Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Tragic Darkness Behind Dr. Fredric Brandt’s Extreme Fa├žade--A Comment

A "Vanity Fair" article entitled "The Tragic Darkness Behind Dr. Frederic Brandt's Extreme Facade" by Lili Anolink was interesting. The article was interesting because Dr. Brandt, a cosmetic surgeon, age 63, who had certainly fame in his field and fortune killed himself and, in the end, seemingly he was rather alone. It is posted here and below. I think it is worth a read.

I had never heard of Dr. Brandt perhaps because I am not a member of the elite, do not have the cash to change my appearance to the Fountain of Youth nor the desire to do so.

I do, however, have opinions which I write about incessantly. The suicide of Dr. Brandt was tragic, indeed, but as the article states so well, unknowable as to motive. One's impulse to suicide is speculative at best and unknowable at worst.

I was not upset when reading the article at the critics of Dr. Brandt though one could make a case for criticism of them nor was I critical of Dr. Brandt himself for doing what most people, even ones who suffer greatly in life, cannot or would not do.

What I am upset about though is our culture's brutal socio-pathology that has enveloped our humanity like a crustacean's hard shell. I do not exclude myself from this indictment as my liberal comments attack conservatives I think are my enemy but should not be. It is not a good, nor a kind nor a humane way to conduct one's life. Our Trumpian attacks of others knows no boundaries and the online life makes those attacks that much easier to inflict. We are a product of all we see, especially in media form, around us. It allows us to take liberties with the cruelty of criticism we hurl at others without an attempt to couch or soften those critiques. That cruelty and verbal profanity is everywhere and sometimes even emerges as physical violence.

The things we say, opinions we give, attacks we make on others too often know no humanity, do not care about feelings and simply lob cannons at everyone we think deserves them without thought about whom those cannons hurt, maim or even kill. Ferguson, gun violence, war and racism fall on our person like a load of cement that covers our veil of empathy for others, perhaps man's greatest gift for survival. In short, we often simply do not care who we hurt.

What is really the staff of life? Perhaps the Jewish Rabbi Hillel in the 1st century said it best: “Don’t do unto others what you would not want done to you – that is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary.” If we only could do as he instructs!