Saturday, December 27, 2008

A matter of life and death

The following paragraph summarizes the plot of the television program with the largest UK audience of 2008. People interested in the exposure of female on male domestic violence could hardly have asked for a better Christmas present, watched as it was by 14.3 million people on Christmas day:

A woman feigns distress to encourage a vulnerable and gullible man to risk serious injury to save her. She manipulates her way into his home where she takes obsessive control. She demonstrates a violent temper when thwarted in a cold-blooded attempt to injure and possibly kill the man. She uses self-injury and false accusation to discredit the man's friend and her sidekick shows obvious signs of ongoing abuse. She is significantly overweight and resents and blames men for this, claiming that her overeating is their fault. She is determined to take her revenge on men and does so by killing 12 of them, this latest being her intended 13th victim. When she is exposed as a serial killer and removed from the scene, her sidekick and victim both show considerable distress, typical of victims of domestic violence who are unable to accept what their tormentor has done to them, preferring to believe in the myth that was used to control them.

Would you believe this is a half-hour Wallace and Gromit special titled "A Matter of Loaf and Death"? In terms of entertainment, I would not rate this as Nick Park's best, but it is certainly his effort for which I am most grateful. It was made for British TV, but I'm sure it will make the rounds of many other countries too, keep an eye open for it.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

It's not a question of courage...

The father's struggle for his children in family court can sometimes feel like the struggle for life itself against a foe as large as an ocean, maybe there's even a tiger in your little lifeboat along with you...

"I was giving up. I would have given up - if a voice hadn't made itself heard in my heart. The voice said, 'I will not die. I refuse it. I will make it through this nightmare. I will beat the odds, as great as they are. I have survived so far, miraculously. I will turn miracle into routine. The amazing will be seen every day. I will put in all the hard work necessary. Yes, so long as God is with me, I will not die. Amen'

My face set to a grim and determined expression. I speak in all modesty as I say this, but I discovered at that moment that I have a fierce will to live. It's not something evident, in my experience. Some of us give up on life with only a resigned sigh. Others fight a little, then lose hope. Still others - and I am one of those - never give up. We fight and fight and fight. We fight no matter what the cost of battle, the losses we take, the improbability of success. We fight to the very end. It's not a question of courage. It's something constitutional, an inability to let go. It may be nothing more than life-hungry stupidity."

-- Yann Martel, "Life of Pi", p186.