I think that the boldest thing you can do is emerse yourself in something that is not beautiful and bring it with you into the public stream of consciousness.
For years I have been telling you and showing you the stories of the homeless in LA (hence the name of the blog) – and I have seen change in the collective thoughts of my friends and family. In the beginning I heard a lot of “You are so brave”, and “That must be so hard”. Now I am hearing about what YOU are doing to alleviate the symptoms of homelessness or to end the problem. I am so proud. But my reach is limited to the people I know and those I have connected to through Social Media and the internet.
CBS’s Bold and the Beautiful is international. Can you imagine the potential impact of a popular show doing an earnest and in-depth explanation of homelessness? Set your Tivo and VCR’s for next Thursday and Friday – October 28th and 29th and tell me what you think. If you forget to tape it – CBS presents entire episodes on it’s web site.
Homelessness is not beautiful. It is ugly and painful and complicated. Presenting it as part of entertainment is a dangerous line to cross. I am enjoying that the show is not brow beating the viewers with the topic. (Especially since it is a soap opera and not an After School Special or PSA). Instead they are weaving it into the storyline as if it were any other fact of life – because that is just what it is. There is love, family, drama , humor , religion, and spirit in the population of Los Angeles’s homeless citizens and in the lives of those who work in that field. No two people are the same. Every day is different. While the catch phrase is “only the strong survive” – it should be noted that only the bold are brave enough to try.
I am fascinated by the prospect of a soap opera as a vehicle for social change. From my “research” (okay, Google searches and talking to my friends who are avid fans) on the show, I have learned that The Bold and the Beautiful visited homelessness in 1991 and the fans still remember and discuss the episodes. Like I said – imagine the reach and impact of this show when something from 9 years ago is still resonating with viewers.
I want to watch the reaction of the audience and try to measure the change in social awerness that very public discussion of poverty can make. You can expect to hear more.
Now maybe a little addicted to reading the chat rooms of its fans – ie: