Though I’m sure anyone interested in Malala Yousafzai already knows she is being treated in the U.K. and has a pretty good chance at surviving. How she came to be there is pretty well detailed here. I’ll admit that I struggled with this story for a pretty long time. Of course I was very glad to read about the various people who stepped up to help arrange/finance her relocation and medical treatment. Still, I can’t shake feeling troubled, not just by the circumstances, but also about my own, what, naivete? I have yet to find a path to compartmentalization inside my head. You know, that process that masks any connection to her beyond the abstract, and allows me to feel better about not feeling outraged anymore. So, in an effort to expedite this more comfortable perspective, I am trying (and failing) to find beauty in any of this.
Were I to receive news that someone, somewhere, commandeered a joystick and flew toaster sized drones up the asses of the cowards who did this, I would surely rejoice, buy the whole damn
bar world a round of drinks, and sleep soundly that night. But that wouldn’t really be closure, would it?
Being American, I guess I’m rooting for her to completely recover, physically and mentally, then make a triumphant return to Pakistan to lead a popular revolt against the Taliban. So, you know, the bar is set pretty high for this 14 yr old girl. Maybe she could even play herself in the movie! Not Without My Daughter II.
Bah. There is so much suck about this.
Next Monday, the two men vying to be the leader of the free world will square off in the last debate, purportedly centered on foreign policy. I am wondering if she will even be mentioned. Am I misguided for not being as riled up over the issue of access to “free contraception” for American women? The thing is, I know it’s not a fair equation, and I do not want to trivialize the issue for all kinds of fair and just reasons, as well as a whole host of slippery slope arguments to be had. When some Liberal friend of mine refers to an American Taliban, I cringe. It just sounds shrill. I have people who I love who have very real religious beliefs about contraception, and I totally reject the notion that because they hold those beliefs, they are in any way complicit in ushering in some kind of “Sharia-lite” patriarchal state. Except, dammit, maybe not totally.
Therein lies the suck. If you reach, I mean really stretch out and reach for it, therein may also lie the beauty. I am having to ask myself so many questions, and I always know when I am bullshitting myself. I know the tells.
Stopped into the local gas station today, and while I was talking with the owner, a fly kept distracting us to the point I was getting irritated by it. Suddenly, he flung an arm out, and caught the fly. He then shook open a paper sack to place it in so that he might let it go outside of the store. I remembered that he is Hindu, and his religion asks him, simply to not kill. I vaguely remembered something from my childhood when I learned that some Hindu farmers will not use certain tools to break ground for crops, ostensibly to prevent the killing of earthworms. Yet, he sells cigarettes.
I have no idea why I included that last bit. It struck me as absurd, but I couldn’t say why.
I wanted to write about the debate. I proudly donned my team jersey after last night’s win, sure. But right now it just seems small. I’ll find time to gloat later.