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  • Kim Idol

What's Missing from this Picture?


It's what I was thinking while I waded through another episode of CSI anyway. My mind wanders. The guy in the picture had breakfast with me one day. I assume he would agree. The guy in the picture had breakfast with me one day. I assume he would agr.e. The guy in the picture had breakfast with me one day. I assume he would agreee. The guy in the picture had breakfast with me one day. I assume he would agree. The guy in the picture had breakfast with me one day. I assume he would agre. The guy in the picture had breakfast with me one day. I assume he would age. The guy in the picture had breakfast with me one day. I assume he woulda agree with me. The guy in the picture had breakfast with me one day. I assume he wo d agree with me. The guy in the picture had breakfast with me one day. I assume he wouldd agree with me. The guy in the picture had breakfast with me one day. I assume he would agree with me. The guy in the picture had breakfast with me one day. 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(God what horrible dialogue.) I see that CSI continues to promote the idea that (the list is longer than this) mental illness, homosexuality, polyamory, black men in their backyards trimming rose bushes inste ad of running street gangs, ambitious Native American Indians, Asians who more Americanized than Bill Gates, Secular Muslims (oh hell, pick your category) are rare and do not exist as much as straight, white, church going Christians, who toe the line the way they did in Mayberry or on Daddy Knows Best do. (Maybe it’s a run-on—bite me.)


I remember watching the first episode of CSI, decades ago. As the crime scene expert knelt over the body of a man who had jumped to his death, he remarked that the suicide(ist) had removed his eyeglasses because he was a coward, which made sense to him because everyone who committed suicide was a coward. I immediately tuned out. I saw some of the shows over the years, but every time I watched any episode the distain displayed for what was considered abnormal human behavior forced me to change the channel.


Whenever marginalized groups appear in story on CSI (and in most popular shows) their existence is presented as a moment for main characters to launch into polemics about differences or for other normies to experience a growth moment. Then of course there is the blatant asshole who makes everyone else look good. But nothing normal happens when these "odd" characters show up. It's a powerful method of diminishment. It's subtle and it works. As a teacher I am often surprised by how amazed my students, who fit into these "others" categories, are when they see that I assume that they are normal. And when I see what passes for mainstream entertainment I understand their shock.


One of my current employers is confronting systemized discrimination with seminars and public statements that obscure the fact that institutions relying on these strategies still support an imaginary idea of normal.


We've seen it before. Single mothers are new or rare. Nope. Men who want to wear dresses are rare. Nope. Women who love but who never want to marry are new. Nope. Formal marriages are suddenly taking a hit as are traditional religious practices. Nope, it's always been this way.

Presentation creates the idea of traditional and nontraditional and it is highly destructive. It leads us to the conclusion that, in real life and in popular fiction, the only way everyone gets a fair shot at being called normal is to tear the whole structure apart. Maybe it's fear that if we all admitted that what we think is normal is not normal at all, our world would fall apart so we cling to the bad categories.


It's what I was thinking while I waded through another episode of CSI anyway. My mind wanders.

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