Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Lynda Barry Today’s Demon: Common Scents assignment 2.2

Smells goes away, but does prejudice?
The cleaver style Barry created her message in a comic strip to capture people’s opinion after reading a colorful text about difference and acceptance helped open up a dialog, to get people attention to respond to a sensitive topic which includes all ages. Using creative writing and adding the illustration with humor was her attempt to break barriers. The colorful illustration is very humorous, which seems to bring the readers into a moment where they too pictured themselves noticing things different about others but never concluded that others might consider them different as well. Berry’s first part of her title Today’s Demon is a living demon in the United States. This demon has created such stigma on people that are different, unfamiliar, and unprivileged especially since September 11, 2001, The World Trade Center terrorist attacks. That attack has created worldwide discrimination against people that are different and mainly people from the Middle East. But too there are other demons that have existed for hundrends of years and it might not go away, if we don’t locate “Dream City” as Smith describes. It’s today’s demon: Prejudice! The second part of Berry’s title Common Scents brings me to The Body Works store where they sale perfume body spray and they have a large selection of smelling, all beautiful scents. Just reading the title zooms attention to my nose sense. Berry’s creative form of writing is to gather all five of your senses and to analyze each panel using them. Smith style of writing creates a sense of taste once reading her title, Speaking in Tongues”. There must be a taste of style to communicate. Having the flexibility to select the form of language that is needed to communicate is considered as a great skill to have which can create opportunities.
Face to face communication is the form Berry used to address the smell issues with the two friends. This form of communication is very common, because it brings the message to both persons directly where they understand each other. Take notice of panel #1 on page 55 where the one of the children are discussing an issue her mother have with the other. This panel examines how parent teaches their children their beliefs without having any facts. This is called a learned behavior; therefore, the child will judge as the parent has taught which is one reason this DEMON still exists, today’s demon. Berry has a perfect example as one girl says, “That’s why I’m not sposta come over, cause the smell gets on my clothes, makes my mom sick”. (55) Wow that can become very hurtful information for a child that a friend parent has issues with them. There must be someone available that can provide some sort of empathy and understanding because that information can develop into a demon which creates an ongoing cycle. Smith speaks of something similar in her essay called “Speaking in Tongues”, where unmasking is being scrutinized to demonstrate how people can maintain a concept of themselves before the mask slides off and their true self is seen, or better yet, they’re busy pointing fingers at others and hoping people will not discover their real issues. “To a certain kind of mind, it must have looked like the mask had slipped for a moment’. (4) Trueness will surface and all will be informed of the facts, often what they are hiding is often exposed then their reality has changed. This parent with the issue of the smell her daughter’s friend sprays her home with disinfecting, air freshener spray frequently to cover up something, which creates an unpleasant smell as described as the bus bathroom smell.
Berry’s illustration was very creative on page 57 panel #1 mainly because a Grandmother are usually known for sitting on a couch properly as she explain and discuss issues with the grandchildren. This panel shows Grandma sitting almost Indian style and looking as comfortable and relaxed in her environment to stress the message hoping it is received well. As the Grandma chats with Grandchild there is a cigarette hanging from her bottom lip showing there is some focus and some type of talent as she used her multi voice providing significant information about people. The Grandmother starts the conversation off by informing her Grandchild that God the creator of all have made people and have made them similar. Grandma says, “You know, my darling, God has made every people! And every people makes ta-ee! And every ta-ee smells bad! Ask this lady does perfume come out of her pueet? N’ako, I don’t think so, darling! It is not God’s way. You tell her”. (57) Berry’s creative way of bring a tone to Grandma’s voice was effective as well as the message. The Grandma provide factual information for the child and felt it is alright to discuss it with whom every. This too stress that it is ok who you are and where your from because God has created people and no person is better than the other. That gives the child the confidence needed once the child had receive hurtful information from a parent. Maybe this conversation with Grandma established a pride in her culture and proud that her Grandma makes different foods that creates different smell. In “Speaking in Tongues” by Smith she too provide a unity among like people. “And the concept of a unified black voice is a potent one”. (6) Unity creates strength and many cultures develop this concept that plurality is the key to maintain their beliefs and culture. Remain together and support one another, regardless who try to create mishaps.
Berry’s comic strip helps make Smith essay relatable. Similar perception that is communicated differently to examine into today’s demon can become an ongoing discussion. This can break stereotypes and create a acceptable conversation among acquaintance. Instead of separating and pointing the finger a look in the mirror is needed to make a change.

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