Uncle Frank's Diary

Number 25 / March 21 , 2005

So Let Her Die, Already


Terry Schiavo is dead. That’s D-E-A-D. Let her corporeal package follow her spirit into death. Do not humiliate the memory of her person by using her body for ideological profit. Do not be so squalid. In the Schiavo case, we are watching a hideous, blasphemous obscenity perpetrated by fools and con artists.


Uncle Frank just got back from the dark side of the moon. He was working on a book, to the exclusion of most normal activities, including reading the news and carrying on about it here. He sent off the manuscript a few days ago, and can now return to the joys of the world as we know it. Lucky lad!

     His first question on rejoining the multitudes: “How’s the war going?” He likes to ask the obvious questions. You can check out of the human scene for any length of time, and assume on your welcome back that some war is going on, somewhere.

     His next question: “What the hell are those morons in Congress doing getting involved in the Terri Schiavo case?”

     I’ll tell you what: They’re busy demonstrating their firm commitment to egregious moral posturing, because they know the nation’s religious rubes can’t tell the difference between good faith and blatant cynicism. The occasional rite-to-lifer who can tell the difference doesn’t care, because in the purely Machiavellian world of American fetal fetishists, the only thing that counts is securing the objective, by any means necessary.

     (Hmm. That last phrase has an odd echo, does it not? But let’s leave that for another outing.)

Look, Dick, Look: See the Living Corpse

     The fetishists know that a legal decision keeping TS on the tubes (feeding and cathode ray both) will enhance their arguments on behalf of Dick and Jane Zygote. “Life” being “sacred,” and all that, you know. Except for the thousands of innocents that these same heavy thinkers countenance being annihilated in places like Iraq, but why look for consistency?

     Schiavo is dead. Oh, sure, her autonomic nervous system chugs on, but the person she was has been dead for years, and, the fantasies of her fan club notwithstanding, she ain’t comin’ back. I saw one of her family members on TV recently; according to his quaint, unutterably selfish point of view, TS is merely “disabled,” and can “improve” with “therapy.”

     Damn right she’s disabled. You can’t get much more disabled than suffering massive, irreversible brain damage. The conflux of organ and spirit that once made TS the person she was is gone with the wind, over the hills and far away, hi-yo Silver. Schiavo no longer exists. All that’s left is a jointed apparatus, once useful for the late TS to get around in, but now naught but an inadvertently-animated sack of bone and meat suitable for nothing but exploitation by the idiotic (the rite-to-life dreamers), the terminally cynical (those conscienceless creeps in Congress), and ghouls like Larry King “Live,” who just can’t show enough clips of TS’s mindless body lolling on its hospital bed, grinning its empty, meaningless grin, staring its empty, awful stare.

     If this sight does not make you want to scream in rage at the grotesque manner in which this woman’s remains are being exploited and insulted, you have a thicker skin than Uncle Frank.

See Spot Twitch

     Would you treat the body of your dog or cat the way those responsible are treating TS’s remains? Put the gaping, twitching, blindly-staring carcass on display for the sick voyeurs of Larry King and for the sentimental, readily-duped practitioners of “faith” (Oh, yes: She’ll “improve” with “therapy.” As they say in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in response to an assertion beyond blivethood: “You betcha, eh?”). Would you treat Fluffy’s or Spot’s mortal remains thus so that truly loathsome men and women in Washington could use the ghastly images to help assure their reelection?

     You would not treat Fluffy or Spot this way. You would say, “That’s sick, Uncle Frank. I would never do that. It’s worse than sick. It’s evil!”

     And you’d be right.

     Is there, at long last, no decency left in this nation? Are Americans so morally and politically depraved that they are willing to stand back and watch their elected “leaders” and the self-congratulating religious pious make a corpse dance in public like a marionette for the sake of advancing their personal agendas?

That’s Dead. Dead. Dead. Deal with It.

     My mother died eight years ago this month. She died in peace and privacy, in her own bed at home, with my father at her side. Her dying image did not appear on CNN. Her life could have been prolonged, for a limited time, by the insertion of a feeding tube. To what end? A more protracted coma? For what purpose? So that the people who cared for her would not have to grow up and let go, not have to acknowledge that death has its day, always, for everyone?

     Terry Schiavo is dead. That’s D-E-A-D. Let her corporeal package follow her spirit into death. Do not humiliate the memory of her person by using her body for ideological profit. Do not be so squalid. In the Schiavo case, we are watching a hideous, blasphemous obscenity perpetrated by fools and con artists.

     Stop it. Please stop it. Stop it before Uncle Frank has to go back to the dark side of the moon—not to work on a book, but because he just can’t stand to watch this shit no more.

#