Seeing cruelty as is and immediately PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 20 April 2017 11:04

By Remedios F. Marmoleño


Sad as it is, we have become accustomed to hearing of natural calamities or accidents that result in multiple deaths in double digit or even triple digit numbers. Watching the videos or the photos that accompany the news is even more disturbing.

But in the days leading to the Holy Week I watched some news clips or read of individual cruelties that I found more disturbing than the news of calamities or accidents. One was of a US policeman who slammed a woman to the ground. Another was of another US policeman who did the same thing to a civilian with whom the cop had an altercation. Then there was the news of a man who had had a fight  with his wife and to vent his anger he went out to find someone to kill. The victim he chose was a 74-year old man and the killer had the audacity to post the video of his action on Facebook. And of course there was the case of the Vietnamese-American doctor who was forcibly taken off the United Airlines plane

How have we descended to this level of inhumanity?

Cruelty in some  people has been around since forever. But the difference is that now there is a new element of shock that is added to the cruelty – that of taking videos or photos of the cruelty being carried out  and making these videos or photos public. Remember those videos of ISIS “soldiers” beheading  their victims? The shock was felt around the globe.

This was one of those occasions when we saw one  horrific use of technology – to clobber the public with fear about what a group like ISIS can, and will,  do. This is essentially  what terrorism is all about.

The other side of the coin about technology showing cruelty is that the public is made aware almost immediately about the abhorrent behavior of people and this is followed by the strong public reaction against the action and its perpetrator.  Authorities cannot but act immediately on the incident and apply the law as it should be. Consider the incident involving United Airlines and one passenger.

We must also think of how our sensitivity to cruel  behavior is affected by all the violent scenes we see in the movies and television. People born since the advent of TV and of movies featuring known “super heroes” must be inured to scenes that show a man’s head splitting apart after a bullet hits it or a lance going right through a man’s heart. Although the scenes are make believe, how do kids know that?