Pulling the Plug

When I do shut down this blog, and it will happen sooner rather than later, I will put out an announcement and I will have an official shut down. This blog has been very little to very few, so stopping it won’t be terrible, and I think I am going to dedicate myself to an actual theater blog beginning in a month or so, which would make this redundant. But the title refers not to this blog, but to a woman I’ve never met on the other end of the U.S.

Of course I am going to land on the anti-conservative side of this one, because that’s where I land on everything, but this Terry Schiavo thing is pretty complicated. Her husband wants her to be dead, that’s for sure, and he has the right to ask for it, that again is legal. But he’s a creepy dude in a creepy set of circumstances, and, like all laws, if you have misgivings given a real-life circumstance, then you have to at least spend some time talking about it.

I won’t allow a gun in my house, and I believe that guns of a certain caliber should be restricted from the public, and this has led to some of the stupidest arguments I’ve ever had. “What if your mother was about to be raped at gunpoint? Won’t you wish you had a gun then?” Right. Somehow, a marrauding band of rapists is gonna find their way into some situation where it’s just me, just her and I am free to do anything I want in terms of defending myself while they are gonna go about with the raping. I mean, fine, you got me. If I was in a room, an excellent marksman and was allowed to spend a good deal of time aiming and the guy I was shooting at had signed an affadavit explaining that he *will*, beyond a shadow of a doubt, rape my mother unless I shoot him, then, sure, I guess I wish I had a gun.

But the Terry Schiavo thing is different. Here’s a woman who’s existence isn’t hurting anyone, but who also isn’t, y’know, cracking jokes or anything. Her husband’s got some kids with his girlfriend and he’s sick of her *still being there*. This isn’t a made-up stupid what-if, this is a situation where the laws on the book are serving to protect a pretty creepy thing.

She now has no use left except as a symbol, a symbol for people who want to rally around the protection of life on any level. Because allowing Schiavo to die means there are times when people can decide the *limits of possibility* on another person’s life, which sounds exactly like the abortion debate. Schiavo has as much self awareness as a zygote, it’s pretty easy to see why this is so important to people who believe abortion is murder.

Several asides really quickly. The people who are trying to keep Terry Schiavo alive are also supporters of the death penalty. They also are responsible for more than 100,000 deaths in Iraq. They also have thwarted every attempt at actual health care for Americans, to keep them out of this vegetative state. And Bush, when Governor of Texas, signed into law a bill that would allow the hospital to remove the feeding tubes *over the objection of the parents* of a person who was deemed impossible to resuscitate, and last weekend this law was put into action when an infant was allowed to starve to death in Texas.

But, that’s all just standard hypocrisy, I can think about this without worrying about motivation.

The fact is, as an adult, you enter into an agreement with the person you are marrying, and that person essentially becomes your equal in your life decisions. I know of couples where the husband doesn’t know what the wife makes in a year, where the wife doesn’t know exactly how the finances are put together, where they try to maintain as much separation legally and financially as possible, and that’s fine, y’know, whatever you do behind closed doors. But the fact is, legally, you are entitled to not just *know* what your wife is making, but you are entitled to all of her money. It’s yours as well. It’s both of yours. That’s marriage, legally, no matter how you define it.

Terry Schiavo got married, and when she did that, she changed her legal status. So, all of that standard hypocrisy aside, the worst is that these are the same people who support an ammendment to the constitution against same-sex marriage, and they call it “The Defense of Marriage Act”, yet, they want to take away this man’s legal right to make this decision. Gay people getting married does not affect my marriage, but if you take away my right to make decisions about my wife’s life when she is unconscious or unavailable, that *is* affecting my marriage.

If Jordana says to me, and her parents, “Shut it down, I want no part of it”, I don’t have to honor that. And I probably wouldn’t. This is a woman who, so far, has lived her life entirely in service to the people she loves, and maybe I’ll hold on for a few years. Maybe I won’t. But if her parents were saying “She said shut it down” I could just say, “I know, but she’s my wife. I get to decide.”

This is an issue where the legal responsibilities are being taken away from the person simply because the pro-life people don’t like his choice. Put simply, they hate his freedom, they hate that he is free to act on his rights. See, the whole “Anti-Abortion, Pro-Death Penalty” irony is a little laughable, it’s too obvious and rich to be much more than a guffaw, and it’s pretty easy to defend. Babies aint done nothin’ bad yet.

But the number of things that the religious right has attempted to do to curtail our freedom, while explaining away the terrorists as “haters of freedom” is a deeper kind of irony. These people hate Islam, but they actually *love* the idea behind Jihad. If there was a word in Christianity for “Holy War”, the right wing Christians would be waging it. And in my mind, it is a giant but not altogether unrecognizable jump from commercial jets hitting New York to military jets dropping bombs on Arabs. Irrational blood thirsty actions taken by men who hate opposition and the freedom to exercise that opposition.

And what is scary is that if any of these guys spent two hours having dinner with me and my friends, we’d be next on the list.