Tuesday, October 03, 2006

word watch

here i am in Pennsylvania, and even the National News is talking about the school shootings in Amish Lancaster County.

Paradise, PA, as it were. and when i was the stock manager of a natural foods store in South Philly, the folks that brought us most of out Organic produce were from Paradise. and, right now, my thoughts are with them.

and this is the thing that is stuck in my mind the most. apparently, the murderous rampage-er told his wife that "he was acting out to achieve revenge for something that happened 20 years ago" according to CNN.com. anyway.


the aformentioned quote is what the police said, but most newscasts are saying Charles Carl Roberts IV had a "grudge" from 20 years ago. seems a little dismissive, don't you think? i mean, grudges are always depicted as silly things. like, i may have a grudge against my 7th grade friend for sitting choosing to sit at the Popular kids table, instead of with me. pissed, yes. maybe i should work it out, yes. because it's not ok to hold a grudge, right. but, in most cases, we are expected to just get over it. no biggie.


'Grudges' don't make people tie up young girls and shoot them execution style, do they? something for real serious truamatized this guy, and what ever it is, it deserves a more powerful term then grudge, i think. maybe.

but we can't seem to see people as simultaniously victims of really nasty horrible shit, who are also also perpetrators of really nasty, horrible shit on others. Andrea Yates is the first that comes to mind for me. she's either a cold-blooded murderer or guilty by reason of insanity, but neither description/verdict/decree of identity addresses domestic violence or post-partum depression as viable ideas under the Law. friggin' September 11th is another. it's all Guilty or mutually exclusively Innocent, or Good or mutually exclusively Bad. i bet if we approached things more Venn Diagram-like, we would get a much clearer map of when the hell is going on.

and to my mind, the repressed always returns, no question - when, where, and how is the matter we need to be concerned with. it doesn't amatter what happened to Charles Carl Roberts IV. It is a matter of how he got to a place where murder/abusing others is the only way to reconcile it. And when some caring person sees others' in pain, and is brave enough to intervene, it creates a safe place for everyone who has been victimized to bare witness. and they might just be able to purge their anguish through spewing words, rather than create more pain with their spewing bullets.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Wordsmith,

I am happy to see you writing here again! I give you my thoughts.

I think we need to discuss these matters some time, these "words". Been thinking about it, how this is our mode of conveying our emotions and they carry so many different connotations with them. You know, like when you are writing a poem and you have to find the correct and precise synonym. It has to be that zinger that brings the whole thing together.
Yes, "revenge" and "grudge" are a bit off to me in the Roberts case and "predator" I don't like. I also have been following the Foley case and, today, I read that the Amish families attended the funeral for the "killer". I feel for all parties involved. I feel for Foley and Roberts that their "fatal flaws" pushed them to the point of turning to other people to purge themselves in some way of their feelings of shame, guilt, etc. Hiding one's truth, whatever it may be, gay, molester, cannibal, etc., is just plain not good. It causes one to not only continue these fears but creates new ones to placate the one's that won't go away. It does come down to bearing witness to these original fears and shame, the hard part being wading through all the crap you've piled on top. All of these things take you so far away from a sense of self, of reality and these words so deftly used in the media bring no sense of humaness to these people. Let's not forget that EVER. They are human, just like you and me, we walk past them every day. Their fears are no different than ours, nor their pain.
I appreciate that the Amish community felt that Charles Roberts deserved to be mourned, too. We are all on the same journey.

6:58 PM  

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