Thursday, September 11, 2014

We Must See Everything

We are everywhere.

It's a funny thing, being part of this half-evolved human social organism.  Here we are, just a decade and a half into this new millennia, and we can know everything.  I have access to such a wild array of information that it boggles my mind.

I can watch our planet from space, or rest in the nest of a bird and peer at tiny fragile hatchlings.  I can see images of almost any place.  I can read almost any text, written by almost anyone, on almost any subject.  All of the music and all of the storytelling of the world is open to me.

We have so much information, in fact, that it seems to blur the lines between what is rightfully mine to know and what is not.

I can watch, should I so choose, acts of impossible barbarity and monstrous sadism.  I can steal memories that are not my own, shared by our culture's insatiable hunger for gossip and sex and violence.

Memories of the beautiful and the celebrated, shared privately with their lovers, can be mine to steal.  Memories of intimate violence, horrible and personal, are passed around the collective consciousness to be clucked over and passed along.

I can watch men die, by the blade, or by a gun in a child's hand.

A young woman can look with erotic hunger into what she imagines is the eye of her lover, and I can take his eye and have it be my own.

Bam, she goes down, and we can all watch it, all of us, over and over.  And she can watch us watching her, and feel ashamed and isolated.

Or we can choose to look away.  There are things I do not want to know, that I do not want to see, because they do not belong to me.  I have no right to see them, because in the very act of seeing them I do another harm.

I will not take, without permission, a moment that was yours.