Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I just watched a crowd of people jeering at a man who said he was ill with Parkinsons. The mob facing this man, who was sitting on the ground, yelled at him about handouts. One man lectured him, saying "If you're looking for a handout, you're on the wrong end of town. There's nothing for free over here, you have to work for everything you get." Another tossed money at him as he sat holding a sign saying he needs help.

Is this truly what we have become in this country? Have we actually come to a place where such callousness and brutality against our fellow citizens is accepted and cheered? What has happened to us here?

I encountered this obscenity having just come back from a short visit with my father. He is 92 now, increasingly weak, very frail. He is pale, unsteady on his feet, and his memory has deteriorated dramatically in the last few months. My precious daddy is finally, truly old, and I don't think he'll be with us much longer.

My father is ill. He needs help, he does. He is blessed to have social security and Medicare, bank accounts, plus a supplemental health care policy, thanks to good fortune in education, work, talent, and being able to save a little money. Despite a lifetime of saving, though, his financial situation is worrisome. Last year, some thieves at Lehman Brothers waltzed away with a sizeable chunk of the money he worked a lifetime to accumulate.

I picture my father sitting on the ground in the condition he's in, holding a sign saying "I'm elderly, weak, and sick. I need help," while people mock him for his frailty. I see my husband, who was so desperately ill for four long years early in this godforsaken century: sweet Mike, 120 pounds of him, skeletal, wasting, so close to death. I imagine people scoffing at him for his weakness, for having become sick, as if it could not happen to any one of us.

On the way back from Ponca City, we passed workmen on the road, and a work truck flying a big American flag. I realized when I saw it that I have grown ashamed of my country. I am ashamed to live in a place where compassion is derided. I am disgusted to belong to a nation so insistent that our values are Christian, where so many who claim Christ use the Bible as a weapon. I am apalled when people boast of American exceptionalism while condemning and ridiculing those in need.

Maybe it's my frame of mind today. It's gray again, and cold. I've spent a couple of hours sitting across the table from my failing father, and I've watched my fellow Americans angrily jeering a man who says he is sick, mocking his weakness, his need. I've seen the red, white, and blue of my country's flag blowing in the wind and I wonder if it means anything at all anymore.

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Blogger Unknown said...

It's so friggin pathetic, I am actually unable to respond to such brazen hostility to a human being who has done nothing wrong.

Sick fuckin' bastards can kiss my brown ass..twice.

March 17, 2010 8:45 PM  
Blogger Spouse Walker said...

We all have our days Lynette. It always begins within. I have no worries about compassionate people as long as i know there are people like you around. Don't fret. It's cyclical.

March 18, 2010 12:24 AM  
Blogger Debbi said...

I saw that on television last night and it made me sick. I want to know who raised these people, where did they come from? I've met some of them (at last summer's health care town hall meetings) and it's appalling how rude and insensitive they can be in their righteousness.

March 18, 2010 6:20 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Lynette, I put this up as todays Feature at Sirens. ;)

March 18, 2010 9:07 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

How did we come from electing Obama and having hope for our country to this ugliness in just a short period of time? It feels like a horror movie, where the monsters come rushing out from under the rocks and take over everyone's brains....they become a mindless group of hecklers and teabaggers who are ruled by a god I don't recognize........and then we have to feel proud?

March 18, 2010 12:32 PM  
Blogger Spouse Walker said...

These are the same people who profess to be so concerned about Granny being snuffed out right?

March 18, 2010 4:25 PM  
Blogger BigAssBelle said...

Dusty, I just don't know where these fuckheads get their sense of invincibility. I remember feeling really happy and confident that all would be well before Mike got sick, but never invincible. Or may be they're as stupid as I think they are and they simply cannot imagine themselves ever having to struggle. Whatever it is, I despise them. And thank you for the Sirens thing, sweetie.

Ewe, you know how to look on the bright side. I know it's not everyone, but some days it feels like it.

Debbi, I don't know who raised them, but many of them come from church. How the hell did that happen? Oh wait, I do remember those lessons in parochial school: "When you see someone suffering, pelt him with ugly words, and whatever else you have at hand." What is that, the Gospel of Luke? I'm sure it's somewhere in that book they use to justify their ugliness.

Chris, I think it is the election of Obama that's fueled a lot of this. These people aren't new: They're the same angry, hostile people who think women belong on their backs and in the kitchen, and racial minorities have no business expecting more than the crumbs from massa's table. They are forever with us. Forever.

Ewe, that's them. Grandma's not shovel ready, but bury anyone of working age who can't anymore.

March 19, 2010 8:57 AM  
Anonymous Joe said...

It is really a sad situation, isn't it? I have to think these people themselves are in some kind of pain that has brought them to this state. I hope something makes a little bit of all this suffering go away, and I'm optimistic that maybe what Congress does this weekend will be a baby step in the right direction.

March 20, 2010 5:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.............................................

March 23, 2010 1:56 AM  
Blogger more cowbell said...

Lynette, I've been seeing this link online, and have not been able to click it. I'm just so sickened by what's been happening. These people are doing EXACTLY what they so harshly condemned then-candidate Obama for noticing: clinging to their guns and their god, and twisting both to meet the ideas they're twisting around in their minds. They are scary.

March 24, 2010 7:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2000, just before he turned 40. He will be disabled for the rest of his life. If there was any way to have avoided this, we would have done anything, but this is the hand he, and therefore I, have been dealt. I'm sure there are people who begrudge him every dime of disability he receives, but I'd like to remind them that my husband worked from the time he was 14 and has been paying into Social Security; he's just having to tap into his funds before he expected to. The man with Parkinson's who attended the so-called "tea party" and received such brutality from that madding crowd is a hero. He represents all the people in this country who are disabled and would prefer not to be, but is having to deal with the reality of a disease for which there is no cure. Oh, and btw, my husband watched that video too, and he took it personally.

March 31, 2010 6:36 PM  
Anonymous Tom said...

This reminds me of when I marched in an anti-war parade in 2003. As I was protesting our involvement in Iraq, I observed a group of fellow "anti-war" protestors begin to physically beat up on a peaceful counter-protestor. This stuff happens on both sides, and it's never pretty.

April 01, 2010 12:26 PM  
Blogger Radagast said...

Hmmm. I wonder what their God looks like, assuming that they believe they're pleasing Him, by this type of conduct...

Anyway, I dropped by to give you the Inspirational Blogger Award. I'm just writing the post, now, so maybe drop by tomorrow, to pick it up (


April 28, 2010 5:36 PM  
Anonymous Gringo Loco said...

Well spoken Belle. Take heart, though, the ten percent lunatic fringe has always been with us, and always will be.

May 03, 2010 10:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I empathize with Joe's comment, about the jeerers being in some kind of pain that brought them to this state. G-d knows I certainly don't condone their behaviour by any means, but my question is, "Who prints the currency and has made the U.S. the largest debtor nation in the world?" (I hasten to add that my country's government doesn't have an enviable track record, either.)

My take on it is that people know they work hard for their money and that government relieves them of far too much of what they've earned, allegedly to give to those in need. (This state of affairs has been going on since at least FDR's reign.) The money is used to fight wars, institute public works projects, distribute welfare, repair infrastructure, etc. Yet there are still millions of people like the Parkinson's sufferer -- who, by the way, is only one of the millions in need that taxpayers actually get to see, "up close and personal" -- who are clear evidence that taxpayer money is NOT doing all that government said it would.

I could wish that government would leave us with much more of what we earn as incentive to take better care of our own affairs. What better incentive could there be?

May 24, 2010 9:50 AM  
Blogger Marc Olson said...

I recently started reading your blog, and am delving backwards in time through your earlier posts. I enjoy your writing, and appreciate many of your sentiments. Keep writing!

May 27, 2010 1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: Hmmm. I wonder what their God looks like.

Skinney little jerk - can't get a date... eaten up with jealousy gone wrong - taking it out on folks who can't knock him on his butt

September 19, 2010 4:40 PM  
Blogger David said...

So eloquent, your anger. I hold on to the many good Americans I find on the blogosphere to negate this filth coming out of your riven country. Glad I came across this, and yet of course not glad at all. I don't think I can bring myself to watch the film.

November 04, 2010 7:06 AM  

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