Mark 5:14

Then the men who tended them ran away, and carried the news to the town, and to the country around; and the people went to see what had happened.

never seeing a whole picture
we tell our part

it is difficult to not speculate
beyond our few factoids

meaning seekers tell stories
first to self and then to others

this saying more than can be known
sets up division and antagonism

seldom in this is the fault ours
something slouching and external came

our suffering requires an implacable evil
to outweigh our frail ego

It is still important to be the first to break a story for this is the narrative that sets available responses.

Those responsible for the care of the pigs have a responsibility to themselves to report their innocence in the loss of valuable resources in their care. Of course they need to clear their name and the easiest way to do that is to report a terrorist attack. Demons did it and Jesus gave them permission. He’s to blame, not us. With jobs at stake, reporting tells more than can be known by shaving off a detail here and subtly suggesting an inference there.

In a dysfunctional system that is inherent in gaps between rich and poor, occupier and occupied, the practical matter of job security is critical to the marginalized. If it is a choice between one mad man and a herd of pigs, the pigs win—every time.

People are not just neutrally coming to see what happened. A car crash is expected and a gapers-block is the best that can be expected. More likely minds have been made up and a story is well on the way to being shaped. Frankenstein’s monster brought forth pitchforks. Jesus is already being seen as holding a pitchfork larger than the Devil’s own. Nervousness and jumpiness are the order of the day. There is no fair and balanced counter-narrative available. Only preapproved echo-chamber phrases will be offered.

24/7 news cycles have nothing on a local grapevine when it comes to bad news. Tales are spun, pictures painted, explanations given—all ahead of any news about one back in his own mind. The stock market is down. This hits the whole economy and who knows what cranky decisions hungry Romans will take out on everyone.

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