Waiting for My Real Life to Begin

The life and times of a girl named Swishy.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

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.


At 9:41 PM, Blogger Dan said...

freak. :-)

-- the shadow

At 10:15 PM, Blogger Beth said...

ah swish, how I love me some swishy. can you feel the love?

$400 for MAN'S haircut!!! God, I wish I could do that...really.

suri is a year old...were WE invited to the party? I don't think so! you weren;t, were you? My invitation must have gotten lost in the mail or something.

see you at Shiloh's party....I'll be in the bedroom with her daddy, so don't bother us okay? just keep angie busy for a while ;)

At 11:18 PM, Anonymous ramblin rose said...

right on swishy about the VT horror!!

And 400 bucks for a haircut can you imagine how many kids that would feed?? as waste of money....


At 1:00 AM, Blogger Trish Ryan said...

You make a wide variety of very good points - who needs USA Today when we've got Swishy Today???

At 1:51 AM, Blogger Manic Mom said...


So many things to comment on girlfriend.

First, and most importantly--OMG, SURI is Freaking ONE?!?!? How in the hell did THAT happen!!! Holy shit!

Second: Who is John Edwards? Seriously. I do not know. Who's the freak now? I'd say Manic is!

Third: I don't know who that Winkler person is either--is it that Pastor who got murdered? I'm only guessing because you said mom killed dad, child on stand. Am I right?

Fourth: Cho deal. I can totally see where you're going with this. I have been trying to talk with AJ about it all because he's been asking questions, and is confused. How do you talk to a 9-year old? Example> I am telling my children that if you see someone lonely, sad, or being bullied, sitting alone on the bus, go say hi. Don't be mean. Talk to the person like he/she is a person. Show some kindness. I'm not blaming US for the Cho thing, but he obviously had some bad people in his life (don't throw shit at me people, please!). The other thing is Ajers is hearing stuff on the bus about Cho being mental. At Ajer's school, there are children with disabilities there: Mental disabilities. Ajers asked me if those were like the same people like the guy with the gun! SEE! This is a problem! Now a nine-year old is worried at school that the disabled children ... dear God, I can't even think ... and this is Swishy's blog so I'll stop now. I did email the principal today to see if they have a plan in place to continue dialogue with kids who have questions. Oh, I was getting off my soapbox now.

Fifth: Swishy sent me the most AWESOME birthday present and I love her so much, she is the most best blogger friend forever because she is just Great with a capital G R E A T!

And Suri--One freakin' year old! Shitola! Oh wait, that's SHILOH--when's she turning one, and how many other siblings will she have by then!?!?


At 2:13 AM, Blogger Swishy said...

Beth! You are awesome! You crack me up. You get 15 minutes, and then it's my turn. Haha.

Dan, does that mean you're feeling neglected?

I know, Rose! I'd keep that on the down low if I were him when he's doing those talks about poverty. (Manic: John Edwards, maybe your next president, although probably not. The guy who ran with Kerry in '04.) I'm laughing, by the way. You're right about Winkler!

OK, and Manic: Totally agree. It sort of pisses me off that no one's talking about how to prevent this kind of thing from happening again. Maybe it couldn't have been avoided. But maybe, just maybe, if someone pays a little more attention or goes out of their way a little more ... I don't know. I watched his tapes after I wrote my blog tonight, and oh, man ... they're hard to watch. Very, very sad. Of course, I also looked at all 32 photos of the victims, and that was like a punch to the stomach, too. So many of them so young, with so much potential. I thought about how they all had dreams that were never going to come true now. Such a tragedy, all around.

At 8:26 AM, Blogger Golightly said...

I completely agree with on VT.
And what in the world, $400 for that haircut that looks like his mama did it for him - or is that just me? I mean, if it were highlighted or something, maybe! And gee whiz - the year sure did fly by, it was like freaking yesterday that Suri was born. CRAP.

At 11:52 AM, Blogger Tuesday Girl said...

Lisa Rinna is a freak.
I would never watch her.

I agree $400 is A LOT for a man's haircut but I bet that Hilary or Condaleeza or any other woman gets their hair cut & colored and is at least that.

Suri, good luck with those parents!

At 11:59 AM, Blogger Frannie Farmer said...

I just ordered Nineteen Minutes - I have a new writer/reader (?) crush on Jodi!
Like you, I wonder what this boy must have endlessly heard about himself to get him to this point. My heart breaks -- and so far I haven't watch any of the coverage ... can't!
$400 haircut ?? shouldn't it look better - or contain 18k gold flecks .. just sayin'.
Joan/Melissa vs. Lisa -- personally, I think Lisa will come up with her own sense of *wit* ... but I will be staring at her lips.
Sadly, I remember such trivial *life events* as well. Mr. Farmer remeber georgaphy, history, math ... the important things ... me I remember useless pop culture. You aren't alone!

At 4:53 PM, Blogger Dan said...

i always feel neglected!

my nickname more appropriately though is teflon. no one sticks to me.

At 4:55 PM, Blogger Dan said...

oh, and how can manic not know who john edwards is? um, hello? ran for vice president last election on the democratic ticket.

At 6:37 PM, Blogger TTQ said...

You need a tv show of your own so you can do a re-cap of the week kinda thing!

At 7:59 PM, Blogger CruiserMel said...

DAMMIT. I didn't notice I'd typed the verification word wrong and then clicked off your site and my comment went poof. And I'm sure it was brilliant, too.

1. For a few, I thought you meant John Edward, the psychic dude. Yeah, my brain doesn't work like other brains.

2. This country really needs to start a discussion about bullying, isolation, and understanding. That doesn't mean I'm not angrier than angry with that Cho guy. But come on people, we ARE influenced by nurture as well as nature.

At 5:42 PM, Blogger kim said...

Lisa Rinna -- where do I start?
First, I think she is a delightful person -- I could really see hanging out with her, but as far as red carpet skills...yawn.

Second, I get a little distracted whenever she is on anything because I can't stop anylizing her and wondering why someone so sweet and attractive thought she had to screw with her looks until her lips were so freaky it's hard to think about anything besides how freaky her lips are. I think she must have daddy issues and her hair needs updating.

At 7:58 PM, Blogger thethinker said...

I don't understand how ONE haircut could cost THAT much money. It's ridiculous!

At 3:57 PM, Blogger Manic Mom said...

Dan, did you not know I am a hermit.
What's a presidential election?

At 1:46 AM, Anonymous liz said...

I totally bought that book because you mentioned it and it's quite the awesome. Yay for awesome!


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