I’m Going to Hell – Who’s With Me?

I saw my first stripper when I was 15.

I’ll give you a moment to grab your jaw. It’s over there, on the floor.

To clarify, the guy was an impromptu addition to a 50th Birthday Party for one of my dad’s coworkers. I was asked to provide music for the party since I had an enviable collection of music, and let’s face it, the BEST person to spin tracks for a 50-year-old is a 15-year-old. Yup – that’s sarcasm. It was during that event that it was revealed that a certain “special” aspect of fete was being thrown in. Before you knew it, some oiled up muscle man was bumping and grinding his way around the birthday girl.

She loved it. I was somewhat repulsed and yet secretly thrilled that he left his thong on. After all, my parents were in the room.

So perhaps I’ve had a more liberal outlook on these topics, but I was really taken aback by a posting by a fellow blogger I happen to have read last night. Usually I enjoy her take on parenting, being a young mother and family life in general, but yesterday’s entry gave me pause. I’m not going to share a link because frankly, I don’t want to give a platform to the kind of blather she was dishing.

In short; she thinks I’m going to hell, and that my marriage is doomed.

Cuz I’m going to see Magic Mike tomorrow night.

Helloooooooo There!

Her take on this is that by watching a movie (she doesn’t name it specifically) I will open the door for Satan to pervert my mind. I won’t be able to help myself from comparing my relationship with my husband with the relationship I would wish for with one of the characters in the movie. She then stated it was part of the bigger issue facing society today, the break down of the family, blah, blah, blah.

This must be some flick! I just thought it was about a bunch of guys who made loads of cash dancing for women. What power this movie must have!!!

She then went on to throw 50 Shades of Grey under the bus. Again, not being strong enough on point to name the book, she references the pop culture following “a certain book” has, and looks down her nose at the idea of a book discussing sexuality, as being something lowly and sinful. Can you say “Repressed?”

I then thought about how I would feel if The Big Guy was going out to see strippers with his friends. Nothin. No issue. No beef. We’ve actually laughed at how NOT jealous we are of each other. Perhaps we are too secure in our relationship (is that possible?) but I’ve pointed out good-looking women to him, and he’s shared his perspective of my admiration of various specimens of various males of the species. Isn’t it a GOOD thing that we don’t get wound up about each other’s appreciation for the option sex??

The blogger then draws a comparison, saying women should not see Magic Mike or read 50 Shades of Grey because they would be up in arms if their husbands went out to a movie about female strippers or a book that glorified sex from a male’s perspective.

Instantly, the following rebuttals came to mind;

1. We’d better get every beer commercial off television.

2. Somebody better tell the music community that women dressed in anything less than habits are evil and any dancing more risqué than the box step in a rap video will get you a first-class ticket to hell.

3. Survivor, Big Brother and every other reality TV show that allows women to flaunt their T&A is responsible for the erosion of the family unit.

4. Victoria’s Secret Angels are actually the minions of Satan (envision Church Lady saying this!).

Until then, I fully plan on enjoying Magic Mike with my sister, and perhaps my niece. After all, she is 16.

P.S. I didn’t really think I had time for more reading material, but I think I might make the exception and look up 50 Shades of Grey; since I’m already going to hell in a hand basket.

The “Easy” Way Out?

Today is Samson’s birthday.

In a couple of weeks, it will be a year since we put him down.  This random combination of thoughts came to me last week when a certain new item caught my eye.

Gloria Taylor is a British Columbian woman who lives with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). She was the face of five plaintiffs who went to the Supreme Court to strike down the ban on assisted suicide in that province. The grounds were that the ban discriminated against the disabled because, get this, they cannot commit suicide on their own.

The argument was that an able-bodied individual could end their own life without assistance. For those dealing with terminal conditions, there comes a point in time when this is no longer an option. It’s usually at this later stage that the idea of suicide is much more appealing than the years, months, weeks, days, the individual has left as a prisoner of their own bodies.

Now I toyed with the idea of not writing this column, simply because it falls under one of those contentious issues, like abortion, religion and hockey. But I feel strongly about this myself and to be honest, I was excited when I heard the news.

When Samson was suffering, we could tell. It was as obvious as if he could verbalize the pain he was in. Most people would say they would not allow an animal to suffer, they would have the “put to sleep.”

I have watched loved ones die. I have heard some of them wish for death to come. I have heard of people whose family members have asked them to help them bring their end to them. How is ok for a dog to be euthanized, but I couldn’t do it for a family member?

To be fair, there are differences between euthanasia and assisted suicide.

1. Euthanasia –

: the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured

individuals (as persons or domestic animals) in a relatively painless way for

reasons of mercy. The word is Greek and means “easy death.”

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This can be a simple as someone withholding care or taking part

in the act of ending someone’s life. Notice how people and animals are lumped

together?

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2. Assisted Suicide –

: suicide committed by someone with assistance from another person;

especially : physician-assisted suicide

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This is a specific plan where a doctor provides the means for a person to administer

drugs or an act that will allow the individual to end their own life. Something

they could not otherwise do on their own.

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Thank you Merriam-Webster.

Immediately the battle cries were out for an appeal of this decision.

How can we allow these people who have suffered so much the “easy” way out???

Well I’ve got a thought for you. If you are saying the Court will not allow

anyone to take part in an action that will result in the death of another person, then they better get a lot more vigilant about methamphetamine dealers and producers, because THAT, my friend, is how a lot more people are going to die at the hand of another person.

It’s not like I don’t have a grasp on the concept of suicide. It has come close enough to me to know that there are times when I can see it is not the right option. There is pain and suffering for the family members left behind. But when we are looking at cases like this, how can it be a bad thing? Instead of an indefinite period of time where your family stands vigil for you, watches you waste away, is forced to have their last memories of you be tainted by the ravages of the disease that will ultimately claim you, you can have your time, prepare and allow a more humane procedure take place. Less drugs. Less hospital time. Less drama. Less trauma.

This topic first came to light in a big way back in 1992 when Sue Rodriguez, also suffering from ALS and living in Victoria, B.C., challenged the ban. She was denied the right to an assisted suicide, but in 1994, she was successful in finding an anonymous doctor who would help and she was given her assisted suicide that year.

“If I cannot give consent to my own death, whose body is this? Who owns my life?” she asked. (cbc.com June 15, 2012)

Indeed. Who?

Blind, Deaf and Dumb Justice

I realize I don’t usually post this often, but I had to comment on this. 

What if you were told you had to give up 10 years of your life? There really isn’t a “great” decade to give up, but I can tell you the 10 years I know I couldn’t live without – 16-26.

During this time, I completed my college education, met my husband, married him, got my first job, first car and first house, along with my first child. I made friendships that have lasted to this day, and said goodbye to people who passed away. These were all significant events that led to me becoming the person I am today.

Now, imagine those years were taken from you for no. good. reason.

That would mean you are Brian Banks.

 

Brian’s story broke yesterday and today. It is chilling.

In 2002 he was a 16 year-old high school student who had a promising career in football. He had a full scholarship to USC and had no reason to believe he wouldn’t be playing in the NFL. He was going to live The Dream.

But 15-year-old Wanita Gibson had other plans. She told authorities that Brian kidnapped and raped her. He was brought up on charges and thanks to a brutal “Justice” system, and the joke that is “Innocent Until Proven Guilty”. On poor legal advice, (he was told he’d get 18 months instead of 40 years a finding of guilt) he pleaded No Contest, which meant he could take a plea deal. His lawyer felt the court would throw the book at a big, black teenaged male. Except it wasn’t 18 months…..

The kicker is – there was no evidence. This was strictly a He Said – She Said. Why did she level the allegation? All that has been revealed is that it was something he said, that she didn’t like. Certainly not anything worthy of what he received.

So he went to a State Penitentiary. Adolescence over. Dreams evaporated. Life on hold.

Until now. He is 26.

Wanita reached out to her “attacker” through facebook. It’s remarkable that she had the nerve to do this after her deceit, but the depths of her reprehensible behaviour were not limited to this. Amazingly, Brian accepted her friendship request. She then told him that she had lied about the attack, and hoped they could move past it. “Let bygones be bygones.”

*crickets*

What.

The.

HELL?!

It would seem that the “victim” in this crime had fared well. Follow Brian’s conviction and incarceration, Miss Thing decided to sue the high school where the “incident’ took place for lack of security (methinks cameras would have been helpful to prove Brian’s innocence – do YOU see the irony?) and was awarded $1.5 million.

Yup – that my friends, is rock bottom. Money taken out of an already taxed education system to reinforce the lie that ruined a man’s life.

While Brian Banks’ case was immediately taken on by California Innocence Project. Regardless, Brian was branded a convict, and a sex offender. He missed his prom, his chance to be a college star and what most likely would have been a promising career in the National Football League. I don’t want to think about the experiences he did have, thanks to the education he received in jail.

The first injustice is what has happened to Brian Banks. The second is to women all over the world who actually have suffered through kidnapping and sexual assault. It takes a great deal of strength to stand up to someone who has violated you and this woman has added insult to injury.

So what should happen to Wanita Gibson?

In a perfect world, an eye for an eye would apply. She could sit in a jail for the better part of 10 years. She could miss out on the life experiences and day to day existence she has enjoyed while Brian Banks was holed up in a cell. She sure as hell needs to pay back the $1.5 million she obtained fraudulently.

But we don’t live in a perfect world.

As a mother, I’m horrified that my son, only two years younger than Brian was when convicted, could have his entire future hijacked by a vengeful girl. As a woman, I’m embarrassed to think that others of my gender are capable of such hateful and destructive behaviour. We cannot be so naive to think that this scenario would never happen. Gender blackmail is an ugly concept that is employed far too frequently.

Brian Banks says he has no ill will toward Wanita Gibson. He seeks no revenge. He is a better person than I, and a saint compared to her. He has said he would like to attempt a career in professional football, but the odds are against him.

I would hope one team would take a chance on him, and give him the chance. After all, doesn’t he deserve it?