June 16th, 2005

Tarot - 4 of cups


Sorry to skip a day and give you thin gruel today. I had to deal with the Social Security Administration the other day, and dealing with that kind of bureaucracy takes a lot out of me, even when the case worker in question is friendly and helpful.

I was right about Terry Schiavo, but that shouldn't surprise anybody. If anything, the decay of the optical cortex proves that I was more right than even I knew. Not only had everything that was truly "her" died many years ago, but there wasn't even a responsive animal still in that shell. So have you heard the parents' lawyer's latest dodge? Jesus, just plain lying about what you said before is so in fashion now. (I guess fashions do get set from the top.) Now even when confronted with videotape he denies having said the things he said. But now he says that all along they admitted that she was irreparably brain damaged. He says that the parents' contention is that she was alive, and capable of living for another 10 years, and they wanted to keep her alive for those 10 years whether there was anything in the brain or not.

In other words, they wanted to keep her as a house plant. Or a mascot. Or a moving mannikin, some kind of animatronic dummy of their daughter. Even if he's telling the truth this time, that's the single most disgusting way to treat a corpse that I've heard of in my entire life. And that's coming from me, who thinks that pretty much everything about how this culture handles death and dying is disgusting, but this rises to new heights.

He says, "We don't think that the state should have been allowed to kill her in a way that would be labeled animal cruelty if you did it to a dog." Well, no. If you take a dog to the vet with that much of its brain destroyed, they kill it via lethal injection. And that's only a kindness to today's insanely anthromorphizing and citified pet owners; an older and saner society simply took dogs with that much of their brain destroyed out back and shot them. And frankly, if we had taken what was left of Terry Schiavo out back and shot her, it would have been a kindness to her memory and her long-departed ghost.

I had occasion to say to a friend the other day that if I should get hit by a truck or something while waiting for a bus, and I find out from beyond the grave that y'all spent a ton of money on my funeral, I will find a way to haunt you, to make you miserable to the end of your days. Money should be spent on the living, not the dead. But trust Terry Schiavo's family to find an even more disgusting way to waste money: to, in essence, drag the funeral out for 18 years. Just thinking about it makes me want to vomit.

Oh, and by the way, among the people who recently said that it was a scientific fact that Terry Schiavo was still alive, still conscious, and capable of getting well was Missouri's new (idiot) governor, Matt Blunt. I'm just saying.