Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Another Jane Hirschfield poem


For Horses, Horseflies

We know nothing of the lives of others.
Under the surface, what strange desires,
what rages, weaknesses, fears.

Sometimes it breaks into the daily paper
and we shake our heads in wonder --
"Who would behave in such a way?" we ask.

Unspoken the thought, "Let me not be tested."
Unspoken the thought, "Let me not be known."

Under the surface something that whispers,
"Anything can be done."

For horses, horseflies. For humans, shame.

Sometimes, says she, it breaks into the paper. I just read in today's paper about two girls who assaulted another girl [who they knew to be transgendered] in a MacDonald's restroom [saying she was a he and didn't belong there]. They beat the girl, dragged her into the restaurant and only stopped when an older woman intervened. I'm glad they were arrested for assault. Their actions are shameful and disgusting. Also shameful and disgusting -- of the patrons in the restaurant, none interceded for a while and immediately began filming the assault on his [or her] cell phone and immediately published it on the Internet.

The combination of video capable cell phones and immediate publication of those videos has made it difficult for many public incidents to go unrecorded. It has also made many people active users of society's violence for their own satisfactions -- they can then tell everyone they meet, "I'm the one that caught it on my cell and published it," no doubt feeling righteous and proud. Have we created a species of horseflies buzzing around public events who feel no shame?

2 comments:

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

June -- Wow -- thoughtful commentary!
It does seem like some people like to imagine reality shows in their backyards so they can be active in the drama. They are unable to tell reality from fantasy, They are totally awash in a Disney like world.
-- barbara

June Calender said...

This article particularly disturbed me, Barbara. I see the usefulness of videoing police beating rioters, but to video instead of trying to stop a hate-inspired incident is a new low in social life.