Thursday, August 31, 2006

And Come Down, And Put Your Heart In This Fight

General Hospital is working my very last nerve - not in the way you'd think, either. (If you're not a soap fan, stick with me for a minute; you will be rewarded with yummy, candy-like logic.) I have two problems you could call wimmin trouble.

Alexis the District Attorney gave up a baby when she was 16 and discovered mere months ago that Port Charles' favorite gun moll Sam is her long-lost daughter, which required Alexis to decide fully grown Sam shouldn't form a new monogram with unbearably hot mobster Jason. If you flip past your ABC affiliate during the day, you can see these three characters reciting the day's dialogue sestina, the one constant being the list of words recycled five episodes a week: safe, protect, danger, daughter, and stay away. Granted, I have controlling-Mommy issues to beat the band, but Alexis' controlling-Mommy behavior was unbearable from the beginning. After Alexis developed cancer, her urge to order the lives of others makes me want to incite mob violence. There is just something creepy about the Mommy who cuts you off from the object of your desire, no matter what nonsense she's spouting. Soap opera mommies do it all the time but in this case, the added creep-factor is that tasty Jason agrees and acquiesces to Alexis' wishes. Eeeeeeeewwww.

Lulu's Pregnant
Luke and Laura's unwanted 18-year-old daughter turned up preggers, half the town knows and you can bet your boots everyone will shout the words options, baby, choices, adoption and abortion but no one gets an abortion on the soaps. Soap fans are generally a very conservative bunch, which you can tell like the time in Times Square because other than the 18-year-old, nobody says the word abortion without curling a lip. I was just about at the end of my rope with this bullshit when Lulu's older brother Lucky, hopped up on hillbilly heroin, grabbed a phone out of her hand and told her she wasn't getting an abortion. This paternalistic treatment of another adult character, sibling relationship or no, is so far beyond the bounds of decency I considered turning off GH for good.

This is not harmless. The only one who understands an abortion is a safe, legal, private medical procedure is the teenager, while the characters around Lulu spout crap about injunctions and forcing her to have a baby. Do you know what tolerating this leads to?

Douchebaggery, Of the Strictly Figurative Kind
...this guy, a complete stranger, deciding what medical care you can receive. Not you, you adult, you. Not your doctor, who presumably went to medical school for a long time and has an ethical obligation to help you. No. This friendly little article describes a man who will decide whether your medical needs should and will cause you shame. You don't have to be a woman to find this concept threatening. Go ahead. Give it a good think.

The reason this paternalistic crackpot gets to treat you this way in 2006 is that since 1980, our reproductive and privacy rights have been eroding steadily. The public discourse is euphemistic crap because nothing is more dangerous than saying the words I've had an abortion, and under the same circumstances I'd do it again. Women can't discuss abortion seriously in mainstream politics in the twenty-first century, which gives license to crackpots, who think their opinions about someone else somehow matter.

Most people have simple desires where pharmacists are concerned:
1. Must be able to count.
2. Must notice when chemicals will interact badly.
3. Must mind own business.

If you can't manage any one of those things, applicants to pharmacy school should consider a field where you can't fuck up the lives of people for miles around. I hear Home Depot is hiring.

All of this is important - especially my soap opera pet peeves - but pales by comparison with this. Please just read it, because if it stands, there is nothing left of America but dust and crumbs, and waiting for it to be your turn. I can't add anything to what either of them says. It can happen here. It is.


Blogger Blogenfreude said...

Interesting that you referenced Home Depot for pharmacist wannabes ... they periodically make their employees piss in a cup. Sure, I'm as eager to avoid table-saw accidents as the next home-improver, but do they have to exercise this level of control? Hmmm - maybe the pharmacists would be more accomodating if they had to work a Home Depot gig for 6 months before licensure.

8:02 PM  

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