Tuesday, July 03, 2007

What's wrong with some people?

I haven't been paying too much attention to the awful story about the wrestler Chris Benoit, who last week killed his wife and child and then committed suicide, even though the autism connection was obvious. Sadly, I've heard of many such cases, where an overwhelmed parent kills the child and then him or herself. It's less common when you have an intact family, because the burden can be shared, and it's even more unusual among the well-to-do. You always think that someone who's famous and rich would be able to afford the best treatment and help, so they wouldn't be crushed by trying to cope all by themselves, but obviously everyone has a breaking point.

But today, I was struck by a really odious letter on this subject in The Citizen. By now I should be used to the hive mentality of liberals, where nobody ever can act as an individual, and some big nebulous collective is responsible for everything, but this really got to me.
Many to blame for death of wrestler, family
The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Re: Calculated violence or 'roid rage?, June 28.
Having autistic kids myself, I'm a little sympathetic to this "many to blame" theme - more than I could have believed possible in my Ayn Rand-addled youth. It's not that "it takes a village" to raise my kids, but it does take a lot of work and money. I'm grateful for the handicapped dependents tax break we get that allows us to pay for respite, and I'm grateful for the special classes the Ottawa-Carleton school board provides for my kids. In other places, there AREN'T such supports, and people really do get overwhelmed trying to do it all themselves. So if it's a case of a family that's been abandoned to try to cope all alone, I can sympathize with the argument that something more should have been done to help them. So, how were the "many" to blame in THIS case?
There have been inflammatory remarks made about WWE superstar Chris Benoit, and while he obviously had a tragic end to his career and died with his family, I can't help wondering why.
"Tragic end to his career"?? Yeah, it sure sucks, that sudden early retirement of his. As for "died with his family", for God's sake, the man MURDERED them, and then killed himself! That's like saying that Mohammed Atta "died with his fellow passengers" on 9/11.
Yes, it's true the public is very fickle about its heroes: One minute they love a wrestler or baseball player, the next minute, it's someone bigger or younger and a rising star. But why would we push a man -- who told kids to stay away from drugs and entertained the troops in Baghdad at Christmas -- to start using steroids?
DID we? Did we "push" him to shoot himself up with steroids, if that's what happened? Were people signing petitions, sending him letters pleading with him to drug himself? Or did HE refuse to accept the consequences of staying clean, even if it was something as heinous as being surpassed by "a bigger or younger" athlete?
And why would the media forget to interview the CEOs and boards of directors of the pharmaceutical giants that manufacture and sell the pills to bodybuilders, weightlifters, track stars and professional athletes?

Why are the CEOs not being grilled on 60 Minutes or by Larry King or Nancy Grace? Why are the newspapers not filled with demands for the prosecution of the corporations for wrongful death?
Maybe because THEY'RE NOT TO BLAME that Benoit might have taken drugs in order to cheat reality?
As much as I am saddened by the death of Mr. Benoit, I can't help feeling that he must have been driven to his end by the chemicals made by yet another huge corporation in Switzerland or the United States that only wants more money and to dominate the market.
So, somehow this wouldn't be so bad if he'd killed his wife and child after drinking a couple gallons of homemade hooch?
Did we not learn from thalidomide? Did we not learn from Love Canal and from the Ben Johnson scandal?
I'm sure we learned lots of things - I just don't quite see how any of them connect with this particular crime. What SHOULD we have learned? That nobody should take any drugs, ever? That companies can't be allowed to make them? That they should be handed out for free, so nobody earns a living from them? If it's that drugs can create problems, we've known that for a long time - much longer than there have been pharmaceutical companies around.
I feel awful about the deaths of Nancy and Daniel Benoit, but surely we must see the big picture: that someone must be made to pay for what they have done to Mr. Benoit. They turned a decent, caring man of skill and charisma into a murderer.
I'm not even going to comment on the repulsive way this writer has managed to turn the killer into the victim. It's his offhand nod in the direction of the dead wife and child on his way to "the big picture" that really disgusts me. A mother and a little child are dead, at the hands of the person they trusted, and who should have protected them. This IS the big picture. There's nothing more important than that, and I don't know what is wrong with someone who tramples over their bodies in his eagerness to chase the bigger, sexier, dollar-encrusted quarry of pharmaceutical companies.

Mark Steyn wrote about the liberals who, following 9/11, couldn't wait to brush aside the dead victims in order to frolic in the abstract fields of "root causes".
Why do some people look at a smoking ruin and see the lives lost - the secretary standing by the photocopier - and others see only confirmation of their thesis on Kyoto?
Why do some people look at a crime scene and see a strangled wife and mother, and a helpless child crushed to death - and others see only Pfizer's fourth-quarter earnings? I can't be the only one who finds this dehumanizing and degrading.


Blogger Nicholodeon said...

Very powerful writing, and I agree with you.

It seems our morality has sunk to the level of assigning blame...'it's not his fault he murdered his family...the (steroids) made him do it.' And then I am expected to feel sorry for the murderer.

And worse, in the eyes of the politically correct, I am found at fault if I don't feel sorry for the murderer.

11:27 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Though, forgive my noticing this, you bypass the secretary to find the editorial writer assigning blame to the drug companies. Much as I agree with you, the story and the moral issues lie with Benoit's double culpability: first, as an abuser of steroids and, second, as the murderer of his innocent family, for which there is no excuse known to man.

5:58 am  

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