I am often behind on popular culture. Perhaps watching Seinfeld reruns for too long has not
Breaking Bad IFT
helped. I recently finished swallowing “Orange Is The New Black.” Right now, I am just catching up with “Breaking Bad.” I am hooked.
A few days ago, I was watching IFT (I know, Season3, Episode 3, shown in April 2010! ) and a scene got me thinking. Skyler knows everything about her husband underground activities and does not want to have anything to do with him anymore. He however cannot fathom living separated from his family and he is back home, talking to his son, Walt Junior, who could not be happier. She urges him to leave the premises. He refuses. She calls the cops.
The cops step in and ask what happened. Has her husband been violent? Nope. Skyler will not lie. She will also not reveal to Walt Junior that his dad is a drug “producer.” She will tell her shrink later that since Walt has lung cancer, she hoped “things could resolve from their own momentum” (as George Constanza said to Jerry once), that is she could separate and not tell Junior the truth about his dad. The cops are almost sorry, but there is nothing they can do for her. Walt stays home.
What struck me is that although Skyler is a decent person, she calls the cops. That’s now part of female DNA. That’s just what you do when you want your spouse, violent or not, removed. That’s one of the services cops provide: to remove undesired partners from home.
I have no data to back me up but I bet that other things being equal (holding personal decency and domestic violence constant), men don’t call cops that much to solve domestic problems. And I don’t see much progress if they were to catch up with women.
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I went to see “Light of Night” (directed by Mariana Carreño King) at Iati Theater, last Friday. It ‘s about the story of Stephanie (Ana Kaynes), who, at the beginning of the play, has Isabel (Florencia Lozano) come over. It is not totally clear who Isabel is for Stephanie; perhaps a lover, but Stephanie obstinately makes sure Isabel does not cross lines that are not very firmly drawn. During the second act, when Jim – Stephanie’s husband- appears, one learns that Stephanie has been kidnapped and starved by him.
The dialogues flew, the actors played well, thanks to a superb directing. Yet when I came out of the theater, I was nauseous and even more so that I did not know exactly why.
It occurred to me I had read the note from the playwright, Cecila Copeland, on the program upon entering the theater. This note tells us that her brother and herself were kidnapped by her father, who was convicted for the felony of child stealing. In her note, Mrs Copeland states she wants to revisit Persephone’s myth. Persephone is the daughter of Zeus and Demeter (the goddess of the earth). Persephone is abducted by Hades (the god of the underworld), who made her his wife. But Zeus is the boss: in Demeter vs Hades, he accommodates both parties: Persephone would spend the six winter months in the underworld with Hades and the six other months on earth helping her mother Demeter making the earth fecund.
My problem with Cecilia Copeland’s note and her retelling of the Persephone Myth along “modern gender politics” and “body identity” is as follows: men and fathers, same difference. They are all about controlling women’s sexuality they cannot handle for their own ends.
Can we get a break (and the Greeks too for that matter) ? My girls have been kidnapped from me, and Persephone and I, we are cool.
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Posted in Justice and the judiciary, Personal, tagged Amnesty International, Democracy Now, Florence Cassez, Herman Wallace, John Schwartz, Louisiana, Melissa Harris-Perry, Mumia Abou Jamal, the New York Times on October 6, 2013|
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Photo The Innocence Project
There are some stories, that once you become aware of, you have to do something about it. Like Mumia Abou Jamal’s, or Florence Cassez’s; they just haunt you. Even if you don’t do much, you have to do something. In the case of Herman Wallace, that’s too late for me. Herbert Wallace died on October 5 of this year of liver cancer.
Herman Wallace spent 41 years in jail for a crime he claimed he did not commit. Adding to the abomination, he served his sentence in solitary confinement: 41 years in 6 by 9 feet cell. One can find perhaps a superior level of horror in Louis XI (1423-1483)’s justice: the famously mean king of France is known for locking up political enemies in cells so small they could not stretch.
That Herman Wallace was able to live 41 years in such conditions is an hymn to life. Amnesty International, Democracy Now among others have denounced Herman Wallace’s detention conditions. The Louisiana justice system kept tottering until the end: on October 1, Wallace’s conviction was overturned, on the 4th, he was re-indicted.
One cannot but wonder if the best thing that can happen to Louisiana is a government shutdown that would prevent the justice system from functioning at all. Or let’s dream: a UN mandate over the Louisiana justice system, until reforms are implemented, from top to bottom.
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