Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Terri Schiavo - the untold story

The part of Terri Schiavo's story that nobody is talking about is what led to her being in that persistent vegetative state. The media reports that she had suffered cardiac arrest, but the part of the story being ignored is that bulimia caused that cardiac arrest.

Since the airwaves have been commandeered by hypocrites -- all of these rightwing warmongers-turned-Culture-of-Life advocates picking and choosing who falls within their Culture of Life, and who does not (hint, white Christian Americans need only apply) -- the more important story of what led to Terri Schiavo's horrific final state has gone untold.

Existing alongside this precious Culture of Life is the Culture of Youth and the Culture of Beauty, which has more young girls (young guys destroy themselves quite handily in other ways) "purging" themselves into peril so that they can look like the airbrushed images on the covers of magazines. Not even the women on these covers look as they appear on these covers. They exist in that glossy form by only one means -- photo manipulation.

The comedian George Carlin says this about anorexia nervosa: "Rich cunt don't wanna eat? Fuck her." That's one way of looking at it. With the staggering numbers of people starving around the world, it's hard to find any tingle of genuine sympathy for those who eat enviable meals, only to puke them back up.

But if Terri Schiavo's tragic story is going to have any lasting positive effect -- more than a mini-OJ trial among the lazy, goat-herd media -- the fact that bulimia led to dying while still living must be acknowledged. The footage of Terri in the hospital with her father, and that horrific groan escaping her -- that Culture-of-Lifers point to as evidence that Terri would be about writing symphonies, nursing children, and roller skating if only she got a little physical therapy -- ought to be shown to high school health classes around North America, with the unambiguous message: This is where bulimia can lead.

None of this is meant to sound like one dot of negativity directed at poor Terri Schiavo. She should have been allowed to die with dignity years ago. The fact that she became more of a pet to her parents than a daughter, over time, is not her fault. Nor is the fact that her case became grotesque political fodder for the necrophiliac vampires who run the United States of America. One look at her picture, from when she was healthy and smiling, tells me she was probably a very good person, fun, someone we all would have liked as a friend. That's what made her ordeal in the hospital, the courts, and the sidewalk out front of the hospice so unbearable.

1 comment:

P. A. Moed said...


Bravo! Sad to say, this is the first published piece I've seen that deals with the underlying issue here--bulimia.

Now, if we turned such a spotlight on another media maelstrom--Michael Jackson--what would we find?