Friday, May 06, 2005

genocide

i have just watched Hotel Rwanda for the first time (thank you sheryl and netflix) and it leaves me with the (almost-) uncontrollable urge to bang my head repeatedly against the wall. it was a very good movie. don't get me wrong. it was an amazing movie. but its very amazingness makes me want to cry. only -- the things that people do to one another - the depressing, heartsickening, wrenching things that people can do to one another in the name of small -miniscule, really- differences, real and/or imagined -- these things have ceased to make me cry, and instead make me angry. and sad -but not in a weep-tears-and-get-over-it way; in a what-is-there-to-do kind of way. and more cynical. (really? i hear you ask. can she be more cynical than she already is? well, perhaps. i can certainly stay cynical, can i not?)

it's hard, to watch stories of people slaughtering one another in revenge, in a mass explosion of rage and insanity and unconstrained brutishness. it's even worse to think well - why don't the other countries -the countries with the money, the manpower, the medical resources, the stockpiled food- come and stop the killing, feed the refugees, make sure the children get their medical needs attended to? and know the answer: because we just don't care enough. because there's nothing in it for us. because the rwandas and the somalias -they produce nothing we really need; they don't have hidden treasures, only years and years of humanitarian intervention, and risking the lives of our sons and daughters for people we don't know, and a country we feel no patriotic fervour for (if we feel any at all). and really, perhaps asking people to sacrifice their children for the sake of keeping two raging mobs of angry people from killing one another somewhere in a country far away is a little too much to ask.

what's the solution? i don't have an answer, really. (well, i do, but it involves a big red button and the end of all my hopes for the nobel peace prize.) i don't think anyone does. but i guess marcus has it right when -after the movie- he said "it sort of puts all our problems into perspective, doesn't it?"