Has anyone else noticed how mean people are lately? I don’t want to make myself out to be a saint here; I’m hardly that and can trade bitchisms with the best/worst of the snark artists. But I do have the compassion gene when it comes to the misfortunes of others. I wouldn’t be writing a book about caregiving if I didn’t.
Case in point. Yahoo posted an excerpt of Esquire‘s interview with Liam Neeson, who opens up about the sudden death of his wife, Natasha Richardson. Who wouldn’t be sympathetic to a man getting a call saying his wife had hit her head while skiing and was in a coma? And yet commenters on Yahoo were critical of Neeson because of the following:
“I walked into the emergency — it’s like 70, 80 people, broken arms, black eyes, all that — and for the first time in years, nobody recognizes me. Not the nurses. The patients. No one. And I’ve come all this way, and they won’t let me see her,” Liam recounted to Esquire. “And I’m looking past them, starting to push… I know my wife’s back there someplace. I pull out a cell phone — and a security guard comes up, starts saying, ‘Sorry, sir, you can’t use that in here,’ and I’m about to ask him if he knew me, when he disappears to answer a phone call or something. So I went outside. It’s freezing cold, and I thought, What am I gonna do? How am I going to get past the security?”
They focused on the fact that he seemed upset that no one recognized him. Right, but he was trying to get in to see his wife who, as far as he knew, was at death’s door! I mean give the guy a break!
I couldn’t believe the remarks about how celebrities think they deserve special treatment and the like. The story wasn’t about that, as you’ll see if you read the whole excerpt. It was about how an actor threw himself into his work so he wouldn’t have to face his loss.
And then there’s the local CBS reporter in LA who appeared to have a mini-stroke on the air while covering the Grammys the other night. By now, I’m sure everyone has seen the video of her speaking incoherently.
I found the video terrifying, because whatever was going on with her could happen to any of us. All anyone at CBS will say is that she underwent medical tests, but doctors have been all over the airwaves with possible theories involving a brain malfunction.
What are people saying on Twitter, on the other hand?
“She was drunk.”
“News people speak gibberish all the time.”
“Send her to rehab with Charlie Sheen.”
Seriously? She’s a young, beautiful woman who suddenly lost control of her ability to form words. I’ve volunteered in hospitals long enough to spot a medical problem when I see one. It wouldn’t occur to me to mock her (unless, of course, it turns out that she was drunk, in which case I’ll delete this entire post).
And then we come to CBS News reporter Lara Logan, who was sexually assaulted covering the events in Egypt last week.
The comments have ranged from “Well, she’s hot” to “unprintable.”
Have we lost our way or what?