Sunday, January 27, 2013

What makes you crazy?

I love the movie Top Gun.  It is one of my favorite movies of all time and I watch it again and again.  There is one scene in the movie that makes me insane.  It makes me insane again and again.  No one else in my family, including the Navy vets, go bonkers when they see this scene.  Only me.

For those of you who don't know, the movie is about a Navy pilot (Maverick) and his time at the US Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Training School (Top Gun).  During the course of the training, his plane goes into a flat spin, he and his co-pilot (Goose) are forced to eject, and Goose dies.

There is a scene later in the movie where Maverick, in a very emotional tribute to his 'rear', throws Goose's dog tags into the ocean.


Goose was married.  Goose left a widow and, more importantly, a son.  Goose's tags should have gone to his son.  No one will ever convince me that this is what should have happened.  No one will ever convince me that, in the real world, this would have happened.

My daughter's insane moment springs not from a movie, but from a video.

Carrie Underwood sings a song about a marriage that does not take place because the groom, a military man, dies just before the wedding.  In this video, the chaplain and the commanding officer show up at her house, in their shiny shoes, to notify her of the death and, at the funeral, she is presented with the flag.


The men in the shiny shoes do not notify girlfriends, fiancees, shack-ups, live-ins, cohabitants or any other variety of partner.  They notify FAMILY.  It is irrelevant to the men in the shiny shoes who the deceased wanted notified.  They notify family.

So, what is the scene in which movie, video, book, etc. that makes you crazy?   Not crazy enough to not watch whatever it is - just crazy every time you watch it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Kinder, if not Gentler, Time

In his acceptance speech August 18, 1988 former President George H. W. Bush commented that he wanted a "kinder, gentler nation."  This made him the butt of many jokes but it also served as a reminder of days gone past.

I was reminded of this today.  Yesterday, in Amarillo, a 27 year old man lost his life in a head on collision that was not his fault, leaving behind a grieving widow.

This morning, the Amarillo Globe News, only named here in order that you may, if you choose, boycott them, chose as their front page, above the fold picture, photos from the crash scene.

38 years ago, my 26 year old husband was killed in a head on collision that was not his fault, leaving behind a grieving widow and an injured infant.

So, here's the part where I say I know exactly how she feels right?  The grieving young widow?

No, I don't.  I was never subjected to front page pictures of the wreck.  There were no pictures in the paper.  My family, God love them, made sure that I never saw pictures of our vehicle after the crash at all or the vehicle itself at the wrecking yard.  This kindness, this comfort, this empathy is one of the reasons we never went to court.  My family, God love them, thought protecting me from those pictures, was more important than money.

I am not denying the newspaper's right to publish the pictures.  The accident, and the death of this young man, are newsworthy and I know that a picture is worth a thousand words.  The flip side of that, of course, is that a picture, once seen, cannot be unseen.

I live in a part of the country that prides itself on it's friendliness, it's hospitality, it's downright niceness.  Too bad they forgot empathy and kindness today.

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