Kingly News

News and views from a strange, continuing journey

Archive for the ‘internet’ tag

Three-year-old upset over pop star

leave a comment

I know a lot of people look at this as funny, and I even respect that point of view. As I watched this video, though, I became more and more disturbed. It is disturbing on one level that the family recorded it and put in on YouTube–and, of course, I’m contributing to that in a way by posting a link to it, so I have mixed feelings as well. Are you disturbed by it? Or just tickled?

Here’s what I really want to say, though: I also think there must be hundreds, thousands of young children who happened not to be recorded, but who are equally affected by the strong impact of the powerful images to which they are exposed via television, radio, the Internet, etc. Throughout most of human society, you could only be so close to a person in your immediate vicinity. We know, intellectually, that this person is really a stranger, a projection, but gut level the experience now available via mediated communication is almost indistinguishable from face-to-face interaction.

I realize that a three-year-old doesn’t have much by way of filters, and furthermore that she was already tired and cranky at this point, as the text that accompanies the video makes clear. Still: just because us older folks do a better job of covering how deeply media affect us, does that mean we are any less affected? How much of the stress that seems so pervasive in modern society comes from this simple effect? I read somewhere that, as a typical modern American, I meet more strangers in a week than my grandfather did in a lifetime. Add to that the fact that “meeting” someone via high-definition television can feel just as real as meeting all those strangers, and you get an equation for overload.

Written by Donnell

February 28th, 2010 at 1:55 pm

Posted in General

Tagged with , , ,

Cold technology, warm tears

leave a comment

We are connected to a virtual community of families graced with children with disabilities. Janet stays in touch more than I do with these folks scattered across the globe, most of whom we have never met and yet to whom we feel so connected. She has been telling me for a few weeks now about a family with a disabled boy in the very clear process of dying. They knew it was coming, and yet held out hope, as I guess we all must. The boy died a week or so back.

I’m not revealing names because I don’t want to intrude on their grief. But they were kind enough to add me as a friend on Facebook, and I can’t tell you how wrenching it is to read the timeline of posts, knowing how it turned out and yet finding a part of me hoping that it will somehow turn out differently than it did. People ask what the prognosis is for Hannah, and the reality is that her condition is so rare, no medical database exists to give any realistic idea. It is truly one day at a time.

I cannot read this material without crying, and yet I cannot not read it.

At the risk of invading their privacy, I share with you one post from his mother I keep returning to.

I think I would give every dime I have to just have one more day–not 10, just one is all I would ask for. I would spend it giving him a bath, rubbing warm lotion all over his body, he loved that. Then we would just hang out and listen to music.

Today, she posted this (note: it is not a photo of her son, but a piece that she herself “borrowed” from somewhere else):

If you can’t read it, the text says:

Your little boy cries too much.
My little boy makes no sound.
Your little boy sleeps warm in his crib.
Mine lies cold in the ground.
Your little boy woke up today.
My little boy never will.
Your little boy laughs and plays.
My little boy lays still.
Your little boy makes you proud,
But just as proud am I,
For your little boy will learn to walk;
My little boy can FLY.

May each of us love and treasure each moment that we have with those we love.

Written by Donnell

February 26th, 2010 at 3:24 pm