Saturday, December 29, 2012

On Beyoncé, choices, and hurting children

Yep, on my high horse again.... 

"Pepsi embraces creativity and understands that artists evolve. As a businesswoman, this allows me to work with a lifestyle brand with no compromise and without sacrificing my creativity."

You are wealthy, beautiful, bright, and have hundreds of millions of fans.

And yet you still felt the need to brand yourself with the seal of a corporation that pushes colored, carbonated high fructose corn syrup on the children you pretend you want to save from obesity.

I guess you can call the ad above iconic, in a hipsterish, Warholian way, and we can all wink at our unironic ironic irony, in our own mildly superior artsy way....

But I teach children, and I used to play doctor--I know what happens to a child who develops diabetes, loses her kidneys, her legs.

Hard to dance with these wounds, from Limb Salvage Institute

You can spout all you want to me about personal responsibility, and freedom of choice, and all that--you are leading a multi-million dollar marketing campaign aimed at children.

What we glorify defines who we are, and when kids see one of the most powerful women in the States branded by a company that prides itself on recognizing its "responsibility to help develop solutions to such key global challenges as obesity and malnutrition."

I teach children, because I care about them, and I teach science, because I care about the world.

If I do my job well, children will see through the unconscious hypocrisy of Beyoncé and Pepsi, through the lies so deep that children no longer have a reference point to truth in their virtual worlds that sell Pepsi as love.

Public schools stands as one of the few remaining public spaces left; the natural world surrounds us, and will not bend to money or power or fear--Jupiter will shine over us tonight, and it is there for any child brave enough to abandon her virtual world, her social world, her branded world, her world of forever unmet needs.

All a mammal ever needs sits outside, ultimately untameable, ultimately unknowable, ultimately unmarketable. Beyoncé calls our children like a Siren, promising the unobtainable, while increasing the market share of NxStage System One dialysis machines--you can buy a share (NXTM) for about ten bucks.

Natural acts have natural consequences. If a child can learn that much, she has a shot at real  happiness, and her chances of sharing her blood with a dialysis machine because of her lack of "personal" responsibility.
We're killing our children, and we lie to them (and ourselves) as we do it.

Tired of all the lies--a child need to think for herself if she is to think at all....


Lee said...

"All a mammal ever needs sits outside, ultimately untameable, ultimately unknowable, ultimately unmarketable."
Just this morning as I was sitting in my favorite chair, by my favorite window, pretending to read while actually watching my favorite morning show, i.e., the birds and squirrels in, on and under the maple tree on the front lawn, I wondered to myself how it is that animals go about their lives with no need for commerce of any sort. They fend for themselves, and share (sometimes graciously, other times not so much) what they find beneath the tree. The little red squirrel guards the entrance hole to the hollowed bole of the tree where he/she lives, but leaves it periodically to scamper down the trunk to the ground, gather up some seeds, and hurry back "home". About the same time each day a large flock of mourning doves descends to gather what they will, while a two grey squirrels get pushed and shoved out of their way, but mostly ignore the bustle while stuffing their mouths. The blue jays peck at the suet that the woodpecker has temporarily abandoned, dropping crumbs to the waiting mouths below. In a similar fashion, the chickadees commandeer the bird feeder, also leaving enough to fall below to keep the red squirrel from invading their territory (he/she can easily fit through the "Squirrel proof" cage that surrounds the feeder). And all of this occurs every day without an exchange of currency, a bureaucracy to control and maintain, or a tax collector to get their "fair share". How have we come so far and yet lost so much in the process?

P.S. I used to live under the false impression that I could know what truth was. Now the only truth I know for sure is that "unknowable" one you speak of frequently. And I even struggle with that most of my waking moments.

doyle said...

Dear Lee,

I enjoyed you post within a post.

Took me some time to finally realize most of what I thought I could know was an illusion. A little scary to realize, but OTOH, the world became a much bigger place once I let go of human conceit.