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“Underlying this dream of restorative violence is the desire to find an act commensurate with the harm. Yet it’s a fantasy that yields only helplessness. (When not a fantasy, when acted on, it quickly reveals itself to be a lynching scenario.) Because you can’t do something large, you don’t do anything. And because you don’t do anything, you can’t bear to remain open to perceptions of the nature of the harm. Moral energy that could be the basis for meaningful action runs into the sands.”
It reminds me of the passages in Wings of Desire about the old German poet dreaming of an epic of peace, from which the title comes. Wings of Desire: definitely the best film about journalism, in a way. Kalven’s essay also seems like a good answer to PaperGirl’s Career Advice post, which I’ve been pondering since I read it.