Morbidity Chess

The last few months I’ve had a grow­ing sense of hor­ror stem­ming from the crum­tas­tic­ness of cur­rent events. It isn’t fist-in-the-mouth scream­ing hor­ror, but more like be­ing slow­ly cov­ered in slimy ice wa­ter. It isn’t fear, this hor­ror is some­thing dif­fer­ent. I guess fear is when you give some­thing pow­er over you and hor­ror is when you know you have pow­er over noth­ing.

I run across spite, amoral­i­ty [not im­moral­i­ty, which is less dan­ger­ous], mal­ice and rage [both berz­erk and chilled, I don’t know which is scari­er] on a pret­ty much dai­ly ba­sis. The folks who es­pouse a more con­struc­tive and co­op­er­a­tive fo­cus seem ill-equipped to con­tain the folks who use any tool, no mat­ter how un­sa­vory, to make their point.

I guess I’m talk­ing about the Schiavo thing, and while I don’t know near­ly enough to speak about the im­pli­ca­tions this has on law, per­son­al­ly I feel that every­one in­volved is us­ing her/​the body for their own rea­sons, to fur­ther their own agen­da. The mem­o­ry and lega­cy of the woman is now, and for­ev­er will be, this bick­er­fest that has been blown so out of pro­por­tion by those who see a pos­si­bil­i­ty for per­son­al gain. She has been in this [key­word alert!] “per­sis­tant veg­e­ta­tive state” since I was nine years old, and to all in­tents and pur­pos­es [in­clud­ing the ones who in­sist that she is con­scious] she is tru­ly noth­ing more than a chess piece for any of those peo­ple in­volved. Since I’m now in­volved, I sup­pose I’ve used her as a chess piece to make my point that peo­ple are us­ing her as a chess piece. Fuck. We be­come what we de­fy.

And that is part of the prob­lem. I can see how eas­i­ly I could be­have this way. I don’t want to use peo­ple, but I have be­fore.

With the school shoot­ings, and the war in Iraq, hell just about any­thing any­more is stripped of dig­ni­ty. Perhaps I’m talk­ing about spin, and if I am then spin is shal­low. Dignity and Respect should come first, but those words get just as twist­ed and made mean­ing­less. As an ex­am­ple: “Respect Life” ver­sus “Respect Choice” both are di­rect­ed to­ward re­spect­ing a con­cept in­stead of a per­son. So if a per­son has an op­pos­ing view, they are of­ten treat­ed poor­ly be­cause they do not Respect [in­sert ab­stract con­cept]. A person’s po­lit­i­cal lean­ings should have no bear­ing on the re­spect and dig­ni­ty with which they should be treat­ed. Yeah, I’m not talk­ing about Acting Dignified or Respectable in your own per­son, that is just pos­tur­ing. I’m talk­ing about treat­ing the most con­temptible per­son as a per­son who is at the very least due dig­ni­ty and re­spect.

Whatever hap­pened to hos­pi­tal­i­ty or sports­man­ship?


3 thoughts on “Morbidity Chess

  1. I blame the Baby Boomers for this. Their gen­er­a­tion sup­pos­ed­ly “fought the man” dur­ing Vietnam, brought on the counter-cul­ture move­ment, ad­vo­cat­ed peace and love, ex­per­i­ment­ed with drugs, and in gen­er­al were poised to make re­al sig­nif­i­cant change. Somehow this all changed in the late 70’s and the 80’s. I think the change here is that they ei­ther grew up, got pow­er, or burned out. Now they tru­ely have be­come what they su­pos­ed­ly railed against. I know that gen­er­a­tion wasn’t en­tire­ly hip­pies and peac­niks, but the point re­mains, they’ve be­come what they de­spised. Also the 80’s be­came the poster child for the whole me first thing. I dun­no I al­so think the me­dia has lost all sense of true in­de­pen­dance any­way. The pro­pa­gan­da ma­chines that were born in WW2 and grew up dur­ing the Cold War have noth­ing to fo­cus on oth­er than fear­mon­ger­ing. If every­body is afraid, then they will lash out against those who chal­lenge their thinking/​way of life/​religion/​freedom.

    This is a big change from 70+ years ago:
    “We have noth­ing to fear but fear it­self” -FDR 1932

  2. Metaphors are pow­er­ful. That is why they are used by teach­ers, writ­ers, politi­cians, artists and cap­tains of in­dus­try. They are worth­while tools to reach an in­di­vid­ual or groups and de­scribe a sit­u­a­tion, de­ploy a phi­los­o­phy and jus­ti­fy a be­hav­ior. We like them be­cause they make un­der­stand­ing easy.

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