Saturday, March 14, 2015

Cast-offs and Castaways

As a living fossil approaching his sixty-third year here on the ant farm, I bemoan an ever enlarging circle of throwaway items our society has created and perfected.

Sounding at times (I know) like a broken record, even when you reading this have no idea what the heck a record is much less how it’s broken (unless a hopped-up Armstrong or A-Roid is involved), I blithely nevertheless sally forth (a wonderful name for a child, if you’re shopping by the way) in my lament of nearly everything Modern Times hath wrought.

When was the last time you saw a cobbler’s shop-or even know what a cobbler is/was? Ditto for a seamstress. As for appliance repairs; seriously, people still do that? We’ve become a culture that thinks ‘going green’ is about biodegradable cell phone parts rather than constructing devices we repair rather than simply replace.

My favorite example until I started to follow a frightening news story from halfway across the country was computer printers. It’s cheaper, significantly so, to pitch whatever printer you own and buy a new one than to purchase any replacement ink cartridges when the ones in your current device run out.

That is almost as disturbing as throwaway children, which is what this story is all about.

The operative word in the story, of course, is “rehoming” which is part of a larger phenomenon, the perversion of language which is supposed to illuminate but instead is used to obfuscate. Except this story is actually far more horrific than just some casually comfortable folks being inconvenienced by children they once promised to love but then decided ‘not so much.’

When we get to here as the tale is told, her face at first just ghostly, turns a whiter shade of pale. This isn’t a guy sitting in Connecticut wringing his hands over some bozo in Arkansas-we are fellow-travelers on Spaceship Earth and this person, Justin Harris, is as evil and responsible in allowing the mistreatment that befell those children entrusted to his care as the degenerate sack of slime who actually did the damage.

But give it a week-not that the children will be better. That will never happen and like the ripple in the water of a pebble in a pond the damage those children inflict on themselves and others as they grow  into adults as twisted and broken as those who failed to raise them, will be extraordinary. Not forgetting (as if we could) the damage that will be done by all those with whom they, in turn, come into contact.  That’s not what I mean here.

Rather, news cycles and attention spans being what they are, in a fortnight we won’t give this another thought. Some are already way ahead of me and have already forgotten whatever the first paragraph of this was even about. Probably just another roadside attraction on the human highway. Keep moving, there’s nothing to see here on the road to hell.

-bill kenny

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