March 30, 2005

Mr. Hagar Always Said to Look for Irony...

In high school, my senior-year English teacher repeatedly told us to always be on the look out for irony. While I realize that was because he was obsessed with Hamlet and Candide, because I'm such a big ol' nerd, spotting irony has become a habit for me and whenever I see it, I think of Mr. Hagar and how much fun I had senior year of high school.

Anyway, I was watching all the local news tonight (to try to see Jay on TV since he spoke about the San Francisco tenancy-in-common controversy) and of course there was TONS of coverage of the whole Terri Schiavo fiasco (yes, she has her own Wikipedia page). I personally believe that the fact that Mrs. Schiavo has had no cognitive function for over a decade indicates that she will never recover and it's only humane to let her go with dignity (although everyone in the world is now up in her business and we've all seen her after 10 years of being in bed and basically unconscious). I do, however, have reservations about starving her to death, since it is possible that she can still "feel" pain although she wouldn't be able to really process it and "feel" it the way we do.

Anyway, what I really wanted to say is that I was watching the news and I suddenly thought of the most evil/un-PC thing I've ever felt the need to share with others, but only because it's so damned ironic. Mrs. Schiavo's brain damage was caused by extended loss of oxygen to the brain when she had a heart attack, which was caused by a potassium deficiency, which was apparently caused by bulimia nervosa. So, it appears that with the feeding tube removed, Mrs. Schiavo and her family have come full circle, with her life slipping away due to starvation.

I feel sorry for Mrs. Schiavo's family but also mildly angry that they could later point out that she suffered from bulimia but apparently did nothing about it before it was too late. I think it's very ironic that the very thing that caused this whole situation is what is finally going to end it. If anything, Mrs. Schiavo's parents shouldn't be focusing on whether or not their awake-but-unconscious daughter should be allowed to die, but on encouraging people to help their loved ones who suffer from such self-destructive disorders.

old terri.jpg
In this week's South Park, Kenny leaves a will that says that if he's ever in a vegitative state to never show him on national television. Usually I think Matt and Trey are too preachy when they do shows about current events, but I think they hit the nail on the head this time...

For those of you who are outraged by my comments, yes, I know I'm going to hell for this (if I believed in hell).

0) $paginate_current_page = 0; $paginate_sections = array( 0 ); $paginate_top_section = $paginate_sections[$paginate_current_page-1]+1; $paginate_bottom_section = $paginate_sections[$paginate_current_page]; } else { $paginate_top_section = 1; $paginate_bottom_section = 0; } $paginate_self = '&' . $_SERVER['QUERY_STRING'] . '&'; $paginate_self = preg_replace("/&page=[^&]*&/", "&", $paginate_self); $paginate_self = substr($paginate_self, 1, strlen($paginate_self) - 1); if($paginate_self == '&') $paginate_self = ''; else $paginate_self = htmlentities($paginate_self); $paginate_self = basename($_SERVER['PHP_SELF']) . "?${paginate_self}page"; ?> Posted by Kristina at March 30, 2005 07:30 PM

Oh, I need to see that South Park ASAP.

Good point about irony. I would also like to add that the appreciation of irony is one of life's great joys, which I'm sure Mrs. Schiavo is not able to enjoy.

Posted by: Cody at March 30, 2005 11:26 PM

you know when south park and my grandmother are pointing out the same thing, it's something pretty universally wrong. talk about taking away someone's dignity.

Posted by: erica at March 31, 2005 07:07 AM

I hate that photo of Terri sitting up all gross in bed. Want to talk about going to hell? I've been hoping she'd die all week so I can stop running into that picture everywhere--I am a far worse person than you.

Posted by: Renee at March 31, 2005 09:48 AM

It's the biggest picture on BBC News right now, which is why I'm reading Cementhorizon instead of the news. I'm glad they've finally started interspersing it with an older picture in which she's actually alive and conscious, although I wish they'd done that, say, a month ago.

Posted by: Dianna at March 31, 2005 10:21 AM

Yeah, I won't even allow pictures of my drunk self to be posted on CH so I can't imaging how embarassing it would be for the whole world to see pictures of truly brain-damaged me... I also think there's more irony in the fact that Mrs. Schiavo was a bulimic and obviously very conscious and insecure about how people saw her... and now we see her all chubby from over 10 years of inactivity and unable to control her own body. It's sad. I would never do that to any of you... unless, of course, I was 100% sure that's what you really wanted.

Posted by: Kristina at March 31, 2005 11:45 AM

I certainly support the right to die. And I would never want to waste resources keeping a vegetable afloat. But, like many others, when I saw the video, I couldn't help thinking that she didn't really look like a vegetable. She looked conscious: eyes moving, body moving, even smiling.

I remember reading about a woman who was paralyzed in her early 30s after falling down some stairs. Everyone thought she was a vegetable, and she was kept alive for 20 plus years. Actually, she was fully conscious but she simply couldn't move a muscle to express anything. After more than 20 years, someone noticed that she could twitch an eye, so they got out a list of letters and pointed at each one until she twitched. The result was, for the first time, communication. The article printed some of her poetry and an interview. She was still paralyzed. Several things struck me: First, if they had starved her to death, she would have felt the pain. Second, SHE WANTED TO DIE ALL THOSE YEARS BUT COULDN'T.

That's what I kept thinking about with Shiavo. She may well have wanted to die. But she may also have felt pain. That she may have suffered bothers me. That she is dead does not. I don't understand why people just assume that just because some "expert" says she doesn't feel anything, she doesn't. This kind of stuff just feeds my doubts:

Posted by: Global Test at March 31, 2005 04:37 PM

I think it's fucked up to bring up the bulimia aspect. Did you think this was a cute and clever perspective on the case? Does she somehow deserve to die more than someone else, since she had a really severe eating disorder? If she had been anorexic, you could have drawn a slightly looser connection to the lack of nutrition, but it's not like they were taking her feeding tube out for brief intervals and forcing her to vomit up the nutrients.

You're also implying that an eating disorder is only someone obsessing over physical appearance, which is a really simplistic and incorrect view of things. People with obsessive-compulsive disorder aren't actually "conscious and insecure" about whether the door to door to their house has been locked - it's a means of coping with obsessive thoughts and moods.

The premise of your irony comment reads like something you'd find in a justification for the death penalty, or tough-on-crime literature: "Well, he killed that woman to get money for heroin, so it's ironic that he'll now die of lethal injection." "Well, he was a sex offender, so it's ironic he got raped in the shower."

Your view of irony is as sophisticated and nuanced as that of Sublime. Congratulations.

This whole post was in incredibly poor taste. I'm sorry I read it.

Posted by: sean at March 31, 2005 05:13 PM

I realize that eating disorders are psychological conditions that are beyond the control of the person who suffers from them. Bulimia does cause malnutrition, which is why she had the potassium deficiency that caused her heart attack. I guess I mostly think that it's very sad that no one noticed her problem in time to prevent the heart attack in the first place. I don't really have much else to say about your comment since I found it to be more of a personal attack than a perspective on the situation... To read this, you'd think that you didn't know me at all, let alone for over five years, and so felt no need to even pretend to speak to me in a respectful manner. Even if you disagree with my views, you can tell me so without being so hurtful.

Posted by: Kristina at March 31, 2005 08:58 PM

The whole situation with Mrs. Schaivo was very saddening to me. It seemed like a problem without a solution, one that ultimately resulted in this woman being exploited in the media circus that was the end of her life.

And while I agree that eating disorders are incredibly complicated - as are the people who suffer from them - I saw a little irony in someone with such an affliction (where eating/not eating plays a major role regardless of the specific manifestation of the disorder) being starved to death forcefully by someone else. Morbid, perhaps, but ironic nonetheless.

More than that, though, I feel the strong need to say how offended I was by the tone of your comment, Sean.
Having a differing opinion or even taking offense to something doesn't give you license to be cruel and condescending to your friend like that. Even though this may be a topic that is close to your family, that was incredibly harsh and I felt totally uncalled for. I think you grossly over-generalized Kristina's postition (while simultaneously chastising her for such generalizations). You have every right in the world to be offended by this or any blog post, and also to say so in as passionate a way as you want, but had I said what you said in your comment, I would be very ashamed.

Posted by: kati at April 1, 2005 06:38 PM

Ironic isn't the same as funny or fitting; irony is cruel or frustrating more often than it is cute and humorous.

Posted by: Dianna at April 1, 2005 07:03 PM

I thought the whole sad affair was more cruel and frustrating than anything.

Posted by: kati at April 1, 2005 07:59 PM

Sorry, I failed to post the second half of my comment, wherein my point is slightly clearer.

Ironic isn't the same as funny or fitting; irony is cruel or frustrating more often than it is cute and humorous. Calling something ironic isn't the same as calling it funny or making a joke of it, and I really don't think anyone's laughing here.

Posted by: Dianna at April 1, 2005 10:58 PM

You're both right, that was way too harsh, and no way to talk at a friend. My apologies, Kristina.

Kids, don't comment when you're angry at a post. "Preview" is there for a reason.

Posted by: sean at April 2, 2005 12:56 AM

i saw this on craigslist best of today.

Posted by: michele at April 2, 2005 01:06 AM

Also, if we're both wrong about its existence, I'll definitely be joining you in hell, Kristina.

Posted by: sean at April 2, 2005 01:10 AM

I read your blog, Kris.

Posted by: Cody at April 2, 2005 11:25 AM

The other night, Kati, Cody, Aaron and I played a new game Kati convinced me to get just by how excited she was to see it on the shelf at the toy store, Apples to Apples. It really is very fun and I haven't laughed so hard in a long time, which was right in time because I had been upset all day about the above comment string. Near the end of the game, I was the judge, the category was "horrifying," which the card definied as "offensive, abominable and disgusting". Cody and Kati put down cards for me to choose which I thought was the most horrifying: "snakes," "a car crash," or "my blog" (our red create-your-own-card). Naturally, I chose "my blog" since it is truly the most horrifying of the three... then I drank a lot more wine. I feel better now for having laughed with friends over a silly (yet incredibly entertaining) game and because I now know Sean doesn't really hate me... he just did in the moments after reading the horror that is my blog. Now I can go back to disgusting you all with reviews of Bollywood films only I will ever see. Hooray!

Posted by: Kristina at April 3, 2005 09:50 AM

BTW, Cody, you left your Miguel Migs CD here.

Posted by: Kristina at April 3, 2005 09:51 AM

I read your blog, too, Kris.

Good comment.

Apples to Apples is the game to end all games.
I pity the fool who doesn't play this game.
I pity the fool.

All hail Apples to Apples!
It flies of the shelves of toy stores faster than I speeding bullet, spreading joy and free association wheresoever it goes. Wine optional.

Posted by: kati at April 3, 2005 11:09 PM

I know, I should have put it in my bag. Let's meet up sometime this week.

Posted by: Cody at April 3, 2005 11:09 PM

I just realized how many typos were in my last comment.
Sorry. I was concussed.

Posted by: kati at April 4, 2005 01:01 PM

Would you like me to fix them for you?

Posted by: Kristina at April 4, 2005 01:11 PM

apples to apples is fabulous, but I got in big trouble when as judge I picked republicans as adorable. I don't think it's that weird. don't you kind of want to tickle cheney? he'd get all red and shiny.

Posted by: julia at April 4, 2005 04:40 PM

Dammit, girl, why no Top Model posts this season? Wassamatta, you don't love them anymore?

Posted by: Renee at April 7, 2005 02:15 PM

I haven't posted about Top Model because the girls are boring this season. I don't really have a favorite and I don't really hate any of them... nothing has inspired me to write about the show. Perhaps I should write about how much this season sucks.

Posted by: Kristina at April 8, 2005 12:36 AM