04/04/2014 by syrbal-labrys
There is a scene in the old Burton/Gardner film “Night of the Iguana” where Burton’s panicked character “Shannon” describes two levels of reality — one of them being the “fantastic” level. This is not a good thing, any more than the original meaning of “terrific” meant something besides “great”! I often feel a bit like Shannon when I watch or read the news –as if I have slipped into a realm at odds with all possible reality. This has been one of those weeks; and sometimes the peculiarity is not the event itself (horrible as those may be), but the shit people SAY about it afterwards.
First, of course, the shootings at Ft. Hood — a horror to be sure, but as with most of America, one almost expects death from the end of a gun on an unfortunately regular basis. Of course, America’s expectation is that soldiers will only shoot people they are TOLD to shoot. Surprise! Soldiers are flawed, sometimes even royally fucked OVER people who crack and go off the edge…and how MANY such soldiers are we creating, eh? No, the emotional kill-shot for me was the three star general expostulating that the shooter was “not a wounded warrior,” and that he “had no purple heart.” Ah, the logic that betrays makes my chin drop.
I get that the general was just operating without a proper idea of what the fuck was going on, I do. A “purple heart” means a physical wounding — blood spilled, noted in ribbons and Army paperwork. But not every wounded troop gets one, all the same. Not every wound bleeds. Just branding the shooter as having mental issues seemed pretty much the standard “random nut-job” definition. If a general can’t manage better than that? He should shut the fuck up. Specially since a rather inhumane emergency leave policy might be what snapped this soldier — asking for leave to deal with family deaths and being told no or put off? Yeah, cause that isn’t on the Army’s own shoulders, is it? The military LIKES dicking with leave — they did it to my own son once; we had to call a Sergeant Major to ask why our son was granted no leave in over two years. And while they all dither over a fucked up troop causing the death of his fellow soldiers, will nobody ask why it is ok for governmental NEGLECT to kill troops and veterans?
And then, summer being in sight (in spite of snow again?!) America’s thoughts turn to America’s game —
misogyny baseball. Imagine the nerve of a professional player, Daniel Murphy, taking his legally allotted paternity leave to be there for the difficult birth of his son. And oh, the firestorm — you’d have thought HE had killed somebody if you listened to the asshole sports announcers. Comments like “He could hire a nurse.” Seriously? You ASSHATS! He is the child’s FATHER, and the woman’s HUSBAND. For all that this nation spends a fair amount of time insisting every sperm is sacred life is sacred, they sure get pissy when anyone acts like an actual full-term living breathing baby should be treated like a human being. Not to mention how pissed off they act at the idea that the post-surgical WOMAN might deserve some loving care and support from her husband.
I have to say, baseball is very not my thing. I actually don’t care much for professional sports – grown men playing games for fabulous amounts of money while ordinary families choose groceries or heating oil, but not both? Yeah, the boys of summer ain’t my priority. And seeing their fans and announcers acting like tantrum tossing shitheads because a woman didn’t have her c-section EARLY for the convenience of their fucking game? Makes me think all that much more that they can all go to hell in their own handbasket.
Oh, and Ms. Butterbutt herself, Paula Deen, after being legally called on her ingrained racism in her business dealings and losing business thereby? She has shown her real
class in her way of closing the restaurant where she acted like it was the good old plantation days — without a word to her now jobless employees. Wow, that is a bit like slinking out of town at midnight to avoid creditors, what? No, not at all treating employees like slaves serfs, Paula.
And I could go on, but I have a kitchen to work on….just had to let go of some steam so the wallpaper doesn’t peel off the den when I walk into the house.