My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


How Darkness Multiplies, And How WE ALL Bear Responsibility 

Have you seen this video? I don't know how you could have avoided it, but maybe you were lucky enough to miss it.

Sorry about that.

But this has me troubled in so many ways I don't even know where to start. How about the news blurb:

Eight Florida teenagers are accused of beating up another teen so they could make a video to post on the Internet.

Authorities say Victoria Lindsay was attacked on March 30 by six teenage girls when she arrived at a friend's home. One of the girls is alleged to have knocked the 16-year-old victim into unconsciousness.

First of all, having a pre-teen girl, I'm scared to death. Which "sleepover" is intended to be her last? You know, of course that's an absurd stretch . . . but we've gotten all too accustomed to absurd stretches becoming reality, haven't we?

My next thought was "how did the dad keep himself from seeking revenge?" I don't know how in the world he managed to restrain himself--through the Grace of God, no doubt. And a restraining order and heavy sedation, perhaps.

For myself, my next thought was I'd better get my kids' martial arts training started--and soon. Start with the flat palm to the filchum . . .

And that's how it starts.

This atrocity started with a girl having a computer which gave her a forum which gave the WHOLE WORLD access to her thoughts on an instantaneous basis. Believe me, there are very few things the world needs LESS than instantaneous access to a 16-year olds every thought. But that venting--that small act of darkness--found its way into a joke, perhaps, and got bigger. Then the girls who were the butt of the joke get insulted and decide to gang up; somehow, somebody thinks it's a good idea to videotape this event, so the darkness can be spread to the farthest reaches of cyberspace; finally, the girls suck two boys (wonder how they got THAT to happen) into being lookouts and "dead-drop" drivers . . . . and so on, and so on.

And the quicker we react to exact vengeance on the girls, the sooner we let the darkness into us.

It's the terrible trap this society has put us in: we can't resort to limited violence, in the way other generations did (remember "meet me at the bridge after school"), so the pressure builds; our schools tell us that the only thing that's wrong is judgement itself--not the acts that deserve judging--, so the pressure builds; children are brought up to indulge feelings of aggrievedness (?) in every little act, because no feelings are unimportant, and so the pressure builds; eventually, physics demands that there be a release to the pressure--and children left unsupervised with access to cars, time, and privacy have NO trouble finding opportunities to let the pressure out.

In a sad way, given the utter lack of remorse these children apparently showed while in custody, its a small miracle that one of them didn't think it would be good idea to hit the victim with a tray or a glass, doing real damage or killing her.

And through it all, there's no filter on any of these children that says "this is wrong, this is enough, it ends now."

Justice demands that these children spend time in jail, but that probably won't help--they'll come out even more hardened and more violent than before, only with less of a future to look forward to. The grandmother whose house was the chosen venue for this beating will likely be in the market for a new home--and a new liability insurance carrier, once her current one pays off the victim's family. But that doesn't really help--I'm sure granny had no idea what her darling granddaughter had in mind for that afternoon.

With luck, the liability will reach as far as YouTube, who should be found contributorily culpable based on the intent to post the video to the website. Perhaps no monetary damages are warranted, but there should be much better content filters in place to prevent this sort of thing from going viral. But, again, that won't help--there are many forums on the net for those with a craving for a few minutes of fame.

Ultimately, the entire society had better start looking itself in the mirror, and assessing whether a.)we're doing all we can to ensure the continuance of this civil society or b.)if this society we've built is worth saving at all.

There are SO many sources of darkness in this world--it's just a little more outrageous when it touches on the young. But, unfortunately, if it hadn't touched on the young generations ago, there wouldn't be the type of world we live in now where darkness is apologized for (go on Oprah, have a tearful moment, all is forgiven . . .), condoned (are we REALLY going to go to China for the Olympics this year?), or even celebrated (check the rap sheets of the top-selling musical artists last week . . .).

The only real answers lie with each one of us, I suppose. The darkness is dispelled by the light, if only the Light has the courage to shine out. So, I'm going to echo a challenge my minister issued on Sunday: go be a source of light this week. Find something nice to do for somebody who doesn't know you or who doesn't deserve it, but who really needs to know that there's somebody out there who gives a damn.

And, while you're at it, give your kids a hug and ask them how their day went.

Weblog Commenting by HaloScan.com

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?