Today I had lunch in a nice restaurant downtown (this is in the United States). The food was quite good, the service was friendly, attentive and relaxed. It was a pleasant experience. But I couldn’t help but notice one thing.
In the back of the restaurant, in an alcove and lit from above, there was a portrait of Martin Luther King Jr. The portrait was done in a pointillist style, in blaring oranges, yellows, and black. King was depicted with hands folded, head bowed in deep, soulful thought.
The theme of the restaurant was an small-town Italian bistro. The menu was mostly Italian food on the lighter side. The decor was meant to evoke the plaza of a quaint Italian hillside village, with white and blue tiles, paintings of olive trees, and a chalk drawing of a pretty young girl zooming by on a scooter.
And then there was: MLK deep in soulful thought. There were no other incongruous pieces of art or decoration in the place. There was no indication that the piece was a temporary installation. Rather, the portrait of King was hung in that back space, lavishly lit, visible from every table in the house.
I realized what it was: a religious icon. It was like a statue of Vishnu or a crucifix on the wall. It’s meant to be a quiet, steady reminder of the religion we are all assumed to share. That religion, I’m sure it goes without saying, is the religion of diversity-worship and the shameful, embarrassing fact that Western civilization and white people exist at all.
Just as in a room of believing Christians, a cross on the wall acts as a subliminal reminder of their beliefs to people who might be discussing anything at all (football, the weather, jokes, work); the image of King watches carefully over the minds of otherwise carefree lunchtime diners as they chat about… football, the weather, jokes, work.
Ever-present, ever-watching over us, our kind savior, here in the New World.
Leaving aside the absurdity, and the fact that this is a recent, non-spontaneous and state-imposed cult similar to those of the Soviet Union – what a sad thing it is to have even an idealized MLK as your ikon. No matter how selective and distorted your conception may be, the result is still not impressive or convincing. There is much wrong with the romantic cult of genius, but the cult of victimhood is a step down.
The same thing happened on Doctor Who a couple weeks back.
The Doctor gets trapped in a maze with his companions, and some strangers – an Alien, an American, and a British girl with brown skin. As soon as I saw her I just *knew* there was going to be a diversity lesson coming; nobody can ‘just be’ a woman, brown, whatever anymore – they always have to stand for a cause.
Sure enough, halfway through the episode she comments that they must be in the Muslim Hell (whatever the word is). The Doctor responds, “You’re a muslim then?”
“Yes,” she says, smirking, “No need to be afraid.”
…and that was it. Never came up again. Just the episode’s quota of diversity, showing a British Muslim as an upper-middle class nurse, rather than as a violent supremacist.
The show is supposed to be a light-hearted children’s romp, andventures in space with a man with a magic box. I watch this crap to escape from reality – not to have 21st century racial tensions thrown in my face (same goes for all the sex in the modern Doctor Who).
These guys can’t drop their agenda, not when they’re designing an Italian restaurant, or a family-friendly tv serial. Star Trek TNG at least admitted on the front of things that it was a pretentious, 1990’s Utopia.
It’s just creepy, is what it is!