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Matinee: The Class of 2018 Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

19 May 2018

Saturday matinees long ago let us escape from the ordinary world to the island of the Swiss Family Robinson or the mutinous decks of the Bounty. Why not, we thought, escape the usual fare here with Saturday matinees of our favorite photography films?

So we're pleased to present the 150th in our series of Saturday matinees today: NOHS Class of 2018 Formal portraits.

Foraging for today's matinee, we skipped over the usual save-the-dates, wedding, birthing and promo videos, indulging in the occasional travel video and a tutorial or two before we came, somewhat weary, to this silent presentation.

It proved an odd experience.

It's a slide show of formal portraits of the Class of 2018 of North Oconee High School in Georgia posted by the English teacher who is also the yearbook advisor.

Before sitting down to continue our afternoon hunt for a matinee, we had watched the PBS NewsHour, which comes on at 3 p.m. here. At the 52:37 mark of the show anchor Judy Woodruff added "a note."

In our reporting on the Texas high school shooting today, we heard a young student say she wasn't surprised by what happened because, in her words, "it's been happening everywhere. I always felt it would eventually happen here too."

I was profoundly saddened by that and I hope in our rush to follow all the news around us each day we stop to think about what that means and to ask if we've crossed a line and if we owe our younger generation more.

It's something for all of us to think about.

Crossing a line is a way of saying going too far. Those sorts of lines don't stop the zealots, of course. They don't look down.

But the rest of us, who do stop to think now and then, realize we have crossed a line when the world we've created for our children leads them to expect mass murder in their schools. And they aren't mistaken. It's a weekly occurence in this country.

Looking at the Class of 2018 in this video, we saw only glowing faces, bright smiles, eyes sparkling with intelligence. One day they would be posting save-the-dates, wedding, birthing and promo videos of their own, we hoped. And we remembered, for our sound track, an old poem of Kenneth Patchen's.

Wide, Wide in the Rose's Side

Wide, wide in the rose's side
sleeps a child without sin.
And any man who loves in this world
stands here on guard over him.

In response to yesterday's shooting, the New York Times published How to Reduce Shootings by Nicholas Kristof. But it wasn't a new piece.

It was first published in November last year. That piece ended:

So let's not just shed tears for the dead, give somber speeches and lower flags. Let's get started and save lives. Let's not accept that school classrooms can turn any moment into war zones.

Yesterday's piece telling omitted the last line.


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