Tag Archives: martin luther king jr

the lies we buy

greatness

greatness awaits.

that’s the new catch phrase being used by sony playstation to promote their new gaming console. a series of scenes showing men  in medieval times battling each other with swords and battle axes, racing fast cars and leading futuristic armies against one another make up the bulk of the commercial. the men sing the late lou reed’s ‘a perfect day’ as they do all this, adding a bit of humour while alluding to the ‘connectedness’ of the on-line gaming culture.

i get it. its smart advertising on sony’s part. men have a natural inclination towards exploring and conquering. it seems to be in our genes. so in one fell swoop, sony was able to portray a product that enables its users to explore new worlds, save humanity from an alien invasion and score the winning goal in fifa world cup.  and you can do it all in one afternoon with your buddies, if you like.

smart.

i don’t want to critique video games or even the people who play them, though i must admit that’s my first inclination. i used to play video games when i was younger so i’d only be a hypocrite if i took that approach. i’d prefer to critique the motto driving this current product – greatness awaits.

video games used to be for kids and youth. today, the demographic has shifted to men in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s. with the demographic shift has come a shift in content for games. video game companies focus more on marketing to the older crowd using war, racing and sports.

again, i get it. it’s smart to go after this demographic since they have both the money and time to invest.

smart business.

what gets me is that men are more willing to spend their hard-earned money on, invest their precious time in and build community around/within video games when real greatness awaits them outside of all this.

i agree with sony that “greatness awaits”, but i disagree where we will find it.

i like the quote by martin luther king, jr where he says, “not everybody can be famous but everybody can be great, because greatness is determined by service.”   instead of entertaining ourselves with great things, shouldn’t we be employing our gifts, talents and resources in great service to those that need them?
issues to give your gifts, talents and resources to:

a growing movement of people are standing up against all the forms of slavery in our world, but more are needed.  human rights groups estimate that anywhere between 12.3 million and 27 million people are enslaved in forced or bonded labour, child labour, sexual servitude, and involuntary servitude at any given time.

world hunger and poverty still needs a lot of hands on deck. the united nations food and agriculture organization estimates that nearly 870 million people of the 7.1 billion people in the world, or one in eight, were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2010-2012. almost half the world — over three billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day.

how much does a video game console cost? this latest sony product is pushing $1000.

there is still a large need for big brothers or sisters everywhere. many youth are growing up without any positive role models to help them navigate their lives – education, employment, health, drugs, etc. mentoring can go a long way in the life of a child.

i could also mention the unnecessary wars being fought with corporate profits and not people in mind, or the environmental degradation and exploitation happening all over the globe, or the racism, sexism and prejudice that need people actively working against.

but these things don’t get the sexy commercials and airtime that sony money can buy.

great things do await us, but i don’t think it’s found in the escapism of video games (or any other things – alcohol, sports, tv, politics – we use for escapism) but involvement in the real issues that affect the communities we live in, the countries we inhabit and the world we must leave to our great-grandchildren.

true greatness awaits us, if we choose to pursue and sacrifice for it.

/rantover

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waiting for what?

‘time heals all wounds’.

how many times have you heard that said?

its one of those timeless clichés that gets repeated so often little thought is actually spent considering the veracity of it.

i, for one, dont believe time has the healing properties this old adage so proudly claims. in fact, i would go so far as to say that this old saying can cause much more harm than good.

martin luther king jr. day just passed a few days ago. like most of you who also live part of your life in the social media realm, i was taken in by a few good quotes and articles about mr. king and the battle he and many others like him fought for equality. it was after reading through a few of these articles dedicated to mr. king that this idea of time healing all wounds came to the surface.

let me explain.

martin luther king was an exceptional man who trumpeted an exceptional cause – racial equality. unwilling to simply stand on the sidelines, him and others forced their way into the public spotlight demanding something be done. marches, protests, civil disobedience.

the establishment wasnt happy.

so voices from the government officials, church leaders and even leaders within their own camp pushed back and said – just wait. they were told to ‘be patient’ and allow the courts to decide what would be best for society. the courts would come to the right decision. the courts always come to the right decision, right?

right..??

‘never forget that everything hitler did in germany was legal.’ – martin luther king

theres much that can be said about this statement that i have not the time nor the desire to write at this moment. quotes by or about hitler always have the ability to open a bigger can of worms than intended so ill tread lightly here. what i believe mr. king was implying here, which speaks so relevantly to his situation then (and ours today?), was that courts have not always been a friend of the people. in fact, as mr. king points out, the courts have, at times, been responsible for the peoples basic human rights being taken and held away from them.

just wait. allow for more time. time heals all wounds.

they told him and others that they shouldnt march and protest in the streets. that was bad manners. disobeying the government is not what good citizens do. fall in line, repeat the creed and shut up.

thankfully for all of us, mlk and others didnt shut up and kept right on protesting and marching, government be damned. thankfully, mr. king and other freedom fighters didnt buy into the old adage ‘time heals all wounds’, and kept pushing for the justice they and others rightfully deserved.

time is neutral. it doesnt innately possess the powers to heal wounds. its what we do with that time that matters. if we use it for good, good things can come from it. if we use it for bad, bad things can come from it. if we blindly accept that time can heal our wounds, we are giving up our choice and right to do something about it. time will not bring about justice. WE will bring about justice.

let us not forget that.

timeheals

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