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Michael Witkofski's New Skin Revisited from March 2000
California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: October 18, 2005
Latest Update: October 18, 2005
Rebekah Rydzenski wrote a comparison of the movie American History X and Hassine's book, Life Without Parole. Her review was informed enough that I could see the issue of whether rehabilitation ever really has a chance to be effective. I wanted us to consider that in light of Jonathan Lear's interpretation of Freud in saying that "our world exists because we love it," and describing the investment of love as taking place in minute simple actions, thoughts, and beliefs that render our immediate perception of our world as more loving, making it more tolerable to us
For example, Rebekah described the shower scene in which inmates began to leave as the gang leader approached with the intent of punishing the lead character. By leaving, even though that had no effect on preventing the punishment or changing the gang approach to deviation from acceptable behavior, the uninvolved inmates were investing love in the sense of not supporting and not taking sadistic pleasure in the violence. I suspect that that small investment in not considering the violence acceptable entertainment made the personal worlds of those particular inmates just a bit more tolerable, more loving.
How often do we recognize that the simple silent rejection of dominant acceptance of violence as a step toward building a world that is less accepting of violence?
Michael Witkofski's New Skin, UWP, reformatted from March 2000 for our 2005 Exhibit.
Notice that we're forming our own art history of Social Justice. Pretty neat, hmm? jeanne and Susan