Saturday, September 29, 2018

Sounds and Ultra-Sounds

This past week has been a time of public testimony and political posturing. We have witnessed perhaps the final gasp of the patriarchy in a naked abuse of power and contempt … and finally being called to account. Dr. Christine Ford’s emotionally raw recall of her traumatic event with its clarion ring of truth was in stark contrast to Brett Kavanaugh’s seemingly rehearsed vehemence and, at times, sputtering evasion. Sounds of authenticity and fury of denial.

At the same time Peggy and I have had a week of personal dread, anxiety and some relief. A series of scans and ultra-sounds revealed a tumor in her uterus. In a separate matter a biopsy came back positive for a lesion on her hand. The latter will be removed in a procedure on Tuesday. We await word from an oncological gynecologist for the former. One doctor cheered us with the opinion that it may well be something of long duration and benign.

Amazing how certain words can alter body chemistry. Benign is certainly one of them along with negative when it means something affirmative. Just as mass, malignant and metastasize send the neuro-transmitters into survival mode.  

The macro and micro have also come together for me in past years. The day JFK was shot in Dallas I had just returned from a doctor with the news that my daughter Janice was first diagnosed with possible congenital deafness. We had suspected but dispelled the notion. It was the day before her first birthday. 

The two events have been associated in my head ever since. 
I have also joined, in my mind, the assassination of Robert Kennedy with my daughter Lauren’s first encounter with juvenile arthritis in 1968. Her elevated sedimentation rate inflamed her joints just as our country felt to me like it was coming apart at the seams.

It makes me wonder if troubled times have a way of spreading across my entire landscape. No, I won’t allow it. Whether the Republicans have their way with this nominee or the next one on their list the tide of history shall ultimately prevail. Women are taking back their agency, their bodies. Sex between one consenting adult is done.

It is all of a piece. The sexual abuse. The tribunal of disbelieving men twisting a trauma into a political vendetta. And the intemporate nominee to the High Court. Each of Trump’s candidates is an anticipated vote to overturn Roe v Wade robbing women of their reproductive rights. Life is indeed sacred. That’s why we have birthdays. Pregnant women cannot ride in carpool lanes. We are not suddenly nine months older than we think we are. If Republicans really held life sacred they would not display calloused indifference for human life, once born. So-called Right-to-Life is a hoax wrapped in a cloak of bogus religiosity.

Forty-five years ago John Dean described a cancer growing in the Nixon White House. Today that virulence in the executive has metastasized into the Republican Senate. Grassley and Graham et al (except Sen. Flake) turned a deaf ear to Dr. Ford’s story and voiced outrage in defense of their client as if spokesmen for the Good Old Boys’ Club. They were the voice of male chauvinist porcines snorting in a vanishing mud. May predatory men and out-of-control cancer cells no longer have dominion.

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