I made a new friend last week and she suggested I watch Skins (British, not MTV) because it was addictive and she was now obsessed with it. I can understand show addiction (south park anyone?) but I kept forgetting to watch it. She reminded me again on Thursday and I’ve been watching it on netflix ever since. She was not kidding, I’ve been up til 3 am for the past two days watching it. I made it through two seasons already but I wanted to talk about one scene that really struck me. It was in the season one finale, and it’s involves Maxxie (the only openly gay kid in the grew), Anwar (the Packistani muslim) and his father. I guess this may be a spoiler but the show aired in 2007, so meh.
Anyway, Maxxie and Anwar got into a huge fight because Anwar suddenly decided he couldn’t be cool with Maxxie being gay based on religious reasons and Maxxie wasn’t going to have that from an alchol-drinking, drug-taking, premarital-sexing-having hypocrite. On Anwar’s birthday, Maxxie calls to wish him a happy birthday. Anwar invites him to the party but Maxxie won’t come unless Anwar is honest with his parents and tells them that he is gay. Understandable, Anwar is hesitant.
Throughout the episode Anwar’s dad asks him Maxxie, where is he and how much he likes him. Anwar can’t spit it out. Later Maxxie stands outside the party but won’t go in. Anwars looks for him but doesn’t see him. Later Anwar calls Maxxie to share some good news and finds him outside. Maxxie still won’t come inside. Just then the dad comes out and talks to Maxxie, and this is when Anwar finally gets the balls to tell his dad Maxxie is gay. His talks talks right over this, so Maxxie tells him himself. His dad pauses, smiles and then says:
It’s a fucking, stupid, messed up world. I’ve got my God, he speaks to me every day. Some things I just can’t work out, so I leave them be. OK? Even if I think they are wrong because I know one day he’ll make me understand. I’ve got that trust. It’s called belief. I’m a lucky man.
Now I know, I know, it’s just TV. But I’ve just got to hope that some time soon more people can take this attitude. You don’t have to like it, but let it be. And maybe if you’re mature enough, you can try to understand it. When I think of David Katu and other gay people in Uganda and other African countries, people having to prove their gayness to stay in America, hell, adults making fun of the princess boy, I get so sad. All this hatred and violence, based on religious ideals, because people can’t put enough faith in their God and that he has a plan that it’ll all make sense some day. It’s wild, wild world dude.
So by now I’m sure you’ve hear of Dr. Gosnell and his house of horrors.
The other night I spent a few hours reading through the grand jury report about the case. To put it midly, it is horrifying. Dr. Gosnell has been running this sorry excuse for a medical center for approximately 30 years. What really surprises me is that he was busted for drugs – not for murdering Karnamaya Mongar in 2009, not for running an abortion clinic so terrible that local agencies stopped referring clients to him, but for being the third largest oxycotin distributer in the state.
We all know that America doesn’t care about poor people and immigrants, but really?
And while I’m sure pro-lifers are going to jump all over this, the issue really is not abortion. Late term abortion is illegal. But what Dr. Gosnell was doing wasn’t abortion, it was murder. In late term abortions, the fetus never gets a chance to breath. It is killed before it fully exits its mother’s body. But not at The Women’s Medical Society. The grand jury reports numerous live births, in some cases the infants were alive for up to twenty minutes before Dr. Gosnell and his staff murdered them. And the murders were barbaric – snipping spinal cords with scissors? There are better ways, hell we put down stray animals more humanely than that.
Initially I was confused how mothers could sit by and watch that. Surely you don’t need that much education to understand how Dr. Gosnell was performing these abortions was incorrect. But then I read about how his untrained staff administered the anestesia and tried to keep the women knocked out during the births so that they would be still and quiet. Apparently the running practice was to get the women in during the day, induce labor and have them sit around the office all day until the doctor came in at night to finish the job. By the time the doctor came, some women had already given birth.
The whole thing is a nightmare. I’m sad for the women who had no other options but to go to this doctor. He overcharged them, hid his numerous mistakes (like leaving pieces of aborted fetuses inside the women’s bodies and puncturing internal organs) and kept them from getting any real medical help when they were in trouble (in the grand jury report there are at least 2 instances), and he murdered two women. I would have thought one woman dying in his clinic would have been enough for a thorough review of the clinic, but no. Apparently some people had reported the clinic to , but no one followed up.
While I would like to imagine the Dr. Gosnell is the only doctor who preys on poor women, I know he is not. I’m scared for other doctors that continue to fly under the radar. While I can appreciate a doctor breaking the law to help someone in need, I cannot appreciate what Dr. Gosnell did. I know that the new health care bill does not include provisions to immigrants, but hopefully low-income women can get assistance they need in a sanitary, safe and caring environment.
I decided to spend this New Years alone because I wanted to get a jump start on my personal plans for the next year. I know that 2011 will be a year of a lot of personal development, maybe even more than this year.
For me, this year is all about happiness. As some who has struggled with depression for years (that’s a whole different post), 2010 was the first year that I spent more time feeling happy or ok than depressed. This was especially surprising because this has also been the year that I put myself out there with more men than before (and more often than not, it ended in heartbreak. lots of heartbreak). Anyway, a lot of this happiness is a direct result of an intentional change in the way I think. This year, I made a point to think more positively, to visualize what I want, and to put it out into the universe (yes, I live by The Secret and now, The Power).
In addition to happiness, this year is also about love and gratitude. Something I’ve been doing is writing love letters to my friends, basically telling them how much I love them and that they are appreciated. This year I plan on spending more time with my family. They are my biggest cheerleaders, they are always happy to hear from me and forgive me for all my faults – mainly my flakiness. This year I also plan on working on my relationship with my father. It is significantly better than it was just a few years ago, but I know he wants to talk more and spend more time.
2011 is already looking promising. I finally get to go to Paris, although it’s for a conference, I know I’ll be able to sneak a lot of sight seeing into this trip. (note to self: reread Black Girl in Paris) Also my mom is coming so it’s exciting to start checking things off her bucket list.
I’ve got a better grip on silkscreening so the t-shirts are coming along smoothly. It’s actually pretty easy to get custom orders and I already have a design that will sell pretty well. It’s pretty incredible how supportive my friends are about this, very humbling.
And finally, I plan on putting a huge dent in my dissertation. My presentation for Paris is a chapter from my dissertation. I have a few people that I can interview for my qualitative section of my dissertation. And essentially when I finish the boys quantitative section, it will be pretty easy to do the girls section. The tutorial I took last semester provided me with a lot of the theory section. I’m really starting to think I can actually finish this by 2013. #holla
Happy New Year.