Friday Wrap-up

Writers as a group are cited as having a high rate of depression and anxiety. I can understand that. And particularly now when the publishing industry is in flux and morphing into heaven knows what.

I’m wondering if this is a natural, low-cost option:

The Thundershirt

Click to see the Thundershirt

The website says the Thundershirt is good for treating fear of thunder and fireworks, separation anxiety, travel anxiety, crate training, problem barking, hyperactivity, leash pulling and more. I don’t have all of those, but at $39.99, plus S&H, it’s cheaper than pills!

I looked at the sizing chart and think I can get away with a XXL. I’m not crazy about the flap across the neck though.

On a more serious note, Pat Robertson is taking a lot of heat for the advice ha gave a viewer of the 700 Club. In his opinion, if your spouse succumbs to Alzheimer’s disease, you should then be free to divorce the first spouse and remarry, as long as you provide for the first spouse.

Years ago, I read of a Christian couple in which the husband released his wife from their vows when he became bedridden from a debilitating, chronic–not terminal–disease. Not unlike Alzheimer’s. My problem with the notion of releasing one another from marriage vows is that covenant involves three beings. I don’t think a majority vote cancels the deal.

This morning I was cruising the channels and saw a morning “entertainment” show taking on this story. Of course they thought Robertson was a creep and terrible person for giving such advice. I think he’s dead wrong, but not a creep. The vows are until death, through all the triumphs and travails of life. Including aging and the wasting that comes with it.

As I was watching these people batting Robertson around, I considered that with a sympathetic screenwriter, a good director, a familiar and lovable actors, this story could be made into a Lifetime movie that would have them all looking thoughtful and mouthing how difficult the situation is, and how much pain is involved, and why doesn’t someone find a cure for Alzheimer’s anyway!! It would be even better if some of the cast or crew has a family member who went through the exact same thing so that they could tear up on the publicity tour.

The lesson here for writers is that story makes all the difference. An unpopular public figure stating their opinion can look like a hypocritical and heartless pronouncement . A well-crafted story has the poer to take that same subject matter, frame in a new light, giving it flesh, bones, and heart. As I said before, with the right framing, the naysayers would be in a bind and less forthcoming with their own pronouncements. And, if you chose to show the opposite side, the spouse staying in the marriage, there could be hope and nobility given to the issue.

We all live by stories. Writers even more so.

Have a good weekend.

Take care–Susan Kaye

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4 thoughts on “Friday Wrap-up

  1. Jennifer G.

    As always, food to chew on and things to think about! You are right. Some who polarizes like Pat Robertson would just give people a chance to get on their own soapbox. I think he is correct on some things, dead wrong on this one. “Entertainment” tv, is just that. They say what they say for attention. I do like the idea of someone writing this story. I think Nicholas Sparks did a pretty good job with “The Notebook” and with similiar “release me” vows (but NOW I can’t remember the title….arghh!) where the wife is in a coma. Gave me plenty of mental think food. I will say that I would never release my husband in that way and I dare say he would not either. This very much is a “till death separates us” marriage commitment we have.

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  2. Jennifer G.

    PS Your idea of a thunder shirt in XXL might just work. It might also help your feeling creepy about men following you on Twitter….. tee hee! Might be ANOTHER reason to not have twitter or facebook!

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  3. Gayle Mills

    Thoughtful post, as usual. I am certainly no authority on successful marriages, having failed thoroughly at that attempt myself. But I can’t help but think that to a society that increasingly devalues traditional marriage and encourages pursuit of individual happiness at all cost, the idea of seeing a marriage through to its conclusion, in sickness and in health, would have to be a most unpleasant, repugnant thought. And, anyway, isn’t that what government is for? To rescue us when we make unwise financial decisions, to shelter us when we can’t afford housing due to those decisions, and to grant us personal happiness when we find ourselves in situations that we don’t like. These difficult, end-of-life decisions seem tailor-made for government officials.

    And you are right on the money when it comes to presentation, Susan. Ideas that would have our backs up in a minute are carefully woven into the fabric of the programs we watch. It’s more than just a fair presentation of both sides of an issue. There is a “slant” to be defended, an audience to be educated, a voting populace to be indoctrinated.

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  4. Susan Kaye Post author

    Thank you Jennifer and Gayle for your thoughtful responses!

    One of my favorite commentators on current culture is a blogger and columnist, James Lileks. HERE, in a podcast, he is being interviewed about what used to be called middlebrow culture.

    His contention is that we no longer have an overarching culture but have fractured into a radical individualism facilitated by technology. And how it is being used, as you said, Gayle, to indoctrinate as much as entertain. Listen to the whole thing. He is hilarious; definitely mind candy for the thoughtful woman!

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Why yes, we DO want a piece of your mind. ;-)

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