Beheadings on demand: Seeing is demeaning

I went almost 50 years with seeing only one old photo of a beheading. I was in my teens, and it was from perhaps Africa or India, but at least it was humane, accomplished by a skilled swordsman.

Then there was murdered journalist Daniel Pearl, and the Internet, and one could view his misfortune without too much searching.

So, we’ve have two more beheadings, and, by now, no one is shy about discussing the link to view and gawk, nothing spectacular about it since the Net is already piled high and deep with such ah…stuff. Does this provide us with information about such barbarism we didn’t already know?

Once upon a time, many thought there was something indecent and voyeuristic about viewing people at this most humiliating and hapless experience.

Just more coarsening of the culture.


And a child shall lead us. You go girl.

I have been hiking the Kennesaw Mountain Trail for over 25 years. Each time I hike it I am impressed with both its beauty and the people who choose to hike it. Sometimes a brief encounter with another hiker makes that day stand out in my memory.

Recently, I saw a father and his two children standing in front of one of the small, brown directional signs on the trail. One child was a boy of about 9, and the other was a girl about 7.

They were standing at a point where the trail split, and they were quietly contemplating which way to go. I was about to offer a suggestion, when the little girl suddenly pointed down one of the trails and spoke very authoritatively to her father.

“Let’s go this way, ” she said. And off she went – followed by her father and older brother. There was no need for me to offer advice, for the little girl had selected the better path.

As they walked away, I smiled and thought to myself: There goes a future female CEO.


AJC’s investigative efforts appreciated

I still remember the day about a dozen years ago when I opened the AJC and saw, at the bottom of the front page, a tentative expose of a local government agency. I was so floored, I stood up and read the headline aloud to my wife. I wish I could thank that reporter, but I have misplaced her name.

I can say thank you now to the paper’s owners and editors, who must have initiated the paper’s seismic shift toward outing some fraction of the corruption that plagues city and state governments. Having become accustomed to pro-politics editorializing from as far back as the fore-running Atlanta papers of 50 years ago, that article felt like an earthquake to me.

Turns out it was only a pre-shock. The AJC has become — to my knowledge — the premier investigative city newspaper in the country.