Tuesday, October 03, 2006

SCAD, Yankees and Snakes

The other day, I was talking to a non-Savannah friend, and I mentioned SCAD. My friend said, "Excuse me." She had no idea what I was talking about. SCAD – Savannah College of Art and Design. I thought it was famous, and apparently it is not. Either that, or my friend is an idiot. Actually, you know both can be true as well; these may not be mutually exclusive facts. My friend can be an idiot and SCAD may be fairly obscure as well.

Some things are extremely local, and many of us are unaware of our local biases. Some things are less subtle. When I was growing up, I did not know until middle school that "Damn Yankees" were two words. I had always heard damn associated with Yankees. I grew up in Georgia, what I consider the heart of the south. And there were overt biases that we all recognized, and some, like the relative obscurity/importance of SCAD, that we did not recognize.

I have read some comments/blogs recently that show intolerance of different points of view, and on the surface, I give their viewpoint credit. But after my SCAD conversation that reminded me of my biases, I tend to be more tolerant of even extreme views. Not sure if this makes sense – and I am not trying to be wishy-washy. I also value spirituality, and I know that being labeled "Baptists", "Catholics" and "Buddhists" do not say anything about their level of spirituality (even if some believe that their religious label indicate some level of spirituality).

You know the typical comments, "I don't think that group is right with God because they cut the head's off chickens and wear high heels." Well, some have an aversion with comfortable shoes, actually, but you get the idea.

We all have baggage, biases that affect the way we see things. When I was in elementary school, I can remember having a bias against male teachers. Was there a rational reason for that? Pedophiles, perhaps? I took one statistical anomaly and damned all teachers subconsciously in my mind. Not fair.

I suppose making that logical error pays off when we were dangling from trees, being scared of all snakes when only a fraction of them are indeed dangerous. Recoiling from a grass snake is okay, if we similarly recoil from a rattlesnake. This, partially, I think explains why we recoil from that which is different, be it the Yankees from the north, or those who don't practice religion without a meat cleaver and four inch heels.

14 comments:

Tony said...

I find I am profoundly biased against spiritual views that drive an individual to consider me an infidel that needs to be killed. I know, coming from a Christian that seems rather hypocritical, but I didn't say I was perfect.

~gkw said...

DamnYankees isn't one word?

Zack said...

Speaking of shoes. Scotty Mayfield, the owner of Mayfield Dairy, wears his late father's shoes in the television commercials that he makes for his ice cream and milk. Some might say that is somewhat crazy, but I am sure that some will get the message of this triva. Those who do might have a level of spirituality.

Edtime Stories said...

again as always beautiful writing. bias against male teachers? I use to speak out against that.

SCAD is famous but then I have been to Savannah so perhaps not.

Leesa said...

tony: so you are one of those infidels?

~gkw: so they tell me. Problem is that most Yankees I have met are really nice people. Darn them!

zack: how can one tell that they are his father's shoes in the commercials?

ed: thanks, sweetie. I always thought SCAD was famous - but now I am not so sure.

Advizor said...

As long as Leesa talks about SCAD, by definition, it's famous.

I haven't made a huge effort to change my biases, but I am making a very conscious effort to be aware of what those biases are. I figure that it's a good first step to know when I'm being influenced by thought patterns that I take for granted.

~Deb said...

..."I have read some comments/blogs recently that show intolerance of different points of view, and on the surface, I give their viewpoint credit."

Some people view other religions differently... I view other religions differently, but I accept people for who they are and what they believe. I won't bash them for being "Catholic", (I was once Catholic) but I can explain why I converted from being Catholic to Christian. It's just another view.

The level of spirituality is personal for everyone. There are some people who go to church like clockwork and yet---not having one ounce of spirtuality in them. Weird, right? :) Guess they think it's their ticket into heaven if they wait out the hour's worth of sermon given.

(Gee, I hope it works!) ;)

Tony said...

as an infidel I didn't say I was perfect. I guess being a DamnYankee just proves it.

Zack said...

SCAD is listed in the top 25 for schools that teach graphics and film. Also they will soon have a PHD program.

As far as Scott Mayfield wearing his father's shoes. Well I know from personal experience. The shoes are black and a little large for him, and I am sure that they are not seen that much. But it is Scotts way of saying something to his father. Thanks for asking Leesa.

Leesa said...

advisor: fair assessment!

~deb: I was thinking more about the comments on your blog.

tony: striving towards perfection is not my goal.

GW Mush said...

Hi Leesa,
I have a Scad on my knee but its healing well. Your point about us all having biases is right on.
There are Biases that seem to be socially acceptable, and some biases are not acceptable.
To a religious right winger, its acceptable to hold a bias against gays and look down on them.
To most liberals, its acceptable to hold a bias against right wing religioys folk because they are ingnorant, closed minded bigots.
Each group justifies its bias because they think they are better than the other group. One group thinks they are "better than" because God hates homosexuality.
The other group thiniks they are "better than" because they think they arent closed minded ignorant bigots.
Truth is, bias and thinking your "better than" makes neither group ant better than the other.

LisaBinDaCity said...

I used to call it a "small town mentality," but as I get older, I have realized that intolerance is everywhere.

I grew up in the south and never heard the "N Word" until I moved to the East Coast.

Interesting, yes?

Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

Oh brother....this reminds me of the arguement The PK and I had the other evening over wearing fur. He got pissed because I said that I wouldn't wear it but if someone did choose to wear it, I wouldn't be the one splashing paint on them to ruin the fur...for me, it's a personal decision not to make those that kill animals for their fur any richer.

He actually got pissed off at me for saying that....for having that "live and let live" mentality.

Husbands! Can't live with them, can't chop them into little pieces and shove them down the garbage disposal either (legally, anyway). ;)

Leesa said...

gw mush: there are some groups better than other groups. I find red grapes better than green grapes.

lisa: yes. Very interesting.

stacy: I suppose the PK would want a "live and let die" mentality instead.