I'm feeling very opinionated today
I'm going to start off with serious and work my way to completely, utterly frivolous, so if you've had enough serious, just skip down a couple ...
The Virginia Tech shooting. I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was reading Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult, which is about a school shooting (and is quite good). It's actually very, very eerie, because as details unfold about the VT shooting, they mirror a lot of stuff from the book. The shooter in the book sits down and eats a few bites of cereal before resuming shooting; the VT shooter mailed a package and went to his dorm room before resuming shooting. The shooter in the book says, "They started it"; the VT shooter said, "You made me do this."
The most interesting part of the book is the way it humanizes the shooter and his family, and that's what I keep thinking about. He was a person, a person who had good parts and bad parts, like we all do. That boy did a horrible, unthinkable thing. I mean ... there are no words. I can't begin to fathom how anyone, no matter how disturbed or cruel or broken inside, can be capable of something like that.
But I'm also having a big problem with the way he's being discussed in the media. This is what one of his teachers said to CNN: "I know we're talking about a troubled youngster and crap like that, but troubled youngsters get drunk and jump off buildings; troubled youngsters drink and drive ..."
I can hardly even read that quote: "A troubled youngster and crap like that." Hello, that's PART OF THE PROBLEM. It's SO trivializing. This "troubled youngster" loaded a gun and killed 32 people. It's not a joke. He certainly is responsible for his actions, but I also very much believe that a number of people failed him over a number of years and responsibility lies there, too. There are other quotes, quotes about how mean he could be, how weird he was, how annoying he was when he IMed a girl he liked. I wonder how much of that he heard when he was alive? It's a lot easier to call someone a freak and roll your eyes at them than it is to try to understand someone, or for hell's sake, SHOW THEM A LITTLE KINDNESS.
There was also this quote: "He was so quiet, he was just like a shadow." No one pays much attention to a shadow, and I wonder if that wasn't a big part of the problem, too. There's something seriously wrong with a society in which you can't go about your everyday activities and be safe. But there's also something seriously wrong with a society that turns its back on someone who's so clearly crying for help.
I've been reading about the Mary Winkler trial this week. I don't know what happened there, but I do know I feel a lot of compassion for her and I hope she can have an OK life. I think I can feel that without condoning what she did, you know? Anyway, I read today that the prosecution put her 9-year-old daughter on the stand. I was HORRIFIED. Absolutely appalled. I really don't see how that's necessary. Her dad's dead, her mom's on trial for his murder and you're going to make her testify in court? I think that's sick, I really do. As if this girl isn't going to have enough problems.
OK, I hope this isn't too jarring of a transition, but that concludes the serious, "Believe it or not, Swishy reads more than the Life section of USA Today" section of this post. Now for the frivolous portion, beginning with ...
John Edwards' $400 haircuts!
(Um ... yeah. Pretty much a non sequitur. But at least I warned you!)
OK, seriously. Seriously! John Edwards pays four hundred bucks to get his hair cut by some Beverly Hills hairdresser. Four hundred dollars for a GUY'S haircut! Now, granted, it's a very nice cut, and it makes him look boyish and charming and blah blah blah, but FOUR HUNDRED BUCKS?!? For ONE haircut? I feel like I spend a hell of a lot of money on my hair, and I barely hit that in a year. And I don't use campaign donations to pay for it, either. I'm amazed.
So you know how I feel about red carpets and awards shows (like the Emmys). Kind of the same way people feel about puppies and rainbows. I lovethemlovethemLOVETHEM! Which is why I am CRUSHED by the news that Lisa Rinna is bumping Joan and Melissa Rivers off the TV Guide Channel's red carpet. Watching Joan Rivers is like watching your crazy great-uncle Leroy at Thanksgiving dinner. It's the proverbial 10-car wreck, only better because no one gets hurt. You mean I'll never again get to hear Joan ask Kiefer Sutherland why he wears the same clothes on every episode of 24? Or congratulate Patrick Dempsey on the success of House? Noooooooo!
Finally, today is Suri Cruise's first birthday. You know how people remember what they were doing when certain landmark events occurred, like when man first walked on the moon? Well, I remember exactly what I was doing when I found out Suri was born. I realize it's a little pathetic, but in my defense, I remember LOTS of random things. Like, for example, I remember exactly what I was doing when Shiloh Jolie-Pitt was born, too.
OK, maybe that's a bad example.