Bringing the Text to Life
Photographers are experts in carefully framed portraits of starving children with bloated bellies and doe eyes, which they then broadcast before the guilty eyes of the world's well-fed and well-heeled. To these photojournalists, comedian Sam Kinnison, who died last year, asks the startling, yet obvious, question in one of his most famous routines: "How come the film crew didn't just give the kid a sandwich!?"
Kinnison's controversial humor hits home - we find it much easier to analyze problems than to take up any real action against them. Putting this attitude on a continuum might find Mother Teresa on one end of the scale and Phil Donahue on the other - one for whom all life is selfless action, one for whom life is simply talk, talk, talk. (See George A. Tobin, "The Camera and the Sandwich," First Things, December 1992, 8).
Our culture's voracious appetite for endless afternoons of fruitless, frivolous discussion is evident by the multitude of Oprahs, Geraldos, Sally Jessys and...