We Want YOU!

My fellow Americans, do you recognize the pose borrowed from Uncle Sam urging you to sign up for the military?

Uncle Sam wants you, as an American, to be a patriot.  That’s all fine and good Yankee Doodle Dandee, but how do you define patriot?

Americans have always been 1. A bunch of Puritans  2. A bunch of farmers 3. A handful of Cowboys, and 4. Unclassified

You decide.

What makes a democracy?

At the heart of this country is supposed to be equality.  We are supposed to open our arms to ALL people, of all races and creeds.

That works all very well hypothetically.

Ex slaves couldn’t vote until 1867, and after that they had to deal with Jim Crow laws until the 1960’s.  And there after.

And did you know that in the US women couldn’t vote until 1920?  Apparently we should be stuck in the kitchen making biscuits or something.  Something useful.  Because we couldn’t vote.  So we might as well make biscuits.  And content ourselves with that.

Or the fact that our husbands do not beat us anymore.  Thank you Vered, of Mom Grind, for that lovely 1950’s ad advising us not to bore our husbands.

Lately I have been pissed off.  And those of you who know me well know when I get on my flaming horse I burn the house down!

But, like David Byrne of Talking Heads says on the song, “Burning Down the House,”   “Watch out, you might get what you’re after.”

And thank you, Allison, of Adverse Journalism for having a Messiah Complex and wanting to save the world.  It beats writing about the wonders of nail polish.

I think it all simmers and boils and then explodes.  And I think we can all thank Jaden who Writes for Hollywood to blow the lid off.  Yes, Jaden says most screenwriters are Caucasian males.  Around 85%.  Now you know why are movies are boring.  Why we have to wade through 5000 movies to maybe find 2 that we like.  If we’re  lucky.

The point is not that these screenwriter guys are white, but what’s with keeping with the status quo that has left things so unbalanced for so many years?  Whose interests does it serve?

But I think we may change the world.  Because, obviously, the world needs to be changed.

We Want YOU!

I challenge you to examine all your attitudes and how they may affect your writing.  Your art.

Go to.  And be changed.

Photocredit: © Ellen Wilson

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16 thoughts on “We Want YOU!”

  1. I tend to be optimistic, so I look at what we have achieved already and am actually proud. I do realize that there’s still a LONG way to go, and what I would like to see, eventually, is blindness: racial blindness, gender blindness etc.

    I just wish it wouldn’t matter anymore. And I believe that eventually, it won’t. Maybe not in our lifetime, but sometime down the road.

    Thank you for the link love, and for an inspiring post.

    Vered’s last blog post..Apparently, Easy-To-Operate Stuff Was Invented, Because Women Are STUPID (Wordless Wednesday)

  2. Making biscuits would be alright with me as a part time gig if the man brought home enough dough to make ’em and stuck around long enough to eat ’em!

    Due to inflation and a million other things, lack of respect, terrible child rearing… here we are in a bit of a modern mess. No respect for the seniors, or family, or children. (Education has gone down the tubes.) It’s become a me-me-me world, which ultimately is not working.

    Jaden @ Screenwriting for Hollywood’s last blog post..Who Wants To Be a Pro Blogger Anyway?

  3. Can’t we all just get along?

    I do agree with the previous comments from Vered and Jaden. I’m optimistic too, but I do hate how our elders are often forgotten, and our children are often mistreated. I’ve gotten where I hate watching the news as it depresses me when I learn of people who beat their kids, get them to take drugs or smoke dope, put them in microwaves because they wouldn’t stop crying, and women who are murdered and then are reported as “she’s just missing”.

    Since I do like to cook and bake, I don’t mind making biscuits, but I’m happy for those who came before us and fought for our right to vote. I feel blessed that we have service men and women fighting in foreign countries in an effort to protect us and our security. And I thank God every day for the caregivers who work night and day to ensure some of the elderly people feel love and don’t go hungry, and for the parents who take parenting seriously and raise responsible and loving children.

    There is a lot of good in this world, and there’s a lot of bad. I tend to see the cup half full, and I want to believe we can all help to leave this world a better place.

    Barbara Swafford’s last blog post..Free ‘n Easy Friday Finds

  4. @Ellen
    Yeah, I agree, things are not great right now. But look at how much progress has also been made.

    Almost within my lifetime, they still had “colored” water fountains in the deep south. Women were expected to be like June Cleaver and had zero career options. People starved to death before they started welfare in the 1930’s.

    Today, they have laws to protect against sexual harassment in the workplace, and racial segregation in schools has stopped.

    Just recently, the two Democratic presidential candidates were a woman, and an black man. That would have been unthinkable, even 25 years ago.

    I’m under no illusion that problems stilll dont’ exist. There’s still room for lots of improvement.

    But at least things are heading in the right direction (and not getting worse).

    @Jaden

    Our parents were probably saying the same thing about our generation going to hell in a handbasket…and their parents were saying the same thing about THEM…

    Friar’s last blog post..Inspirational Quotes that Made a Difference in my Life…

  5. @Vered – I wish the same. I think we should celebrate our differences, instead of punishing each other for being different. If everyone was the same it would be boring.

    @Jaden – Ha! Yeah, I like a good man who can make biscuits. And more. Mike is a good cook. He’s a keeper. Seriously, we try to have a 50/50 relationship and try not stick to rigid gender roles. I’m usually the one that does the cooking, though, because of our schedules.

    Yes, lack of respect is a big problem. I think with our nuclear families, and the fact that we travel far from our extended families, makes it hard to take care of eachother. We are spread very thin, nowadays.

    @Barbara – I wish we could all get along. It seems simple, but somehow got complicated. I, too, support people in the military. I don’t support the war, but I do support a person’s right to be a soldier, or not.

    Yes, it can all get depressing, but it’s important to talk about these kind of things and not push them under the rug. I firmly believe it’s part of the democratic process.

    @Friar – I hope things are headed in the right direction. Noam Chomsky says progress has happended since the sixties, and I’ll have to take his word for it since I was just a little kid then. I do remember the eighties being a very “me” oriented decade, and things don’t seems to be much better now. I do believe history runs in cycles, though.

    Hey! A customer.

  6. Thanks for all of your comments, everyone. I like to see what your thinking. It’s important to me.

    And you don’t have to agree with me, either.

  7. Ellen, I agree with you. I have a positive view of life but I also think that we cannot rest on what is done, and sweep issues under the rug, while chanting, but look how far we’ve come. One of the best things (in my opinion) to come out of the US election season thus far was an honest (albeit brief) discourse on race in this country. We have come far in legislating certain things but sadly attitudes have not come as far as we like to believe. Our neighborhoods, schools, and even houses of worship are still segregated. The only difference is that it is not mandatory segregation. Women are in the workplace but we still do not have equal pay and there is snobbery and debate between working moms and stay at home moms.

    We are encouraged to be “patriotic” but that does not extend to free speech. I am thankful for the barriers we’ve crossed but will rejoice when we truly reach a day when we all stand on level ground, without judgment or fear of those that are different.

    Karen Swim’s last blog post..Are you a commitment phobe?

  8. We’ve come a long way and we still have a long way to go. I’m not a fan of the good old boys club and everyone in my family thinks I’m a raving feminist because my life’s sole ambition is not to wed and procreate. Things are better now than they were fifty years ago but in the last decade or so, I think we’ve taken some steps backward. I’m sure everyone here knows who to blame for that. I’m not going to get all political on y’all but I will say that while cowboys are hot (yowsers) I detest the rodeo.

    Melissa Donovan’s last blog post..Link Love Mad Libs Writing Exercise for Bloggers

  9. @Karen – I haven’t been following the election because they always seem so full of hype. I would have liked to have seen the discourse on race, though.

    My neighborhood is racially diverse, but I think it’s more out of economic necessity, unfortunately, that people live here. No one wants to live in the Edison neighborhood. The crime rate is higher, and there are a few impoverished youths who give the neighborhood a bad name. The politics of poverty are are alive and real. No one knows what to do about it. Ruby Payne was an Texas educator that wrote books on this subject. She also wrote Hidden Rules of Class at Work, which is pretty interesting.

    I’ve heard that this is the only way to combat racial inequality, though. If people of different races live together in similar economic circumstances. That I got from my psyche class. Great class.

    I do remember desegregation and watching the kids get of of the bus. They were none to happy to be coming to a white school. I always thought, to make it even, they should have shipped half the white kids downtown. That would have been fair.

    See, that’s the thing. If I’m going to be patriotic, I’m going to defend my freedom of speech. That’s all there is to it. Of course that extends to everyone else, too.

    @Jaden – I think the PR people, tied in with the government people, AND then it’s translated to the movie people, try to get us to look the other way so we don’t examine what’s real. The environment, for instance. But, of course we are also easily manipulated by fear, 911 for instance, so we are NOW afraid of an environmental catastrophe. So now environmental fiction is coming into vogue. Because the big publishing houses can make money on it. I think Melissa Donovan mentioned something similar to this on your blog about movies reflecting our fears and fantasies. I do think this has to do with the big oil people.

    I do think it’s interesting what you said about women not making any gains during the 80’s. That’s when Reagan was around.

    @Friar – That might be true across some industries, but it certainly isn’t true across the board. People are consciously or not, in favor of paying men more money than women. A story. I used to wait tables with my ex. I was a far better waitress than he was waiter. He consistently made more money than me.

    I really know nothing about salaries in Canada. I do know in some industries, like teaching, the salaries are standardized.

    I truly believe that you can’t write good fiction unless you examine all of this. Or else, like Jaden says, you’ll be relegated to stereotyping people. And we all have seen enough crummy movies to know what that’s all about.

    Of course, some of it is kind of funny. Like in your comics.

  10. Barbara — Unfortunately the news focuses almost exclusively on negative things, I guess because that is what most people want to see. Fear sells big time.

    I read this amazing article that broke down stuff that was in the news to actual death numbers, like SARS, homicide, cancer, heart attacks. SARS in the US was like 0 deaths and homicide was a tiny number compared to natural illness deaths and car accidents that were of course in the hundreds of thousands. Whatever is odd and will sell gets air time.

    Looking at news throughout the last several decades, it’s pretty much the same old fear tactic crap with a new sauce on top.

    I try to read the different sections of news that are interesting, like science or what’s happening or public submissions.

    I have traveled quite a bit around the world, so I know how some other countries do things better (education, health care, family, equality) and I know what my own country does well (business efficiency and big money opportunity).

    In Europe and South America, I have found people have an enormous respect for seniors and include them in their life so they are not so alone and isolated like they are in America. Big families and friends hang out together in plaza centers all night, kids run around, it just seems healthier to me. In America, we are so spread out and isolated to our cars, work, and home.

    In general, people are probably more good than bad. It’s just the bad ones wreak massive havoc and affect so many people.

    Friar — When is Canada going to take over the world? Every time I get into it with Canadians, Canada sounds so progressive and pleasant. I’d move up there, but the cold temps scare me.

    Jaden @ Screenwriting for Hollywood’s last blog post..Who Wants To Be a Pro Blogger Anyway?

  11. @Jaden

    Canada take over the world? (Hahahah!). That’s a good one. 🙂

    Problem is, we’re just too damn polite and too politically correct. We’re afraid to take a strong stand on any issues (lest anyone get offended).

    If we ran the world, it would be the equivalent of those “Permissive” parents who never scold their out-of-control kids, and let them run amok in the shopping mall.

    Friar’s last blog post..Inspirational Quotes that Made a Difference in my Life…

  12. @Friar – I have found from being a parent that being too permissive is the same as being to authoritarian. You have to teach your kids respect, but if your too permissive kids think the world revolves around them, and THEY run the show. Literally. I have seen this happen in action.

    @Jaden – That’s why I tried to read the independent news sources for world news. I don’t trust the American press.

    Fear tactics with a “new sauce” on top. I’d like to hear more about that.

    @Vered – Why thank you for the wonderful compliment. I strive to have good conversations on my blog. I know it isn’t always possible, but like you said it’s good to experiment and take risks. I can’t remember where you said that, but I know you said it somewhere! Thatks for this bloggers name, I will have to check him out.

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