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I started this blog as I entered my 40th year, and now firmly in my 40s, I continue to learn so much about life. I'm learning that life rarely goes according to plan and that there's something new to learn every single day, be it a subtle nudge or a smack in the face.... This is my blog about muddling through my 40s-working hard, writing a book, being an ammateur photographer, trying to exercise and eat well, endeavouring to be the world's best aunt, as well as having fun and laughing out loud every single day.

Monday, June 30, 2014

The True Intentions of a Curious Soul - by Diana Kirk - Guest Blogger

Let me introduce you to Diana Kirk, one of the most inspirational writers and people I know.  She's the person responsible for us building a house in Nicaragua a little later in the year - there's a blog post on that waiting to write itself.  You can find her on Facebook - Diana Kirk - or read her travel blog here.

Everyday, every single day I'm hit over the head with media telling me that everybody is insensitive to everybody else. 
Are we, as a society, beginning to lose our ability to speak anything outside of what is accepted by the masses? Our  media has begun a witch hunt on words, phrases, for political correctness. When a piece of jewelry worn by a musician is a weeklong media frenzy, I'm wondering what the intent is by both the artist and the media is.  I'm gong to assume the artist's intent was either to shock or to wear something cool and hip. The media's intent is to sell shame. Then Lana del Rey says a five word comment during a two hour interview and she becomes the poster girl for young suicide. I'm gonna say it outloud and hopefully stick to it but in this movement of sensitivity retraining, I'm beginning to think we are going to lose our edge for art, for individuality, for freedom of speech, on both sides if this witch hunt continues in its verocity.
And now this media frenzy is growing and attacking young people that barely know what they're doing. A fifteen year old Justin Bieber video shows up with him saying a racially insensitive joke and it goes viral. He issues an apology. People hate him. People get angry. People call for deportation. I'd like to find these people and have a talk with them about what they were like when they were fifteen. I was a mess at fifteen. I did all kinds of dumb things and thank goodnes nobody was recording me at the time. My intention though was certainly not to offend anyone as I doubt Justin Bieber's was, at fifteen. 
Yesterday I read an article that said talking about sex positively, offends some people who don't think of sex positively. It suggested we not talk about sex which now in this new sensitivity retraining means we return to what, the 1950's bedroom? Are you fucking kidding me? We hide sex now? We return to the world of shame? While we're at it, should we also hide the beauty of a multicultural society? Can I not think that a woman of color is gorgeous without being called a racist because I noticed she was a woman of color? Which is the actual definition of racism, to separate races. But what if I think she's gorgeous, because I'm not considered, in my country to be a woman of color and her friggin' hair and eyes rock my GD world. I mean when I travel to different countries, I notice the women and what they wear and their hair and their clothes and therefore, I am a racist. But really, is that my intent? My heart doesn't feel as though my intent is anything more than observation itself. I'm not suggesting we separate as races or that her or I should be limited because of our race, only that she is beautiful because she is so different to me. 
So, what can I talk about? Am I only allowed in this culture to talk about feminism because I'm a white woman and that's all that is to be allowed amongst my "hetero caste and color"? It certainly seems to be popular amongst my peers. Danger and inequality for the female gender is one that I do take seriously. Until it degrades to making fun of mens' mustaches or the color of their whitey white skin. Then the hypocricy begins. I mean, what if the speaker was a young African American woman with dreadlocks who said feminism was dead? Would it be appropriate to make fun of her then? I think the hypocricy is just too much. It makes me merely roll my eyes and probably dismiss probably arguments. But at this point, I can barely follow the rules. 
Which leads me to Scientology. Which is a religion, for some people. A belief in something of a higher power in an organized fashion. It has become absolutely acceptable to bash this religion because white rich people in Hollywood follow Scientology. Except, that's not true. That's only what we see in the media. Many people have found peace following the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard. They've kicked drug addictions, mental illnesses and a plethora of others issues in their lives. Whether or not the teachings are correct, whether or not we think you can kick a mental illness, sounds like so many other religions out there that I wonder why it is OK to bash this one in particular. Granted other religious practices that follow these same principals are bashed upon in the media as well but this one in particular, gets the most scrutiny for being almost ludicrous. I myself think the parting of the Red Seas is ludicrous but that would outrage people if I said that. 
Can you imagine if some of the most famous artists of all time were alive now? Da Vinci taking bodies apart? Salvador Dali spying on his wife having sex? Seriously, how do you live freely when there are millions of people ready to tell you how insensitive you are, or sick in the head for merely thinking outside of the box. How does one have an open conversation about anything relevant without being jumped on for not phrasing it properly? I just watched photographer Terry Richardson get completely maligned as a pedophile in the media for taking provocative photos of younger women - famous women. He directed the Miley Cyrus Wrecking Ball video. Terry Richardson is a longstanding photo journalist that has been portraying society's obsesson with sex for decades. How people jump from that to a pedophile is a gross inaccuracy. But nobody picks up on that. Or the fact that Miley Cyrus is 21 years old, not a child and wanted the attention to launch her new album. It worked. She got it. I'm fairly sure Salvador Dali was a sick sick bastard. But did he hurt anybody in the process? Have you seen his art? Where do you think those kinds of thought processes come from? They come from living on the sharp edge of a knife. 
Which is where I want my art to come from. From that space between intelligence and lunacy. A place where brilliance is born when we reach to the outer cortex of our brains and find new shapes and colors. We all should have that freedom to explore, to say what we feel without the judgment that comes forth in tsunamis. How will one be comfortable enough to write that story, your story, that's deep down in the nether regions you've hidden it in if not to expose themselves, makes themselves vulnerable. So this witch hunt for shame, this hunger to point fingers isn't going to do anything but shame the art, shame the vulnerability that it takes to create art and wash it all away in politcal correctness. Or the media's idea of political correctness. Perhaps we could all just use our brains and think about intent now and again. Use your brain and see if there is malice towards you, an intention of malice or are these all just observations of a bunch of curious souls?

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