As a way to continue the conversations in The Biola Hour, we've invited Becky Mitchell to blog her thoughts after each episode. This is a response to Episode 53 on media ecology from a faith perspective. Feel free to interact with Becky's thoughts in the comments below.
The excitement rushing forward topples the hand of a child’s father after their first movie theater experience. “Did you see this?” “Can you believe what happened?” The words form a conversation, one that shares of the movie that became real life. For Dr. Lisa Swain, this experience came with “Star Wars.”
Each piece of media captivates, enthralls and challenges. And this media—from movies to TV shows to journalism in all of its forms—becomes a part of how we process, whether we are aware of it or not. While we enjoy these elements of entertainment and news, we must raise our consciousness to the unconscious, as Swain said.
When media enters conversations or during time to relax, my mind now sees stereotypes continued. I see people of color fit into boxes rather than given the world. I see roles in need of new life when movies are remade. I hear the comments of racism ‘stuck under the rug’ affecting real people’s lives. If we don’t know our neighbors and listen to their joys and pains, would we see what roles each race is assigned?
I also enjoy this media that too often consumes us. I learn about unrealistic love in Hallmark movies while understanding the simple moments of my being and noticing that African American women are usually the assistant while a white woman falls in love. I experience joy in a lion waiting to be king. The songs rumble through, like the ones from “Singing in the Rain.” If we didn’t hope to dance in the rain and feel the raindrops on our tongues, would we stop for a moment to enjoy the smell of rain?
Would these dreams and frustrations come if consuming was all I did? Let’s listen to the perspective being shown to the world, as Swain said, through our eyes and the eyes of those around us.