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 Replies

  • 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-

  • 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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