Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Anger overwhelms me, consumes me and threatens daily to drowns me. On these days, I wonder if Jonah's whale is a metaphor for anger; and if it is, how did Jonah cause the whale to eject him. Or, did Anger the Whale simply tire of containing the agitated Jonah and spit him out to relieve its own discomfort.
I have lived inside Anger the Whale since I was two years old almost; from soon after my sibling was born, when I became the place my mother hung all her hate and greed and disappointment and resentment. Those are what some whales are created from.

When we were alone for the rest of our lives

The thing is, they abandoned us, all those adults racing about, dealing with the fallout of their grown up lives.

Not abandoned-by-the-side-of-a-busy-road in the literal sense but really, it felt no different. People rushed by us in blurred colours and with loud noises passing like trains, they way the sounds of trains keen and wane. We were there, mostly invisible except for those moments when we were trodden upon by unkind comments or angry outbursts that didn't belong to us but crushed us all the same ....

It was the middle of 1960s. The post-war years were becoming memories and the sexual revolution was in full swing. People born in the latter part of the 19th century reeled against the cataclysmic shift from Victorian sensibilities to the crackling, disaffected, often naked revolutionary years; and their children, the depression people, so used to and comfortable with the austerity of their childhoods and again in the war years, scrabbled to keep a grip in the wildness of the 20th century's middle age.

Divorce was not yet common, which is to say it was, but allowing that reality to see light was not yet permitted. Divorce was a secret cloaked in affairs or some catastrophe of differing opinions, and there was always anger; and there was the ever-present, oppressiveness of the still reining religious life that everyone lived. Anger, fighting, yelling, blaming, abandoning one's children to the war - it was just what one did in such an atmosphere of shift. Rebellion. It was how divorce was done.

In our lives, the time, the era, the divorce, my mother's simmering anger - at what, I couldn't fathom. my father's discomfort being a stranger in a world bearing no resemblance to that of his strict Baptist upbringing,  the physical building, the church my father built and the skeletons and stories living there - a behemoth casting its daily western shadow on us, towering from across the street from our house - these were the playmates we had in our abandonment.

We were surrounded by the grown ups, whose lives swirled about us with a violence and self-absorption so deep it sucked the breath and childhoods from our bodies - the three- and five-year-olds we were then, alone but surrounded by the vortex of our parents' and family's razor-laser honing in on the beast that was The Divorce, slowly becoming hard and ancient in our tender years.

They didn't know they'd abandoned us. We went to church and visited other families and with our cousins but we, my little sister and I, were curiosities. We were the only children whose parents were divorcing in our insular community. In our church, we were alone in that state. In my father's school, we were oddities, the codicils to our father and his divorce. In our mother's life - the pitied single parent she was (SUCH a shame), we were the appendages which elicited such fawning.

Never did they sit with us in all that chaos and never did they consider how hard it was to breathe. Never did it occur we were alone. Never did they see - it didn't occur they should - children still being in a state of 'be seen, not heard' - what we had lost and what we would never regain. "They'll be fine," they said. The counsellor we thought was an adult playmate concurred. "They'll be fine;" intoning the white-noise we woke and fell asleep to.

Abandoned children, those who are fortunate to find benefactors, or who still live with those who abandoned them, often survive. But those who abandon them are either gone entirely or are so distant the see not what scars lay under the tightly-drawn skin of such children.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Mormonism... too stupid for words

Where to start?

An 18 year-old kid, who was - according to his own mother - a liar of epic proportions and probably a psycopath, decides one day he needs some attention, so takes off into the woods, comes back with a (highly ridiculous) story, which he feeds to the (highly uneducated and religious) people in his community. They buy it - except for a couple - and voila, mormonism.

It is, at closer look, a mishmash of that other cult, christianity with some masonic crap thrown in for good measure. If you can get past the magic underwear all baptised mormons wear, the planets full of virgins you (if you're male) inherit when you die, the "living prophet" (the actual real spelling being "profit") who never ever ever prononces a word of truth; the "no black people allowed... oh.. wait... ok no black people allowed to hold office,"  ... oh wait... "black people allowed because the governent says we have to let them in and OH hey! they're not marginalised in the US anymore and they have money so Cmon IN!" ... if you can get past all that crap and loads more, perhaps this will give you pause.

Last weekend, at the new and previously (for a weekend) open to the non-mormon public, a woman was stricken with a health crisis that required the attendance of this city's EMS, who certainly arrived within their seven minute window. They were, however, prevented from entering. Why?

Not mormons.

Inside, a woman was ill enough that she required an ambulance but the mormons will not, no matter how sick you are, allow the hell-bound rest of us inside those walls. Period.

What they did was call a doctor - a mormon - wait on that person and with his/her help and the passage of much more time, get this woman out the door and into the hands of qualified medical professionals who were sat there waiting.

I have since heard from one source (a person within the mormon enclave) the woman died. I heard, however, from another source she was transported to hospital and was alive.

Please note here this singular detail: this mormon woman was prevented from accessing the care she needed. She was not, however refused it by EMS despite their certainly holding different (probably no) religions from hers. When she arrived at the hospital, she was NOT prevented entry by the certainly other-religioned triage staff, nursing and other staff.

Do you get my point?

I am disgusted beyond words that this organisation would sacrifice a person in deference to ridiculous, made up, demonstrably idiotic dogma rather than let EMS in the door.

I am also really sad the media currently in possession of this story is not pursuing it.

If the woman had died, in any other circumstances, those responsible for preventing EMS from acting on the call would be guilty of criminal negligence. But religion, as always, gets a free ride.

Whether children die or lives are put in jeopardy, the idiocy that is religion gets to smile, wave and walk away, regardless.