IN THE CANDID CORNER: Scabicals and signals
Who steals my purse, steals trash . . . but he that filches from me my good name, robs me of that which not enriches him and makes me poor . . . . – William Shakespeare’s Othello.
Recently the social media network was taken by storm. The occasion was two Sunday nights ago when over two dozen pictures of Barbadian women being exposed in sexually explicit acts were posted.
In terms of the rationale for the posting, it is said that the intention was to be humorous. When the photographs were eventually removed within four hours because of reports of abuse to Facebook, to many the episode was deemed as an insult and another manifestation of the level of deviance that pervades our society.
Having not seen the photographs myself, I may be somewhat reserved in my judgement. However, from talking to a number of young people who frequent Facebook, they too expressed disgust at the lewd, promiscuous, vulgar flaunting of sexually explicit acts. In one of the photos it is alleged that the face of one of the girls was clearly identifiable.
I am told as well that there were also videos of girls “giving head” while simultaneously involved in anal intercourse. The audio, according to my source, was uncensored and in one case one of the female participants indicated her ignorance as to how she got there in the first place while graphic instructions were belted out and carried out.
Writing in the last MIDWEEK Nation, Shawn Pilgrim captures the concerns of many to whom I have spoken on the matter. He writes: “The immoral manifestation of ‘scabical’ in our society is truly an affront to our national identity.”
He asks further and rightly so: “What type of future does this country have, if this ‘scabical’ behaviour is accepted as being morally right? Do some Barbadian youth not have any national pride?”
Is it coincidental that this is happening at a time when the latest video by Rihanna, our international singing sensation, has been banned and condemned by numerous countries?
While many of us as adults are no paragons of virtue and while there is a pervasive level of hypocrisy and double standards in our society, at the basic level there must still be something called “decency”. Facebook is a global social network that is frequented by millions. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it. The problem is how we use it.
In this case we are projecting to the world the lewdest that we have to offer. The “sketels” might actually take some pleasure if not pride in seeing themselves within a global context, despite the depravity which is reflected. If this is the best that we have to offer the world, then we do have a serious moral dilemma.
The irony is that there is nothing that we could teach the world in that regard. For much of the world has “been there, seen that and done that”. So I ask what is the point of this “scabical”? Doesn’t the world already have its own?
While many people reported their dislike for the page to Facebook, the fact is that many more, both males and females, seemed to have liked it. So I ask, where does this leave us?
When Mark Zuckerberg designed Facebook to be used for online social interaction, what essentially was his mission? Declaring himself as an atheist, what is the moral compass that regulates the world’s most powerful social network? Who is accountable for any abuse of this online global facility? Who will hold them to a higher standard?
The fact that the photographs were removed within five hours of having been posted indicates that there are underlying values that guide its use. The mission was simply to help people to connect and share with the important people in their lives. Clearly then, the “scabical” on Facebook represents a gross deviation from its moorings.
But why should we be alarmed? We live in a society of mixed signals. During the Crop Over Festival we beam to the world “images” of “we culture” that is limited to suggestive gyrations below the hip.
Our children, via the iPod and their cellular phones, imbibe a diet of garbage that contaminates their minds, giving them warped notions of themselves, of women, of sex and of all that is decent.
Before there were “scabicals” there were “sketels”, some of whom years ago went into St Lucy to “skin out”. So what do you know? The “scabicals” have gone global. The “sketels” are now assuming similar postures in cyberspace.
And though the view we are told was limited to four hours or so, that was more than long enough for the world to get a sneak peak at the “seedy” side of Bim.
Who will stop the slide into the morass of immorality?