We're almost done with part III of our comic strip series on the topic of globalization. As Bunny mentioned the other day, we're really enjoying the challenge of trying to superimpose a different narrative onto the same cartoon sequence over and over again. For those of you who are curious about the original Peanuts comic that served as inspiration for this series, here it is:
I found this comic strip in a Peanuts book a couple of years ago and photocopied it. At the time I used Liquid Paper ('white-out') to remove the dialogue, thinking that I was going to just recycle the original pictures while replacing the words with my own dialogue. I wish I hadn't done that because now I can't remember what the original dialogue was about. If any of you Peanuts fans out there know, please send me an e-mail!
Also, a short note regarding our intent for this series. The subject of globalization is important to understand but also very complicated. Many of the books and reports we've been studying about globalization are fairly dense and take a long time to read. And since we think the best way to learn difficult subject matter is to be able to discuss it with others, we decided to create some 'instruments' to help start up good discussion. We think it's important to create texts - even if they come in a comic strip format - that help stir new questions or concerns in peoples' minds.
By themselves I think these comic strips are actually kind of difficult to understand. And as some of our viewers have noticed, they're actually quite 'dense' - we tried to pack lots of different implications, meanings, and references into every word and phrase. We also tried to write it in such a way that there are some problems and inconsistencies built into what is being said. We hope these things can be drawn out in conversation and argument.
For example, one of the most important questions we're always thinking about when writing Pinky Show episodes are ones concerning 'who'. For these comic strips we had a lot of discussions about questions like: Who does Bunny's character represent? An individual? A certain class of people? How about Mimi's character? Who are the 'we' or 'us' or 'them' that they refer to? Are they mistaken? Stuff like that.
So basically what I'm saying is that these comic strips are not intended to be a one-page "everything you need to know about globalization". Not possible, not desirable! There are a ton of excellent books, study reports, analytical essays, documentaries, etc. out there that cover a broad range of perspectives on the many issues surrounding globalization. If you're new to the subject, I tend to think a critical approach is a sensible place to start (after all, the 'pro-globalization' point of view is pretty well covered by the mainstream media, schools, U.S. governmental policy, state/corporate/international financial institutions, and so on...).
• Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace (2005), by Vandana Shiva.
• When Corporations Rule the World (2001, 2nd edition) by David Korten.
• An Ordinary Person's Guide to Empire (2004), by Arundhati Roy.
• No Logo (2002), by Naomi Klein.
Primary sources are also very important. Just one such example - please consider the World Bank Extractive Industries Review's report Striking A Better Balance (2004), as well as the World Bank Group Management's official response to the report (also 2004). Fascinating and sobering.
Okay, I better go for now. We want to finish and publish Part III by Friday. Please take care everybody.
[ A reminder from Bunny: Each episode has an accompanying transcript. Transcripts are easier to study than videos. ]