26 June 2009

Shame On (and For) Us

There are times, very few times, when one feels intense shame for one's country.

This is one of them.

I lived less than a block from Ocean Park beach for over a year. I played football there, threw Frisbees, gained a massive scar along My left knee trying to catch an Aerobie, played beach volleyball there, swam, surfed, threw rocks, saw the sun rise and set, sat through a major thunderstorm with waves crashing several feet from Me...I felt at home there, on the sand, along the shore.

Puerto Rico is My home. It's where My heart is, where My son is, where My family and many of My friends live. Of them, there is never a feeling except a positive one. But when one sees what one's people are capable of doing...

No, this isn't torture. Or genocide. Those are horrible crimes committed by beasts. What this video shows is a crime, albeit a small one in the pantheon of evil. The shame comes not from it being a crime, but from the indifference leading to and suffusing it.

Watch the video, if you can, with the pseudo-cool jazz music as counterpoint. Look at what the camera captures with stark objectivity. And know that every piece of garbage--every one of the thousands of pieces of garbage--indicts Us with its clear message of unconcern, of consumerism, of brainlessness, of herd mentality, of disdain, short-sightedness and sheer incompetence.

As the alleged tourists said: It must be cultural. Before this video, I would have argued it was human nature.

Now I can only reply: Yes, I guess it is.

Shame on Us.

The Jenius Has Spoken.


RayInPR said...

I saw this video the other day and was equally disgusted. But my question is "why were there no garbage cans anywhere on/along the beach?". Obras publicas had to expect that there would be 100's (1000's??) of people there that night.

GCSchmidt said...

Ray, there are garbage cans outside of the frame, so to speak. They are located high above the water line and near the common (back to the street) exits. I have no doubt they were full and that maybe, just maybe, a few more were brought in. But the bottom line is that people left their crap on the beach. They lugged it in when it was full and left the empties for others to deal with. Disgusting.

The Insider said...

Disgusting is right. But, this is just an extreme example. Go pretty much anywhere on the island, and you will find evidence that a significant portion of the population are ignorant trash dumpers, turning Puerto Rico into one big dumpster.

Special welcome to Puerto Rico's tourists. Remember to take lots of photos and return again next year.

I recently visited Florida. The ditches along the side of the highway are so well taken care of (trash free, mowed grass, and often with additional landscaping) that I could imagine Puerto Rican's visiting for the first time might pull over and have a picnic, mistaking it for a park!

Get with it you slobs and destroyers...

solo joe said...

sí, fue asqueroso.

se nota el desprecio que estas personas le tienen a PR.