Friday, July 02, 2004

Look at the pretty art.

Now for my famed(not) bitching and moaning. People act like Bill Cosby is being innovative with his comments. No, it's been going on for a long time. In 1833, Maria Stewart said "Had those men among us who had an opportunity turned their attention as assiduously to mental and moral improvement as they had to gambling and dancing...I might have remained quietly at home, and they stood contending in my place" (This quote taken from the pages of Forgotten Readers, p. 71).

In griping about the young, try out "Muta"(a person who wrote to Freedom's Journal in 1827) "Many of our young men whose situation in life afforded them the means to improve their minds, and whose prospects were so fair that nothing except their assiduous attention to direct their course through life, after having acquired the rudiments of a libreral education, have degenerated into such insignificance,that their very existence is a matter of no concern" (p. 99, Forgotten Readers).

Of course, these sentiments aren't as punitive, as the grumbling nowadays, but we're going into a big scapegoat phase in our culture. We seem to forget that rich white people have babies having babies too, they just get abortions. Or that rich white men beat their wives too. Or that white teens of all types cuss and cut class. That people of all races do drugs and steal.

Old people have been grumbling about stuff for years, and he wouldn't have gotten any press, if he had been a white man saying that white kids did this and that. It's only compelling to the public if it reinforces their myths, one of which is that blacks have only themselves to blame for their situation, and racism simply doesn't exist.

Of course, Cosby doesn't really mean to go along with this sort of thing. I'm sure he really means that we should work harder, and all that, but to tell the truth, I believe that only a few people really don't want to make it, and those people have severe mental problems, everyone else is doing the best that they can, or that they believe they can.

I mean, when I go and do something stupid, I sure as hell am not saying "I'm going to do something stupid, just because", I always think I am making the best decision with the information that I have. Tough love is easy, now what are you going to do?

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