Archive for August, 2015

Further Problems With American Eucharistic Practice – Crisis Magazine

Further Problems With American Eucharistic Practice – Crisis Magazine.

Cecil and what’s-his-name

Yeah, honestly, I know the name of a dead lion and not the name of the dentist that, well, I don’t know what to call what he did. But, it sure as hell wasn’t “hunting.” Maybe “cowardice” is a better label?

I have, on occasion, without malice or forethought, stumbled upon someone who thinks “hunting” is hunting. How anyone can really believe this, I just don’t know. I am still under the impression that, with all of the technology that is available, “fishing” is still some fishing. But, hunting has morphed into a joke, like so-called “professional wrestling.” That dentist’s concept of hunting is more akin to “entertainment” than hunting; much as professional wrestling is. And yes, I agree that a certain amount of entertainment is necessary for mental health.

But, no one should claim that that dentist is a hunter, although, and here’s the irony, he did hunt and Cecil was undeniably hunted.

I understand from co-workers (who have since moved on to other subjects) that there are “farms” (I don’t know the correct term) that raise animals strictly for weekend “warriors” to go out and “hunt.” I guess there could be a connection between these farms and what that dentist thinks of Africa, but I’ll sidestep that one. In any event, this stuff that is called “hunting” is only a very perverse form of entertainment. Entertainment during which there is a victim that suffers and then dies. Is this what our “culture” has come to? Really? Disgust rises in my throat.

No, I am not against the Second Amendment. In fact, as a student of history, particularly American history, I am a staunch supporter of citizens (emphasis on the rights and responsibilities of citizens) possessing the means to defend themselves and their families (possessions, too, but things are not in the same category as people). And yes, I do believe that firearms are involved in the deaths of thousands; but so are automobiles, and the Constitution says nothing about those.

However, killing as a form of entertainment, or as a “pastime,” or as a means to (I love this one) “kill time”? Really? Is your life that long that you have time to end the life of another? Are you pissed-off or just stupid?

The phrase “you are known by the company you keep,” comes to mind, and I am so very thankful that I don’t know that dentist and don’t even live in the same city he practices in (never was the word “practice” more appropriate). Yeah, I think he must be an incompetent dentist because he is certainly an incompetent hunter. Morally, he is bankrupt.

I am sorry that Cecil – or any other wild animal killed for entertainment – met his demise the way he did. I won’t light a candle for Cecil, but I will add this example of how ugly human beings can be to the list of things I will teach the Twins. There are after all, lots of things to be learned here:

Ending a life – any life – is never to be taken lightly. While I believe life is sacred, and many do not, I hope my kids learn that it is fragile, and short and can’t be duplicated: don’t waste it.

If ever there was proof (however inadequate) that this universe is the product of chaos, then surely human beings head the list. How else to explain a man of medicine who tries to alleviate pain for one species can fly halfway around the world to inflict such excruciating pain on another? Personally, I don’t believe in chaos theory – only that it is one idea with absolutely no proof whatsoever (why else call it a “theory”?). I do believe in GOD, and events such as Cecil’s death are put in front of us so that we have the opportunity to make a choice. To my kids: “will you choose to be a better person, or be pond scum?”

Yeah, I am compiling a list of things to teach ‘em. The nice thing about lists (or maybe word processors on computers) is that they can be constantly juggled; items added, deleted, moved, modified. Basically, I am hoping that, by the time they begin to listen to me (and before they tune me out – maybe only about five minutes) I will be able to teach them that there are some truly important things in life. There are some absolutely absolute truths. There are some things in life for and to die for. And, kill for.

Which is another reason I am keeping this blog, and a diary: I don’t want to put my children in the position of wondering what to think/do, and not knowing what their father thought about it. There is every reason to help them avoid the mistakes I made.

Or maybe, just one reason….

So, you think your life is interesting – Part 7

My wife apologized for my mother.

In the past month, besides the obvious excitement of adding two brand-new babes to the world, my sister-in-law received both a kidney and a pancreas. Those of you with any experience at all in the world of organ transplants know that when the decision is made to proceed, nothing involving teams of human beings moves faster. Except for carrier ops. So, getting the highlights of the procedure nearly a month after the fact is no surprise. In fact, considering that it was my sister-in-law herself that provided the details is not nearly as surprising as what didn’t happen.

As I’ve recounted in these pages, the Twins were born July 1, and after an “other-than-textbook” delivery, my wife was released from the hospital four days later (which included 48 hours in ICU – use your imagination). On July 11, my sister-in-law underwent the transplant. Over the next couple of weeks, knowing nothing of the organ transplants, both my wife and I tried calling my mother to see when we could have her meet her latest grandchildren. Finally, on the 20th, I sent my sister a text asking if she knew anything about our mother. She responded: “Since L’s double transplant last week mom and I are down helping out. We get back on Sunday ….”

Oh?

No surprise that my brother didn’t send out invitations to have a party during his wife’s hospital stay. And, it doesn’t particularly surprise me that my mother and sister, who couldn’t be bothered to visit the newest members of the family (my mother lives an hour away, my sister about ten minutes), managed to decide to fly to another city, buy the tickets, arrive in the destination city, and set up camp – all without saying a single word to me. But, what does (still) surprise me is that, if I hadn’t asked my sister if she had heard from our mother, I would never have found out that they had left.

(Since I am writing this, I am going to cleverly ignore the fact that I still had no idea how my sister-in-law was doing.)

Like I said, some things don’t lend themselves to alerting the media, or holding a press conference. But, it’s not like my mother and sister were present during the procedure – they didn’t arrive until after my sister-in-law had returned home. And, while there, what was it they were doing that they were too busy to, I don’t know, tell me where they were? What, no telephone? No email? No carrier pigeon?

So, this past Wednesday, August 5 (the Twins have been breathing more than a month), I caught my mother in a weak moment and she condescended to say it would be ok to stop by. For those of you with kids, you know every excursion is an undertaking, and packing up two babies and all their impedimentia (“accessories,” “support equipment” also work, but I have always loved Latin) is a task not to be undertaken lightly. Then there’s Seattle’s traffic (the less said the better).

We picked up Ivar’s (as much as I love Seattle, and Ivar’s, we don’t stop by Ivar’s often enough) and had lunch while mom held the little darlings. In the course of the two or so hours we were there, mom never said a word about the logistics of their trip. Never a word about the messages I left on her telephone answering machine. Heard lots about the health of my sister-in-law. And, of course, some juicy tidbits about her own health and how the latest crisis (organ transplants long forgotten apparently) is something called “Fuch’s Dystrophy.”

Yep, took some photos.

Mom never asked why my wife spent a couple of delightful days in intensive care (amazing how much more thrilling seeing some actor intubated on tv is than walking into ICU to see my own wife “hooked-up” – medically-speaking, of course).

My wife had already heard all the above; and more.

So, it wasn’t a surprise when, on the trip home, my wife apologized to me for my mother. That says a lot more about my wife than it does my mother.