Tens of thousands of children die every single day from preventable diseases. It’s a horrible fact we’ve all allowed ourselves to live with. Of course, these children are Others, neither “cute” nor “white.” They are Them, rather like all the people tortured by Bush and Company, many of whom, you’ll recall, ended up being released from Abu Ghriab and Gitmo because they happened to be rounded up with the usual suspects. Of course you can find the same denial of humanity to the poor and black in this country, upon whom many a politician has been elected to office promising to be “tough on crime.” It’s a deeply disturbing characteristic, one that ultimately leads to torture, murder, and people who blow themselves up in an effort to kill others.
Meanwhile, little Madeleine, the British child kidnapped in Spain, has her picture posted all over Cobble Hill. I can imagine the stares I’d get if I started looking closely at all the cute white tots in this neighborhood to see if any of them looked like her.
Creepily, Madeleine’s parents met with the Pope today. Is there any other institution that’s been more disastrous to children than the Catholic Church? From the Children’s Crusade (most ended up sold as slaves) to kidnapping and forcibly converting Jewish children to imprisoning young women in “Magdalen Laundries” to molesting and raping generations upon generations of children and young adults, the record’s one long crime. (This litany doesn’t take into account the insidious warping of adults that results from the Church’s ruinous teachings on human sexuality.)
Earlier today, at 5th Avenue and Union Street I saw a guy with a very fine straw hat. As I approached I was going to ask him where he got it, but then he started tearing off all the fliers on the streetlight. Uh-oh, one of those people. He fit the type perfectly: with a cold set to his pale, righteous face; I immediately thought of Bernie Goetz. I passed the psychonebbish without a word.