Friday, February 09, 2007

hiding the bodies

Overheard in the canteen today at ten o’clock, in a noisy breakroom full of chirping Friday employees and the blare of cable network news.

CNN: Anna Nicole Smith was a very troubled woman – all those lawsuits, she really had a lot going on in her life.

Employee MC: Well, I guess they pushed aside the astronauts.

Me (loudly): Well, I guess they pushed aside the war.

Silence.

Me (glancing around as if I’d just farted): Oh… sorry.

Taking my bowl full of warm, raisiny oatmeal back to my cold desk, I glanced back at Employee PW, who was nodding enthusiastically in agreement.

***********

I also put a call in today to Heath Shuler, the Rep for Western NC. Next week, vote against Bush’s surge, I said. Unfortunately it’s one of those resolutions against something, so I’m not entirely sure the message will get through effectively. If he votes against the resolution, he’s essentially voting for the surge. Damn, but these double negatives piss me off. I may have to call back just to make sure. I don’t know, I’ve never done this before. I suppose I’ll have to practice on his office answering machine for a while.

So, a little more vocal now than usual. Maybe that blue chakra thing is kicking up again. Still can’t talk about anything substantial in the way of current events with Brian. But I don’t seem to have a problem bringing thigns up with other people, especially when I see the news suddenly focused, exclusively, on the death of a celebrity, no matter how big her presence in pop culture. I mean, come on.

People die every day. Some die from old age or otherwise natural causes, or disease. Some die at their own hands. Some die at the hands of others. Eventually it’s going to happen to you and me both.

But you know what’s weird about the portrayals of death these days? You never see the bodies, unless it’s on a fictional TV show. Which sets the brain up to see it as fiction, doncha think? Seriously, check out the coverage of the Iraq war on any station – you see blown up buildings, cars on fire, soldiers with guns, people running – but you don’t see the bodies. They’re hidden, pushed aside, forgotten, in favor of trashy washed-up singers, lunatic astronauts and dead non-celebrities.*

I just want them to be acknowledged, is all. If we saw the bodies of the people who are dying there and in other forgotten parts of the world, if we saw them every day at lunch time and dinner time and break time, if we had to sit with Banquo’s ghost in the morning and as we go to bed at night – would we still be silent about their murders? Would we still be able to turn away?

I don’t know. Maybe some people would. But it seems to me that the folks who usually try to hide the bodies are the murderers themselves.


*Internal dialogue:

Good God, Andi, do you want to see the bodies?
No, I don't. I see them enough in my head. I want it to
stop.

4 comments:

james said...

Yet another great post!! You're on a role girl!!

I couldn't agree more on the Anna Nichole Smith non-sense. I guarantee you that Iraqi's could care less about this story. It's sad that Americans prefer the tabloid stories to actual "news."

And ditto on the dead bodies issue. Death is so sterilized in our culture. The body is covered or bagged and wisked away in an ambulance.

When I lived in Africa I got to see death first hand.

People dropped like flies over there and I saw it all. No ambulances, nothing. Just death. Raw and real. It really helped me confront my own issues and fears with death and now I have come to peace with the "d" word.

andi said...

James, it's funny, I do seem to be on a roll, but I wish to hell there wasn't so much stuff to rant about.

SB Gypsy said...

Absolutely, the vast majority of us just want it all to stop. I feel so frustrated, because watching congress sort out what to do about it is like watching a slow motion catastrophe happening while not being able to do a thing to stop it.

QuakerDave said...

Next time, don't apologize. If they keep diverting us away from what matters, we'll be dropping bombs on Iran before spring.

People who care need to start to speak up.