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

January 16, 2019
Patrick Bond
Jim Yong Kim’s Mixed Messages to the World Bank and the World
John Grant
Joe Biden, Crime Fighter from Hell
Alvaro Huerta
Brief History Notes on Mexican Immigration to the U.S.
Kenneth Surin
A Great Speaker of the UK’s House of Commons
Elizabeth Henderson
Why Sustainable Agriculture Should Support a Green New Deal
Binoy Kampmark
Trump, Bolton and the Syrian Confusion
Jeff Mackler
Trump’s Syria Exit Tweet Provokes Washington Panic
Barbara Nimri Aziz
How Long Can Nepal Blame Others for Its Woes?
Cesar Chelala
Violence Against Women: A Pandemic No Longer Hidden
Kim C. Domenico
To Make a Vineyard of the Curse: Fate, Fatalism and Freedom
Dave Lindorff
Criminalizing BDS Trashes Free Speech & Association
Thomas Knapp
Now More Than Ever, It’s Clear the FBI Must Go
Binoy Kampmark
Dances of Disinformation: The Partisan Politics of the Integrity Initiative
Edward Curtin
A Gentrified Little Town Goes to Pot
January 15, 2019
Patrick Cockburn
Refugees Are in the English Channel Because of Western Interventions in the Middle East
Howard Lisnoff
The Faux Political System by the Numbers
Lawrence Davidson
Amos Oz and the Real Israel
John W. Whitehead
Beware the Emergency State
John Laforge
Loudmouths against Nuclear Lawlessness
Myles Hoenig
Labor in the Age of Trump
Jeff Cohen
Mainstream Media Bias on 2020 Democratic Race Already in High Gear
Dean Baker
Will Paying for Kidneys Reduce the Transplant Wait List?
George Ochenski
Trump’s Wall and the Montana Senate’s Theater of the Absurd
Binoy Kampmark
Dances of Disinformation: the Partisan Politics of the Integrity Initiative
Glenn Sacks
On the Picket Lines: Los Angeles Teachers Go On Strike for First Time in 30 Years
Jonah Raskin
Love in a Cold War Climate
Andrew Stewart
The Green New Deal Must be Centered on African American and Indigenous Workers to Differentiate Itself From the Democratic Party
January 14, 2019
Kenn Orphan
The Tears of Justin Trudeau
Julia Stein
California Needs a 10-Year Green New Deal
Dean Baker
Declining Birth Rates: Is the US in Danger of Running Out of People?
Robert Fisk
The US Media has Lost One of Its Sanest Voices on Military Matters
Vijay Prashad
5.5 Million Women Build Their Wall
Nicky Reid
Lessons From Rojava
Ted Rall
Here is the Progressive Agenda
Robert Koehler
A Green Future is One Without War
Gary Leupp
The Chickens Come Home to Roost….in Northern Syria
Glenn Sacks
LA Teachers’ Strike: “The Country Is Watching”
Sam Gordon
Who Are Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionists?
Weekend Edition
January 11, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Richard Moser
Neoliberalism: Free Market Fundamentalism or Corporate Power?
Paul Street
Bordering on Fascism: Scholars Reflect on Dangerous Times
Joseph Majerle III – Matthew Stevenson
Who or What Brought Down Dag Hammarskjöld?
Jeffrey St. Clair - Joshua Frank
How Tre Arrow Became America’s Most Wanted Environmental “Terrorist”
Andrew Levine
Dealbreakers: The Democrats, Trump and His Wall
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Que Syria, Syria
Dave Lindorff
A Potentially Tectonic Event Shakes up the Mumia Abu-Jamal Case
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail