Monday, December 13, 2004

Shed a tear for Scott Peterson

On Mondays, my aging and beloved parents like to have their kids over for dinner and conversation. This is usually performed pretty early in the evening, or late in the afternoon, as that suit's my brother's schedule, and I am flexible.

This late afternoon found us all performing a rare task: Paying attention to the Scott Peterson trial. His recommended sentence was to be handed down. And so, by saying it was a rare task, let me also admit that I know very little of the case.

Most of the folks on TV wanted Scott to die. And when the death sentence was handed down, there was cheering outside the courtroom.

Half of us had left the table and were staring at the TV as the verdict was reiterated with each "yes" of the jury, meaning "death".

There was no cheering in our house. There appeared to be watery eyes. I know my own were growing more brackish.

But why? I silently wondered to myself. Here's what I think. I think it is sad that there will likely be yet another death inflicted. It is sad that Scott parents have to suffer the shame and sadness at the second loss of the same son. It is sad that people cheer such events, which will only cause more suffering, and which is little more than hindbrain animality.

It is also sad to speculate that Scott may have done what he did because of some drug he was on, or was needing to be on, and going through withdrawal. We hear of younger folks on one of the lastest pharmaceutical "cures", who, upon taking it, or upon being withdrawn from it, do opprobious acts, often to family members. But even in these cases, few ever blame the drug. The lobby is too powerful; they spend too much money on ads and such.

So was Scott Peterson on one of these drugs? I don't know. It is not even my main point...which is that killing should never be something to celebrate. As the ancient "Book of Changes" says: "A victory is a funeral"...and should be treated as such.

It is sad that society seems to be coarsening and hardening, as I think it is a move away from Life. Sometimes shedding a tear is all that is necessary to re-soften the heart. Save the cheering for Sports.