Reality bites

Have you ever had a moment when you thought that you were in a movie, when you saw something so outrageous that you couldn’t believe it was real?  9/11 was like that for me; when I watched the building collapse, I had to work to remind myself that it wasn’t a staged demolition.

Today, I watched a video of an Egyptian protest.  I’m sure you’ve seen or heard about the violence going on over there.  I’m not going to get political, never fear.  What I am going to get is real.

About 12 seconds into this video, one of the protesters was shot. You can easily hear the gun fire.  The man dropped immediately and did not move again. Another man ran up to him and called out. As he and others carried the body away, you could hear screams of “Papa! Papa!” At least, that’s what it sounded like to me.

I honestly had to remind myself that it was not a movie. It was not choreographed. It was not a special effect. I saw a man die in the street. He was not trying to harm anyone. He was not a screaming lunatic. He was with other protesters, just walking along. And the next instant, he was dead on the asphalt.

The surrealism of it stuck with me. How many times have I watched and enjoyed a shoot-em-up movie? When did I become so accustomed to thinking, “It’s stage makeup”? I saw a man die, watched another weep over his corpse, and I can’t wrap my mind around the reality of it.

What do you have trouble believing in? What is hard for you to credit as undoctored footage? We’ve forgotten that there are certain things that should bother us. My desensitivity kind of bothers me.


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