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“Won’t Someone Please Think of the Children?!”

Friendos.

How goes it?  It goes well with me, thanks for asking.  I haven’t posted in a while but that’s a good thing because the acting is going well and that tends to keep you busy.  Getting some good roles which I will elaborate on at a later time.  Right now I simply want to comment on the latest topical shitstorm pervading the Facebooks: Toronto Police unloaded on some kid with a knife who didn’t pose an immediate threat to them.  That use/abuse (depending on your POV) of lethal force can be viewed here.  Predictably, people have flocked to the police’s side or the side of the victim/perp,

Sammy Yatim_2
Sam Yatim.

Now obviously Sam Yatim wasn’t dressed like this nor was he a small child at the time police shot him.  Why then am I posting this picture?  Well, because as I scrolled through my newsfeed this picture caught my eye as it was the cover photo of a story relating to the shooting.  I felt this was kind of low; we witnessed this same sort of chicanery with Trayon recently, with his advocates posting pics of him as a child

Trayvon-Martin

to demonize his killer and now we see it happening again.  I don’t mean to take up the cause of the police and George Zimmerman here but posting these pics is no better than posting pics of Trayvon throwing up gangs signs as if the fact that he took some goofy pictures justifies his death.

Needless to say, both sets of pics miss the point.

Ultimately these pics only have relevance if one mires themselves in the limited debate of shooter vs. shot, reasonable vs excessive force, etc.  This is a pointless debate and my only evidence for this statement is that this is the debate on the mainstream news.

However, if one digs deeper these events can be mined for insight into the human condition.  I will endeavour to dig deeper:  Why does a childhood picture of an adult victim make us feel worse about their death?  I’m sure there are some genetic characteristics which make us more compassionate toward kid, but -wait, no, I’m being dishonest now.  That’s not really the line of inquiry I think is interesting.  What I find interesting is this:

normal_Pauly_Poo_as_a_kid

In case you’re curious, that’s a young Paul Bernardo, Canada’s most notorious murderer and rapist.  I doubt many feel any compassion for this guy and anyone posting his baby pics in an attempt to garner sympathy for him might actually face real physical harm (ironically, from well-adjusted people).  But I think it illustrates an interesting hypocrisy about which kids we are willing to forgive.  Advocates of Yatim play down the fact that he was carrying a knife (again, not choosing sides here) while the fact that Bernardo grew up in a physically and sexually abusive household was unknown to me and I had to look it up on Wikipedia.  But knowing that now, should we perhaps reconsider our round condemnation of Bernardo as evil?  Or perhaps abandon concepts like good and evil altogether?

“Probably not” many will say and that’s fine.  I suspect that the notion that human beings are highly susceptible to environmental stimuli is outrageous to some people, who ironically don’t realize their outrage at hearing such ideas is a textbook case of human beings responding to environmental stimuli.  Ah well, it’s a slow process this thing I’m trying to do, and writing tired doesn’t help.  But I will say this, please don’t play the childhood innocence card in your arguments of persuasion unless you want to accept that “humanity’s worst” were all children once and are deserving of the same compassion.

Best,

-Andre Guantanamo

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