National Anthem 1 and More

    National Anthem 1 and MoreNational Anthem 1 and More

    Sunday, July 10, 2016 :: The Mickey Mouse image is called National Anthem 1.


    Mickey Mouse is a "blackface" caricature that has come to be accepted and loved by American society. The Orlando mass shooting inspired this image. However, these days, you could pick any mass shooting, and this would still apply. This image merges the Mickey Mouse caricature with a "black cat," which is thought to be a symbol for "bad luck" in the United States.

    The "Micky Mouse" character is a ubiquitously recognized image created by the Disney corporation. It has become an effective communications device for legitimizing propagandistic messages. One such message could be that "it's OK to belittle people based on their visual appearance" - The "blackface" caricature does this effectively as in the case of Mickey Mouse (Steamboat Willie - almost every character in this film is in blackface), Al Jolson ( I'm not sure what the context here is, very strange all the same). Al Jolson was a Jewish guy doing "blackface" in the '30s; interesting when considering what was happening geopolitically during that time. Here's a cringeworthy contribution from Harry C. Browne.

    Here, Mickey/Cat is holding a loosely painted representation of an AR-15. A speech bubble is on the left stating, "Say hello to my little friend." This quote was a famous line from the film "Scarface." There is a backdrop representing the primary forms of the Nazi flag of the Third Reich of Germany. The intent here is to expose some of the absurd anxieties that manifest into a fascist society's constructs.

    Most people I run into accept that "racism" is a doctrine that defines one "race" as being better than another one. This might be an OK place to start as an elementary construct for understanding race-ism. But I think that once you start picking apart the "race" idea, it falls apart fairly quickly. It's a thin veneer that keeps intact the idea that "race" even exists. In describing the human genome's evolution, Richard Dawkins, the biologist, has been quoted as saying, "We are all apes from Africa." The concept of "race" is often described as some loosely tied together ideas like culture, religion, speech patterns, skin color, mannerisms, language, lineage, nationality, genetics, and so on (see Oxford American English definition here). We are taught that many of these human fabrications are supposed to funnel into the idea of "race" in some way. But none of these things end up relating in any sensible, scientific, or logical way. There are so many exceptions that a rule can't even be derived. Sure, some people walk this way, talk this way and look a certain way. But then others aren't just x. They're x,y,z with some other letters and numbers thrown in. The first person to tell me they were an African-American was a white Jew, to name one example.

    An adherence to race-based concepts instills a will to think and act with violence toward one another. The willingness to only see how we are different is violent. The opposite of this logos-centric mindset is eros, the desire to connect, which is peaceful.

    Washington Post has been tracking statistics on police shootings for a while. Compare some numbers from 2015 with some population demographics. "Whites" make up about 60% of the general population. "Blacks" make up about 12%. "Hispanics," making up 17%. Here, the population of people shot dead by police shows 50% white, 26% black, 17% Hispanic. So it would seem that the system is fair to Hispanics; it favors white people and is incredibly hostile to black folks.

    Statistical comparisons alone shouldn't be taken as indictments of police-work, although the procedural targeting of individuals based on appearance instead of behavior is a primary historical problem. They should be clues to the greater context of our culture, to which you (dear reader) are a contributor. Most street crimes emerge from cycles of greed and poverty. Many civil rights leaders cite that there is an absence of a "civil rights infrastructure" in poverty-stricken areas where many police shootings have been occurring. There aren't the means available for people to figure out how to get out of the cycles of poverty and crime. American society tends to be xenophobic, racist, and exploitative. It's been that way for 240 years, and it's probably not going to change overnight. It's not someone else's responsibility to abolish racism and violence.

    This and other works, can be found here.


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    Tom Estlack | E-Newsletter SignUp Subscribe