DOCK CONTRIBUTOR KATE GREENE EXPLAINS complicity in an age of mass-media
KJB: In Pierogies from the Old Country, the speaker seems to torn by their complicity in the creation of disaster. Yet, the exit from the poem pushes the idea that our voyeuristic tendencies can both highlight a problem while making it seem distant/other. Do you find this happening more and more in an age of what some pundits term “slack-tivisim”?
KG: Something I've been feeling lately is that so many actions and consequences seem decoupled, almost to the point of absurdity. There's no tracing backwards; the pathways are too complex. This sentiment, which I don't think I'm alone in feeling, leads to the a kind of abstraction, and in particular, the abstraction of accountability. This, in turn, gives rise of stories we tell ourselves about how we got to wherever we are: rich, poor, healthy, sick, smart, dumb, etc. We'd like to think we have more control than we do--railing against "systems" just seems so futile--then along comes the omnipresent camera, culture at large, the watchers, or whatever. It seems like this should be helping with accountability, but the picture is flat. It's limited yet we give it so much power.