Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Good OR The Bad and The Ugly???

The world of media and promotion is strange indeed, it would seem that at times the moral and ethical issues that apply to normal people, living ordinary lives don’t always apply to those we are expected and encouraged to look up to.  The picture that is often painted of the rich, powerful and famous has been for far too long an exaggerated and unfair portrait of perfection.  For the most part however this carefully painted illusion is seen by the masses for what it is; a fake representation of those we choose for a time to place on a pedestal.  Even the artists (musicians, actors etc.) have begun to come forward to speak out against this flagrant disregard for truth.   Our own willingness to blindly accept whatever we are fed is quickly changing as the public gets more diligent is supporting only those things that inspire them rather than discourage.

Yet even as the media and entertainment moguls begin to catch onto this shifting public perception of what is and what is not acceptable in the world of promotion and marketing there is a group of people out there who seem content to carry on as they always have; oddly, for most of them, it is their stated mission to be helping to make the world a better place yet through their actions they may inadvertently be doing more harm than good.

I am referring to the passionate actions of our environmental heroes’, or rather the people we have for so long referred to as such.  People dedicated to the protection of our planet and by extension the welfare of every single species living on that planet including the human race.  These tireless individuals have trudged through the sludge of our industrial revolution, head bent against the winds of change, pushing ever forwards in an attempt to awaken the masses to our inevitable self destruction; and we, the people applaud their efforts and drop our jaws wide in anticipation of the approaching information that they provide.  Much like the baby bird, safe and secure in the warmth of our nests we have rarely questioned their motives, their objectives or their methods.  Only when those we view as radicals commit acts that disrupt our normally ordered lives do we ponder their actions.

For years it has worked, they have managed to successfully ignite the angst and anger of many a neutral person against the insatiable greed of corporate America.  They ripped open the can of worms that is our tortured and rent Earth and bluntly pointed out that ‘look – all the worms are dead’.  They have opened hearts and minds to the possibility that maybe; just maybe, there is more to this whole natural balance thing than we have been led to believe. 

But... have they touched those same hearts and minds?

Have their pictures of devastated farm lands, oil slicked birds, crippled mammals and torched bush ignited their own unique fire of action or has it instilled fear into the hearts of those they reach out to. 

I have always believed that positive reinforcement is one of the most efficient methods of initiating successful action in others; tell people how awesome they are doing and they will keep on doing.  If however you continue to point out how overwhelmingly unpleasant things are people have a natural tendency to back away from (or run depending on the person) whatever it is you are pointing your disapproving finger at.  Momma always said you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar and though she wasn’t always right the woman did have a pretty clear insight into the way the human brain works.  So, knowing this and knowing too that I am no expert on human psychology (no doctorate degree and whatnot) I have to wonder why is it the ‘experts’ out there, the ones planning and implementing the campaigns are not aware of this little flaw in the plan?

Basically what I want to know is...

Why do environmentalists think that by showing us enough of what’s wrong that we the people will do what’s right???

It doesn’t compute, is not logical and certainly not realistic to assume that by showing images of mass destruction that it will encourage people to fall back in love with their planet.  How can one appreciate the true beauty of our natural world when all one does is look at the garbage that humans have come to dump into it?  How about a little more of what’s working and a little less of what’s not?  How about showing us all the amazing things we could be doing by showing us all the amazing things that are already being done rather than showing us what is not getting done and helping us to feel as if we are powerless to change it? 

Does a good Mother not show her child kindness by example; does she not teach her child manners by making words such as please and thank-you a part of her own vocabulary???

If it is true that many of us yet need to be woken up to the changes that need be made within our society for the benefit of that society than is it not also true that this suggests a state of child-like innocence?  If we need to be educated about these issues, and are naive to the truths of our world then shouldn’t those who are doing the teaching not set for us an example of success for us to build upon?

Of course I might be wrong, after all there is no signed and sealed certificate on my wall to confirm the worth and value of my intellect, I must go simply by what I know from my own experiences and rely on the things I learned in life through my own personal trials and errors.  One of the most important things that I have ever learned is something that I have come to understand through the raising of my own child;  that by showing her the value, worth and beauty of a thing I was almost always able to encourage her interest in that thing; I just thought perhaps in the raising of our global family the same rules might apply.

Friday, June 15, 2012

A Word is Just a Word...

Or is it???

In light of my recent experiences with censorship it has come to my attention that our society really needs to re-think its priorities.  Today I received a note from a friend saying that she had tried unsuccessfully to post review of one of my books on Amazon.com; she was writing to ask if I could figure out why they would not allow the post...

Here is the brief review...

“Fresh, unencumbered truth, naked feeling almost- a new look on relation-shifts in general.....the kind of book that gets you to a place where you want to move forward to deal with your anger, shadow, shit, stuck situations, re-think the life you do not want to live.... whatever you want to call it!! ...a much needed different perspective of things in our vastly changing time frame.”

Ok soooooo???

What’s wrong with that you ask...

Well unfortunately for us both she happened to use a word that apparently is unacceptable to the pious and upright socially correct minds at Amazon.  Yes my friends, I do believe that the word ‘SHIT’ falls into the category of profanity, which by the way is clearly outlined in the rules at Amazon as NOT being allowable content and I quote “We do not allow profane or obscene content. This applies to adult products too.”

Now I normally would not have caught this, except for the entertaining experience of just the other night having a word I typed into the chat room of our on-line radio show be censored by Blog Talk.  I was talking ‘shit’ as I occasionally do when the topic at hand is an interesting one and I realized that the word ‘shit’ came out in the chat room as ***.  Fascinating to say the least that they would have taken the time to set up a programme within their undoubtedly already complex programme (running a Blog Talk station with chat capabilities can’t be overly simple) to censor words as benign as the word ‘shit’.

Which leads me to wonder who is in charge of deciding what is and what is not profanity and how do we distinguish between words that ARE and ARE NOT acceptable? In my mind, twisted though to some it might be, the word ‘shit’ (albeit a crass definition) describes a natural human and non-human function (animals do it too) so why in the world would we deign to waste time with banning it from our language.

I got curious as I so often do and I looked it up... This is what our much esteemed and referenced Merriam Webster had to say about it...

Definition of SHIT

1 usually vulgar: feces

2 usually vulgar: an act of defecation

3 usually vulgar: nonsense, crap

4 usually vulgar: any of several intoxicating or narcotic drugs; especially: heroin

5 usually vulgar: damn

6 usually vulgar: a worthless, offensive, or detestable person

7 usually vulgar a—used as an interjection b—used as an intensive usually with the

shit·ty \ˈshi-tē\adjective,usually vulgar

Examples of SHIT

1.       Don't give me that shit!

2.       Why are you telling me this shit?

3.       That movie was total shit.

4.       There's always some shit going on.

Origin of SHIT

Middle English *shit, from Old English scite; akin to Old English -scītan to defecate

First Known Use: circa 1526

I had to wonder at the number of times they managed to use the word vulgar, but the truth of it is, regardless of the fact that they are quite clear on the fact that it is not the nicest of words they also happened to point on in the process of defining this particular word that it is quite commonly used in everyday language.

Oddly enough, at the bottom of the definition they asked...

What made you want to look up shit? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

I didn’t bother to write in and tell them because quite frankly I can’t remember that far back.

Now I am not denying that there ARE several words that the English language could do without but I am thinking that ‘shit’ is not one of them.

What I want to know is when are words like ‘rape’, ‘bigotry’, ‘pedophilia’, ‘hate’, ‘racism’, ‘starvation’ and my all time favorite ‘war’ going to become just as unacceptable to our society.  Those words are used everyday – those words are taught in our schools – talked about frequently – no daily - in mainstream media – those words we have become immune to – numb to... Those words that describe inhuman acts of depravity are words we ACCEPT as being a part of our world and our reality.  Think about the use of those words, the damage, death and destruction they have caused millions of people over the years and consider this – WE ARE WASTING OUR TIME GIVING A SHIT ABOUT THE WRONG SHIT!!!

To sum it up... This kind of SHIT has to STOP...

(If you happen to agree with and support this overly ‘vulgar’ blog post then by all means pass it on, then drop me a line at feenxrising@gmail.com and I will gladly give you a free promotional e-book version of the book that my friend was reviewing – which by the way, possibly contains the word ‘shit’ more than once (I can't remember)  – but then I guess Amazon didn’t bother to read it before gladly accepting the chance to make money off it.)

Jean Victoria Norloch