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Posts Tagged ‘hostility’

        Oh I forgot about this, a couple of weeks ago i watched the ABC television show Wife Swap.  Normally i do not watch this show as it is a bit too over the top dramatic for me .  I don’t know why I ended up watching this time, but I did.   I probably shouldn’t have because it was outrageous and offensive to me.  This is one wife swap drama that  they probably shouldn’t have televised.

         The one husband appeared to be an elitist…a snob of a royal kind.  He was rude, insulting…condescending and very emotionally cruel to the wife that was swapped to his home.  He came across as a total jerk.  He tried to change the game halfway through the program.  He refused to change the rules or activities like other families do during the second week; he threatened to stop the show, he ignored the swapped wife; and, he encouraged his children to do the same. 

        If you have never seen this show… it is a show where two families swap wives/mothers with each other.  Of course, the families for dramatic reasons are two exact opposites when it comes to lifestyles or practices.   When the women change places…they do as the family normally does the first week….during the second week, everything changes and the women implement changes/rules that they think would better or improve that family.

         This particular show, Stephen Fowler, was openly hostile, rude, emotionally critical, verbally abusive and controlling.  He made statements about middle  class Americans who he referred to as Rednecks.  He called the “wife” fat, lazy, ignorant, stupid…etc.  He insulted her education.   It crossed the boundaries of dramatic television and entered into nothing but abusive conduct, in my opinion.

        It seems that Mr. Fowler is now experiencing a huge backlash about his conduct and his wounding words.  Rightly so!  He tried to be so superior to everyone and everything that he came across to be very boorish.  I thought his wife, in retrospect, was fairly decent in her dealings with her family that she was swapped to; for the most part, at least until she was reunited with her husband. 

          At first, when his behavior came to light, during the meeting between families at the end of the show…she appeared to be somewhat ashamed of the things  when she was told of what he said and did.   Still, a person who conducts themselves so very openly and unapologetically towards another person…has to have exhibited that sort of behavior before,  i would think.  How could anyone allow their children to be raised around that level of contempt and disrespect for others?  How will those children relate to others in the future? 

        I thought to myself, if I were his wife…i would be ashamed to show my face because people would know what kind of a man she had married.   I would wonder if people thought that I thought the same things about others that her husband appeared to believe.   I also thought, a man who appeared to be filled with such contempt for others should not be allowed to have so much influence on young children’s minds  (he and his wife had children there who watched how he treated the swapped wife).    He was demonstrating cruelty to another fellow human being; simply because he thought she deserved his contempt.   

          But at the end of the show, both Mr. Fowler and his wife,  left me feeling glad that I no longer had to listen to him.  I really though that he could win an award for the most offensive person on television that week for sure; if someone would take a vote.

        I guess Mr and Mrs. Fowler’s neighbors are frustrated because people are driving by their home and pointing; and, someone even egged the Fowler’s home.  Someone has been passing out fliers with the Fowler’s name, address, and pictures on it.  These things are not ok.    Of course, the neighbors did nothing wrong…so this of course, affects them too.

         This printing of fliers, finger pointing traffic, and egging  is considered harassment.    Of course, no one should condone harassment or violence towards anyone…however, Mr. Fowler certainly struck a chord with many people.  It would appear that by his own words he behaved like a jerk and people were not ok with that.  

          Most people who have such a strong opinion towards others learn to keep it to themselves; or, find a more appropriate way to express themselves; rather than going on national television.    This past week, it was announced that Prince Harry, of Great Britain, is going to be taking sensitivity training because of something that he said about another person.   It would appear that being sensitive towards those who are different, from ourselves, is something many of us could benefit from.

        

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      Comedian Bill Maher appears to have made it a footnote of his career to openly show his contempt for religion; his comedy routines have had a biting edge to many topics pertaining to faith.  He has now made a movie about that very subject… it is a movie that expresses his thoughts that religious beliefs are dangerous and ridiculous.  The movie which is opening in theaters on Friday is called, Religulous.  Bill Maher hopes to open up conversations where others feel comfortable expressing their disbelief, as well as making the viewers laugh.  I am sure he wouldn’t mind making a buck or two off of the whole enterprise either!

       In my mind, religion is not a laughing matter.  Whenever i have watched Bill Maher perform on television, in years past…i was stunned to hear the barely controlled contempt, whenever he would subject the viewers to his views on religion.  I don’t think anything is so terrible about people having differing viewpoints on the subject of religion…but, i do think it is wrong for someone to mock another for their personal religious beliefs.  I think it comes down to a matter of respect.  At the very least, you can agree to disagree without turning to put downs or insults.

       Out of fairness, Bill Maher did allegedly make an attempt to be an equal opportunity offender to all religions in the movie.  He mocks Christianity, Judaism, and Islam allegedly in the movie.  Other religions would have presumably gotten the same treatment if it had not cost so much to do the additional traveling.  After all, there are many different religions around the world and the world is a very big place.

         I will agree with Bill Maher on one thing…religion can be dangerous for those who mock; or are in some way, regarded as a threat to those who hold radical religious viewpoints.  Religions are made up of many different people.   Those people are a microcosm of all areas of society; and, in each of those areas of humanity, there are people who will brook no difference of viewpoint from their personal value system. 

          Respectful individuals will try to discuss their beliefs with one another when there is a difference of opinion trying to persuade the other person with theological discourse on the subject.    Serious repercussions begin to take shape when you think about someone with a mental illness who feels the need to defend their religion.  In that situation, you could potentially have a recipe for disaster.  There are other individuals who will go to any extreme, including terrorism, to make their religious views known to others.  There are elements in any society, of religious extremism.  One must take care to respect each other’s right to believe differently if that person has hope of being treated with respect themselves…even, their right to not believe at all.

        Quite a few years ago, there was a huge threat directed towards a man named Salman Rushdie.   He is an author that wrote a book that offended some Muslims, called The Satanic Verses in 1988.  Some  protested his book, and there were many threats upon his life because of the content in the book.  He was forced to live in hiding for quite a period of time. 

         In making a film on the subject of mocking multiple religions, i think that Bill Maher has provided an irresponsible and inflammatory situation which could draw radical attention towards his movie.  If and when it causes conflict, then he can stand back as a witness to the “crazy and dangerous” effect of religion upon society.  I wish that Mr. Maher had found a different way to express himself and his viewpoint on religion; instead of, filming a movie which could negatively impact so many people.  It is quite an easy thing to incite people when they feel that their core values are under attack.  It will surprise me greatly if you dont see protests regarding this movie, all over the news.

         I’ve noticed that there are other comedians who often take hostile swipes at things pertaining to religious subjects.  I remember hearing about Kathy Griffen at some awards ceremony or another, saying something to the effect that, Jesus had nothing to do with her success.  Another comedian who comes across as offensive, to me at least, on the subject is Jimmy Kimmel.  I think there is a fine line between love and hate…and religion brings that line into focus.  Part of the dual edged sword of celebrity is that you have a platform to sway public opinion…but you also bear a personal responsibility in what you put out there when you do espouse a certain opinion.

         One has to wonder, where all of the anger and hostility comes from.  I have heard that anger issues are the opposite side of the coin when it comes to comedians…they take their anger and use humor as a tool to get their message across to the audience.  Humor can often take a sour slant on a subject and make it more palatable to the masses because it is put in a way that people find a little easier to listen to.  But, just because something can be made into a punch line, doesn’t mean that it should be.   Anger seems like such a waste of energy.   When you have a talent for making people laugh, it seems that it could be better used for something more positive than spreading hostile rhetoric used to offend others. 

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         Today the interview with Christina Applegate aired which told of her diagnosis of breast cancer…she apparently has the breast cancer gene BRCA1.  She seems very upbeat and proactive in her approach.  Her mother is a breast cancer survivor…so, Christina has been getting testing since she was thirty years old…she is 36 now.  So she knew early on that she was to remain vigilant in her testing because of family history.  This is a good thing because she was able to be diagnosed very early.

        Christina chose to be very proactive and had a double mastectomy.  It sounds as though people with BRCA1 are at more of a risk of developing cancer in the fallopian tubes, ovaries, or the prostrate.  It is thought that with the BRCA1 gene (there are over 600 mutations that researchers have discovered) that it some how develops a protein that doesn’t work properly to suppress tumor development. 

           In reading some of the comments left on ABC’s website in regards to the interview Robin Roberts did with Christina…some of the people were skeptical of her declaring herself 100% cancer free.  Many of the commenters are cancer survivors who also thought themselves free of cancer and they have been through multiple levels of treatment and surgeries.  If it is an encouragement to herself then, so what?  Encouragement and discouragement are seperated by just a breadth of a hair width! I think the consensus is that after only a month; some of them felt it was irresponsible of her to say that she is cancer free.  While i understand that it is a milestone for her to say that and feel it…it is important to also remind people…that being cancer free after a bout with cancer is about remaining vigilant; about testing, and, about follow up with proper medical advice and guidance.  Christina is not an ignorant person…she is just choosing to focus on the positives of the moment.  What cancer patient doesn’t try to do that?  It is a survival skill to be thankful for the positive things in a negative situation!

          Some of the commentors were just a little shy of hostility…some, i think were hinting that she is in denial…there were also, well wishers.  What i liked when i heard the interview, was that Christina is pledging to work towards raising funds to go towards funding genetic testing and MRI’s, for those who can’t afford it, which is extremely helpful in early detection.  She is also going to be involved in a televised special called “Stand Up To Cancer” which will include many “stars”.  Raising awareness and funds, i believe will be the goal. 

            One thing to remind ourselves of, is that cancer doesn’t discriminate between people of wealth and those who have none.  It is an equal opportunity destroyer.  However, finances can make all of the difference in diagnosis, treatment; and, the ability to eat right to heal; as well as, having enough money to afford insurance and transportation to and from medical appointments.   This is all real life issues for people around the world. 

        Let’s remember for Christina, this is all new…she just had the surgery 3 weeks ago.  If she is choosing to be hopeful and positive that is a good thing.  Yes, to be fair…not everyone has the money to get the diagnostic testing available to her…nor, are most people able to get surgery scheduled so quickly and have “experts” on treatment available for immediate consultation.  Let’s not begrudge her, or anyone, that blessing.  

          Christina is saying that she will have reconstructive surgery and have “cute boobs when she is 90”.  Many people don’t have the funds for that either…Christina is blessed and i think she is aware of that.  It is unfortunate that we all don’t have that financial blessing as well.   In an ideal world, any person afflicted with the disease would be able to choose treatment and reconstruction without regard for cost; unfortunately, it is sad that it is not so! 

           It is hard enough going through diagnosis, treatment and the physical and emotional ups and downs without being able to have reconstruction surgery if you want it.  Grieving the loss of your breasts is very natural but, if you want the reconstructive surgery and can’t afford it; it only adds to the pain and loss.  Healing is more than body; it is mind and spirit as well.  Christina will understand that in giving interviews, sensitivity directed towards other patients who aren’t as blessed financially is important too.  Of course, none of us knows what was edited out of the interview, by others, because of time constraints…all i am saying is, give benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise.    Here is a link to a foundation that Christina is behind:  http://www.rightactionforwomen.org/

        What Christina has going for her is her youth, early diagnosis, family support, and a platform to educate young women that they are at risk even though they are young.  I say, don’t bring doom and gloom on her for how she handles her health.  Yes, she can educate in a variety of ways…and as long as she has a platform; she needs to do her best to pass accurate information on to others if she is going to address the issue.  It is wise to point out, that she says she was not ready to go public with the information about her battle with breast cancer…but as always…rogue media was breaking the news and they were also publishing random rumors, many without truth.  She felt the need to correct those. 

         People should have a right to privacy if they choose it in regards to their personal private health information.  As she adjusts to the changes in her life, she has the ability to be an amazing advocate for cancer patients.  In the meantime, wish her well…help her fund-raise to educate, inform, and enable those who cannot afford genetic testing and MRI’s which both can be very expensive and exclude many patients from taking advantage of them.  

          Life is too short to spread negativity…in your own life as well as the lives of others.  Cancer is a thief and has stolen enough from us all…let’s channel energy into fighting the real enemy…Cancer!  See also:  https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/08/18/christina-applegate-robin-roberts-interview/ or topic related to breast cancer:  https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/03/19/triple-negative-breast-cancer/ or https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/05/16/women-are-dying-for-size-of-level-d-when-it-comes-to-breasts/

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      Talk about a intense flare up of a conversation.  This week on The View, a conversation took place that was shocking in it’s intensity between the races.  The show got onto the topic of conversation of using the “N” -word because of a conversation recorded between (Reverend and i use the term lightly here, only as a matter of clarifying which Jackson made the comment) Jesse Jackson and another person.   Jesse Jackson, Jr. was horrified that his father made such statements; and publicly chastised him for doing so. 

          In that conversation, Jesse Jackson made a couple of inappropriate comments regarding Barack Obama.

      It seems that Jesse Jackson takes issue with the way that Sen. Obama speaks to the African American population.  He said it made him want to rip off his n–s.  Then later, it was also revealed that he allegedly, also used the other “N”- word. 

       On the view, Elisabeth Hasselback made a comments saying, that she felt it was inappropriate to use that word in private or in public.  Wow, did the other “ladies” of the view take issue with her. (more…)

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