Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Poetry Corner - Lullaby For the Damned

This is the fourth in a series of poems and song parodies that I wrote for a contest that centered around male infant circumcision. The contest encouraged original songs and poems, as well as parodies of other works. For my last Poetry Corner entry, I posted a song parody based on a song called "Greenfields" by an older American folk-singing group called "The Brothers Four;" and an explanation as to why I chose this song.

This time around I'm posting an original poem I wrote, called "Lullaby for the Damned."

When I wrote this poem, I wrote it from a feeling of helplessness, powerlessness; first, for the child, who is in an unescapable predicament, and second from me as an onlooker unable to do anything about it.

This is how I felt the first time I ever saw a video of an infant circumcision, with a poor child strapped down to a cutting-board, unable to move, unable to escape, and this is how I continue to feel today.

Short of getting on my knees and begging parents not to put their child through this, short of beseeching doctors to adhere to that dictum of medicine, "First do no harm," what else can I do?


And what else can a child do?

They say that victims of abuse, whether it be sexual, emotional or physical, have a coping mechanism to deal with the pain. As a way to escape what's going on, the victim will imagine him or herself outside of his or her body, in order to detach themselves from what's going on; they imagine their souls escaping their bodies and that they are floating above the room as they look down and watch what's going on. This coping mechanism is known as "dissociation."

Witnesses of male infant circumcision report that as the child's penis is being filleted, the child lets out shrieks and screams unlike any other cries they've heard. The child often blows his lungs out, unable to scream any more, and eventually passes out. He goes into a state of "shock," often called "sleeping" by unsympathetic doctors. What is happening is that, this is how the child is coping with what is going on; this is their escape.

What are doctors thinking as they do this?

Are they actually there, in the moment?

Or have the souls of the doctors too left the very room?

In order to escape the shrieks and screams?

Or in the case of male doctors, away coping with that same familiar pain they experienced decades ago?

As they crush and dice, are they reliving the whole thing?

Trying to get away still?

Is cutting other children a continued attempt to escape that which, for the rest of their lives, will haunt them whenever they urinate, masturbate, take a shower or have sex?

As I stand there, helpless, powerless, all I can do is say this prayer in my head...

Lullaby for the Damned
By Joseph Lewis

Sleep on, oh little one,
And pray that you don't wake.
Escape the tethered body
That a knife will soon come rake.

Drift away to slumberland,
Your struggle is in vain.
Only there can you be safe,
and never know the pain.

Related Posts:

Poetry Corner - Song Parody: "My Foreskin Home"

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Circumcision Documentary Twitter Storm Continues

Almost as soon as the circumcision documentary American Circumcision was featured on Netflix, the film moved onto the "Popular on Netflix" category, prompting a Twitterstorm which continues today.

People's reaction tweets are being posted every day, and the reactions range from "eye-opening" and "informative" to "dumb" and "horrible." When challenging the status quo, it's to be expected that there is going to be backlash, that's why negative reactions aren't too surprising.

The negative responses are what people would expect; there is no shortage of people defending their "parental choice," tired attempts at male infant circumcision humor, body shaming men with anatomically correct male genitals and accusations of "one-sidedness" and "anti-semitism."

Still, in spite of nay-saying Twitter users, the responses to the film on Twitter have been overwhelmingly positive and favorable. Dissenters may try and minimize the film, but the fact is that the film did win three awards, and, for better or for worse, it is trending on Netflix, and like it or not, people are talking about it. The ongoing tweetstorm and the effect this film is already having on Americans is simply undeniable. Readers can check out tweet responses to American Circumcision on their timeline shared below. (Scroll to the bottom of this post.)

Some have responded with the effect of "I started watching it but I had to turn it off because it was ridiculous." Or "I don't see what the big deal is."

At this point, Americans watching the film have got two choices; acknowledge the truth, or keep denying while the rest of the country wakes up. They have the option to turn off the video and watch something else. People can only hide from the truth and feign ignorance for so long though.

You can lead a man to knowledge but you can't make him think.

"Three things cannot be long hidden the sun the moon and the truth."~Attributed to the Buddha
"After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill—the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill—you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember: all I'm offering is the truth. Nothing more"
~Morpheus, The Matrix

Where is American Circumcision available for viewing?
In addition to Netflix, American Circumcision is also available at iTunes, Amazon, GooglePlay, YouTube, Vudu, Vimeo, Microsoft, Barnes & Noble, Target, Best Buy, Walmart, Comcast, Spectrum, DirectTV, Dish Network, Verizon FIOS, Frontier, SuddenLink, Media com, Wow, EastlinkTV, Shaw, Telus, Bakers & Taylor, Alliance Entertainment and Midwest Tape.

If you haven't already, watch the film and post your own reaction @circmovie on Twitter!

Relevant Posts:
Circumcision Documentary Making Waves on Netflix, Twitter

American Circumcision: A Reaction to a Documentary on Circumcision in America

"American Circumcision" Wins Best Documentary Film Award at the Lone Star Film Festival