August 15th, 2007

Angry Candiru

The Greatest (de)Generation ...

People are judged in this world by how they treat the very young and the very old. We've seen how wretched the Pattersons are with their children and this week we're being reminded of how awful they are at dealing with Jim. First off, they left him in the care of a stubborn incompetent. We've seen how when Iris asks Jim something, she misinterprets what he's tring to say to comform to her preconception of what he 'really' wants and his frustrated reaction. This reinforces her delusion that she's dealing with a recalcitrant infant; after all, she can't possibly be to blame. The reason she has delusions of adequacy is that she's surrounded by inept 'experts' like Christine. Jim's speech pathologist may have a pretty face but she doesn't have the skills or the tenacity required to help anyone. The grinning incompetent pats Iris on the head,tels her to stay the course and goes on the wreak more havoc on the elderly. Another not-so-nice thing about Iris is that she's too proud to ask for help when it's so obviously needed. The combination of her failure to fight for her husband, the ineptitude of his therapists and the veterinary medicine paradigm, which mandates that since Jim is gonna die soon anyway, getting him back to near-normality is a waste of resources, has caused Jim to be trapped in his body, unable to say anything other than Yes or No. A competent therapist and vigilant caregiver would certainly have him talking half-way coherently by now but it's far too late to help him now. Like a bone allowed to set at a disfiguring angle, Jim is set like this. It didn't have to be like this because he had a daughter living in an hour's drivew who couls have fought for him and helped him get over this. Why didn't she? Not only does she waste her time shaving sheets, encouraging Mike to churn out glurge, condemning April and championing losers like Anthony, she's terrified that Jim isn't a simpleton. Her worst nightmare is to in his shoes, having something to say but be helpless to say it. It's easier for her to write him off as an overgrown two-year-old and leave him to rot than face her fears. The best Jim gets is a token appearance every month to bring clothes he can't wear and food he can't eat to keep the neighbor's tonuge's from wagging. It saddens me that a man who put his life on the line for the future of his country has been selfishly let down by those he protected. We each of us owe a debt to the past and Elly is so far in default as to be bankrupt. The coin isn't dollars and cents, however: her bankruptcy is moral.