Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Worlds Meet

They're All the Same

As NBC’s series, The Event, resumed recently, the attitude shown by presidential advisor Blake Sterling could be seen as narrow as that shown by Congressman Peter King (R-NY).

The Event’s conflict shows how two cultures struggle to find acceptance as they interact to survive. A group of humanoid beings from another world who crash-landed decades ago have been kept in prison by the United States. The humanoids are virtually human and cannot be told apart from Earth people. But as the plot evolves, both cultures face rebellions. The president is threatened by assassination from Americans, and the leader of the “others” is in danger because her son wants to use violence against human society.

One crucial scene that shows Sterling and King’s intolerance occurred when Sterling attempted to interrogate one of the imprisoned “others”. Sterling wanted to find the leader’s son who planned violence. The “other” being interrogated tried to tell Sterling that the group wished no violence against humans. Actually, the son’s actions were not endorsed by the group. Sterling could not think that members of the “others” held different ideas about violence. When asked if anything could be said to show him the nonviolent hopes by the group, Sterling answered, “I don’t think there’s anything you can say.”

That mental attitude resembles the present state of mind from Congressman King as he conducted hearings into Radical Islam. King didn’t need to bring in experts on Islam, he only needed to bring in a few people who had anecdotes of violent behavior. That was his thinking. Those revelations should have been enough to show the entire community was violent — right? The fact that terrorism has no real tie to religion passed his grasp. The history of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt renouncing violence and spurning groups that still wanted to use killing didn’t enter into his thinking. Maybe he, too, believes nothing can change his opinion. King has admitted that he is obsessed with the events that happened on 9/11. We dare to ask how any real change could ever occur if that is the foundation of his thinking.

Literature and the screen display the flaws of characters so we can learn from their mistakes. When we have so many examples of political factions that erupt with sub factions who disagree, we are educated on how we should view each faction separately. Most experts of political science or crisis management support that. However, human fears often stop us from using our knowledge. We have to learn how to see when people want to pick up the handshake instead of the gun. When Nelson Mandela took office as president of South Africa, he used some former members of the Secret Service who were White. Those White Secret Service members accepted Mandela’s offer and shook hands with their new leader. But more often we dare to ask why some real people fail to learn the lessons that jump at us from narrow characters on the screen.

- Tom Pope

The Event image courtesy of impawards.com
Peter King image courtesy of journalnow.com

1 comment:

  1. Nice and informative about the survival. These things that are different from his or her reality, but also able to convince the readers that those things are true or relatively true.

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