Thursday, August 05, 2010

Princess Di You Are Not

There are websites I don't fancy but regard with a degree of politesse because while they fail to be my cup of Earl Grey, may be someone else's Red Zinger or Constant Comfort. Then there are blogs so heinous, so woefully lacking in even the smallest shred of redemption that I cannot refrain from peeling off the well worn suckling pigskin gloves and sharpening my fingernails for a soul satisfying pick through their viscera. If The Power of Only One is a fenestella into the soul of Lisa(who by the way is one of two followers of her own blog), then all I can see is piled high plates of moral superiority, a pretentious lack of awareness and false academic snobitude, all worthy of little more than steaming handfuls of schadenfreude.

I'm going to get right to the point here and skip any red herrings or needless hand wringing, Lisa is going to get a few Flaming Fingers on this one. I will, however, do her a solid and not review her other blog in tandem. Lucky girl you are Lisa, because I don't think you have room for all the fingers I'd be offering.

In the Power of Only One, Lisa sets out to "empower" readers with the "knowledge" and "means" to change "key global issues." I couldn't find any credentials or experience that make Lisa just the person to help us understand the problems of our larger world but hey, everyone can aspire to Angelina Jolie no? Lisa's profile on the reviewed website offers little more then platitudes but one can glean a bit of info off the profile of her personal blog. The Power of Only One itself is a mess with a header stuffed full of tiny, empty words, a dull layout and messy, overcrowded sidebar. Lisa posts beginning January 1 and manages until April. So it would seem this blog was an ill-conceived New Year's Resolution that got boring just about the time Lisa got herself a boyfriend perhaps. Looks like Lisa's commitment to the global community lasted a bit longer than one of Miss Missives overpriced whipping sessions. Professionally pinked-cheeks don't come cheap these days, thanks be to Jezebel that some thing are just recession proof.

This is what it was like reading The Power of Only One:

Now sit down y'all readers of the internet, nope don't put your dirty feet on my purty carpet just listen while I elucidate you on the state of the glo-bal community. Can y'all say trafficking, yes that's it, tra-fick-ing, good, good. Now I am going to define for you prejudice. Look I am linking to a definition of prejudice. I hope you understand now. Look at the sad little pictures of African children. See I am doing my part to be a good citizen of the world by showing you what clearly you must not know since you are totally unawares of things like Da'fur and the Sedan, well and even the search capabilities of the internet for that matter.
Okay, that is not a direct quote from Lisa and yes, I will cop to it's mocking tone but this is what it felt like to read her words.

Here are a few of Lisa's actual words(not my poor, animosity-laced, ambiguously-accented renderings) just so you can really soak it in:

dedicated to helping the ordinary one person become an extraordinary impetus of change. This site will address key global issues such as poverty, hunger, AIDS, human trafficking, and domestic violence. The main goal is to empower individuals with the knowledge of the issues & the means to make change--one person, one step at a time. The united efforts of the many “ones” will create a mighty change. "A waterfall starts but with one drop, and look what becomes of that". (somehow Lisa got confused and thinks it's her job to give us knowledge, which of course, in Lisa's mind means linking to real repositories of knowledge)

I am not a company or a non-profit organization. I am just one. One person. One mom. One teacher. One American. One Texan. One daughter. One sister. One friend. One member of the human race who has challenged herself to save the one...one day, one word, one post at at time with the POWER OF ONLY ONE. (Uh, until April that is)

I would wager that most among you are pondering why I would even link the two together, Kipling and racism.
Perhaps you did not know that Kipling penned the White Man's Burden, a poem that extolled the racial superiority of the "White Man(this is what happens when someone audits one literary criticism class and then fancies themself an expert)

I have spent all day trying to come up with a new global issue to address here. (Really. All day huh?)Several different ideas came to mind, but none of them "got the blogging juices going." (Nothing like human despair to get the ole juices flowing.) So I did what I always do. I "googled". Googling Top Ten Global Issues solved the dilemma. There in the search results, I found the answer. Racism. Instantly, I knew which direction to go.(I bet that's exactly how the Dalai Lama comes up with ideas too, lord knows he twitters.

I will spend the next month delving into and exploring the issues of race and racism. We will discover the many ways racism rears its ugly head in cultures across the globe, as well analyzing as the legacy of racism in these various cultures.

To start this journey, I would like share a video produced by The American Anthropological Association (AAA). Use the this video to start thinking about race and racism. (Ok, now Miss is starting to feel like a six year old sitting on the "reading carpet" at the back of this bitches class, does she really address adults this way? )

One of the things I found most distasteful about The Power of Only One, was this undercurrent of unacknowledged white privilege and colonial view of social problems. Lisa also reposts some Langston Hughes poems, oblivious to the irony. Every time I read her I just kept seeing this well-meaning perhaps but completely unaware Scarletty O'hare type, uppity school marm, and Miss Missives knows uppity. I am not saying or even intimating that Lisa is a racist, I don't think she is. I do, however, think that she likes to bath in the juices of her own superiority and is lacking in some badly needed perspective. Let's just recall for a moment that she undertook a do-gooderish blog that lasted about as long as a Britney Spears marriage, and then minutes into it, submitted it to Ask for some kind of hearty back slap or humanitarian award.

This blog feels false, like all the unseemly greening of consumerism that has become so rampant. Companies implore us to save the planet by buying something and Lisa aims to save the world by uninterestingly compiling some random words of others together in an effort to display her vast knowledge of global issues via her rare direct access to Google. The writing is wrought with one part emotional hand wringing and seven parts look at me doing something important and worldly. Never mind Lisa does little more than link to other, more credible sources of global enlightenment. The space is little more than links to sites with original content, some reposted videos and lifted quotes on prejudice, lots of liberal unattributed quote lifting--they say teachers don't cheat. The only thing that could have been more cliche was the Indigo girls set to auto play.

And now for the good news because you know Miss Missives likes to hand out a little candy with her spankings. The good news is, just four months in, Lisa threw up her hands and said to the disenfranchised of the world, this is just too hard.

There are some people who empower others and then there's Lisa.


20 comments:

  1. I was under the impression that "White Man's Burden" was a satire.

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  2. MissMissives8/05/2010 1:04 PM

    A few minutes into reading this blog I thought it might be satire, but alas, no.

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  3. Miss Missives8/05/2010 1:20 PM

    I found the whole thing just so condescending. The only slack I can cut her is that perhaps she is so used to addressing and instructing children, that that parlance has become permanently embedded.

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  4. I have an unwritten blog post on how one of my biggest pet peeves is when people change their speaking tone around children. Edit out the fucks, sure, but the more you treat kids like idiots the more likely they are to grow into idiots.

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  5. Her tone is so proper, it's haughty. Never write personal opinion like a textbook, it's fucking obnoxious.

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  6. Okay, I peeked at her other blog. I couldn't help myself. She travels around the country taking pictures of a stuffed monkey. I don't think her tone is haughty or proper or articulated as if she's speaking to children. She IS a child, developmentally, that is. Imagine a child of say, 8, deciding they want to change the world. That's how her blog reads and that's why the attention span was so short.

    Now she is focusing on changing the life of one little monkey named Ferdinand.

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  7. I can't hold the monkey thing against her, because I do the same thing with a plastic velociraptor named Clever Girl.

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  8. "Oh, I hate prejudice people!"

    When I read that all I could think of was Burma Jones. (Obscure literary reference just for Rassles.)

    What a pompous ass.

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  9. I'd follow a blog about a traveling stuffed monkey.

    OK, probably not.

    She's probably one of those people who always try to lecture me when they find out I'm from southern Missouri. First, they always think I'm from Mississippi (not knowing there are two states with names that sound alike is always amazingly impressive to me). Second, they give me a little lecture on racism. Apparently just because I'm from the south.

    Where's that guy who used to always say, "Suck it, geeks!"

    That's kind of what I always say to people who lecture me like that.

    Except I say stuff like, "Fuck you," and walk away.

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  10. I only got as far as the post about how racist Australia is before I wanted to wring her incredibly ignorant neck. The indigenous population in Australia is an extremely complex issue, not that I'd expect her to know that from reading one source. One only has to look at the appalling child abuse within indigenous communities to understand why some children were taken from their families. Ok, my rant over (steps down from soap box). Brilliant review though.

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  11. Rassles - please do share. Plastic?....velociraptor in shape?....couldn't be a dildo. But she's a clever girl.

    HIF and Mongo - two of my favorite people in all of oz - I swear to you, it's not racism or condescension - she's just bloody ignorant. C'mon fellow girls from the south, you know what I'm talking about, right?

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  12. And yes, racism is inherently ignorant but there comes a time when ignorance takes center stage and maliciousness is relegated to those who know better. She's just a woman child, an abomination if you will I see her the same way as those poor souls, the "people of Wal Mart". They should know better than to go about in soiled underwear or gold chiffon but clearly they missed some important clues in their lives.

    My brother is one of them. I guess that's why I believe I recognize her. Pathetic, misguided, immature, idealistic and in the end, most likely hopeless.

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  13. It's a toy I got out of a vending machine a couple of years ago, a tiny plastic dinosaur. Once I took a picture of it drinking my beer, and a monster was born.

    "Clever girl" is what the game warden calls the velociraptors in Jurassic Park.

    Franklin, did you know they were going to make a Dunces movie starring Will Ferrell as Ignatius? Seems wrong.

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  14. She writes 'And, thanks to my mother, I have excellent grammar skills when I speak.'

    Within the vicinity of that sentence I found at least a few iffy sentences. And the sentence, while not technically wrong, just sounds stupid.

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  15. God. She reminded me of a friend of mine on a fight to rid the world of 'prejudism', one memorized and then inaccurately rehashed tidbit at a time.

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  16. Will Farrell? Shit, he'll turn Ignatius into a clown. Ig needs dignity. Wonder who will play the mother?

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  17. Movie has been scrapped, but I believe it was Lily Tomlin. Who is wonderful.

    If anyone should be Ignatius, I would say Philip Seymour Hoffman. Maybe Patton Oswalt.

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  18. If this woman really wanted to do something for the world, she'd sign an organ donor card and hit a freeway overpass.

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  19. I agree on Philip Seymore Hoffman. Will Ferrel is way too tall to play Ignatius. Hoffman would do it more effortlessly.

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Grow a pair.