June 10, 2006
THE DISTURBING but likely familiar image (if it in fact reproduced above)is called Scream, by an artist named Edward Munch.
And while it could very well apply to a lot of the goings-on in today's world these past few days, it aptly describes my feeling of horror upon visiting my friendly neighborhood video store today.
I was looking for a new release called Final Fantasy VII, for my 14-year-old son. The Blockbuster Video outlet is usually crawling with customers but on a Saturday afternoon, I found the only two people in the store were the woman behind the counter and me.
I couldn't find Final Fantasy but I did pick up a few previously viewed flicks. I went and asked her if they had stocked Final Fantasy or expected to get it in soon. She told me that they had one copy left, and went to get it.
She returned and told me that no, it had been ripped off by a couple of lunkheads who this past week came in and stole a whole bunch of movies.
I shook my head as I paid for the other movies I was buying. I stepped through the little security device at the exit that beeps if someone purposely or inadvertently tries to walk out with a movie or game they haven't paid for.
"Lot of good this is, I guess," I said with a smile, motioning at the security device.
"That doesn't make a difference," she said. "If the beep went off right now, could I stop you from walking out if I'm here all alone? They just pick up the movies they want and walk right past me.
"I can't do a thing about it. It happens five or six times a week."
Maybe I'm naive, but I've been walking around since then in a state of wonder. How could we have gotten to this point of wanton disregard, this I-don't-care brashness or stupidity?
What is happening to who we are? And why don't the 97 per cent of us who aren't like that come up with a way to do something about it? Clearly the politicians and armies and religious leaders can't seem to.