Call me suspicious by nature, inbred paranoid, or a person overly trained to conduct fairly decent and fair interviews. The
first and last appraisals are nearly semi-spot on. The one in the middle, maybe, if I am fired with fear. The versions and variations of telling if someone is lying to you becomes more complicated when working on-line. The mask of the digital screen in a Skype call is not as revealing. It is what it is – a digital representation and as such the energies emanating or exchanging through an actual conversation are absent.
What we see is not what we get. Reading body language has its thorns. At times, while interviewing people on line, because of the limitation of bandwidth, I am stuck with a written query inside a chat string. The days of sitting down with someone doing the talking head routine while taping is no longer necessary. Green studios and blue screens digitally paste us together and with some clever camera editing, appear like the interviewer and the interviewee are in the same actual place. Nothing is real?
A focus congruent to vetting liars and lying is the importance of truth – honesty with people who become friends within digital space. People can tell you just about anything on Facebook, or Twitter, and all the other social media formats. Even Skype, face to face, screen to screen, can become a liar’s playground.
Perusing predatory men offer many versions of the same lines. They vet me with three initial questions. What country are you in? What do you do? How old are you? To keep my dignity I never answer the last question. Not because I am being cute, coy, or dangling a carrot by avoiding an answer. Sometime ago, I decided if a man wanted to know my age, it was a sure sign shortly would follow his pitch. The pitch being a con to get me interested in them. By not telling my age, I manipulate the situation to verify if this is a shallow come-on, or someone sincere. How many times will they ask me before they throw in the towel and move onto the next female? Surveys are part of my meager endeavor to comprehend and integrate human understanding.
Ahh, you say, how do you determine if someone is earnest on-line? Sorry, you cannot. Sincerity is not available except by meeting the person, in the flesh. I have never met someone on line that blossomed into a romance or fantastic friendship who came here to my hut in the jungle. This is not to say I do not have wonderful friendships in cyber hell. There are a handful of friends, women, and men, of all ages, where a friendship was established and continues to this day. People who reside around the planet I am proud to know on-line and share ideas, philosophies, and caring hearts. They are genuine.
Because my focus is foreign policy, Earth, revolutions, coups, and wars, I chat with people in the worse of circumstances. Recently, this went to the max as I chatted with someone in Gaza while their neighborhood was bombed. In fact, I ended up chatting with two different people, in two different areas of Gaza as their neighborhoods were destroyed. Both keyboarded, “My building is like an earthquake, I hear explosions. More explosions.” As the deluge was happening by the IDF, one of these chat strings ended and the other continued.
The conversation from the other end, as you can imagine, was screwy. The individual deals with death and heals in his day job, an ER surgeon in the main hospital of Gaza. What transpired during our conversation I could never hold any person to because the stress is inconceivable. Besides, war is a far-fetched horror show. The entire reality of chatting on line while bombs are blowing up buildings a few hundred of meters distant is absurd.
CNN trained us when Wolf was in Baghdad as US of Constant Wars invaded. Yet, watching it on the little screen, sitting thousands of miles away in safety, and experiencing it live via a chat string has an inconceivable affect. Alternatively, at least it did for me. It also came on a dastardly personal emotive day, my deceased husband’s birthday. It was the second birthday since Capt. Arthur, Esq., died in my arms from a massive heart attack.
The set and setting for chatting with someone while their neighborhood is blowing up is a human bonding brand new to me. Sitting alone, my normal mode, and discovering undreamed of feelings of powerlessness? The historical helplessness of not being able to save my husband hobbled to the inability to do shit to save an exceptional man from being blown to bits was a soul bender. Gallows humor became the light.
I cannot speak for the other party. Maybe the doctor has a line up of available adoring females and friendly folks to get through the madness of war. For me, my post trauma is nothing compared to the 1.8 million trapped on the Gaza Strip, still. In particular, it must be unthinkable for a surgeon who sees the worse of what our species does to each other. He sent the photos. They are so horrific I have no idea how the surgeons and staff continue.
The honesty of life is being there for others.
We vet in my line of work, because we are trained to sort through the crap. People literally will tell you anything. Is it the truth to the issue at hand? Supposedly, I am required to have three confirmations. I would say in my case I reach beyond this rule. I have people on the ground to confirm along with raw footage, live feeds, plus still photography provides instantly the visuals of what is happening via the world-wide-web.
When I was in this chat string with the doctor, I was not afraid. I remember I got cold and bundled up. Now, I realize it was shock.
I never ended the conversation. I listened. I wrote. I responded. I was aware of my feelings. I was watchful. It was life changing. I will never be the same because of this experience. I pray he and I will meet, like normal men and women do. It is not my nature to run away or disconnect because an experience is uncomfortable. What the doctor and I experienced was beyond difficult, at least for me. Yet, in this connection was born an innovative awareness – one melded with consideration, concentration, and an attention beyond space and time.
God, protect the innocent. May peace prevail. Selfishly, I would wait at any border crossing into Gaza for whatever amount of time to have the honor and opportunity to meet this remarkable human being, in person. Hopefully, we would be able to carry on a conversation without bombs, burnt babies, and ruined lives. Heroes are never what the media hypes. The real deal champions are humble and shy, with a quirky sense of humor.
My discerning take is the doctor is fully vetted by his higher power. Are you getting my drift boys? My silly stuff is vacuous one-dimensional meaningless compared to the doctor’s love of Gaza, his devotion and amazing deepening levels of kindheartedness.
A wishful voice inside of me, wanted to wake up the next day in 1990, when my mom was alive – to go back in time to a gentler America before Bush, Halliburton, and the masters wars. To have a giant eraser and remove the killing fields, the murders, the suffering, the pain, the horrors, the grief, the rage, and the insanity.
We, you and me fellow westerners, owe big time. The superman I chatted with is neither terrorist nor protagonist. The doctor, and all souls in Gaza, are in a manmade repulsive circumstance we can alter. Together, in solidarity, we need to demand and receive a call to action – #FreePalestine.