Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Thinking outside the boxes that confine us

I've been wondering lately. Are we socialized to just accept the things before our eyes? Meaning is that the most significant trait that we get from our parents, our education, our interactions with others. Or is it just part of the way humans function or are supposed to be.

When something is before us, or presented to us, we often accept it, usually in and of itself, or because some forum has been fabricated or some authority generated. This is especially true when we deal with the ways things ought to be. Whatever exists and has impressive labels attached to it, we tend to cling to as being the way, or the only way.

Democracy is an excellent example of this. In that American form of democracy is accepted by nearly everyone in America as being THE way to govern (meaning the ideal, the best). In Britian they tend to feel the same way about their form of democracy. What these superlative forms obscure, is that other things are possible, and it might be beneficial just to pursue them, think about them, or even just admit to their existence.

These things which exist outside of the boxes that confine us are everywhere, although we tend not to see them, or dismiss them when they don't gell or conform to existing frameworks of knowing.

I'm writing this because over the weekend I saw an interesting, yet small example which contested mine and nearly everyone else's notions of America about how people should be organized and categorized. I've become accustomed to thinking about children in terms of age, and when a certain age is reached, another level of existence is reached and the status is changed and what can be done to the body, and what this body can do also change.

In movie theaters, we usually see that children are of a lower price, when under the age of 10 or 12, or some other number. While going to a "multicultural" movie theatre yesterday in Long Beach, called Naz8, which shows films from India, Korea, the Philippines and other places in Asia, their prices were as follows, $10 for adults, $5 for children under 50 inches.

It was an odd experience to see this alternative form of categorization and to most people it might seem ridiculous to even spend a paragraph ruminating on it, but for me it definitely traced the lines over home I am confined in my own ways of knowing the world and human life.

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