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“Gravity” brought us back to earth October 12, 2013

Posted by makingyourdashcount in death, faith, Life Journey, mourning, movies, Sarah, space.
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Warning ….Mild spoilers:

Last night my hubby and I plopped down $32 to see Gravity in 3D at the local IMAX theater. You have no idea how absurd that even is.  I am a $5 matinee kind of girl; I paid as he gave me a “you’ve got to be kidding” glance that surmised that I was crazy.  We then went and plunked down another $6 for a large soda, but at least it was a Coke Freestyle machine so I could make my favorite concoction (equal proportions Sprite 0, Fanta Free fruit punch, and soda water. YUM)

We settled in the IMAX seating.  The screen at the AMC was smaller than the screen at our local science museum, COSI, so I was a bit disappointed in that.   For the most part the movie was gripping.  The 3D effects were natural; it was nice not having contrived  images to make wearing ridiculous glasses bearable.  You don’t need corny effects for space.

The plot was a bit contrived, but..  it’s a space disaster movie, so …whatever.  Sometimes it nice to suspend reality and let the vines grow around the movie theater seat. So suspended we were, through the action scenes involving rogue satellite parts and shattering spacecraft.  The scientist that my husband is exclaimed that Bullock’s character better hold onto something when she reached for the fire extinguisher the first time!  We were suspended.  And then Sandra Bullock’s character, Ryan Stone,  started talking about her 4  year old daughter who died unexpectedly in an accident. I can’t quote the lines exactly ( or at all)  but she talked about her daughter’s tangle of hair, a tangle that a brush couldn’t go through.  At that point, I looked at John and saw his emotion.  Our daughter, Sarah, whom we lost at 16 quite unexpectedly, had a tangle of hair that even at 16 she frequently gave up on!  Then Stone’s daughter’s name, Sarah, was uttered.  My husband and I held hands through the rest of that scene, as one.

It was unexpected and (unfortunately) took us out of suspended reality because we identified with this mom.  We knew Sarah. We knew where Ryan Stone was, because in so many ways, we are there, too.  Loss of a child is sometimes treated sappily in movies and on TV.  but this was really spot on. I identified with Stone wanting to believe in heaven, who wouldn’t? But Stone suspended her own secular humanist reality by wanting that for her daughter- a point that was interesting in a movie with so much religious imagery.    In so many ways we connected with this character.  Our empathy was with Stone; our tears were for our Sarah.

I’ve read some critiques that the movie Gravity is really a chic flick in spacesuits.  Perhaps.  I would prefer to think that it’s an action flick with some humanity.   All in all, it was a good night out.  Was it worth $16/ each?  It is “just a movie,” but it really was a fast paced 90 minutes that really should be seen in 3-D.  Read the reviews and decide for yourselves.  I am glad that we went. I mean, it is Sandra Bullock.

Oh yeah, George Clooney’s in it, too.

Media, please leave Newtown, CT December 17, 2012

Posted by makingyourdashcount in death, ohio, Ohio Legislation, Ohio Politics, Uncategorized.
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When my brother died in 2001, it was a media circus.  They called us; they followed us with cameras. Tragically, it was front page news. But, it was local news, not an international headline.  The reporters’ questions still haunt me.  Remembering how there were people coaching me how to answer still haunts me.  The TV cameras outside the funeral service still haunt me. Media are slobs with the only intent to scoop salicious headlines for their respective front pages and prime time news. They hounded our family heavily for the first week to month, then less often until they had jucier things on which to report. By the time that we could have used Adam’s death for a cause, the media was gone.  Obviously, causes do not get ratings.

When Sarah died, a news helicopter circled the cemetary, as we buried her. One close friend approached the cameras in the parking lot of the synagogue where the funeral was being held and in no uncertain terms asked them to leave. We granted interviews to two newspapers; one of whom really didn’t want the story as we saw it.  Media are slobs. At the point when we were ready to use her death for a cause, they were gone.  Obviously, that was not as interesting nor as important for ratings.

So here we are with an international headline and certified tragedy. CNN has barely reported on the fiscal cliff since it unveiled. At least one local affiliate, from Columbus, Ohio, went to Connecticut to cover the slaughter. Really? What value added can he lend other than to circle like all of the other hawks from every other non-local local affiliate. I can not even imagine the pressure placed on these families to talk with them. It disgusts me.

A local facebook page posted something along the lines of, “We stand with the parents and children of Newtown, Ct.”  Well of course we do.  Only a callous psychopath wouldn’t.  That is a given. Some say let the families grieve. This is the time for collective grief.  Although some disagree with me, I think that the appropriate response to this tragedy is action, to ensure that it can not happen again. The media should be concentrating on the action, not the personal grief of those personally affected. Because people’s interest will feign and no one will be interested in talking about what could have been.

Our governor has a bill on his desk that no longer makes it  a crime to bring guns to the Statehouse parking areas running beneath the Capitol and then left in the owners’ vehicles.

 As Senate President Tom Niehaus explained, “We have many members who participate in shooting events or are maybe coming from hunting or going hunting after session,” Niehaus said. “So the difficulty becomes if you are coming in from a shooting event and you have a weapon in your car, there is no way right now for you to be able to come into the Statehouse parking garage.”

Um… really?

As long as citizens allow this kind of ridiculous logic to permeate our statehouses and our Capitol, we will stay an at risk society.

We are collectively shaken by this tragedy, but for a small minority we do know these families.  Most of us do not even know families in Connecticut, let alone Newtown.  I think that people are more sighing collective relief because, although shocking,  it did not happen to them. It happened to someone else.

So, media, leave Newtown, CT.  Instead concentrate locally on what can be done. Let’s look at the legislation, action and societal pressures that allow something like this to happen and ensure that it cannot happen again.  Then we will truly be paying these children the homage due.