Poleteismo, Skokie and the Simpsons

I am a reader. in fact I just read Maro’s Malnourished Art, but I am also the child of Father TV and Mother Movie. And I guess because of this there are times I tend to see similarities in what is happening now and what I have seen in the past and sometimes in fiction. There have been arguments and positions taken about the Mideo Cruz’s Poleteismo exhibit and I must say with all honesty as a Roman Catholic I am not that much affected nor offended by it. But before I do explain let me share two stories – actually the first one was a Television-Film called Skokie and an episode from the Simpson’s called “Itchy & Scratchy & Marge”,

Skokie was based on real events that happened in the town of Skokie in the United States during the 1970s when Neo American Nazis attempted to March into Skokie. The Neo Nazis were denied a rally permit in the Chicago and their leader decided to have it in Skokie. The only problem was Skokie had as its Citizen’s survivors and kin of the victims of the Jewish Holocoaust – the Genocide done by the German Naziz upon the Jewish people. The Jewish Community was divided on how to react to this threat. One side argued to ignore the Neo Nazis, believing if they ignored the march it would actually defeat the real purpose of the march, which was to seek attention, be controversial amd make it to the news. While the other side argue for resisting the Neo Nazis, saying that they let the Nazis in Germany march into the street and the jews ended in Ghettos and Concentration Camps. In the end what happened was a long legal fight that ended with a Supreme Court decision allowing the Neo Nazis to march. It was a Freedom of Speech issue. In the end, however the Neo Nazis decided to march in Chicago, where they were able to get a permit to march.

WHat do you think?

The next story is from the popular cartoon the Simpsons. In “Itchy & Scratchy & Marge”, Homer is hit on the head with a mallet by Maggie mimicing the action of the cartoon characters Itchy and Scratchy. This prompted Marge to ban the cartoon in their house. To her dismay she discovers Bart and Lisa are still watching the show at their neighbor’s house. This prompted the following series of responses:

[Marge is writing a letter to the producers of Itchy and Scratchy.]
Marge: Dear purveyors of senseless violence, I know this may sound silly at first, but I believe that the cartoons you show to our children are influencing their behavior in a negative way. Please try to tone down the psychotic violence in your otherwise fine programming. Yours truly, Marge Simpson.

Roger Meyers, Jr.: [in response to Marge's letter] Dear valued viewer, thank you for taking an interest in the Itchy & Scratchy program. Enclosed is a personally autographed photo of America’s favorite cat-and-mouse team to add to your collection. In regards to your specific comments about the show, our research shows that one person cannot make a difference, no matter how big a screwball she is, so let me close by saying…

Marge: [reading the letter out loud] And the horse I rode in on? I’ll show them what one screwball can do!
- “Itchy & Scratchy & Marge”. 9th episode of The Simpsons’ second season. First aired on December 20, 1990

Marge formed the Springfieldians for Nonviolence, Understanding, and Helping or SNUH and it succeeded in putting or rather changing the Itchy and Scratchy Show. And one of the effects were that children began to go outside and leave television. Everything seemed fine.

Until, the day Michaelangelo’s David came to the town of Springfield. People wamted to ban the exhibit of the statue because it was Michaelangelo’s David: a nude statue of the Giant Slayer.

The community looked up to Marge to lead the campaign to ban the statue but on Springfield TV Marge admits that it was wrong to censor one form of art and not another. In the end Itchy and Scratchy comes back. Marge, Homer and Maggie go to the museum to view David. Marge’s one regret was that Bart and Lisa were no t there to see this. But Homer cheers her up by saying the school would require all students to visit the museum and view David.

What do you think?

Speaking as a Roman Catholic I am not at all affected nor offended by Mideo Cruz’s Poleteismo. Mainly because the God I believe in would not affected by that, he would be dismayed by creating his temple into a den of thieves, he was angry when Cain struck Abel to ground and killed him but again I believe in my heart he would not be affected by this. Anyway, that is my belief.

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