Human Stories

I firmly believe that the best way to deal with something to big to judge is to find the smaller parts to it. Don’t break the issue apart, but do spend time looking at the details. The small, human elements. They’ll give you the keys to the bigger picture.

I was screaming at the TV last night, watching the news. It was sick and disgusting. We were on the eve of war, about to be made culpable in a crime commited by governments who have forgotten that they exist to enact the will of the people, not the will of big business, and what was the BBC reporting on?

An American soldier phoning home to ask his girlfriend to marry him. In fact, they lent him a mobile so that he could do it there and the, on camera. Having made a performing monkey out of him, and beamed it into our living rooms, undre the pretext that this was keeping us informed, that this was news. I was screaming at the TV. Sure, this was a small, human story, but the things is, if you’re looking at the details, then you’ve got to be sure that you’re looking at the right ones, and, importantly, that you’re not missing other importants ones because you’re looking somewhere else.

Now, I don’t normally have a lot of time for Starhawk. I’m not sure why. I think it’s the bloody stupid name that puts me off. But I think I probably ought to pay a bit more attention, because it sounds to me like she’s got an eye for detail.

This is the stuff we have to make sure we don’t miss, because it’s the stuff that reminds us exactly what we’re now responsible for.

(link found via Marysia)

(Edit to add: I’m advised that the story is rather more complex than Starhawk’s view suggests – that Rachel Corrie’s death was an accident, and that the Israeli authorities were attemping to destroy a tunnel that was being use to smuggle weapons. Details, like I said.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *