Thursday, June 30, 2011
The Evil Mirror
We pay a price for the perfection of media. I tell my kids to watch the TV shows before color such as the Red Skelton Shows. I tell them to note two things:
a) It was a very Caucasian world.
b) Women had hips.
For the first, I am glad. This had to change and as painful as that change was for some on the wrong side of history, the world is better.
For the second, I am sad. We live in the reflections of Snow White's Evil Step Mother's mirror where all the edges are ground away and only the super luminous colors reach our eyes. We photoshop our way into believing in things that are not real and the delusions rob us of the subtle colors. So much beauty is hidden by the glare and the irony is we perceive it by the power of the shadows to give edges to that unseen beauty.
Here's an example: Leland Sklar copies the obit notice by Fred Steiner's daughter, Wendy Waldman. Leland is A-list. I know who he is and enjoy the privilege of his conversations on Facebook. Fred composed the Perry Mason theme and many other famous soundtracks, so I am dimly aware of his work. But Wendy, his daughter? I didn't have a clue. And that is tragic but I know how that happened.
The world of entertainment is dominated by the high frequencies of the A-list, the stars who become super-luminous. In the world of Red Skelton, that was all one would see and in the super competitive money-driven world of today's entertainment industry, things are no different with the exception that as some of the A-listers who are brave enough or reckless enough to actually converse on the pages that represent them, occasionally their less famous but equally talented friends shine through. It took the shadow of her father's passing for me to see her there. And that is regrettable but there are greater tragedies.
Ron Paul says he doesn't believe in evolution. It wouldn't matter because evolution doesn't care. It works whether we believe in it or not. The difference is that by his super luminosity he gives a not inconsiderable number of people the excuse to also disbelieve and to persuade others of such. Again, evolution goes on but what is lost is that evolution is not inviolate. It can be directed and those most aware of that who can gain control over self and others can do that. Some like to say 'program or be programmed' but that is just one technical approach, valid but insufficient. It isn't enough to program; one needs to know what to shape and why it might matter.
It matters that women have hips. It matters that the world is not all Caucasian. It matters that Wendy Waldman is a brilliant, gifted songwriter and producer who is one of the pioneers of Southern California country folk rock because these are the people we learn from, the people who can illumine what matters. It matters that we see the subtle colors that make up the majority of the light.
How sad that we can only see them because for a moment the Moon passed over the Sun and shadows outlined the shapes of subtle beauties. How wonderful that we are not yet so blinded by super luminosity, we can still notice and our hearts still care for that last part is the miracle of love, that we can still feel. Snow White will sleep until we cut down the brambles put there by those who own the mirror and only feel empowered if what we see there is the most fair, the most bright, the single parts because the best are often the most subtle.