violence

Bee's picture

videos, empathy, and opportunity

Sat, 09/03/2011 - 02:24 -- Bee

The other night we were watching videos from the 90's, and I remain amazed.

Now that my daughter is 21 I have had many opportunities to test my theories in a practical environment. Summary findings: I would never treat anyone the way I was treated in my youth. The fact that there is a filmed record of those years is fantastic because it demonstrates that I wasn't crazy. I was just in a very bad situation.

Bee's picture

cultural differences, self-defense, and creepy strangers

Fri, 07/15/2011 - 03:12 -- Bee

Walking around Paris with my daughter I was shocked beyond reason to find that men stared at her.

This should not have been surprising - if you've read even a little bit about France you would probably guess that cultural attitudes about flirting and sundry mating rituals are specific to the place.

Heck, I'm completely oblivious to such things and even my backwards self has clocked the fact that waiters pet my hair. Elsewhere in the world nobody would dare, but in Paris strangers walk right up and touch my arm.

Bee's picture

righteous indignation

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 02:35 -- Bee

Yesterday I was walking through a seedy part of East London talking to my fourteen year old son. Ahead, about half a block away, I noticed a cluster of ruffians obstructing the path.

Specifically, one man stepped out in front of us, planting himself solidly in my way. He was what in the UK we would call a hard-man; the shorthand from home would be skinhead, though that term means something entirely different here than it did where I grew up. In short, his tattooed muscular form did not convey "cute hipster bartender."

Bee's picture

Rhetorical

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 13:27 -- Bee

Rhetorical question: when traveling on my American passport, how long does it take for extreme drama to come snarling toward me like the most lethal sort of emotional hurricane?

Answer: something like three minutes.

There is no way to predict exactly what will go wrong, but something always does. This winter the controversy is in my so-called private life, and while I normally refrain from comment I am now far too old to obey the rules of etiquette imposed by blood kin.

Bee's picture

Legitimate

Tue, 12/07/2010 - 02:52 -- Bee

It is so nice my daughter is an adult: the risk of kidnapping has vanished!

I can disclose my location, discuss and describe my immediate vicinity, share contact information! On my daily perambulations I can look at flowers instead of scanning for bad guys!

I no longer need to sit with my back against the wall.

Miles and years have converted the threat to piquant dinner table anecdote, but it was legitimate. Real. True. Not just a shouted refrain in a custody dispute: oh no. Someone factually held a loaded handgun to my head and made very sure I understood.

Bee's picture

Enough

Mon, 11/22/2010 - 07:45 -- Bee

My cousin died on election day and his loss has become entwined in my mind with political mayhem.

Why? Because he was once a beautiful, brilliant baby and someone should have saved him.

Teachers and social workers must have known he was enduring horrific abuse: the bruises and scars were visible. What sort of person is so recalcitrant, such a recidivist, they spend the majority of life from age ten until thirty in jail? A criminal, obviously, but why - what caused it? This is not a trick question. The answer is simple.

Bee's picture

Civility

Thu, 09/30/2010 - 21:00 -- Bee

For three quarters of my adult life I have earned as much or more than my partner. Going way back to my teens, this included a stake of cash - an emergency fund - consisting originally of blood money from the accident. Thanks to that haunted reserve I was able to cover rent, buy books, stay in school, demonstrate my academic skills, long enough to earn merit scholarships sufficient to pay for my entire education.

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