Alison Clement

observations from a novelist who sometimes wants to say something small and see it published immediately

taking a picture is not enough

>the two explanationsA man was pushed onto the subway tracks last week and struggled to get out while a station full of people watched. Even more chillingly, someone took a photograph. I heard a radio commentator explain that this happens with crowds. Everyone thinks someone else will take care of the problem. Maybe it’s a message for us all. Maybe it suggests that we might approach problems—not just a stranger who needs help, but everything: climate change; torture; war; extinction; deforestation– as if it is just us on the subway platform, alone, and one man, asking for help.

Sometimes I imagine that writing about problems is enough. It’s what I do, write. It’s what I’m best at, but maybe that’s like being the man with the camera, taking a picture while the train comes.

Categories: belief, media, politics, writing


2 replies

  1. This kind of post needs to be followed with instructions for what to do to help if you see someone pushed onto subway tracks. Such as call 911, get help from the stationmaster, signal the incoming train to stop, etc.

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