I’ve included the warning above because I’m going to blog about humanity and humanity in its current state needs a bit of a caution for readers. Humanity isn’t the squeaky clean, TV scripted version we watch between commercials. In reality, it wouldn’t play on the CW or NBC. Especially, the new show
I say that because it’s a post-technopocalypse, meaning there’s no electricity or anything of the fruit of electricity and yet everyone looks clean showered in every scene. Maybe there’s one storyline where the dude is a bit ‘day old underwear,’ but they’re all largely fresh washed. That’s not dystopian. Dystopia stinks. We read it in books. We see it on TV. We watch it on the big screen, but it’s out there in the world right now. Right now, while you are checking this out on an old Mac (or PC), thinking about the new MacPro that just came out and wondering whether this would look better on it, all hell is breaking loose in someone’s life. But it’s a world away. All we have to do is literally change the channel — or surf to another site.
This is Lebanon. Last week.
Last week a car loaded with 150 pounds of TNT exploded next to a car with a husband and a father, a son and an uncle. There were nine others who were killed. Unintended consequences of being there.
It’s easy to say, ‘Well, that’s Beirut! They’re always fighting.’ ‘Those Arabs are always trying to kill each other’ (or something equally callous) You might be saying right now, ‘You don’t understand naive blog boy!’ Yeah, we’ve read the same books, watched the same network and cable reports. We’ve listened to the same podcasts and radio shows. And we do this because we want to understand. We want to understand how something that we only experience in media can happen for real.
Here’s what I understand: Someone in Beirut painted music on these stairs. They could have painted anything, but they resorted to a Universal Medium that you and I both understand on levels so deep, it makes us relatives of the artist. When I see something like this, I can’t change the channel, I can’t surf to another website and I can’t imagine that a passive acceptance of violence anywhere, at anytime, is good.
Often times, we Christians like to say that God Is Love. Recently, I was reminded that God’s love has teeth; God’s love is an enemy loving love (nobody trademarks sayings like that). The worst thing to do in this situation is to think that they are enemies. Whoever painted these stairs isn’t an enemy, they are a brother from another mother, a sister from another mister. They know about what goes on in my soul, because it goes on in there’s as well.
I cannot sit and watch the fiction on NBC, when Revolution is right in front of me. Real revolution. An anonmyous artist is living in a world where things explode, meanwhile, I watch a world of fiction that plays pretend in front of a camera.
This stirs my soul.
I feel it in my blood.
Apathy is unacceptable.
What story does apathy tell about us?
A long while ago, I heard a Persian professor discussing a prominent Persian poet. She said, “You mustn’t judge a country by its politicians. Judge it by its poets.” Walt Whitman wrote something similar in the preface to his Leaves of Grass, “Their Presidents shall not be their common referee so much as their poets shall.”
Someone took the time to show the soul of Lebanon on some stairs.
Will you join me in praying for the me and you of the Middle East?
You know, the people who want a good life for their kids?
A life where cars don’t explode as you walk past.