Poor, poor kid.
April 18, 2001 4:49 PM   Subscribe

Poor, poor kid. It sucks when you are out there protesting, get apprehended by the authorities, and are so scared that you have a little, ahem, "accident"; it sucks more when a camera's there to catch it.
posted by delfuego (41 comments total)
...and then posted again here so we could all see. Then people here link to it...
posted by john at 4:59 PM on April 18, 2001

What really "sucks" is the environment in which this kid, and many like him, are being brought up--an environment of hatred and intolerance which prolongs seemingly endless cycles of violence. With every generation of Palestinian children brought up to hate Israelis, and every generation of Israelis raised to hate Palestinians, and every generation of Protestants and Catholics taught to hate, we guarantee another generation of fighting and bloodshed and terror.

That "sucks."
posted by megnut at 5:05 PM on April 18, 2001

Amen, Meg.
posted by silusGROK at 5:38 PM on April 18, 2001

Not to mention the vicious cycle of bed-wetting that may never end..
posted by schlomo at 5:47 PM on April 18, 2001

It might suck to us, but thats just how it is in the Middle East. Study the history its part of the culture just as baseball and cars are American. Wishfull thinking for peace is nice but its so.. American. Better strategy is containment.
posted by stbalbach at 5:48 PM on April 18, 2001

Lotsa genocide, land grabs and merciless wars in American culture -- not just baseball and cars. Amazing how we got used to it. So ... American.
posted by argybarg at 5:53 PM on April 18, 2001

And of course, lots of things that are "just how it is", in any culture, still suck. Just because something is "part of the culture" doesn't make it right, and doesn't make it impossible to change.
posted by moss at 6:12 PM on April 18, 2001

Megnut -- and others who are interested -- there was an interesting piece on NPR this morning about the ongoing violence in Angola and it's psychological effect on the people there. Angolans don't know "peace."

Scroll down to "Mental Health and War" or go straight to Real Audio.
posted by amanda at 6:27 PM on April 18, 2001

Gosh, I can't think of anything funnier than pictures of terrified children losing control of their bodily functions. Great post, man. Really uplifts the human spirit.
posted by Doug at 6:34 PM on April 18, 2001

And this week on Sick Sad World, er, The Evening News...
posted by ktheory at 7:14 PM on April 18, 2001

This was posted on Freerepublic.com (no, I am not a regular reader of that site) and, along with the photo above, they had another of same kid--happily throwing rocks at the military/cops. He looked a little tougher then.

Also, I wonder where his parents are.
posted by Witold at 7:17 PM on April 18, 2001

I feel so bad for that kid. I mean look at him. He's being led away by (what his upbringing has inculcated into him) seven riot-clad satans. But in reality, what was captured in this shot, was humanity. An alien would look at this photo and say "photo of eight earthling bipedals".

Fear is something Palestinians and Israelis, aside from all their "differences", definitely have in common. Poor, poor people all over the world. sniffle
posted by crasspastor at 7:48 PM on April 18, 2001

Nothing is "just how it is."

If a generation or two was raised in the Middle East and Ireland without being taught to hate, I'm sure we'd be at a better place afterwards.

...you know, sort of how many in the current generation of americans aren't taught to hate people from different cultures like my parents and grandparents were?
posted by mathowie at 8:28 PM on April 18, 2001

(i don't know what it is lately but i can't get any images from yahoo's image server... anyone else having this problem?)
posted by o2b at 8:56 PM on April 18, 2001

abso-fucking-lutely agree with matt. i'm tired of the passive just-how-it-is approach. things are what we make and what we allow.
posted by th3ph17 at 9:15 PM on April 18, 2001

The concept of "cultures of violence" is totally fallacious and contributes directly to intolerance and frustration, which can drive people to violence. It is not their Israeli-ness or their Palestinian-ness that is at the root of the unrest. Thinking that the people involved are essentially violent is dismissive and degrading to them as human beings.
posted by techgnollogic at 9:22 PM on April 18, 2001

It is not their Israeli-ness or their Palestinian-ness that is at the root of the unrest. Thinking that the people involved are essentially violent is dismissive and degrading to them as human beings.

Did anyone say that? Where did someone say the problem was because the people involved are israeli or palestinian?

I'm saying you teach a child to hate something, and it often leads to an adult that hates the same thing.

It's got nothing to do with the race or culture of people involved, it's just your basic "sins of the father" problem.
posted by mathowie at 9:34 PM on April 18, 2001

Thankfully, people have the will to change them: like the counsellors and youth workers sent into west Africa, who are turning the pre-teen killers of the Sierra Leone militias into little boys again.

(It's worth remembering, too, that most of the Israeli soldiers aren't that old, and are experienced only by virtue of the situation they've been thrown into. And it's possible to argue that the disproportionate force on display is simply the product of fear channelled through munitions.)
posted by holgate at 9:44 PM on April 18, 2001

Regardless of whatever he was doing before he encountered his unfortunate relief. He was not throwing rocks as a bonafide individual. He was throwing them in the cause he was born into. He had no choice. Indeed, when it comes down to it, who of us have choices when critical thinking is not taught in interest of raising cookie-cutter cogs of humans?

In no way does this implicate that there is any conscious effort to have human cookie-cutter cogs in Palestine. But when religion and true belief are stripped of all its (I believe) undue honor and veneration, we find this is exactly what it does best: Breeds cookie-cutter cogs out of potential free-thinking individuals.

A more rudimentary emotion takes hold of this child as he is faced with the inescapability of what is to happen next in this photograph. In this instant he cares nothing for god, country and cause. We all share this ability. Therefore, why should anybody feel so self-assured in their culturally mandated hate at all? I think it's because comfort (when not in the harrowing moment this kid finds himself in) breeds complacency for the truest emotions in our common existences.
posted by crasspastor at 9:54 PM on April 18, 2001

This was posted on Freerepublic.com (no, I am not a regular reader of that site)

That you feel the need to add such a disclaimer on MeFi is something else that "sucks."
posted by aaron at 10:00 PM on April 18, 2001

mathowie: stbalbach said it, basically... My comment was in the same spirit as yours, that it is the learned behaviors of individual people in a complex political system that cause these problems, not the kind of "just how it is in the Middle East" absurdity stbalbach suggested.
posted by techgnollogic at 10:23 PM on April 18, 2001

ah, you're right techgnollogic, on first read that pissed me off too, but I instead focused on the "just how it is" point.
posted by mathowie at 10:33 PM on April 18, 2001

(i guess not.)
posted by o2b at 11:04 PM on April 18, 2001

Hey, I read freerepublic - of course it's to know what "the enemy" is thinking... I do admire the right wing for their online organization - the left seems to stink at it
posted by owillis at 11:15 PM on April 18, 2001

I think it took courage for Witold to admit reading FreeRepublic at all. It's kind of like admiting to enjoying the Backstreet Boys, or having seen Dude Where's My Car in the theater.
posted by Doug at 11:27 PM on April 18, 2001

Sorry. I don't find this the least bit funny. Meg's right. The cycle sucks.

Ever watch a flying insect trying to go through a glass window? They can see there's nothing there, so they bang into the window, and can't understand why it doesn't work. They do not understand the physics of glass. You can't teach them. A bug may do this indefinitely, until offered an alternative that it can accept. Otherwise it'll keep banging its head against the invisible wall until it's dead. The people of the Middle East need someone to open the window for them, because they've been banging their head against the invisible wall for millenia. "A South-Going Zax and a North-Going Zax seem determined to butt heads on the prairie of Prax." Neither will budge. Neither will politely allow the other to move forward, for to yield the right of way is to deny one's own pride.

This has nothing to do with a god. This has nothing to do with money or land or even hate. It's pride. It's a denial to admit weakness or wrongdoing. An insistance that the other side be punished for crimes committed while simultaneously refusing to accept responsibility for their own past transgressions. "They did X, so we are justified in committing Y. Might makes right. Righteousness means never having to say you're sorry." Such behavior is like a wolf gnawing off its own leg to release itself from the trap, only to die later of bloodloss and infection. All the people of the Middle East need one another for mutual survival. Until they learn this, the entire planet will suffer. Their childish, violent, selfish and barbaric behavior has affected the entire planet. Both sides feel wronged by the other. Why? Both sides ARE wrong.

Indeed, anywhere on this planet where men and women claim faith in some unseen force but whose actions reveal they only have faith in the blade and bullet, we are all being cheated and raped. I want to be able to keep my doors unlocked and remove the bars on my windows. So long as one human being on this planet worships violence, we are all victums. We share the burden. The pain. The humiliation. The fear. When you commit violence upon another, you are doing it to yourself. Giving into the barbaric instincts for violence is a weakness. I don't care what you believe in, so long as it's not violence.

One more thing. You can open the window for the flying bug, but it doesn't matter if it's too stupid to know to go through the open part. And if you try to wave it over towards the open part of the window, it'll sting you.
posted by ZachsMind at 1:01 AM on April 19, 2001

Go Zach!

There's an essy on "man's inhumanity to man" in this thread somewhere.
posted by sudama at 1:24 AM on April 19, 2001

Let me not join in lamenting the wrongness of violence... Especially when it equates a kid throwing rocks at an occupying army, with heavily armed soldiers...So if this was a black South African kid, would everybody be talking about how he had "learned to hate" and how bad violence is from both sides? Would anybody dare make wisecracks about it?
I think this Robert Fisk article (from the Independent) shows the unfairness of it all....
posted by talos at 1:43 AM on April 19, 2001

Precisely Zach. All of us when confronted with ineffable powerlessness, are stripped down to exactly what we are all the time, yet don't want to admit it. Impermanent foolishly brazen humans.

How we worship our celebrities. Eminem, Osama bin Laden, Latrell Sprewell, Bill Gates, Linus Torvalds. All of them including all who read this and he who writes this are that child and those men.

"It is said that science will dehumanize people and turn them into numbers. That is false, tragically false. Look for yourself. This is the concentration camp and crematorium at Auschwitz. This is where people were turned into numbers. Into this pond were flushed the ashes of some four million people. And that was not done by gas. It was done by arrogance. It was done by dogma. It was done by ignorance. When people believe that they have absolute knowledge, with no test in reality, this is how they behave. This is what men do when they aspire to the knowledge of the gods."
Jacob Bronowski
The Ascent of Man
posted by crasspastor at 2:00 AM on April 19, 2001

Let's recognize some conflicting truths here: violence sucks, and people (palestine) have a right to self-defense.
posted by sudama at 2:40 AM on April 19, 2001

ZachsMind said:
The people of the Middle East need someone to open the window for them, because they've been banging their head against the invisible wall for millenia.

Again, let us be clear in understanding that it is not all the people of the Middle East, or all Israelis, all Palestinians, or all anybody else who need this window opened for them, for some already know it's there, know how to get to the other side, and are doing everything they can to show their neighbors the way. They might appreciate some assistance, though, for sure.
posted by techgnollogic at 3:32 AM on April 19, 2001

Palestine doesn't need self-defense in the form of more violence. What they need is a better public relations team. They need some spin doctors. In fact I think this would be a great premise for a Wag The Dog sequel. Robert DeNiro is hired by the Palestinian government to turn things around so the Palestinians look like the ones wearing the white hats.
posted by ZachsMind at 4:10 AM on April 19, 2001

ZachsMind: They don't need DeNiro's character, they need honest reporting, and decent people on the 'other side' ...
posted by talos at 4:29 AM on April 19, 2001

If a generation or two was raised in the Middle East and Ireland without being taught to hate, I'm sure we'd be at a better place afterwards.

I was raised in Ireland, and I wasn't taught to hate. In fact I don't know anyone of my generation who was - North or South of the border.

Hopefully this means the ceasefire we have will develop into a genuine and lasting peace in the next 10 years.

By the way, to look at a conflict like the Irish one or the Israeli one - it's not just a Catholic / Protestant or a Muslim / Jewish issue - there are issues of ethnicity, nationality to consider...and also the centuries of conflict.
posted by tomcosgrave at 5:37 AM on April 19, 2001

Tom: I was raised in Ireland too, in deepest Belfast, and I'm afraid to say people there were and are taught to hate. People I knew at school, relatives I thought would know better, it came from the most unexpected places. I remember being confused and angry the first time I heard a snippet of bigotry from an unexpected source. These days I try to ignore it.

It is pride, Zach's right, but ignorance too. I do think things are getting better, but it seems we get closer to peace when people simply stop worrying about constitutional issues (as they're euphemistically called in Northern Ireland). But I guess it's harder to stop worrying when you're under attack from tanks/kids.
posted by flimjam at 6:47 AM on April 19, 2001

You guys are all missing the point. That little kid pissed himself!
posted by shinji_ikari at 6:50 AM on April 19, 2001

The shameful part is the unchecked proliferation of 7-Elevens in the holy land. These days any kid can get their hands on a king-size Slurpee or Super Big Gulp. And this is the inevitable outcome.
posted by websavvy at 7:07 AM on April 19, 2001

LOL! Thank you Shinji Ikari and WebSavvy for bringing us all back to reality. Yes the true issue here is that children are being brought up in the Middle East with rusting zippers in their designer jeans and are not taught the wonders of flushing. I say we all pool our resources together, buy a thousand urinal basins, and have them all airdropped into the area by plane.
posted by ZachsMind at 7:51 AM on April 19, 2001

Hey flimjam -

I'm well aware it happens - all you have to do is look at the likes what happens on the Garvaghy Rd / Drumcree march.

I guess the point I was trying to make is that not everyone is raised to hate, which should give some sort of hope.

FYI - Most of my family are from Belfast.
posted by tomcosgrave at 9:06 AM on April 19, 2001

How can the palestinians not hate Israel? Israel is the invader here. What part of 'Occupied territories' is so hard to understand? This is land that Israel has occupied illegally for years. The US has such a double standard. When Saddam occupies Kuwait, it's a horrible atrocity, but when Israel does the same thing to the palestinians, the US urges the palestinians to compromise. Of course palestinians will turn to the Intifada.
posted by snakey at 10:42 AM on April 19, 2001

Re: what Palestine needs is a public relations team:

"If Arafat wore a nice suit, he'd have a country by now."

Garry Trudeau
posted by jbushnell at 3:18 PM on April 19, 2001

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