Some say that God created the world, a long time ago, and that’s why he is the only one who can forgive.
Some others remember how the elders taught them that keeping a grudge is far worse than having an ulcer. It will eat you alive, like a cancer.
I, personally, don’t know anything about God creating the world. I wasn’t there at that time so…
What I do know is that playing God is extremely dangerous. Not only for the impersonator but mostly for those around him. Exactly those who were amused at first by his performance – enough so that they encouraged him to continue, only to find out later how annoying the show will soon become AND that the exit door had been paddled shut behind their back, while they were happily clapping after the first gigs.
At the very end, after the impersonator had left the scene – by his own will or simply carried out, he will end up shouldering the whole blame – as he should, of course.
But I can’t stop wondering how much suffering could have been avoided if the crowd were just a tad more circumspect?
Not making very much sense, do I?
OK, first take a look at this:
Then watch this:
Do you really think this is funny? Well… more than 38 000 of the almost two and a half million who watched this say they enjoyed it and only two and a half thousand became worried enough to express their feelings.
Most of you have not experienced how it is to live under dictatorship so I’ll use another metaphor.
You are probably quite familiar with this guy:
Mostly by shooting the bad guys.
Don’t get me wrong.
They didn’t get anything else than they actually deserved.
What I find really troublesome about Dirty Harry is the casualness with which he killed people. And his over-reliance on guns. On brute force, that is. “Go ahead, make my day.”
It is true that at that time people were exasperated with the daily occurrence of violent crime and were desperate for a way out of that situation. I’m not going to offer you statistics or stuff, you can look them up yourself. I’ll just tell you that the Romanian television was having an almost daily news bulletin presenting the latest violent acts committed Stateside. It was all part of the propaganda, of course, but the facts were real. And plenty enough to make me wonder, I was a teenager at that time, what on Earth is going on there?
That wave of violence has subsided, as we all know. Some say it happened because of ‘broken windows policing’, some ‘freakin’ others ‘blame’ ‘Roe vs Wade’ for it while I suspect that all of the above had something to do with it but that the main ‘culprit’ was the economic upsurge that followed the ‘stagflation’ period.
Nowadays we find ourselves in another economic and psychological down-turn. With a twist though.
The recent economic troubles were brewed at home while then it started with the Oil Crisis. Much of the violence no longer starts as a robbery but has a psychological motivation – disgruntled and socially disconnected young people commit multiple acts of homicide, either by indiscriminately shooting their victims or by blowing themselves up, along with a huge amount of explosives, in densely populated areas.
And how do we respond to this fresh wave of violence?
By turning a blind eye to heavy policing? By digging fresh trenches that further divide our already highly polarized society? By another wave of over reliance on guns?
“I said it was only me and, hands still raised, slowly descended the stairs, focused on one officer’s eyes and on his pistol. I had never looked down the barrel of a gun or at the face of a man with a loaded weapon pointed at me. In his eyes, I saw fear and anger. I had no idea what was happening, but I saw how it would end: I would be dead in the stairwell outside my apartment, because something about me — a 5-foot-7, 125-pound black woman — frightened this man with a gun. I sat down, trying to look even less threatening, trying to de-escalate. I again asked what was going on.”
Go ahead, click on that quote and read the entire article. My post won’t go anywhere.
What’s the connection between what happened to Kyle Monk, the Dirty Harry movies and Putin?
For starters all those involved were …human individuals.
Kyle’s neighbor who called the police and who, when asked by Kyle ‘why did you do it’, chose to end up the conversation with “I’m an attorney, so you can go f— yourself.”
All of the nineteen policemen who played a role in this drama – and who treated a 125 pound, scantily clad, woman as if she were an armed and dangerous criminal were also human individuals.
The heads of the public administration, those who adopt and enforce policing policies are also human individuals.
The financial wizards who engineered the recent crisis belong to the same species as we do.
We, the guys who admired Dirty Harry for his toughness, are the parents of the hapless generation who blows itself up or mindlessly shoot their colleagues in campuses.
We are also the guys who are amused when bored magazine writers attribute to Putin such silly quotes as ‘it’s my job to send them to Him’.
And it’s us who applaud the Putins of this world. Only to find out, on our own skin but too late to be able to do anything about it, that the ‘hug of the bear’ is not that comfortable as it seemed from a distance.