The Eye

Keep thinking about hurricane Katrina those four long years ago. Recall Bill Maher praising the media, the first actual respondents to the disaster. I remember people complaining that the media didn’t do more.

The eye is key. The eye, the ability to draw attention to what needs it. This service, mostly trivialized, often overlooked, is the only reason some things get attention at all. Without the eye, in an invisible anonymous life, virtually anything can be perpetrated. Over-exposure, fame, are corrosive things. Anonymity is worse. Ask any homeless person.

You aim a camera. You write a line. You take a picture. You think, if you are stupid, that this is for the viewer. It’s for the reader. It’s for the audience.

You’re writing for the subject, to explicate, persecute, validate, vilify or otherwise expose. Anonymity, again…curse to some and weapon to others.

But ultimately do courts listen to the witnesses? Rarely. They listen to authorities, their own scale of validation, wherein truth is measured in status. They listen to the whims of an ill-fitting traditionalism. They rely on media, on entertainment and indifference to let people fill in the gaps.

In other words, watch enough Law & Order, NYPD Blue, CSI (wherever) and you will start to think that’s how the system really works. It’s unavoidable, a saccharine bandage to the wound peeled back by the opening of the eye.


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