Shadow of the Etch- a- Sketch World
by Mark Moroknek
Once as we lay speaking
Music tinkling low
You smiled at a lyric
that spoke to you just so
A song that spoke in prophecy
Touching, we parted
You forever turned away from me
In the frantic pace of the
Our bodies entwine anew
A sweaty masterpiece of secrets
Destiny rises unbidden
like a corner out of true
The world titlts off its axis
the knobs drop off,
nuts and bolts roll crazily
Pinballs stop their bing, bong, bang
Bells cease their jangling
In the sudden silence following
Cessation of that notion
Twenty- thousand people
we hear without emotion
A recent earthquake killed them
In the aftermath we speak of history,
the shrouded depths of time
we struggle with understanding
one another so I think
The traffic lights stop working
another obvious sign
Running the green I do not pass go
but land in jail
There is something I am missing
a piece I do not know
I need to find out about it
Its crucial that I know
You touch my face, my lips
with your fingertips which
become opaque and disappear
We speak now of the imminent with
soapsuds in our eyes
with urgency and emergency
our bodies move together until
you sigh and
whisper in my ear
the last piece of the puzzle
Realization startles me so I cry aloud
beneath your weather eye
We scream together in silent harmony
Finally your voice a caress
Soothing me your words a soliloquy
nearly killing me
you are gone
I attempt the resurrection through
Scattering the collection of thingamabobs and
I regain control too late
As swirling down the drain they
prevent any heroics
leaving hardly any stains.
“The legislature hereby finds and declares that the state has the responsibility to act to assure that every individual within this state is afforded an equal opportunity to enjoy a full and productive life and that the failure to provide such equal opportunity, whether because of discrimination, prejudice, intolerance or inadequate education, training, housing or health care not only threatens the rights and proper privileges of its inhabitants but menaces the institutions and foundation of a free democratic state and threatens the peace, order, health, safety and general welfare of the state and its inhabitants. A division in the executive department is hereby created to encourage programs designed to insure that every individual shall have an equal opportunity to participate fully in the economic, cultural and intellectual life of the state; to encourage and promote the development and execution by all persons within the state of such state programs; to eliminate and prevent discrimination in employment, in places of public accommodation, resort or amusement, in educational institutions, in public services, in housing accommodations, in commercial space and in credit transactions and to take other actions against discrimination as herein provided; and the division established hereunder is hereby given general jurisdiction and” power for such purposes.
In my legal practice it has been my privlege to represent clients whose constitutioal rights have been so mauled, the analysis of the damages invloved amazes me. Ditto with employment discrimination.
I am a second generation American Jew, and until recently thought very little about my background, at least in terms of prejudice. But its there. The reason I never had to think about it is because I was lucky enough to grow up in New York, which is enough of a MELTING POT that as a Jew I am not such an unusual phenomenon.
One would think the same is true of Latino’s but take for instance, the radio show hosted by the “Jersey Guys” Carter and Rossi, who are urging listeners to turn Hispanics, “friends, neighbors and anyone suspicious” over to immigration . Please.
In any event, I have become interested in the preservation and protection of civil rights and professionally, as well as personally, am more aware of the existence of prejudice than I ever was before. And it certainly exists, although to a lesser degree then at any other time in history mainly as a result of education.
People are prejudiced and biased about everything, not just race, nationality, gender and religion. There is an innate bias built into each person that makes his or her perceptions slightly different from the next person; and it shows itself in the way that one person will perceive something as funny and another will not.
Major prejudices come from organized systems of belief, as so much else does.Not just religion either; one’s background is an organized system of beliefs. Just look at the Southern United States. To this day, there is still litigation over the confederate flag.
Whether it comes from a particularly graphic episode of a drama or a run of the mill, daily edition of the ever present soap operas, it seems that there is danger in the media; in fact, in 1998 congress passed a law titled the Child Online Protection Act, (COPA) to protect children from among other things, internet predators.Today a Federal Judge in Philadelphia ruled that the law was unconstitutionally broad, and invalidated it
COPA made certain activities, that are protected by the First Amendment, criminal subjecting the violator to potential imposition of a $50,000 fine and/or a prison term. In this time of diminishing freedoms, and the increased presence of our Government in our daily lives, this is a victory. There are other, better ways to protect children from prurient or otherwise inappropriate material on TV and the internet, such as parental controls, and software filters.
However, there is a specific area of concern in the media that is neither against the law nor protected by the First Amendment, yet which in the long run can cause more damage than any crime. That is irresponsibility with serious information in television dramatizations which, unfortunately, some people may accept as the truth.
It has come to this writer’s attention that a certain daytime soap opera, involving a Hospital began running a story line involving the timely topic of HIV infection. In particular one of the characters, a female doctor has been infected with HIV. However, some of what is being depicted by the show at present includes dialogue containing extremely irresponsible statements.
The doctor is described as “on the cocktail” (meaning medications) and therefore she is considered a minimal risk for surgery. The character is also referred to as having “an undetectable viral load,” in a situation where surgeons who performed surgery on her without precautions, in an emergency situation, supposedly did not need to be tested afterwards to determine if they had been infected.
Whether from a lack of information, a misunderstanding of the science, or something else, they have this wrong: yet the authors directors, producers, actors and television networks must acts responsibly when imparting this type of information to the public at large. Unfortunately there are many people who accept any facts they overhear on TV as true, regardless of the source; the same is true of TV dramas. If people are liable to misuse any of this story line as the basis for their knowledge, it must be disseminated properly. Children and teenagers in particular may inadvertently overhear the dialogue and without knowing better, one day act on it.
This is similar to the long battle to educate the public about birth control. The generation that is growing into adulthood today , needs no more problems than it will already have.
That heading generally expressed all of the sentiment about Saturday morning I have at the moment.