FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Glioblastoma As Metaphor

For those of us who see the dead, the children’s bodies washed ashore, charred skin, how are we supposed to feel? What are we to think?

Seriously, for those of us who believe that war is a lie, how are we supposed to feel? What are we to think? Those of us who don’t perceive brown and black people as the enemy, objects, nonhuman. How are we to feel? What are we supposed to think right now?

How should we feel or think when we’ve learned that a man who never met a war he didn’t adore has a malignancy that will consume his brain, that eventually will render him unable to ever again sing, “Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” to the tune of the Beach Boy’s hit “Barbara Ann”?

How should we feel or think about this man with a hideous diagnosis and prognosis who called war protesters “lowlife scum” when they demanded the arrest of war criminal Henry Kissinger?

How should we feel or think when we’ve learned that this man has a virulent form of cancer, a glioblastoma whose tentacles will reach into his central nervous system, causing a range of symptoms like headaches, nausea, drowsiness, blurred vision, personality changes, and seizers?

Should I feel sadness for this man who’s spent his career praising war, promoting his campaign for each next election by stressing his war hero status? This man whose body of work is defined by war, death, bloodlust?

Should I feel sadness for this man who returned from captivity, that stay at the Hanoi Hilton, and divorced the mother of his children, a former swimsuit model, a woman once beautiful but whose height was reduced by four inches after a terrible automobile accident changed her appearance and caused her to gain weight and walk with a limp?

Should I think about this man? Obviously I am. I am thinking about this man, Sen John McCain, and examining my reaction to the news that this old death dealer has a death-dealing disease that would be unbearably painful if he didn’t have access to the finest medical and palliative care his Senate seat provides. Access denied most Americans.

I am thinking about Sen. John McCain. I am thinking about him and exploring what I feel, recalling rumors that George W Bush’s behavior indicated Alzheimer’s. When I heard this, I felt bad for his family. Yes, for the family. They love him. But then I consider what it means to love a war criminal. What it means to love someone who is the Grim Reaper, who loves to kill, to maim, to devastate cultures, countries, and I say, “This brain cancer is a metaphor, a metaphor for his life.”

More articles by:

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

September 24, 2018
Jonathan Cook
Hiding in Plain Sight: Why We Cannot See the System Destroying Us
Gary Leupp
All the Good News (Ignored by the Trump-Obsessed Media)
Robert Fisk
I Don’t See How a Palestinian State Can Ever Happen
Barry Brown
Pot as Political Speech
Lara Merling
Puerto Rico’s Colonial Legacy and Its Continuing Economic Troubles
Patrick Cockburn
Iraq’s Prime Ministers Come and Go, But the Stalemate Remains
William Blum
The New Iraq WMD: Russian Interference in US Elections
Julian Vigo
The UK’s Snoopers’ Charter Has Been Dealt a Serious Blow
Joseph Matten
Why Did Global Economic Performance Deteriorate in the 1970s?
Zhivko Illeieff
The Millennial Label: Distinguishing Facts from Fiction
Thomas Hon Wing Polin – Gerry Brown
Xinjiang : The New Great Game
Binoy Kampmark
Casting Kavanaugh: The Trump Supreme Court Drama
Max Wilbert
Blue Angels: the Naked Face of Empire
Weekend Edition
September 21, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Hurricane Florence and 9.7 Million Pigs
Andrew Levine
Israel’s Anti-Semitism Smear Campaign
Paul Street
Laquan McDonald is Being Tried for His Own Racist Murder
Brad Evans
What Does It Mean to Celebrate International Peace Day?
Nick Pemberton
With or Without Kavanaugh, The United States Is Anti-Choice
Jim Kavanagh
“Taxpayer Money” Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program)
Jonathan Cook
Palestine: The Testbed for Trump’s Plan to Tear up the Rules-Based International Order
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Chickenhawks Have Finally Come Back Home to Roost!
David Rosen
As the Capitalist World Turns: From Empire to Imperialism to Globalization?
Jonah Raskin
Green Capitalism Rears Its Head at Global Climate Action Summit
James Munson
On Climate, the Centrists are the Deplorables
Robert Hunziker
Is Paris 2015 Already Underwater?
Arshad Khan
Will Their Ever be Justice for Rohingya Muslims?
Jill Richardson
Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault
Dave Clennon
A Victory for Historical Accuracy and the Peace Movement: Not One Emmy for Ken Burns and “The Vietnam War”
W. T. Whitney
US Harasses Cuba Amid Mysterious Circumstances
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
Things That Make Sports Fans Uncomfortable
George Capaccio
Iran: “Snapping Back” Sanctions and the Threat of War
Kenneth Surin
Brexit is Coming, But Which Will It Be?
Louis Proyect
Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9”: Entertaining Film, Crappy Politics
Ramzy Baroud
Why Israel Demolishes: Khan Al-Ahmar as Representation of Greater Genocide
Ben Dangl
The Zapatistas’ Dignified Rage: Revolutionary Theories and Anticapitalist Dreams of Subcommandante Marcos
Ron Jacobs
Faith, Madness, or Death
Bill Glahn
Crime Comes Knocking
Terry Heaton
Pat Robertson’s Hurricane “Miracle”
Dave Lindorff
In Montgomery County PA, It’s Often a Jury of White People
Louis Yako
From Citizens to Customers: the Corporate Customer Service Culture in America 
William Boardman
The Shame of Dianne Feinstein, the Courage of Christine Blasey Ford 
Ernie Niemi
Logging and Climate Change: Oregon is Appalachia and Timber is Our Coal
Jessicah Pierre
Nike Says “Believe in Something,” But Can It Sacrifice Something, Too?
Paul Fitzgerald - Elizabeth Gould
Weaponized Dreams? The Curious Case of Robert Moss
Olivia Alperstein
An Environmental 9/11: the EPA’s Gutting of Methane Regulations
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail