12/13/2008 18:10:00 6:10pm December 13th, 2008 By braceletseeds
My brother's favorite show at the moment is a British car show called "Top Gear". Every once in a while I'll join him to watch the three funny gentlemen discuss the latest car crazes, most of which is beyond me. But atleast it's funny and entertains me for a short time before hitting the hay.
The other day, the show focused in on the three gentlemen taking a trip over to America to see if they could survive a few days trekking across the southern states in crappy cars (this is an old episode but what can I say, I'm late for everything). So they purchased their barely-held together vehicles for under $1000 and began their journey.
The episode weaves in and out of a storyline focused on British humor and the longetivity of older American cars. But the story took an unexpected twist when the men decided to push their limits and paint offensive remarks all over their cars. I'm talking about straight out insults for people of the more isolated regions of the South, like "Country Western Sucks" and "Man Love Rules". It was quite funny at first, seeing them get stared down on the highway. Not too comfortable, but safe. However, when they stopped at a little country gas station, the full-out Southern fury I've heard about came gushing forth. The inhabitants of the little country gas station that day were not too open-minded when it came to different lifestyles or opinions. Although the comments were slightly forced upon them by the blatantly painted car, it was still quite interesting to see the outright hatred and misunderstanding confronting the well-dressed, British gentlemen.
To make a long story short, they fled the scene before a truckload of big, burly men kicked their behinds, making for quite entertaining television; on the other hand, it also made for quite disturbing stereotypes of the deep South.
So I started thinking, why is the Bible Belt the way it is? Is it only because of the religious fervor that seems to accompany almost every individual? Or can we blame their way of life on isolation (the country vs. the city)? Another good reason may be their less stressful lives, thereby warranting more time to focus on every little detail including their religion. I think another perfectly legitmate argument would be that the episode seems to unfairly portray the American South, since any city would take offense to certain ideas/comments brightly painted on a car (try driving through Pittsburgh with "the Steelers suck" painted on your car door.)
So in particular avoid painting any sort of offensive remarks on your car when traveling to the southern neck of the U. S. of A. Why you would paint on your car in the first place for any reason other than a wedding/graduation celebration or British car show is again beyond me.
11/13/2008 02:50:00 2:50am November 13th, 2008 By braceletseeds
I believe any type of discrimination towards President-Elect Barack Obama at this point is actually discrimination towards his image. But in the minds of the accusers, they’re one in the same. Disagreement with his proposals or policies based on sound judgment is one thing; but hatred and anger, the emotions that seem to be running high in the population that voted “against him” (yes, voting against a candidate is entirely possible…look at the Kerry/Bush election) is completely different and just throws us instantly back into the era of crazy McCarthyism.
Many people just can’t seem to restrain their blatant bigotry any longer, and so begin to throw out baseless claims and fear-mongering stories (my favorite is how he’s a secret Muslim and will inject both Sharia and Marxism into the constitution; wow, now that would be a first.) This has been happening all along, but now it’s like they unleashed their inner demons, and are setting us up for the apocalypse (amuse yourselves here.)
I read a great article yesterday interviewing Bill Cosby as he walked up to the voting booth to vote for the first African American president, and it mentioned the possibility of the Cosby Show being one of the factors carving out the path to that historic moment. Researchers even had a name for it; “the Huxtable effect”, named after the famous family in the show. “The Huxtable effect” theory speculated that by the Cosby Show establishing the first appealing black family living a normal upper-middle class life, young TV viewers were set up to begin the erosion of remaining stereotypes. Cosby seemed split on that theory but acknowledged his attempt to help break down racial barriers.
Either way, I’m just happy to see him enjoy this historic moment, as well as Martin Luther King Jr.’s children, the 106 year-old woman mentioned in Obama’s speech, and every other African-American and minority; or everyone else who was moved to tears by that heart-warming moment when he walked onto the stage with his family. I believe many people who didn’t support him or vote for him still felt the global sigh of relief in seeing this country move forward.
And I think regardless of who we voted for, we can all agree that THIS is an awesome game!