What if it's not written for us?

On Thursday nights during Lent we've been opening up unit 2 for dinner and discussion of the Bible.  At our most recent discussion last week we were talking about a story that just seemed strange and difficult to interpret. It was talking about demon possession and prayer, ideas which don't sit easily in our society, and the details of the story were hard to make sense of. We talked about whether we were finding it hard because the story just wasn't written for us. It was a story from a foreign culture, separated from us by two-thousand years.

We talked a bit about how Beyoncé's recent song 'Formation' (and particularly the music video that accompanies it) have been caused a stir in the United States, and that seems to have been because Beyoncé's music has often been made to be mass-marketed, and has depended on being appealing to the white majority. It is pretty clear that this song (and particularly the film clip) is not made primarily for European Americans but for African Americans, and for people unfamiliar with African American culture it may be hard to understand what the song is saying.

There is often something similar going on with the Australian ABC's Black Comedy. While people from different cultures might watch the show, some of the jokes are going to be missed by Settler people who aren't familiar with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. That's okay, because those jokes aren't written for us. It may make us feel uncomfortable, but it might also help to make us more aware that we're used to media being tailored for the majority culture.