When I wrote about watching Athlete A last week, I mentioned the fact that the win-at-all-costs mentality of USA gymnastics blinded the organization to the fact that girls were being abused right under their noses, and played a role in their lack of response to allegations. They had one guiding quest, winning gold medals, and…
You may have seen someone talking about this on social media, or in an article online, or somewhere else. I’ve seen it in numerous places. The idea is that, right now, with a pandemic, racial justice issues, and everything else that we are dealing with, suddenly talking about anxiety and depression, or being lonely and…
If you pay attention to the news at all, I’m sure you’ve seen something about Larry Nasser over the past couple of years. You may even be fairly familiar with the story. If so, the Netflix documentary Athlete A might not offer a lot of things you don’t know to some extent or other. But, you may want to watch it anyway, even though watching it and hearing the stories will be difficult. I did a couple of nights ago, and had a couple of thoughts about it, in no real order of importance.
I have been on record saying that if you truly believe in a cause, and the importance of it, you need to be the first to call out untruths.
I’ve said it about false rape allegations, false child abuse allegations, fake hate crimes, etc.
If you believe rape, abuse, and hate crimes are big issues that our society needs to be concerned with, and that the victims need to believed, you need to be the first to call it out when someone undermines the issue by spreading false stories.
So, while it may cost me some followers, let me just say this. If you believe QAnon conspiracy theories about elite pedophile gangs and sex trafficking rings with zero proof aside from some seeming coincidences with a bunch of half-true facts, and go spreading them around, you are undermining the very serious issue we have in society with actual, real pedophiles, elite and otherwise, and real, true to life, sex trafficking.
Why do I see these two things as related? Well. let’s start with Sean Astin. It’s hard not to think that he has lived an amazingly privileged life. He’s been famous since he was a little kid, after growing up part of Hollywood royalty. If anyone has the means to shelter himself away from the harder topics of life, he’s one of those people. But he chooses not to, because he’s seen first hand what it is like to life with, and love someone with, mental health issues. That experience drives him to advocacy. He wants to share what it was like, and help others watching a mental health condition tear apart their own family.
In short, he gets it because he knows.
The same seems to be true when it comes to how serious COVID-19 really is. It seems to me there are a lot of people thinking it’s not very serious because well, no one they know has died or anything serious. 130,000 “other people” have died in the US. On the other hand, there are those of us who do know people who’ve died, or spent time hospitalized, tend to take it very seriously. Because we know. We’ve seen it. We’ve grieved because of it.
Last year, on the day after my birthday, I was writing about how it wasn’t exactly the birthday I would have planned, spending the day flying home after my Mom’s funeral but it wasn’t all bad. . My wife and I will both be dealing with our losses for awhile, and there will be times…