Today's Culture Blog explores more of the genius of photographer Bill Wilson. How Bill makes it to every random political event is beyond me, but thank God he does. It's all up now over at SFGate.
Unrelated, last week I was walking back from the Embarcadero Gap (where I spend most of my daily lunch hour) and I passed this man parked in a very old station wagon which was filled with garbage. He honked at me, and kinda banged on the window, yelling, "Come here! Come here!"
Within a second, I imagined myself walking over to him to see what he needed, him pulling out a gun and shooting me in the face. He was pretty old, but still. I watch enough true crime programming to know that...you never know.
I've felt guilty about this ever since.
But what could he possibly have needed? Was he trapped in the car somehow? That was the impression I got. I suspect the handle wouldn't work, or similar. It certainly looked like the kind of car with has handles that don't work.
And I made eye contact with him. He saw me see him, consider getting involved, and then decide against it. As I walked away, I felt horrible. I thought of all of the helpful yet safe options I could've chosen, like getting a security guard from the nearby bank involved, or asking a bystander to help figure this out.
Did I feel guilty because I was worried about the old man in the garbage car? No. I felt guilty because I was worried I was on one of those news shows where they hide video cameras, hire an actor to appear in distress and then watch in horror as people like me are like, "Oh God, don't make eye contact. Don't make eye contact."
If I knew cameras were on me, I would've lept into compassionate action. Perhaps the lesson here is to always pretend you're on a secret Good Samaritan show, just in case. Plus, you might actually end up helping someone! Or getting shot in the face...