There is nothing quite so soul-killing as the death of a child. Unless it is some guy getting half his face blown off by an exploding cigar.
Both these things happened on CSI New York tonight.
It is not enough to not be allowed to see the dead and wounded American soldiers returned from Iraq and Afganistan - they must be flown in in the dead of night, without cameras or ceremony, to be mourned alone or comforted alone, because to do otherwise might awaken the sleeping one-eyed Polyphemus from her dreams of becoming an American Idol and the next top model, or his obsession with who is stabbing whom in the back on Survivor or in the Atlanta Falcons locker room, because once old Poly is awake, he's gonna start eating sailors - we must also become desensitized as a nation to the most horrific, battle-simulating wounds by showing close-ups of some guy's cigar-mortared face while people stand around scratching themselves and making obnoxious quips. If it were not enough that we parents are already terrified to let our children out of our sight for even a moment, they must show us that when we do, when we turn our backs for a split second for any reason, even to help someone who has just been assaulted, the kid on his bike will catch a bullet.
It murders the soul. It prepares us for the unthinkable - dead children and slaughtered neighbors - and teaches us that the only truly safe course in life is to mind your own business and not mind the blood, nor to mind when American women employed in Iraq are being gang raped by their male co-workers. We as a nation cry out in horror when a Muslim woman in Saudi Arabia is flogged for having made the mistake of being raped, yet say nothing when an American woman is imprisoned in a shipping container by her American employer for making the same error. For there is one thing as soul killing as dead children and people dismembered by explosives - it is when our government turns over the evidence of a horrific rape to the corporate rapists so they can destroy it. It is when evidence of torture is destroyed to protect the torturers. It is when the price of a barrel of oil outweighs the price of human life and human dignity.
There is the lesson of modern life - don't complain. Take your rogering in silence and be thankful they aren't standing your children up against a wall.