Andare, Partire, Tornare


Halloween ramblings

Work taking down the current exhibition is going smoothly, and I got to play with power tools. Can life be any better? I was so proud of myself that I actually, for the first time handling the drill, figured out how the bit locks into place all by myself. Then, whrrrrrrrr, I popped all those screws out of the crate and felt smug. Today we've got to put a very large painter's mannequin back into her coffin, as it ships out soon, so this will be a treat...especially if we can't find the key that fits to her glass case. A locksmith may have to be summoned, which means delay. Ah, well.

T is sick, with what they assure us is not anthrax, despite the girl at his office playing games and claming that she's tested positive, but refusing to show the company the official test results. He's got either flu or a nasty sinus infection, and is in bed with a headache, joint pain, and the chills. Not pleasant. Poor baby, he could use the rest, especially as he's been working on the weekends as well. My museum mailing list sent me a job opening that he could actually do and take interest in, which was being an audio technician/preservationist for the Louis Armstrong people who have all sorts of acetate disks and old reel to reels that need to be saved on less fragile media, but alas, he doesn't have *quite* all the requirements, and besides, the place is in New York. Blah. Maybe I should get him to volunteer in a museum to see if the work would be fun for him.

Interesting subthread going on one of the lists, regarding a Halloween display in a home where a guy set up a trebuchet and was flinging beanbags at a painting of Osama Bin Laden. When he hit the bullseye on Osama's face, the kids got candy. Various listsibs expressed shock, horror, and dismay at such an inhumanizing display, and said that throwing beanbags at Osama was too close to teaching kids to throw rocks at the guy down the street from the Middle East. I was a bit startled, as I read the original description and chuckled a bit, and certainly didn't see the degree of harm that other listees are touting. Firstly, just as lobbing beanbags at Hitler isn't equivalent to lobbing beanbags at an average German citizen who wasn't taking place in the war, I don't think lobbing them at Osama is making a statement that every Afghani deserves to die. (I know that analogy has certain flaws in it, but I think the main point is still pertinent) For crying out loud, people have been exquisitly careful to make differentiations between the Taliban and Afghani citizens in general, who are just as oppressed, and even the war effort is doing their best to spare civilian targets and only destroy Taliban bunkers. How much clearer can it get? We aren't seeing, at least in my neck of the woods, any major sentiments against Middle Easterners in general or people from Afghanistan in specific. A sign on an overpass saying something like "All Foreigners Must Go" that I saw on my way into work was gone as I traveled back home, and it's the only one I've seen expressing that particularly stupid and hateful sentiment. If the guy was launching stuff at the Afghan flag, or something, that's a more generalized symbol that encompasses groups who are not our enemies, but I don't think that, under any stretch of the imagination, the image and depiction of Osama Bin Laden can be positive in our country. The bullseye is simply a more blunt statement of our aims in the war right now.

I think people are really scared. I know this anthrax thing has got me majorly freaked out, as it's come too close for T, and, therefore, for me. I don't know how I would be feeling as a child in this situation, because when I was one, I never had to face this kind of thing, despite traveling to some areas where security was always much tighter than it's ever been here (guards in the mall with automatic weapons, searching your car for bombs every time you went onto the embassy compound, MP's riding your schoolbus). I don't think that watching beanbags flung at a painted image would ease my fears signifigantly, but it would have provided a giggle, and then I would have been on to the next house, ready for more chocolate. I know it wouldn't have led me to go throw rocks at the people accross the street who wear turbans. And I think most children are smarter than that. For the ones who aren't, well fuck...they're not going to be flung over the edge by a Halloween display, just like they aren't going to be flung over the edge by a violent video game. That part of their personality would have been set much earlier.

No doubt I'm not a sensitive enough person, nor understanding enough of other cultures, or what have you. Having lived in several other cultures, most of them quite different from standard USAian ones, I think I'm fairly aware that I'm not a member of the most important culture to ever walk the earth. And perhaps I'm just elaboratly justifying the fact that I chuckled at the description of the Halloween display, and didn't become outraged at its obvious insensitivity. There it is, though. I don't think it's particularly insensitive. I do think it's all been a big tempest over a very little thing, and I think that there are other, larger, more impact-making things that could be challenged instead of Osama and the beanbag trebuchet.

Damn. I hate that tight feeling in the gut I get when I'm riled up.

10:19 a.m. - 2001-11-02


previous - next

latest entry

about me





random entry

other diaries: