View Others, Write
Observations about groups distant from ones own can prove insightful. As a fan of the moving picture extravaganza that was “Game of Thrones” I came to realise at some point that it was British history told from a view from the United States. The errors and exaggerations only enhanced the reflective properties of the history. Hadrian’s Wall, shoots into the sky, the Scots become feral, the Irish blue zombies that convert the soldiers who engage them and so on.
Recently I was shocked to learn two programs on public broadcasters children’s channel were not American or Canadian but British programs. “Go Jetters” and “Octonauts” both appear unabashedly from the United States and Canada. “Go Jetters” sketches in a accurate enough demographic of the United States also with its aspirational leader, stars and stripe and international CIA intelligence gathering activities. The villain is a moustachioed industrialist and resembles many of the leaders the United States have toppled.
The diverse set characters in the “Octonauts” also target a probable audience in Canada where the leader resembles the much admired Commander Hatfield, who has the standard Canadian dude in charge visage, popular with the RCMP and other institutions. Captain Barnacles could win public office in any of the provinces or at the federal level. Responsible and very humane, for a bear, his authority is is stronger by being seen to sharing it.
The corrosive nature of the gaze can be overstated, knowing these shows are looking outward with acuity is comforting, In some spheres limits exist due to fragility of the subjects. The protective cloak can be paternal and limiting. Not wanting to be considered or being encouraged to not be viewed can serve many interests and not only benevolent ones.