Thursday, August 09, 2012

Infamy does not equal fame

I’m tired of news stories telling me about guys who’ve gone amok and shot up a crowd of people they don’t even know. Even more so, I’m tired of hearing their names, seeing their faces.

I can’t help but think that too many commit their horrid crimes strictly for some sick chance at instant fame.

It used to be that fame required a certain amount of talent and took a number of years to achieve. Fame sometimes came only after one’s death – Emily Dickinson, Vincent Van Gogh.

But now, in our age of instant-everything, the opportunity for immediate fame seems to lie only a few rounds of ammo away.

Today, the 67th anniversary of the atomic bomb on Nagasaki, seems a good day to remember victims. Simon Partington, Sarah de Vries, Jessica Ghawi – those names are more important to remember than the names of their murderers.

Maybe if we’d stop naming the perpetrators of crimes, not splashing their images all over the Internet, tv and print publications – maybe some of them wouldn’t bother taking their pathetic shots at unearned, ugly kinds of fame. Who knows, they might even decide to do something positive.

So, why the nasturtium as image for this particular rant? Ironically, in the language of flower-meanings, the nasturtium is symbol of victory in battle. But maybe remembering victims instead of perpetrators of crime would be a kind of victory.

The reds in this plant on my deck are so doggone wildly red, and their randomness amongst the paler blooms and greenery is not unlike the negative lottery that seems to determine today’s unsuspecting victims. And its straggly legs seem a good reminder of our interconnectedness with each other. If we take the time to look for it, even the simplest, most easy-to-grow summer flower can offer a kind of lesson worth considering.

1 comment:

Janet Vickers said...

I didn't know nasturtium represented victory. Yes the victory of all those millions of people who care for the world around them - we mustn't overlook their contributions.