A Fair Assessment? and Judgment vs. Mercy

Newborn_human_child

I admit I’m biased in favor of life.  Especially when I hear of freaks like this.  I don’t have sympathy for women who treat their newborns like trash, (or their unborn children, for that matter) especially if they live in states that allow you to turn in a newborn at a hospital or fire station with no questions asked.  You might not want the kid, but someone else does.  More importantly, that kid deserves some sort of a chance.  There are millions of people who can’t have kids of their own for whatever reason who would be delighted to take your “unwanted” child in as their own.

All I can say to that is- unless she is profoundly mentally challenged, or suffering from an extreme mental illness- : selfish bitch.

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So you were afraid your parents might think you’re a slut? I can almost understand that mentality from a 12 year old, but from someone who’s 23?  Besides, I’d rather my parents think I’m a slut than for them to discover that I’m an attempted murderer.

I was 22 when my son was born.  Yes I was (at the time) married to the sperm donor.  However, my son was not planned, and the timing was awkward at best.  Even so, it wasn’t a difficult choice- my son’s life and well-being took precedence over mine, and my son’s life and well-being definitely took precedence over my sorry excuse of an ex as well as said ex’s mother.  That’s a long story and I am not entirely without fault, but even as a rather emotionally impaired specimen, I have some sense of when to do what’s right rather than what appears to be expedient- or even logical.

I’m not even one of those people who is thrilled about being around kids.  One on one is OK, but not a whole gang of kids at one time.  I have no clue what a normal childhood is supposed to look like other than what I gleaned from the child development charts and so forth that I pored over in the hopes that my child might possibly turn out to be normal– or at least gainfully employed, and not a serial killer.   So far- and solely by the grace of God- my sorry parenting seems to have worked out.  He does have a job and as far as I know he hasn’t killed anyone.  As far as being normal, well, at least he is a good conversationalist, and he has good hygiene.  Then again, the same could be said of Ted Bundy, so you never know.

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Ted looked normal, but then, sociopaths usually do.

Even though I could never categorize myself as a warm-and-fuzzy mommy, I tried.  My son, the precious only male child, did thank me for being a hard ass.  That was probably the most rewarding thing he has ever said to me. It’s easy to just capitulate and give your kids what they want and attempt to shelter them from anything that might bruise their precious, fragile self-esteem.  It’s hard to say no, to set boundaries, to instill a work ethic, and to adhere to certain moral absolutes, but your kid isn’t supposed to be your “buddy.”  Maybe when they’re adults, but not when they are still kids and are still discovering why shampooing one’s hair and brushing one’s teeth daily are essential, mandatory life practices.

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Mandatory: not negotiable, and NOT optional!

Our current societal mentality is all about what’s comfortable, what’s easy and what’s disposable.  Raising a child is not comfortable, not easy, (not cheap either) and 23 years later, he still “needs mommy” but, thankfully, not in the same way he did as a toddler.  I don’t have to bathe him or change shitty diapers, which is definitely a plus.

I don’t think the Roe v. Wade decision did much to make people see that children are valuable, but as heinous as the idea of killing innocent children for convenience sake is, it’s a symptom of a larger, age old problem.

It’s all about the pervasive view that, “It’s all about me,”- the temptation of the Garden.  “I can have it all,” or as the serpent in the story tempts Eve- “you will be like God.” (Genesis 3:5)

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It won’t make you God, but it will make your life a lot more complicated.

But isn’t hindsight 20/20?

Oh, yeah, we humans want to be our own gods. Believe that.  Call it “original sin,” or “the depravity of man,” but that desire is the root and the essence of what’s wrong with humanity and society, and we can’t fix that longing because that’s written into who we are.

I know even though I find certain human actions to be reprehensible, that I am every bit as much a sinner and a violator as anyone else.  I don’t have the authority to pass judgment on other people, and I don’t want that authority either.  I know all too well that I don’t have much empathy, and I don’t have a high tolerance for stupid behavior.  I will comment on the actions of others- and I do have the authority to condemn certain actions, even though I have no way of discerning the thought processes and motives behind those actions.

The only answer I have for that is: Kyrie elaison – God have mercy, Christ have mercy.

Have mercy on us all.

Bunkies With Beezelbub, Absolute Power, and Who Needs What?

Now we know the Voice of the Teleprompter!

Perhaps it is not very nice for me to insult Beezelbub that way, but the pursuit of power corrupts in ways that can turn an honest man crooked, and a crooked man into a ruthless despot.  This is why the Framers of the Constitution wisely included separation of powers, so that at least in theory, no one man can hold too much power.  I am not a fan of our current president, to put it mildly.  I understand it takes a strong personality and a buttload of money to get elected to public office. There have been precious few po’ folk in the Oval Office (Harry Truman was probably the last.)  How many people with strong personalities and a buttload of money are particularly moral or ethical?  Some politicians are less odious than others, some are positively vile and devoid of any redeeming features, but as far as genuinely “good,” maybe they exist, but I’d need to see it to believe it.

Having neither a strong personality nor buttloads of cash, it is highly unlikely that I would ever aspire to hold public office.  I have a healthy cynicism toward politicians (even Republicans who claim conservatism/fiscal responsibility when it serves their purpose) anyway.  I don’t see how it would be possible today to be honest- or at the least to attempt to stick to one’s principles- and survive in the world of politics.

Ted looked normal, anyway.

I can see how psychopaths could do very well in the political sphere.  Is Obama Ted Bundy’s political cousin?  What about Bill Clinton? To be fair, the most recent president that Obama reminds me of is Richard Nixon.  Here was a guy who was also paranoid and secretive and involved in shady business, though Dick Nixon’s a choirboy (as is Clinton) when compared to the current Obfuscater In Chief.

I don’t think anyone’s in the political game for altruistic motives.  One can argue that there is no such thing as true altruism, because people reach out to others to fulfill their own needs for belonging and self-esteem.  Obama reaches out to the entitlement crowd because to them they’re voting for Santa Claus.

I can go on for days on this one.

Of course, human beings have needs.  It’s just not the function of government to provide those needs for people who should be working and providing for themselves.

Another tidbit from Psych 101: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

Not to disagree too much with Maslow, but I know people whose hierarchies are a lot different.  Such as Jerry’s:

Not just any beer.  Natty Lite.  Acck.

I think that hierarchy stays pretty consistent as one ages too.  As a little kid mine would have looked something like this:

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose– the more things change, the more they stay the same, and yes, I drank coffee even as a very young child- thanks Grandma, for putting the Folger’s monkey on my back!

I think part of the problem with society today is that self-esteem is over-rated.  You shouldn’t feel good about yourself if you suck.  Normal people naturally feel shitty when they know they should do something about their suckiness. Save the feeling good for when you’ve accomplished something.

I remember all the vapid little cartoons and sketches and stuff designed for kids back in the 70’s to make them feel good about themselves. I watch that stuff today and a good bit of it makes me want to vomit.  Some of it was good, such as telling girls that they can be astronauts just like the guys, and that it’s OK for guys to cry in public, even if it makes them look like pussies to the rest of the world.   The problem is that touchy-feely stuff has morphed even further into the notion that the world owes you simply because you’re vertical and sucking up valuable oxygen.  I still remember Steve-o and his attempts at the “I’m entitled because I’m breathing” tactic to get out of doing unpleasant tasks, such as, “I don’t have to clean the cat box, Mom, because I’m just fine the way I am.”  Ok, keep up that philosophy and you can talk yourself out of doing anything menial- or meaningful- for that matter.   Nice try, but I won’t let you get away with it.  I was a Mean Mommy.  I made him do chores.  It was good for him.

I think for a long time Steve-o thought I was the reincarnation of Joan Crawford, which is erroneous on two levels.

First, I don’t believe in reincarnation. Second, Joan died in 1977.  I was born in 1969, which makes such a notion logistically impossible.

Why would anyone want to improve themselves and work to reach their potential if they’re convinced that they’ve reached the apex of personal achievement simply by getting out of bed? I have a problem with that.  Perhaps it’s my flaming type-A personality shining through yet again, but if you’re going to suck up valuable oxygen, do something at least halfway constructive with it.

“You’re not a *eff-tard…You’re just a tard,” probably isn’t a very good apology when you’ve called your son an *eff-tard in a fit of anger.  I’m sorry, Steve-o.

Mommy doesn’t do well with things like empathy and compassion.

Anyway, I know this election season I’ve found it hard to hold my tongue, and while I strive for civility, I often fail miserably.  It looks like I will have to settle for my two good friends, satire and sarcasm, to get me through.

Sadly, no matter how things turn out, ‘ol Splitfoot is going to have a field day.

Psychopathy is Intriguing, The Fickle Finger of Justice, and Don’t Can the Evidence

I don’t know if Ted Bundy’s ’68 Bug really qualifies as a “celebrity car,” because it’s kind of hard to envision a serial killer driving one of those.  I would probably place most psychopathic killers in old police auction Caprices or Crown Vics, if I had to profile.   Maybe today I would say a normal car like a Camry or an Accord, so as not to attract the undue attention of law enforcement.  Then again, in the ’70’s VW Bugs were “normal cars.”  I am (to my Dad’s and my son’s chagrin) not terribly enamored of air-cooled VWs for a few reasons.  Air cooling means no hot water heat, which most of us take for granted when it’s 20° below.  The old Bugs had a charming trait when it was that cold.  One would have to scrape the frost off the inside of the windshield.  The one winter- I think it was ’87 or ’88- I was unfortunate enough to have to drive the ’72 every day I got frostbite in my feet and ankles.  When I finally got another (water cooled thank God) Rabbit I was overjoyed.

I love the old Bugs as a curiosity, but as daily drivers they are a pain in the rear unless you live somewhere that’s it’s 70° and sunny with low humidity every day.  Ohio is NOT 70° and sunny every day, and the humidity is only low in the dead of winter when it’s too frozen to have humidity.   Old cars in general don’t like temperature extremes, but the Bugs are particularly temperamental.  If it’s too hot they can overheat easily, as well as it’s hotter than the stygian depths of hell in the car if it’s not moving.  I probably still  have burn scar imprints of the vinyl nubbins from the ’72’s seat emblazoned in the skin of my thighs.    If it’s too cold they are difficult to start- though they generally will run OK in the cold- but driving one in the extreme cold gives the word frigid a whole new meaning.

If you didn’t know Ted Bundy was a psychopathic serial killer, one might almost think him to be a rather hot looking dude.

I freely admit I have more than a passing interest in the macabre.  One of the reasons I took it upon myself to learn about criminal profiling and how to avoid being a victim is that I grew up witnessing a lot of bizarre shit.  Yes, I grew up in a small town, but in small towns much of the crime happens under the radar. Unless it’s something most dramatic or egregious, it gets swept under the rug.  You got to make it worth Channel 10’s while to send the Eyewitness Mobile Spy Cam 45 miles out in the middle of nowhere when there are shootings and stabbings and flaming car wrecks just up the road.

Sometimes people think that because one lives in a small town that there’s no violence or crime and everyone’s like Ozzie and Harriet or the Brady Bunch, but the reality is that small towns have never been nearly as pristine as the people who live in small towns want you to think.  There’s every bit as much scandal and probably then some- because those who live in the city just don’t have the time and energy to get so obsessed with other people’s lives.

No, this is not small town life. Not by a long shot.

It’s more like this.  Sort of like Deliverance, only without the canoes, mountains or banjos.

When I was growing up what would now be called domestic violence was just stuff that happened.  Men beat their wives and kids and it was (not right, mind you, but it was) considered normal.  One lady who lived directly behind us (and was part of the reason why Dad insisted on moving out of that house) had enough of her old man coming home drunk and beating her.  He worked at one of the local factories.  For about two weeks he didn’t show up at work.  She kept calling him in sick,  so some of his co-workers took it upon themselves to go check up on him.  When she could not explain why he wasn’t there at home in bed, the guys got suspicious.  Then as they were leaving, the door to the utility room was open. One of the guys peeked in the door and noticed shelves and shelves of large canning jars with strange looking meaty stuff in them.  She had killed him, chopped him into Mason-jar size pieces and canned his happy ass- most literally.  He was sort of a big dude, so I wonder to this day if she had a chain saw or a saws-all or did she just do it the (quieter) old fashioned way with a hacksaw?   I also wonder if she planned to eat him.  Why keep the evidence unless you’re planning to do something with it?  She probably would have gotten away with it if she’d just loaded him up in his truck and dumped him out in Killdeer Bog where the copperheads, coyotes, raccoons, possums, and other assorted swamp critters would have done away with him.

Yummy.  But they do pick the bones pretty clean.

I was about 5 years old when the Dismemberment and Canning Incident happened, because I remember asking Dad why the yellow tape said, “POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS.” I bet that was one time he didn’t appreciate my early reading ability- or hyperlexia- one bit. It was bad enough I read the newspaper, road signs, billboards and any other printed word I could view- whether I should have been viewing it or not.  I found out the full story many years later, because the local paper had a big write up on her when she was paroled.   I think she only escaped the death penalty because there was a brief window in which the death penalty was suspended in Ohio- personally I think we should take a cue from Texas and ramp it up a bit- but she was partially exonerated (I think) because her old man beat her and she was technically a battered woman.  In 1974 no one had heard of a battered woman defense, but by the late ’80’s I think that sort of thing was starting to come to light.

In this poor woman’s case (I can also remember hearing this couple’s rather heated fights in the middle of the night) I think paroling her was the right thing to do.  I know how difficult it is for a woman to leave an abusive relationship, and I also know that there’s the predatory killer who kills for the thrill of it, and the desperation killer that kills out of self-defense or even out of the reservoir of pent-up rage.

My best friend in high school had a rather nasty boyfriend who liked drugs and who got most violent when he was high.  I didn’t care much for the dude even when he wasn’t stoned, but I was completely pissed off when I’d gone to her house only to find him chasing her around with a knife.  This was back in the day before cell phones, and the nearest pay phone was about a quarter mile down the road at the Dairy Mart.  For whatever reason I hit the chronometer on my watch and ran like hell to the Dairy Mart to call 911.  It took the cops almost 20 minutes to get there, and the only reason she wasn’t dead was that he had cornered her in the bathroom and she had grabbed a behemoth can of hair spray (this was the late ’80’s after all) and bashed him in the head, putting him through the shower door and knocking him unconscious.  He was out cold when the cops got there. Bastard deserved it- but back then a woman had to press charges to get the cops to do anything, which of course she didn’t do because she was afraid of him.

Today the cops have to take someone in if they are called out and they so much as suspect domestic violence, which sort of makes sense, and then sort of doesn’t.  A poke or a shove or a little mark could all be it takes to send someone to jail for the evening and perhaps longer.   I have to wonder how many people get carted off for simply defending themselves or their kids?