Namo amitabha Buddhaya, y'all.
This here's a religious establishment. Act respectable.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Last one on child abuse for a while. Honest.

Playing in the background: The breathless pause between the deep freeze and the blast furnace (it's spring in Texas)
Meters swum today: Nada. Going back tomorrow.

Look, sorry to be such a downer, but between the FLDS kids and Elisabeth Fritzl I'm having nightmares. What's weird, though, is for once in my life I don't feel like driving over to Eldorado (or flying over to Austria, which is just across the street from downtown Dallas) and beating the snot out of one of these men. In times past that'd be my first reaction. "He did what?! To his own daughter?! I'll *&^*%!! kill him!!" Then the more rational part of my brain would remind me that spending the next twenty years in jail wasn't my idea of a good time and I'd settle for ranting at whatever co-worker or family member was unlucky enough to be closest about how effed up is our culture that it can churn out monsters like this and maybe these bastards just need to spend twenty-four years locked in someone else's cellar with a couple of armed sadistic rapists so they can Understand What It's Like. (Not that I have Issues. Certainly not.)

That's not happening this time around, though. With the FLDS kids, my first thought was, "Why don't we just make the men leave and let the women and children stay?" Not exactly an original thought but hey, it was new for me. Then this thing in Austria came along and I've hardly given Josef Fritzl, quaintly dubbed "Horror Dad" by the British media (I love those guys), a second thought. I've seen his pic a few times on the Internet and what usually crosses my mind (after "No wonder he had to rape his own daughter, what other woman would have him?") is something like, "That poor deluded psychotic. Somebody please lock him up before he hurts himself or anyone else" and then I'm right back with Elisabeth and her kids. How are they feeling? What do they need? Do they know there's a whole country, hell, half a planet, cheering for them and wishing them well right now? And is there anything I can do to help? (Not really, no. But I always want to help.)

This Means Something, Roger. I'm not sure what, though. Maybe all those trips through the A.A. Big Book are starting to sink in. Or maybe it's the Heart Sutra. Well, probably not that second thing. I'm kind of a Buddhist Catholic; "The Sutras? Oh, yeah, I've heard those are good books." It's just a little scary, though, because if my first immediate thought isn't to strangle the perpetrator, I might start to, I dunno, develop some compassion for these human monsters that were once five-year-old children who laughed and played with puppies before something went so drastically wrong and turned them into the creatures they are now. If that happens, I might have to acknowledge the vast complexity of the natural world and how useless all our dualities of "yes" and "no" and "truth" and "falsehood" and "good" and "evil" actually are. And if that happens (yes, I'm almost done here), A. I'll be displaying some signs of maturity and B. I might have to start having compassion not only for the human monsters in my own life, but (Buddha forbid!) for my own stupid self. I mean, yikes. What's a person to make of that sort of thing?

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