Hello, everyone! At the moment, my family is doing fine with the crazy Texas weather. We've been blessed to have electricity and running water even though lots of our friends are without both. We are under a boil water notice, though. I'm not complaining. Thank God we don't have to melt snow just so we can flush our toilets.
I have been watching quite a few episodes of Criminal Minds recently, though--mostly because Reid makes my heart do funny things. And also because I love a good mystery. Oddly enough, the gore tends not to bother me. I'm strangely immune to violence in media. I was in for a special treat, though, when Gideon left (regrettably, he was a great character) and we got Rossi.
For those of you who don't watch Criminal Minds, David Rossi is an Italian character played by an Italian actor. And for those of you who don't know me personally, I'm Italian. (Well, technically not--biologically, I'm mostly Polish. But since I was adopted, I identify as a trans-ethnic Italian woman.) My dad is exactly three-fourths Italian and one-fourth Greek, with both sets of grandparents born in the Mediterranean. My dad, therefore, has the black curly hair and olive-brown skin that all Italians have.
David Rossi is the first fictional character I've ever seen who looks just like my dad.
Sure, you get a few characters with generic Italian names and generic white skin--Tony DiNozzo from NCIS comes to mind. But Rossi is obviously ethnically as well as culturally Italian--you can sense his Italian-ness in his tastes in art and architecture.
Diversity in media is certainly a hot topic right now. Nowadays, TV shows and movies have to have Black characters, gay characters, Muslim characters, and so on. I used to get a bit huffy with the whole thing. And, to a point, I still believe I was justified. Writers and directors shouldn't force diversity in a work that doesn't call for it. For example, the Vikings show that was a big hit a few years ago did a good job by limiting their cast to white people (as far as I know) just like the directors of Black Panther did the right thing by not including any white Wakandans.
But I can see now what the fuss was about. Seeing people who look and think like you in media is important. Seeing people who don't look or think like you in media is important. It makes you think. (Right now, I'm thinking about why it's socially acceptable to put a practicing Muslim in a TV show, but all fictional Christians are either pastors, maniacal heretics, backsliders, or some combination of the three. And heck, they're usually Catholic, too.)
God willing, if I ever finish the third book in the Clouds Aflame series, I'll move on to something set in a slightly more modern era. I'll be able to include a bit more ethnic diversity. And honestly? It'll be refreshing. Taking a break from St. Anne's Cleft will be refreshing, honestly. I've really enjoyed spending time with Alynn and Lukas and all their friends, but writing about railroads and Colt Peacemakers and America in general is going to be a lot of fun.
What are your views on diversity in media? Let me know in the comments below--just stay civil! God bless you, dear readers, and don't forget to review us on Amazon!
M. J. Piazza is a Jesus-loving, dog-walking country girl who just so happens to write books.