Saturday, January 26, 2008

Reading The Paper

I usually read the St Pete Times in the evening. A lot of the news is depressing, so I start with the fun stuff. After I’ve done sudoku and the crossword, I deal with the rest of it.

The sports section goes mostly unread, yawn, unless there is obvious tennis coverage on the front page.

The classifieds are dispatched after a quick look at the local photo of the day on the back page.

I scan the business section for anything of interest. The stock market reports are Double Dutch to me anyway…..

The main section is full of the posturings of the various candidates. Not too interested in reading BS, but in there one can also find news of the rest of the world, and sometimes interesting editorials.

Then there’s the local and state section, mildly interesting, but doesn’t usually stir up passionate reactions. Not until last night, that is, when I found myself looking at a mug shot of a surly heavyset man in his early forties.

His claim to fame?

He set his SUV on fire in his ex-girlfriend’s driveway.

With his two Labrador retrievers, Sweetie and Honey, locked inside.

Because he wanted to punish the woman, and he knew she loved his dogs, even if she no longer loved him.

There is so much horrific stuff going on these days that I’ve grown a thicker skin than I used to have. I don’t weep so easily any more. Man’s inhumanity to man is an old story. But to lash out at man’s best friend? Incomprehensible. And unforgiveable.

Police and Fire Rescue personnel dragged the man away from his blazing vehicle. Then one of them smashed a window and tried to rescue the dogs. By the time they got the fire under control Sweetie was dead and Honey barely alive.

The sadistic lunatic is in serious condition in the burn unit. I’m having a hard time feeling any pity for him. Sweetie’s suffering is over, but my heart goes out to Honey. As the vet said, labs are extremely good natured and forgiving dogs. I know. We had two. And by co-incidence, I had just seen an adorable black lab puppy walking with his owner earlier in the afternoon. How anyone could repay their unconditional love and devotion so cruelly, is beyond comprehension. Honey has a sixty percent chance of survival, according to the vet, but even if she lives she may have brain damage and might never see again.

Maybe tonight I’ll stick to the crossword and give the news a miss.


Jess said...

People continuously astound me with their crappyness. (Which apparently isn't a word.)

I truly believe there's a special spot in hell reserved for people who abuse animals. What a shameful, cowardly, horrible thing to do.

I would want to miss the news for a few days too.

Tanya Brown said...

That man was a classic abuser. There's no telling what his ex-girlfriend experienced before she made the break. Horrible as his torture of the dogs was, I'm glad she wasn't also in the car.

To a greater or lesser degree, things like that happen every day. My husband used to edit a newspaper and (since it was the old days) see stories as they came in off the wire. "A sea of blood," he calls it, shaking his head.

What I haven't yet figured out is how we can retain a watchful awareness of such things without becoming hardened to them. How we can, naive as it may sound, make a serious dent in making the world better.

meggie said...

How to deal with people like that? Callous beyond belief... but what could cause them to become such monsters?
I hope he suffers with his burns- but doesn't that make me monstrous too?

Anonymous said...

We stopped watching the evening news 2 years ago. The 6 o'clock sensationalism wore thin a while ago, and I did watch the 10:30pm news instead but after one to many horrific stories.. I realized.. I just didn't need to know. I have not seen a news program for 12 months now, and the couple of radio reports I have caught in the car I regret. So much cruelty and sadness. Sometimes I miss important events or I am the last to hear something.. but my heart is happier not knowing some things too.

Stomper Girl said...

These people! Such monumental selfishness and self-absorption. In Australia a man punished his ex-wife by driving his 3 children into a river, drowning them - on Father's day- so that Father's day would always be ruined for her like it had been for him.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

That is utterly sickening. I am so horrified that I can't find the right words to express it.

There is much evidence that we are going backward as a species. Sometimes I just want to go and live with wolves.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

What a terrible story! Still we need to speak against such horrors and to do so, we need to open our eyes and scour the news.

Birdydownunder said...

Horrible. I am not very news knowledgeable for similar reasons. I also think maybe its not so much that life is getting crappier but that we get to know all the crappyness (daysgoby it sounds like a word to me too) where as in the days of lesser technology, it would take weeks to hear of it or sometimes never at all. I believe we must all make our own knick of the woods a safe haven.