Month: September 2011

The Compassion Test

Today I went to the vigil preceding the execution of Troy Davis. This was the first time I attended such a vigil, and this one in San Francisco was across the continent from Georgia. I must say it was very sad. A few came to speak into the megaphone, two sang beautifully. Ten minutes before four o’clock, we moved from a loose pack to a huge circle there on Justin Herman Plaza, held hands, in silence. Even the zip line above us was silent for that time, as they had eerily sent a few tourists down before, shouting their joy above somber statements. It was city silence, the sirens and the street noises in the background. The Ferry Building’s clock rang at four, waking me from meditation. Actually, it startled me, knocked me out of meditation. Many people checked their smart phones for several minutes. Then someone announced there had been no execution. There were cheers and tears, but the Amnesty person then announced it hadn’t been a stay, just the Supreme Court asking for …

on Nelly Arcan’s La Honte and Tout le Monde en Parle

This is a comment about this post on lindaleith.com I’ve never been a fan of Tout le Monde en Parle, the talk show designed to squeeze its guests in a corner and confess their sins, for the few times I saw it on my friends or family’s TV set. They think it’s a good show, my friends and family. To me, it’s like being at a party where someone drunk insists on telling “the truth” about your uncle’s sex life. As it would certainly become the center of Quebecers’ attention for a few days, drawing comments from everyone, I initially refrained from adding my point of view. It would be among the minority, easily squashed by the brash voices that would be quick to blame the victim. Many people would resent the implied reproach that they need to be politically correct, or at the very least polite. I read La Honte, initially in admiration of her ability to write down her feelings. I learned that she had discussed with her agent why she should take …