The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Monday, January 29, 2007

Disney's "Litterbug" Question

In 1961, the very last Donald Duck short subject was called "The Litterbug." In that short, there was a song that started "Litterbug, Litterbug, shame on you. Look at the terrible things you do..." does anyone know the rest of this song?
I really do think that most problems among human beings arise from relatively universal principles. Just had a discussion with a friend about whether "peace is impossible in the Middle East, because Muslims are culturally or genetically frozen in the past, or set into a warrior mind-set and prefer battle to peace." Brrr. This same person drops lotsa comments about "group X having this negative tendency, and group Y having this other negative tendency." Not surprisingly, they never generalize this way about white people. Sadly, this person is not white, and is of mixed blood, and in my opinion has some real confusion on these issues. At any rate, a gigantic amount of problem arises from the assumption that people who behave differently are reacting to the same stimulus with a different response. The Arab world has a pretty decent set of reasons to think the West is out to get 'em. The history of the Crusades, combined with British Imperialism, combined with the creation of Israel...I doubt seriously that we would react differently. That said, there is no EXCUSE for terrorist bombings against civilian targets, although there may well be reasons for it. I also loath dropping A-Bombs on civilian targets, but we did it. We may well have had excellent reasons, but there is no way to say that that was one of our finest MORAL moments, however tactically or strategically appropriate it may have been.
However vital it may be to hunt down and slaughter Al Queda (and I think it certainly is) to suggest that the actions of Arabs are somehow different than the rest of humanity is to blind yourself, to make an "us/them" dichotomy that leads to such absurdities as bombing cities in the name of "Christian" values, and asserting, on the one hand, that we invaded Iraq for the sake of the Iraquis, while on the other hand saying that its better for us to fight terrorists "over there" than over here. And never seeing that these positions, while fitting under the same political tent, can't really be held in the same mind without a certain degree of cognitive dissonance.
In my mind, the answer lies in a meld of Male and Female approaches: devastatingly surgical violence combined with real open-hearted understanding and compassion. The combination creates new life, new potentials, new perspectives that cannot be grasped by those frozen into either polarity. It is through uniting Ida and Pingala along the Chakra line that energy grows, rises and evolves. I suspect that what we are seeing in the Bush administration is the last gasp of the Patriarchy before a cycle of more feminine energy washes through the world. That, too, in time will become stifling and corrupt, and it'll be time for another male cycle. But I kinda suspect we're at that kind of precipice right now--and it is morbidly fascinating to watch.

Screw both sides. I just hope our grandchildren win this one.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I believe that the song goes like this... Litter bug litter bug shame on you.
look at the awfull things you do.
throwing your litter every where,
my but it's disgracefull! It really makes one wonder what kind of house you keep when every where that you go is your personal garbage heap! ba bump bump bump!Litter bug litter bug shame on you...
If you know where I could get a copy of this song please let me know at