Sunday, November 29, 2015
In the psychologically profound film “Ordinary People” about a family coping with the death of their oldest son there is a confrontation on a golf course between the Beth, mother of the dead son and her brother, Ward, seemingly untouched by family tragedy. It is the following:
Ward: Beth, we just want you to be happy.
Beth Jarrett: Happy! Ward, you tell me the meaning of happy. But first you better make sure your kids are good and safe, that they haven't fallen off a horse, been hit by a car, or drown in that swimming pool you're so proud of!
Audrey (Ward’s wife): Oh Beth!
Beth Jarrett: Then, you come and tell me how to be happy!"
I loved that film because it spoke to me. I know both what the loss of a child can do to a family and I know disability from my own personal experience. My mother knew both as well since she lost that child two weeks after giving birth to it. She knew sadness again when her only surviving child suffered paralysis from polio. She said to me that she was not so fearful for my childhood, although children can be cruel, but she worried about my young adult years when the goal is a body beautiful to snag a mate.
In reality my childhood did not endure taunts by friends but my experiences as an adult were more problematic. One “friend” compared me to a pigeon who had lost its foot saying “Oh look that pigeon looks like you!” A boy with whom I was supposed to blind date walked away from me as soon as he saw me walk. There were, of course, more uncomfortable experiences that are both unnecessary for me to relate and difficult about which to write.
I relate these personal experiences in response to the clear mocking by Donald Trump of the joint disease disabled reporter he claims he did not know but whose lies about those claims are exposed by those who know the truth and say so for all the world to hear. Clearly, Trump knew him and clearly Trump was mocking him because the writer caught him in yet another lie one of so many he tells.
No one who has not experienced it can truly understand what it means to be physically different. No one who has not experienced it can truly understand what it means to walk out of the door with a disability which not only makes it harder to navigate but harder to endure the insensitivities of others who seemingly win life’s lottery.
It is hard to know what to say to this Cretan Trump man with no heart. If we become intoxicated with his insensitive evil then WE become truly evil ourselves. I suspect and I surely hope in the end he will fail and that he will do so in no small part because of his wretched mocking of a disabled man! Extrapolating Beth of “Ordinary People” fame: Lucky are you, Donald Trump, that you have had good fortune that your kids are good and safe, that they haven't fallen off a horse, been hit by a car, or drown despite the riches of which you are so proud. Quoting another from the Bible Trump says he loves so much but I suspect he has not read: “What profit a man if he gain the whole world but lose his soul?” What profit a man, Donald Trump, what profit him indeed?!
ARE TRUMP AND THE OTHER REPUBLICANS JUST LIKE HIM THE AMERICA YOU WANT? I SUSPECT THEY ARE NOT. GET OUT THE DEMOCRATIC VOTE FOR SOMEONE WHO CAN WIN AND THEN IF IT HAPPENS WE DEFEAT THE REPUBLICAN MENACE, BREATHE A SIGH OF RELIEF FOR YOU WILL HAVE SAVED THIS NATION FROM ITSELF!
Lloyd Kaye--Lives lost to knee-jerk militarism: There are still some people unwilling to walk down the path of militarism. I am one of them.
Vietnam was insane. Iraq was a crime. And what we have done and doing to the Middle East and its people is simple indiscriminate bombing of huge populations of civilians. There is no justification, only families left lifeless in their own homes as a result of 500 pound bombs from U.S. aircraft or drones. Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and now Syria. Justifying this policy of militarism has never been and will never be acceptable.
The result of such large-scale bombing has already left millions of refugees all over the borders of Jordan and other nations unable to provide the services needed for so many. The unwillingness of the West to reform the Picot-Sykes borders or to stop supporting dictatorships for decades at a time has resulted in a societal destabilization of the Middle East and is now spreading to Europe and Asia. One of the problems related to all this is the unwillingness of the West to admit publicly what they have done in the Middle East the past 40 years.
Sadly, I am hoping mature diplomatic negotiations and agreements will take place and prevail. However, the knee-jerk reaction of militarism has again taken the West down a path of wasted time and resources and lives.
Lloyd, another wonderfully written opinion by you and one to which I agree most profoundly. Nations it seems rarely admit fault or guilt for the heinous actions of violence they employ in war unless they are roundly defeated. With the exception of Nazi Germany I am having a hard time coming up with ones who admit guilt.
Every war you site in which the US has engaged in merciless tactical killing of innocents I believe is correct. At least the obliteration of the hospital of Doctors Without Borders engendered an apology and an admitted mistake by US military brass but that is rare. Not only does the US not apologize for is gruesome mistakes of waging futile wars it does not usually even admit the mistakes exist.
The Middle East mess is courtesy of a George Bush administration -- a man who did not have the cerebral capability needed for a president of the most powerful nation on earth. It was chilling that man who did not even get the popular vote was elected by a politicized Supreme Court. Now we pay the price when we elect clearly unqualified leaders.
The chickens are coming home to roost even to our allies because this nation post WWII is addicted to war that makes millions of bucks for our Washington entrenched military industrial complex. The first rule of an alcoholic addiction problem is to admit one has one. Now we suffer not only in trillions of bucks wasted but so many lives lost and other lives by the tens of thousands perhaps if one counts those who are on the receiving end of the bunker busting bombs millions ruined. It is a tragedy, an American tragedy, of Shakespearean proportions which still has no end in sight.