When I was eight years old my father brought home home a long, rectangular cardboard box which he opened after dinner carefully
outside our front door. It was a clear night and warm as I recall and he removed from the box like a surgeon removing a baby from the belly of an unconscious woman during a cesarean section a long metal object with legs like a strange frozen spider, an arachnid made of metal.
Astonishingly to me, he set up this apparatus in front of our house on the brick patio still warm from the June sun in Connecticut.
I had no idea my father had the skill to produce a box of such wonder and then open it and set up an apparatus which apparently was designed to look at other planets and other worlds yet unknown to us six children.
It was dark and my mother Hubbeled for a while but then slipped into the house and we were left on the front patio with my father and the apparatus and the warm June night which made anything believable.
My brother turned to me and said “ Look through the telescope and you will see the moon. The craters in the moon are caused by ricochets from bullets in the second world war.”
I remember thinking then that war did tremendous damage.
It never occurred to me that he wouldn’t tell me the truth just as it never occurs to me now that people lie.
Looking back, the awe and magic that moment inspired In me was something
I thought of for a long time.
If guns could cause damage to things that could only be seen from telescopes produced from cardboard boxes our fathers brought home, why did they exist?
In reviewing the death of Tyler Clementi with friends and family, everyone had an opinion on what should be done to the two students who caused his sexual encounter to be publically broadcast and his resulting suicide. Some felt his death would be punishment enough for the two young people believing their lives would never be the same. The majority, however, felt there should be some type of retribution for this death paid by the two students who intentionally bullied Tyler.
A friend of mine, Joanne, invented a new term which seems apt to me. “Psychological manslaughter”.
We have Vehicular manslaughter, why not psychological manslaughter? I can think of many crimes this term might be attributed to. People who have been cruel to other people , abused others verbally, played tricks on them, manipulated and ignored others….the list goes on and on. The net result was the suicide of the tormented person. The crime of causing the suicide of Tyler deserves a conviction. If these two individuals had not been students at Rutgers, Tyler would still be alive.
Psychological manslaughter would be an accurate description of what happened in this case. I hope the courts consider the facts and consider a punishment that fits the crime. Bullying seems to be escalating in all age groups but particularly the young. Setting a boundary of acceptable behavior would be a good thing.
Larry Rivers From the Grave: Another case of sexual abuse
All right, guys, let’s be honest here. Larry Rivers was a well-known artist who left his estate in the hands of a foundation. The foundation gave most of his work to NYU. When NYU found there were films in the collection of River’s young daughters that the daughters wanted returned to them because of the very personal nature of the films, NYU did the right thing and returned the films. They didn’t return them to the daughters, however, but to the foundation.
The Foundation in charge of Larry Rivers’s estate refuses to return to his daughters films that Rivers made when the girls were 11 because they might be of value. These films were of his daughters who are partially naked and Rivers questions the daughters in the films about their changing bodies. The daughters have now asked for the return of these films and are having a hard time getting them back. NYU has done the right thing and returned them to the foundation but the foundation refuses to take the final step and give them back to River’s daughters. The daughters are waiting and still reliving their childhood experience in all its inappropriate and manipulative behavior by a parent.
Why is this difficult decision for the Larry Rivers Foundation? The foundation board is probably made up of men as it would be hard to believe a group of women would hear this story and allow the films to be kept and viewed as “art”. If these films are thought to be art then what about all the child pornography on the internet. Is this art as well? Are we as a society so bent on preserving art that we can’t discern between what is sexual abuse and what is art? If the victims of the crime report it and are still told they can’t have the evidence back, what kind of society are we running here?
These young girls were manipulated by their narcissistic and perverted father under the umbrella of “ART” and now deserve to be left in privacy with the evidence of his abuse and manipulation buried forever. Shame on the Larry Rivers Foundation for carrying on like this. Their only motive can be greed which is the usual suspect in all cases like this.