Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Tale of Two Minds

I'm glued to my laptop and to the Internet watching the BP Live Video Feed and marveling at how calm it looks when tension must be pinging off the decks of the ships above.  At times I can figure out what it is the robotic hands are trying to do, while other times the image just stays frozen.  (I think that's when the operator is on a restroom break.)

What a time in history I'm living in!  Never in all my life have I had a front row seat to see such drama in minute detail unfolding while in the comfort of my home.  Because this is a slowly unraveling story and the loss of lives are hopefully at an end, I watch and whisper prayers on behalf of the families and on behalf of the men and women trying to solve this horrible problem.  BUT I refuse to point fingers.  There's been enough pain for now and blame will be assigned in due course. 

My mind flashes back to my younger days.  President Kennedy's assassination and the subsequent assassination of Oswald were played over and over as unending loops narrated by Walter Cronkite.  I was in first grade.  Eventually, my 6 years of age couldn't take it anymore and I begged Mom to take me over to a friend's house. 

Many events have been played out between these years.  More assassinations (Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy, John Lennon), more triumphs (moon landing and the fall of the Berlin wall), more politics (Watergate, Clinton's scandal), and more horror (Kent State, Three Mile Island, Oklahoma City bombing, Challenger explosion, September 11, 2001 attacks).  I watched these and more unfold on television.  Then I had to quit watching television.  It was too much. 

Now I watch on my laptop. News when I want it and how I want it: video feeds, articles & op ed columns from the newspapers around the world, pictures taken by Joe Public, etc.  I feel like a scumbag for it.  A voyeur.  A peeping tom(ette).  Yet I watch.  Why?

Because I am a part of this world, like it or not.