Friday, July 29, 2011

Just because you can . . .

Doesn’t mean that you should eat all you can at any buffet! Recently on vacation, because it was cheaper to buy the all-you-can-eat buffet meal combo pass for admission at a theme park, we did. I am not a buffet person. It seems like you eat more than you need to just so you can get your “money’s worth” and then have to watch others do the same. Not my idea of a good night out. As I was enjoying my plate of potato salad and baked beans, at the table next to me was a large gentle man consuming more than his fare share worth of food. One plate contained at least ten servings of fried chicken and beef brisket. When that plate was finished, he asked his daughter to get him some chocolate chip cookies, and then needed her to fill his glass with Mountain Dew in order to take his “pills”. Didn’t ask but I assumed they were probably to help control his high blood pressure and cholesterol and possibly diabetes. So why do we consume the very foods that are causing the problem, and then absentmindedly pop a pill to counteract the effects? I say skip the pill and order a salad!

Just because you can ask certain questions doesn’t mean that you should. We all know that asking someone’s weight, age, or annual income is impolite, but other questions should be taboo as well. Just this morning, I finished watching the Primetime Special featuring Jaycee Dugard. I initially was not going to Tivo this because I felt it was exploitation, but after seeing Diane Sawyer comment on an interview that Jaycee was the most remarkable woman she had ever interviewed, I wanted to understand not only how she survived the horrible 18 years, but how she wasn’t bitter. Her outlook is incredible. I am sure everyone wants to know, and so Diane felt inclined to ask, but really if she felt she had the tools to escape, she would have. I have seen other victims asked the same question. “Why didn’t you escape?” As if they needed to accept some responsibility for their captivity. That question always infuriates me. Survivors of sexual abuse should never be asked “Why didn’t you tell?” or “Did you say no?” or any other ridiculous question that implies they are partly accountable for their perpetrators actions. Maybe when we quit asking these questions, we will empower each victim with the knowledge that the shame belongs solely on the abuser, and they won’t need to ask themselves, “What if . . .?” because everyone will understand there were no other options at the time.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Calling for Ben Matlock

As I heard the verdict on the Casey Anthony trial, I immediately thought how great it would have been for Ben Matlock to have been the defense attorney. When he solved a case, it didn’t make you wonder if the wrong guy was acquitted. Every show of this series was based on a murder and an obvious suspect. Matlock’s client was always proven innocent by him solving the crime and identifying the actual murderer. I guess Ms. Anthony’s attorneys actually tried this approach by accusing her father. It helped to get her off, but I don’t think she thought through the ramifications of that defense. Not only does it seem that her family relationships will be forever strained, but the country finds her even more despicable.

One of the most disturbing facts that I have heard since the verdict is that 200 children die each year at the hands of a parent. It made me wonder with all of the attention on Caylee Anthony why we haven’t heard more about the other 199 children killed that year. I am always saddened to hear news about the very person who should protect and defend a child at all costs is the one who has done them the greatest harm.