Monday, 23 May 2016

What do actor Rick Boland and Lego have in common?

Actor Rick Boland - this would be the before picture.  I couldn't bring
 myself to post the after-attack image.

The sun is shining on a long weekend here in St. John's, NL but I keep having dark thoughts about my increasing awareness of violence in my immediate environment.  Maybe it is a little self-indulgent after my brooding about all the war related art that anniversaries inevitably bring…but my mood plummeted when I learned of the recent beating of actor Rick Boland.  A friend in the theatre community had shared with me via Facebook a fundraising plea to facilitate dental work for Boland.  I believe Boland had been brutally assaulted in our downtown area.  The plea was linked to a gofundme effort organized by Anne Marie Annonsen for $4,000 stating that "not only so that he can eat but also as an actor.  Help bring back his lovely face!" I am happy to report that 84 people contributed $3,735 in a five-day period.

When I first heard of the attack, I had trouble talking about anything else with friends I met in cafes or on the street.  I am aware of attacks in the bathrooms of our high schools, which we contextualize as bullying.  I am aware of current wars through the refugees I meet at social events.  I don't need TV or the Trump campaign.  It just keeps getting closer to home.  And it starts to dawn on me that violence is everywhere.  I remember my rationalization that one of the reasons why I picked small city St. John's to settle in and raise a family was that it was safer than the big cities of Toronto and Montreal that I had previously lived in.  I don't know if I was foolish, if things have changed, or what the appropriate explanation is.  I do know that it doesn't seem to make sense anymore; that no effort to join the dots make connections or find meaning in these horrible actions will make a difference.  At least not right now.

Lego's efforts to stay in tune with current culture.

So, I try and divert myself.  Enjoy the company of gentle friends; avoid the news on TV, radio and stick to the art section in an international newspaper.  I find an article about Lego, the children's toy building blocks in today's Guardian.  I have fond memories of Lego and have always wanted to do an exhibition with the colourful stuff.  Years ago I reached out to our Lego distributor here in the province and had made an encouraging start but never pursued it because of family demands on my time.  I click on the article link to find out more about the current world of Lego.  Guess what I find?

It is an article (the kind that is so well written I wish I had done it) with the headline:  Lego 'arms race': study says company making more violent toys.  "Am I being haunted?" I ask myself.  I try a different research path of links and read, "Lego: refusing to sell bricks to Chinese artist Ai Weiwei was a mistake".  I learn about another artist interested in Lego - Nathan Sawya.  But I stop following links that are Lego themed when I discover a Polish priest who has pronounced that Lego is really the work of Satan. 

1 comment:

  1. Finding the right dentist for you and your family can be one of the most important and difficult decisions you make. Click here to read this free article that will make it easy for you to find the right dentist for you and your family.
    see more details:Invisalign East Boston