No, I know satire is not an imitation of life; more of a caricature, perhaps. But I was taken in by a satirical article, yesterday; what made that a bit embarrassing was that I posted the article on Facebook, with comment. The article was about Black Friday shoppers who had killed other shoppers over whatever item it was that they weren't about to give up.
The reason I found the story so easy to believe is not that I am so gullible; I just know that there are people in this country who have no regard for the property or the life of any person they don't care about. I once had a student at our community college who was aghast that a family member had turned in Ted Kaczynski, now forever known as the Unabomer. For 17 years, this man had mailed homemade bombs to universities, airlines and stores that sold computers, killing three people and injuring 23 others. His brother finally went to the FBI to share his suspicions about his brother, who suffered from mental illness.
My student wasn't lacking all morals; for a person to turn in a family member for any crime went against all cultural norms, for her, and she said no one in her family would ever have ratted on another family member. Even when I pointed out that the man had killed three people and maimed many others, and that he had other bombs in progress at the time of his arrest, she insisted the family tie was stronger and should not have been broken.
The news these days is too full of reports about people who shot and killed one or more others, because "He dissed me," or because they'd been in a shouting/shoving/punching brawl, and one person got a gun. I also remember that, back in the Michael Jordan years, a teenaged boy killed another boy who was wearing a new pair of Air Jordan shoes that he wasn't willing to give up.
I haven't lost all faith in humanity, but I know the potential for good, for nobility, for compassion, self-sacrifice and love are sometimes outdone by the potential for greed, selfishness, a sense of entitlement, a total lack of tolerance for disagreement or resistance, and downright evil. The poverty of spirit is different, in this country, than in many other countries, but it is here.
So I am left with the ability to believe (often in awe) in the good that is expressed by the many who give of themselves, even when it means great sacrifice, even their own death; and in the evil perpetrated by humanity, against humanity. What scares me is that the latter seems to be growing so much worse that I would have been taken in by that article.* Sigh. We are still in the between times--between Christ's coming and His return. Even so, Lord, come quickly!
*Yes, knowing the nature of The Daily Currant would have helped me.