Tuesday 13 July 2010

Thought Picnic: Raoul Moat is mourned

Beyond which he was like us
Analysis after analysis has painted the once most-wanted man in England in the worst light possible, as a convict, a murderer, a violent personality, a fugitive, a suicide and much else.
Raoul Moat is no hero nor is he a role model by any stretch of the imagination but he once lived within a community, had friends, had family, had children and evidently made enemies.
There is nothing that can justify the crimes he committed and the lives he ruined in his rage against the world and everything else that might have mattered to him including the police but there cannot be just one side to his story.
Waves of news and waves of views
His death was a public spectacle drawn out over days of a relentless media feeding frenzy that just had to pad out the inactivity and absence of summer news with the blow-by-blow account of every move made by both the fugitive and the police.
Whilst experts, commentators and tabloids might want us all to take the view of total condemnation of Raoul Moat, other elements of significance about Mr. Moat’s life are coming to the fore.
In the same public spaces either where he met his end or on the Internet there are people who identify with him for all sorts of reasons, to some it is considered twisted, but to the affected persons there is a facet of his existence that subscribes to a rational affinity with others – they should not be begrudged.
His relationships still endure
His friends might not agree with everything he did but they had a closer relationship with him that with his victims – they cannot for the shame of association or for the inclination to conform disown the man they once knew.
His relations apart from his mother knew him as a different man from the vengeful person who left prison almost 2 weeks ago and who could have been prevented from becoming the anti-hero he became if the police had acted on the warnings they were given about his quest to harm his ex-girlfriend after release.
Other acquaintances know what they saw in Raoul Moat to endear him to their hearts and that is just the way things are about the world.
Raoul Moat is mourned
Raoul Moat would be mourned by those who knew him and he will be buried by those who loved him, the public spectacle that results from this is not so much his fault than for the fact that if the media just left the story alone, it would have no legs.
But our emotions have to be stirred, someone has to express an outcry, some disdain, utter revulsion and amazing incredulity at the events and as their views get an airing to sell the whatever media product is on offer so would everything that made Raoul Moat have significance in other lives as a father, a brother, a nephew, a neighbour and a member of the community within which he found his standing and anti-hero.
They will not forsake him or his memory and no castigation of the majority would deny them the opportunity to pay their respects to the man they knew.
In our own lives too, we would recognise that there would be people who would stand to be counted with us in life and in death regardless of how we have lived our lives and that is the amazing bond of friendship, kinship and anything else that makes people identify with whoever we were for the better or for the worse. C’est la vie.

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