I love me a good car. When I get my hands on a good car, I run it until it won’t run no more. When a particular make of car runs and runs and runs, chances are good I’ll get another. That’s value, right?
So, when I saw a Honda Accord on the used car lot, I headed right to it. The lot owner said, “You don’t want that car. It don’t work. The transmission is shot.” “But, does it run?” “Yes, you have to manually shift the gears, but it don’t work right.” That wasn’t enough to deter me. He said to me, “If you take the car, give me what I got in it and get it out of here. I don’t want to have to fix it.”
I wrote the man a check and happily drove off with an impeccably maintained 1991 Honda Accord EX sedan with a purring engine and the tightest steering I’ve ever felt. The driver’s side power window doesn’t work, there’s no antennae, the paint is a bit sun bleached in spots and I had to get back tires, but other than that, the car is in perfect condition. Well, besides that pesky transmission problem, that is. Still the car ran and ran well. It just didn’t shift on its own and only two of the four gears worked, third and fourth. That was fine with me.
I can’t be something that I’m not; because, what I am is so much more.
It is during the teen years that personhood is developed, defined and refined so that by adulthood, necessary coping mechanisms, traits and talents are working their charm on the world. Navigating life is done by taking the path of least resistance and optimal security.
That’s logical. I’ve observed that premise in action in every person I’ve met. But, where there are problems or difficulties is where I’ve found a division of sorts. The available energy is split, motivation is dual-natured, and at the root of it all is a lacking in the truth department. There can be no honesty in a ‘two-faced’ person because honesty is pretty black and white. You is, or you ain’t an honest person. If you’re not honest to yourself, you can’t be honest to others; and nothing illustrates this more than someone you find to be two-faced.
“Oh, hey,” he says to me. “Do you live in the house with the dead bird hanging from the wire? It’s been there for a week.”
In my job, I hear all kinds of things. I thought I had heard it all. Then, this man sat with me that, turns out, lives a few houses down from me.
When I saw his address, I debated for a few moments whether I should reveal that I was, in fact, his neighbor. This isn’t a very close or open sort of neighborhood, I imagine it’s because it’s mostly rental houses and people tend to come and go quite often. So, I took the leap and said I lived down the street from him. I never would have imagined he’d say there was a dead bird hanging from the wires in my front yard!
“What are you talking about, a dead bird!” How could I not know this? It’s been there for over a week, he said, and I didn’t know about a dead bird hanging?
“Here, see? I took a photo of it.” Out comes his cell phone with a photo of, you guessed it, a dead bird hanging from a wire. He had zoomed in, so there was nothing in the photo that anchored that dead bird hanging from a wire to my neighborhood.
“You taught me to be nice, so nice that now I am so full of niceness, I have no sense of right and wrong, no outrage, no passion.” Redheaded Riter
“What has become quite clear is that the "Dark Triad"-- which consists of the combination of Machiavellianism, subclinical narcissism, and subclinical psychopathy-- is an overarching trait that everyone has to some degree. Unfortunately, some people just have a lot more of it than others.”
"You realize there are folks out there who want to do crazy things, like fillet people open, pour salt on them, and feed their legs to the piranhas," Judge Belvin Perry said.Last night at dinner, in a popular, crowded restaurant, I watched a woman look down at the baby carrier she had set next to her on the booth seat. The new mother’s face was blank, an expression that didn’t seem to change from when she was looking at the menu to when she was looking down at her baby. At one point, she reached into the carrier to retrieve a dropped pacifier and reinsert it into her baby’s mouth, then returned to focus on the menu.
The Internet is outraged by the jury’s verdict of not guilty in the Casey Anthony trial. It is a horrific thought that a mother could murder her child, then get away with it. The lying, conniving little tramp got away with murder, the innumerable comments say in outrage. She gets away with murder and Caylee’s death goes unpunished. Justice isn’t served, and it’s a sad, mad day.
Everyone is outraged, but for the wrong reasons. The investigation into the disappearance and death of the little girl came up empty of hard evidence. What evidence they did have did not point to her mother as the one that caused her death. There was no motive, and there was no story of what transpired that ended with the death of Caylee Anthony. That the state was allowed to go to trial with the scant forensic evidence and circumstantial witness testimony was pure folly.
And, it was sloppy, crappy work. In fact, the entire case was handled so badly by the state’s prosecution that they should all be fired. The case presented could only result in not guilty because reasonable doubt was there every step of the way. But, will they be fired?
The Casey Anthony trial speaks volumes about how far away we’ve become a subjective culture. The trial is a media circus resulting in a sequestered jury, 12 peers spending the last month in hotel rooms, away from their families and lives, and hopefully safely away from the endless commentary about the case. Closing arguments begin today with deliberations set to begin tonight.
The facts in the case are few and far between. At some point in June or July of 2008, 2 year old Caylee went missing. However, this wasn’t discovered for a month while Casey Anthony partied her heart out. Then one day, grandma Cindy gets a call to come pick up her daughter’s abandoned car that reeked of death. Six months later, the toddler's body was found not far from her grandparent’s home where she and her mom lived as of the last time the little girl was seen alive. That, in a nutshell is all that is known. The trial itself has produced no other hard evidence, and the jury must decide, beyond a reasonable doubt, whether Casey Anthony planned and murdered her child.
The week started as all weeks start. The more things change; the more things stay the same, as the saying goes. But, this week wasn’t to be the same.
Thursday morning, a text came in: “I hear y’all got some ice cream makers there today. I heard they’re all at the unemployment office and Yarnell’s locked their doors.” A few minutes later, I knew that it was true. It wasn’t just an ugly rumor. One of the oldest businesses in town, the area’s sixth largest employer, had shut its doors for good.
The shock rippled through town. The news picked it up fast and within hours, my Facebook wall was filled with the same headline from radio local radio stations to the major TV news out of Little Rock. The last ice cream maker in Arkansas has shut down. It’s a sad day for Arkansas, a dismal day for Searcy.