Thursday, 7 February 2013

74 - After Watching a News Bulletin

As I watch these images, a lot of questions come into my head. For various reasons, I could barely put them into words. Some are probably unspeakably stupid or perhaps offensive. I'd ask what I wanted to and then immediately regret doing so. I might say "why?" but not want an answer. I might say it was a waste of time or I might object  to this sort of thing being shown on the national news, while continuing to watch. I probably have many more reasons for not having a proper response to voice I might not have the words, I'll still be forming my opinion, unsure of what's right or wrong. In any case, it could well not be my place to comment; commenting affects nothing; of all the comments my comment would be the least well-informed.

This is it: Inside a family home, a man prostrates himself before a distraught woman. She slaps him repeatedly in a wild manner, so upset that she hits him variously on the head, back and shoulders, seemingly without aiming anywhere specific. He hardly moves a muscle, though he's continuously bowing his head to the floor. The crying woman holds up some print-outs of pictures from the scene of a car crash, but since the man is facing the floor she thrusts a page under his nose. After a cut we see a shrine within the same house. The man crawls into shot, still bowing but moving towards the shrine, where a young man's picture is framed. Next we see an elderly woman in the street outside saying that she only had one son, and such a good one and now he's gone. Back inside we see the woman again and she's crying, while the man who's prostrate in front of her bows his head over and over.

These pictures made me think that we don't need to see this personal, almost ritualistic process of disgrace. Yet I want to write about the empty devastation of seeing these pictures. Drink-driving is awful. That could be the message. Taiwanese news programmes deliver heart-rending stories from the heart of the lives of strangers, ready to be scrutinised and pored over. This could be the message. I don't know.

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