Sunday, December 2, 2007

well? shall we go?

yes. let's go.

i just thought i'd share this little new york times article with you: its about a production of "waiting for godot" in new orleans. its interesting. give it a read. it got me thinking abstract thoughts. which i'll proceed to share, in a rambling fashion:

its amazing to me, or rather, a bit horrifying, how easy it is for us to forget new orleans, to not be apalled at the fact that rebuilding is at best a dream deferred. and this article really made me think about the mentality a lot of people seem to have towards not only new orleans, but pretty much every atrocious situation in this country: it'll get better. it has to. all i have to do is wait. perhaps we all read "waiting for godot" when we were too long to understand it. maybe i still don't totally "get it," but i think the take-away message is that dude is not planning on showing up. so we might want to get off our asses and get something done for ourselves. a lot of people, especially people of our parents' generation i think, see THIS generation as an apathetic one. and its obvious why, but i really don't think thats precisely whats going on. i almost wish it was apathy - i think its something a lot more like defeat. we're all hoping that things won't get worse, yet they keep getting worse. hurricane katrina happened and we thought, "well this is a wake-up call." but it wasn't, and people in new orleans are still waiting. and the majority of the country is ignoring that and every other problem, or is doing whatever small thing makes us feel like we're helping without having to make any real sacrifices. because we figure eventually something will happen, and we'll be saved.

Vladimir: We'll hang ourselves tomorrow. Unless Godot comes.
Estragon: And if he comes?
Vladimir: We'll be saved.

1 comment:

Gayatri said...

while i 100% agree that this mentality exists and is destructive, i'm far more interested in the bigger question of how to combat it. how does one spread the message of "it wont magically get better unless we make it" (and how do we "make it better" anyway)?

thoughts, afropologists?

and that leads to my main point that gets at why this mentality of defeat/apathy may exist: we often criticize and analyze potentially harmful behaviors and tendencies, but stop there. i saw it in class discussions at school, i see it at work, i see it in this blog post, and i see it in my own rambley rants. maybe we all need to learn to be more action-oriented in settings that are inherently "theoretical" (at college, on a blog, etc.). that could mean encouraging a focus on how to effectively address issues, not just why they exist, within early educational settings, it could mean strengthening networks of support and resources to empower people to actually do things, and thus feel justified to make bold suggestions of how to ameliorate issues. i think this generation needs to be empowered and energized, to take responsibility for our own humanity, and that starts extending dialogue beyond analysis to creative solutions.