Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Connections, Death and More Death

Starting off with something fun. I got my first email as a result of this stuff I'm writing. Very exciting. I'd give details, but I'd like to respect the privacy of the correspondent. Suffice to say that it could very easily mesh in with adolescent fantasies that I haven't entertained since... oh, well... adolescence. No. Not exactly in the way that you think.

Watched last Sunday's "The Contender" last night. Very moving episode. I think most anyone who cares already knows the story about Najai Turpin. Therefore, I'm not going to be spoiling much if I talk about the trust fund that's been set up for Anyae, his daughter. I have mixed emotions on the matter. On the one hand, her father set out to prove himself so that he could provide a better life for his offspring. Admirable, noble and heartwarming, as anyone would agree. On the other hand, he failed within the rules of the game, and as a result of what may have been his reaction to that failure, his daughter may be financially better off than even if he'd won the tournament. So, the mixup of my emotions are with respect to rewarding his suicide by providing for his daughter. From a game-theoretic perspective, his final move in the meta-game was probably optimal if he sought to provide only financially. What tears at my heart is that this young girl will be missing her father for the rest of her life, which creates a chasm that cannot be filled by any amount of college education.

In other death-related news, the whole Terry Schaivo thing sickens me. While I can understand the desire to keep someone you love around, I can't understand keeping someone around whose brain has been mostly replaced by spinal fluid, as I heard in a radio report featuring a doctor, and which I had to go Google for something to verify it being true. The relevant excerpt is:
Over the span of this last decade,
Theresa's brain has deteriorated
because of the lack of oxygen it
suffered at the time of the heart
attack. By mid 1996, the CAT
scans of her brain showed a severely
abnormal structure. At this
point, much of her cerebral cortex is
simply gone and has been replaced
by cerebral spinal fluid. Medicine
cannot cure this condition.
Having had my mother attempt suicide about fifteen months ago and be left in a highly deteriorated mental state from anoxia, I was greatly saddened at her passing, but was at the same time relieved. I knew that one of her greatest fears was to be trapped in a non-functioning body. I was incredibly angry at her initial decision to succumb to whatever despair and depression moved her to attempt to take her own life. I have somewhat resolved that anger and have felt it reduce to a simmering pool of frustration. As much as she annoyed me at times with odd questions, a lack of understanding of just what the hell I do for a living (even though she professed understanding), and a really unusual sense of interior design, she was my mom, and it was her birthright to annoy me. Not something she was born to, but because she bore me. I miss her, and I love her, and I remember her, and I'm glad that she got what she wanted in the end, even though that means I no longer have her.

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