully human. But (in the Gramscian sense) there is also (I would assert) potential here for the use of the means of production to become more than a crumb. (Marx) Many would congratulate the producers of this kind of media:

(In the Marxist sense) This is a departure from the control of media by conglomerates.

In my opinion - it is the first step. This media needs to be seen to be appreciated. I believe, (in the Gitlin sense), intuitively that I would have a challenge ahead of me to find one who would disagree with the sentiment that our elderly deserve better/more.

Therefore, this kind of media needs to be shown in schools and spread out through the virtual (and therefore real) world. We need to get this message to the forefront of peoples thinking. People want to help and "love" our elderly. They just need to be shown how. This media can do that - People do want to help:

The media have a certain amount of power to influence. Surely it can be a force for the realization of the attributes of our elderly. But these media need to be seen. Now that we have the means of production dissipated to the masses, how do we get the masses to see the production?

This may seem simplistic but if each of us brings this blog to the attention of our mother/father/grandmother/grandfather/aunt/ uncle etc... friend - then more people will be aware that they are not alone in their thoughts about the elderly in our society, whether they are elderly or not.