Instead of an exhaustive Saturday roundup, I’ll just offer my take on a couple things I found this week while browsing the interwebs. They have absolutely nothing to do with each other, except they kind of balance each other out since one is about something good in the world, and the other is about what’s wrong with the world (HT: G. K. Chesterton).
You’d probably rather walk away with the feeling that something is right with the world, so I’ll start with the WWWtW item first. Some of you may or may not have seen the obscene Samuel Jackson pro-Obama ad that’s been getting a lot of press lately. I watched it to see if it’s really as bad as all that.
It was actually worse.
I knew it involved the use of a particularly vile obscenity worked into the phrase “Wake Up!” I did not know that it would be used to punctuate every other talking point.
That’s not even the worst part of it though. The worst part is that the “story” of the video involves a little girl (younger than double-digits, it looks like), running around trying to “mobilize” her apathetic family to get off their duffs and vote for Obama. So every time Samuel Jackson shows up, the two of them are working together in this noble endeavor, alternately hymning the praises of nationalized health care, Planned Parenthood, and everything else that Darth Romney might look down on. (I found it particularly sickening that the little girl was given the lines about Planned Parenthood.) Our tiny Democratic activist in training is shown standing next to Jackson and even sitting on his knee while he delivers his spoken-word, profanity-laden rants.
But wait, there’s more, because I saved the worst for last. At the end of the video, the little girl runs into her bedroom, flings open the window, and yells the ad’s obscene hook for all the neighborhood to hear.
Did I mention she’s no older than ten, and probably a good bit younger?
What happened to America’s kids? What happened to innocence? What happened to kids not even knowing certain words or things exist? Now our 8-year-olds are humming “Sexy and I Know It” while f-bombs roll glibly off their tongues?? Memo to today’s parents: You’re doing it wrong.
Now, on to the happier note. Some jerk on Reddit had a major foot-in-mouth moment when he posted a picture of a Sikh girl with a beard. Sikhs aren’t allowed to shave any hair on their bodies, so this poor girl has to live with a mini-beard and moustache. It makes me feel embarrassed that I complain about the few hairs on my chin. Anyway, someone thought this picture was funny and uploaded it to get a laugh.
But instead of responding with the kick in the tail this guy deserved, the girl turned the other cheek and wrote an incredibly dignified, gentle comment. The guy was genuinely moved and apologized. I want to link to the response in her own words, but I will just provide a warning that if you keep scrolling down to read the jerk’s apology, he did use an obscenity in the course of his apology. (I know, weird, but I think these days people just use profanity as filler. Seriously, I have a calculus classmate who just tosses it in there all the time, and math class isn’t exactly a high-stress zone. Unless you goofed on the right method for integration by partial fractions and had to erase your work and barely finished that quiz in time only to remember as you walked out the building that you forgot the + C. Of course.)
Anyway, what I especially appreciated about the girl’s reply was her practical, humble perspective on accepting the body you have and not saying “Mine! Mine!” all the time. Kind of interesting when you consider the Bible says something similar. I think of all the girls who have breast transplants and do other crazy, pointless things to change something they don’t like about their bodies, when here’s a girl who actually has something to complain about and she’s totally comfortable in her own skin. Wow! That’s humbling. Of course, I wish she didn’t follow a false religion (though in an odd way that may have been what got her an apology, since these days every other religion except Christianity and perhaps Mormonism is third-rail material when it comes to making jokes, offensive or otherwise). But I can recognize that this a very admirable character quality, and I’m glad she was an instrument of grace to this jerk on Reddit. May we all somehow learn to have that much self-control and humility.
Consider this an open thread for these topics or any other topic that caught your interest this week.