Friday, October 16, 2009

Post 20: Remember the Past, to Strive for a Better Future?

Note: the following blog is merely contemplative in nature, intended to make people (myself included) to think about what is the best way to mature in our current situation in society and nothing more.

“The cartoons you are about to see are products of their time. Theymay depict some of the ethnic and racial prejudices that werecommonplace in the U.S society. These depictions were wrong then andthey are wrong today. While the following does not represent the WarnerBros. view of today's society, these cartoons are being presented asthey were originally created, because to do otherwise would be the sameas claiming that these prejudices never existed.”

It’s an interesting quote and one that I had seen earlier this week by a poster on our Comm 300 Black Board discussions. It is about old Looney Toons cartoons. This is in fact a quote directly from Warner Bros themselves, posted on their DVD collections of classic cartoons. When I read the paragraph it makes total sense to me. I mean, back then there were stereotypes, and they were clearly expressed with little regard to the cultures involved, and as humanity evolved the recognition of these cultures as strong and vibrant and EQUAL prevailed.

But has it disappeared? I think the answer is obvious, all we have to do is turn on the news and we are swamped with images of racial killings, wars between religious countries, stereotyping of gays, and so forth. So when I read that quote from Warner Bros there seems something very wrong with it. Is it the knowledge that these prejudices existed to blatantly that it makes me uncomfortable to see it? Is it because Warner Bros is trying to make a few bucks off the consumer with the knowledge that these racial stereotypes existed within their cartoons, especially now in the modern society where we flat out speak against such inequality?

Perhaps the most disturbing or at least noticible sentence of the paragraph is the last one: “While the following does not represent the Warner Bros. view of today's society, these cartoons are being presented as they were originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming that these prejudices never existed.”

So is this the key to moving on? Should we acknowledge that it happened but that it shouldn’t be happening now and forget about the past to move on to the future? Or do we continue to refer back to the past to REMEMBER how awful it was in the past and that it has slowly been getting better. At least that way a better future can be formed. I am not exactly sure which is the best way to go about this… I suppose it’s always good to remember for how can one learn from the mistakes. On the other hand the stereotype/race/religious/gay/etc “issues” we face in our country (and world wide) should be forgotten to MOVE ON. It’s a tug of war question in my mind and no side wins out completely so I thought I would make mention of my thoughts in this blog.


  1. i think a lot of people struggle with the issue of "moving on" because in reality the issues have not been dealt with.

    time heals wounds only because some forget about the problem, and then one day we find ourselves in the same place we were in the beginning.

  2. Mike, as usual, you raise an excellent question here. My mind is struggling with it as well, but I think I have to lean towards acknowledging and learning from it, and remembering it. If we don't we are very likely to fall back to where we were, like Bill says. The best way to fix a problem is to study it, see why it is going wrong, then fix it, and remember why it went wrong, so we don't do it again.