Archive | November, 2017

Justified

9 Nov

Justice should be easy to define. Fair. Equal. Those are terms we grow up hearing from pre-k. And justice for all caps the pledge that we recite from elementary school.

But the favored learn late what the unlucky learn early: Justice isn’t easy to embody or define. It’s not black or white, wrong or right. Instead it lives in hues of gray.

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It’s conditional. It alters itself based on the parties involved and shape shifts to serve some more than others. Because it’s manned by humans–each bringing his or her own set of flaws, biases and assumptions to the system.

Last month, I was one of dozens of artists who signed up for the task of depicting Justice in an original creation. My thought process? Try to capture the complexity of Lady Justice’s job. I used the traditional image of Blind Justice but depicted her seated and awkwardly balancing the scales, struggling to maintain the appearance of fairness. I wondered how she would see the shootings? Justified? Or misguided? I used relevant newspaper and magazine clippings, play money, ribbon, buttons and bubble wrap to capture the internal struggle she would face.

The bubble wrap was my favorite part. To me, it represented the recent obsession with the sanctity of the flag and using it to cover up any criticism of the country in general. The Kaepernick kneel was a response to the injustice faced by communities of color at the hands of rogue or biased members of the justice community: bad biased cops who took justice into their own hands and justified it by using the age-old fear of the unknown. Bad fatal decisions based on prejudices that screwed perspectives and justified the unjustifiable. Beneath each bubble wrapped stripe is a question about the parity of these situations. It shows no matter how much we may want to sweep the issue under the rug, under the purity of the red, white and blue, it’s there, like a stain.

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All Seats are not created equal

5 Nov

Chris is obsessed with anything Marvel or DC Comics. And his obsession has become my own. Haha. “Thor Ragnarok” was the highlight of our week. We arrived about an hour early on Thursday evening to one of few movie theaters without pre-selected seating.

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We selected the perfect seats: Front and center with extra leg space thanks to some railings strategically placed in front. There was an empty seat to my left and one to his friend’s right.

About 10 minutes before the commercials start, we were asked by a pair of young ladies if we would be willing to slide over one seat so they could sit together in the left over seats.

Here’s the problem. Shifting over affected nobody but me: moving one seat over meant I had less leg space and had to fight for an arm rest with s stranger. I was not a happy camper.

Chris saw my face. And immediately explained unfortunately no, we wouldn’t be able to move, but could take the open seats. They found a pair of seats offcenter the row below.

When I glanced around, there were seats all over the place. There was a pair of vacant seats directly behind us to the right. Why on Earth, I wondered did they feel it was fine to inconvenience three people so that duo could have one of the best seats in the house?

Now, I didn’t own this seat. I paid the same amount of money–well Chris paid the same amount of money–for my seat as the girls did. I merely borrowed it for the length of the movie. But for that two hours it was mine. Muahahaha.

I realized then, in that span of time, how unapologetically possesive I could become.

How much more would I fight for something I actually owned, that I felt I had a vested interest in: a seat at the proverbial table? Like the pair, I want great seat at the proverbial table: one with a perfectly centered view, extra leg space, and free armrests.