The Culture Cure – Love and Hate #8

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What do I mean by Culture?

I mean a society’s pursuit, desire, and support for a high level of creative expression in all arenas of society. What I don’t mean is an exclusionary or elite culture that feels itself to be superior or better than another one.

Why do I believe this high level of culture means less anger and violence? Because a high culture is one a society is proud of and invested in.  That means they don’t want it destroyed. They don’t want it diminished. They don’t want it to disappear. They have created something that brings joy, interest, wonder, humor, fun, discovery. Something that makes one think and allows for a thinking response. They learn and grow from it. In other words, they love it.

I do not believe we, as an overall society, have a culture like that at this time.

Why not?

Well, it’s like the very true variation on the old quote. “Grass is always greener…where you water it.”  The truth is we ourselves are responsible for the cultural grass being dry and dead.  How so?

  • We contribute to it by not buying real art from real artists.
  • We contribute to it when we are more interested in judging creative expression than we are in understanding it.
  • We contribute to it by not speaking up when ugly buildings are built and when streets are filled with chain store after chain restaurant.
  • We contribute to it by not caring or being involved in city and town planning.
  • We contribute to it when we agree to the cutting of arts budgets from public schools.
  • We contribute to it by watching violence and mayhem as entertainment again and again and again.
  • We contribute to it by decrying any use of public funds for creative endeavors.
  • We contribute to it by not reading.
  • We contribute to it by not being interested in other cultures.

In other words, to use a variation on another famous quote, “For culture to disappear, all it takes is for good people to do nothing.”


Drawing and commentary © 2016 Marty Coleman | napkindad.com

Quote by Johanne Wolfgang Von Goethe, 1749 – 1832, German writer

Portrait Of Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe In The Country Painting by Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein; Portrait Of Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe In The Country Art Print for sale

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe In The Country –  by Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein


 

The Lesser Ways of Hate – Love and Hate #7

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Heartbreaking – 

Some of the saddest reports I read in the newspaper each day (yep, I read the paper) are the ones about a mother and father being arrested for child neglect. They break my heart just as much as some much more violent reports.  Why is that?

Big Hate – 

We often see hate on display these days in terrorist attacks, violent protests, angry authority figures, politics and murder. You may even have hate spewed at you personally once in a while. Hate is not that hard to spot, is it.

Small Hate – 

But hate isn’t just the loud mouth, the siren, the volcano. It’s also the indifference of one group for another in pain. It’s the neglect a society shows towards the weakest or most vulnerable. It’s the irresponsible parent who would rather fulfill their own addictions and desires than take care of their child’s needs.

Tragic – 

But what is it they hate exactly?  Do they hate the child?  I think they hate not being able to indulge. They can’t be who they want to be with a child alongside them. And that leads to resentment and hatred for their child. Can you think of anything more emotionally tragic than that for a child? I can’t.  That parent may say they don’t want to hurt their child and so they don’t actively show hate towards them. But their ignoring of their needs, their purposeful lack of attention to their wants, is hate nonetheless.

Every Day – 

Love isn’t about extravagant birthday celebrations and big vacations. It’s not about giving the best of everything to your child. It’s about paying attention to them. It’s about turning away from what you want and need and paying attention to what they want and need.


Drawing and commentary © 2016 Marty Coleman | napkindad.com

Quote by J.K. Rowling, 1965 – not dead yet, British author


 

Becoming What You Practice – Love and Hate # 5 & 6

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I drew this drawing of the crowd with two police officers representing love and hate on the morning of the Dallas protest, before the police officers were killed and wounded. I was going to post it the next morning but felt it would be insensitive to do so. It was now an incomplete statement.


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So over the next few days I drew this one as a companion piece.  It shows the opposite scene. Not cops in charge, but the crowd.  The crowd has the power of love and hate just as much as the cops do.  


Every Day

We as people must always decide, every day, whether we are going to act and react with love or hate.  When violence happens to someone, especially someone you don’t know and might be scared of, or antagonistic towards, are you looking for a reason to not care? That means your heart is moving towards hate. It is hardening. You are telling it that those people don’t care. That they deserved it.  

Only one person in the past week has deserved anything close to the fate of death, and that was the killer of the 5 police officers. But even then, you don’t have to say or feel it with hate. You can say it sadness that his life went so terribly awry, you can feel it with love and compassion for the families left behind. 

Part of the Problem

The other 16 people? They didn’t deserve to be wounded or die. If your political position is such that you are hating one of these people; the cops who shot Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile, or Alton and Philandro themselves, then you are slowly but surely marching into the ‘part of the problem’ column.  If you feel the shooting of the 14 people in Dallas was in any way justified, you are already deep into that column and need a wake up call. 

Age 80

Imagine yourself at age 80.  Who are you?  Your decisions now, every day, are making you into that person. Do you want that person to be hateful, bitter, angry, resentful? If you do, then practice those things and you will become them.  If you don’t, if you want, at age 80, to be kind, loving, forgiving, understanding, compassionate then you must practice those things now and every day. It’s how life works: You become what you practice. 


Drawings and commentary © 2016 Marty Coleman | napkindad.com

Quote by Mignon McLaughlin, 1913 – 1983, American journalist


 

The Genie – A Very Short Story

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The Genie

The woman rubbed the tea pot and a Genie came out. The woman said, “Wow, this is amazing! I am going to wish for…”

But the Genie stopped her and said, “Sorry, I am not that kind of Genie. I don’t grant wishes and I don’t do dishes. I am a comedian, all I do is tell jokes.” And with that the Genie rolled herself into a ball and floated out of the room through the vent.  

The Genie eventually made it big and got her own sitcom. But the woman who rubbed the teapot was bitter about it for the rest of her life.

The End


Drawing and short story © 2016 Marty Coleman | napkindad.com


 

Serendipity – Three Illustrated Very Short Stories

Very Short Story #1

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The Man

The man texted the stranger from the dating app but didn’t know the person was sitting right next to him at the coffee place. Later they would laugh when telling the story of how they met.

The End


Very Short Story #2

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The Woman

The woman looked at the stranger’s picture on the dating site and liked what she saw. Then she realized the woman in the picture was actually sitting outside the window at the cafe.  She went and introduced herself. They became best friends and would laugh when they told the story of how they met.

The End


Very Short Story #3

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The Violinist 

The violinist stared at the person in church, sure she knew him from somewhere.  He came up to her afterwards and said they went to high school together.  They got married a year later and always laughed when they told the story of how they found each other again.

The End


Drawings and Short Stories © 2016 Marty Coleman | napkindad.com

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