Good lord, but “Fresh Air” was a tough one to listen to today. Terry Gross interviewed Jody Arlington, the sole survivor of her brother’s homicidal baseball-bat rampage 21 years ago, which left her parents and little sister dead. She hasn’t talked about it publicly in all that time, but after a similar case in Ohio earlier this year, she wrote an op-ed piece for the WashPost on how people might spot these events coming down the road, and stop them.
It was a remarkable 45 minutes, mainly because Arlington was so clear-eyed and insightful about what happened and why. Her brother was a sociopath, but her parents were crazy and abusive, and there you are. The two parties were on a collision course that, in hindsight, was probably pretty well-marked. It was refereshing to hear a person who’s obviously been spending the last two decades thinking, and thinking well, about a life-changing event. Most of her solace seems to have come from study and contemplation. She actually used the word “elucidate” in a sentence. Mind-blowing.
But tough to hear, just the same. Did you know Althea Leasure Flynt, the late Mrs. Larry Flynt, the one portrayed onscreen (and pretty well) by none other than Courtney Love, was a similar family massacre survivor? It was her daddy who did the shooting, and Althea survived by hiding under a bed. Althea went to live in an orphanage. It didn’t go well. She ran away and became a stripper, then a tycoon, then a junkie, then dead. Probably never used the word “elucidate,” but they said she made a mean sloppy joe.
So, the bloggage:
I’ve long believed the extremely religious, whether Jew, Muslim or Christian, have more in common than they’d ever acknowledge. Why do I believe this? Oh, I don’t know.
There are rants, and there are rants, and then there’s the Poor Man’s Weekly Wanker. Respec’.
Richard Cohen points out the obvious: Gaza today, Iraq tomorrow.
Finally, sometimes the death penalty just isn’t enough, you know?
colleen said on August 16, 2005 at 9:19 am
Uh oh. I’m one of the willfully childless. Guess I’m gonna have a lotta ‘splainin’ to do….
joe said on August 16, 2005 at 10:11 am
Just wondering if you saw the artical in Friday’s New York times or Wall Street Journal I can’t remember which one, it was about your favorite subject.”CLOWNS” Report said that the top clowns are now making 600,000.00 a year plus a cut of the merchandise. Lower paid clowns are mad and say the top clowns are aloof. One top clown fell asleep and the other clowns put popcorn and other things in his hair. The artical was one of the funniest things I have read, although I don’t think it was suppose to be.
(still hanging in Auburn)
mary said on August 16, 2005 at 10:32 am
Have you ever read “Will?” It’s the autobiography of G. Gordon Liddy. He wanted to have as many children as possible. He’s a devout Catholic, and thought he could really contribute something to the world by sharing his genetic heritage. He chose his wife for her child bearing potential, looking for someone who would bring some height into the gene pool, (G’s short, I guess) and who had math skills, which G thought were important. After I think five kids in five years, he saw that she was looking a bit run down, and he questioned the design of the human body as well as religious teaching.
It’s a fascinating book.
Dick Walker said on August 16, 2005 at 10:34 am
Then your wife’s a whore!
Come on, we need some fodder
for the Culture War!
(“Jesus loves me, but he can’t stand you.”
– Austin Lounge Lizards)
Nance said on August 16, 2005 at 11:24 am
Show me someone who thinks she/he has superior genetic material, and I’ll show you a real asshole.
mary said on August 16, 2005 at 12:24 pm
G Gordon Liddy’s book demonstrates his assholehood in so many ways. I don’t know why, but I feel the need to reread it every few years. Maybe I need to remind myself that there is no test to qualify one for a White House job.
Dorothy said on August 16, 2005 at 12:53 pm
I swear I felt lightheaded and sick to my stomach after reading the article about the scumbag who beat his niece. You’re right, Nance. The death penalty is not good enough for the likes of him. I’m picturing him being pulled apart limb by limb, rolling him in gasoline and setting him on fire.
Does that make me as nasty as him? I hope not.
4dbirds said on August 16, 2005 at 2:29 pm
I read or heard somewhere that many child abuse incidents are the result of potty accidents. This has always puzzled me. Even as a young and immature mother at 21, I understood that pee and poop comes out in the wash. No matter how big and gross the accident, wash the kid down in the bathtub, throw out what you can’t clean or launder and get on with life.
brian stouder said on August 16, 2005 at 5:51 pm
“Does that make me as nasty as him?”
I was always impressed with the sentiment one newspaper expressed, after all the Lincoln-assassination conspirators were executed (within 12 weeks of the crime!) – something like ‘Let us speak their names no more’
If we are to have a death penalty at all, I think people who assault children should get a fast-pass to the front of the line