Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Desperately seeking justice or revenge?

Thinking about the latest baby killing.

What motivates this relatively new trend whereby the family of victims sport tee shirts and wave banners emblazoned with their lost one's image?

Are they seeking sentencing justice and hope to influence the court, judge and jury? If so, is that legal?

Or are they seeking retribution through justice?

Are they assuaging their own guilt by 'honouring' and glorifying the victim? Or is it intended to induce guilt?

Is creating and displaying the image cathartic?

Is it a visual response to a gang patch or colours? A symbol of the side the wearer takes?

"... Jyniah's father Ike Te Awa, has also become estranged from his family, who have continued to support Kapea and not him."

The killer's family has their symbol in the flesh. The convicted one.

Am I struggling with this phenomenon because I'm Pakeha? Or is this development common to other cultures?

Does society in general respond to death in new ways which I am simply too sober to appreciate?

If I asked the person wearing this child's image on their chest, why, they may simply say, to remember her. Even then, I don't understand. You need to be reminded to remember??? For the sake of sanity I would be aching for a moment's relief from the memories.

I think there is a serious disconnect with reality going on here; in the courtroom fiascos we see, in the flashy funerals, in the utu-driven scrapping. Perhaps it's all for the media. One thing is for sure. Dysfunctional behaviour isn't just occurring between family members. It occurs between family groups.


Anonymous said...

It could be that the family members realise that they failed the deceased in life and and are atonening by honoring the deceased in death.

Anonymous said...

Was the abuse pro-longed over a few times, or did it happen in the one day. How could the mother not know, how could the 'baby sitter' be so sadistic and wontonely cruel? I just can't get my head around this, the arbitary evilness of it, the total senslessness. What a country NZ is these days, dark, crime-ridden and down right amoral.

Anonymous said...

Last paragraph probably, a disconnect with reality on the parents' part that is. There's so many personal events these days that become scripted and choreographed. Even emotions and feelings are subjected to this development. Dysfunctional extended families that obviously lack any form of moral standard and internal social control, suddenly pull together when one of their offspring gets tortured and killed by one of the members of the group. This "pulling together" is ritualized, coffins with teddy bears the T-shirts and tearful declarations about 'beautiful babies'. It's all empty and outward, symbols and rituals for the occasion, after which they all go their own destructive ways, nothing learned, nothing gained. Next time they'll print another T-shirt, fabricate another placard.

wino said...

At the risk of being cultural insensitive or something similar I would say it is attention seeking. However I have never been able to understand Memorium notices years and years after Granny died with sickly messages of how they miss her daily... Maybe my middleclass white upbringing makes grief a more personal thing for me.

Anonymous said...

From my own lay observations, I suggest the public show of remorse, anger and concern is just that. A public show. These cretins turn a blind eye to the most horrendous behaviour for the sake of family. When the spotlight of public scorn and disgust is turned on them they slap on the grease paint and have their 5 minutes of fame. They have nothing else in their pointless lives. The sad truth is, when one child dies another is born to carry on the cycle. The problem is to big to fix. It needs draconian action.
Some people need to be sterilised because they are not competent in any way shape or form to be parents. But that will never happen and the abuse will continue for as long as they are permitted to breed. Reason and logic dont exist in their world. The benefit and dope/booze are their raison d'etre.


Anonymous said...

It looks like a manifestation of the victim culture to me. "Woe is us, we are oppressed victims".

It's also known as emotional masturbation.

Anonymous said...

No need for calls for sterilisation, Dirk: just stop paying no-hopers to have children they don't want. Cut off, as you correctly say, their reason-to-be.

All this public wailing after the horror is like some macabre so-called reality TV show. Completely pointless and completely forgotten two minutes later.

Anonymous said...

I think the parents *did* want this child.

Grief manifests itself in many ways - this is their way. The t-shirts and so on.

Guilt must obviously be a part of it - what parent would not feel guilt?

It is easy to put some political 'Maaaris on the dole' angle on this to try and advance one's policies.

Note I don't think that is what Lindsay is trying to do in the leading post.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Thanks Ruth, I wasn't. It's something else I don't fathom.