Wednesday, April 27, 2011

OPINION: Views Expressed by MSNBC Host I Just Do Not Get

If you "get" something, you understand it. You comprehend and maybe even sympathize or empathize. This I do not get: Rachel Maddow (MSNBC talk show host) was rumored to have urged a CNN news anchor to "come out" with personal information, i.e., homosexuality. It is important to note that Maddow denies that she named the anchor in the interview. Rumors otherwise developed quickly, yet seem so far to have not basis. Giving Ms Madow the benefit of her words, it is true that in talking with The Guardian she is quoted as saying that "if you're gay you have a responsibility to 'come out'." (Source: LA Times online/Entertainment, April 26, 2011-emphasis added.) 

Maddow is one of many that promote "going public" or "coming out" as obligation of homosexuality. Does this seem odd to you, when private information has nothing to do with quality of work, or with legalities, professionalism, or the general public's need to know? Why should personal lives and facts about them, unless illegal or criminal, be part of the workplace? Too much attention already is on news reporters as news makers, and this attitude increases the problem. Most of us do not want "personalities," we want journalists and real reporting.

In this writer's view, to try to force "coming out" with personal facts shows unprofessional approach and bad taste. Period.

Which reminds of Elizabeth Taylor, who showed better taste. She was close to homosexual actors for decades when homosexuality was hardly spoken about, even in general, in public. She was rumored to be in love with one who remained close to her until he died. Another, Rock Hudson, she befriended during the illness that caused his death. Unlike then, professions now are not lost because of private choices. When they were, however, I admired Ms Taylor for the way she remained a friend when some of her friends were "outed" by HIV/AIDS illness and treatment, or by curious, prying minds. As public attention grew in those days, often in clamorous tones, she began to speak out about HIV/AIDS and to support research efforts, openly and compassionately. Thereby, she helped many who were ill due to behaviors or due to infected blood transfusions or other causes. 

Now that I do get.

(c) 2009-2011 Opinari and Jean Purcell

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Sunday, April 03, 2011

I Don't Think I Have Cancer, but...

National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Md. (...Image via Wikipedia

Cancer has many names based not only on diagnoses of different types but also on names attached by sufferers and their families to express anger, loss, grief, shock, determination, and lots of other emotions in a long line of human reactions.

As far as I know, I don't have cancer. And I surely hope I do not; I have the usual tests like mammograms and such, and so far...all seems to be well. But like you (and I'm sure you know someone with or who has had cancer), I have been touched by it in one way or another. Actually, a number of ways. I am related to "cancer survivors" and also those who died of cancer, all at older ages.

Yesterday at a retreat I met a young woman who has cancer. She is in a group for people in their 20s and 30s with it. And, she has a blog with a really neat, and I think determined, name: Red Headed Bald Chic. You can read her blog and pass it along. Scroll down the side bar, too, to see good info. Otherwise, read her blogs about what it's like to lose not only health but also home. And, to lose a very young and brave friend to cancer. You can also follow links to donate to help research and to fight cancer in different ways.  

Maybe you don't have cancer. I hope you do not. If you do, I pray that many beams of medical help, hope, sharing, listening, and determination will help you as you deal with it and live with it, at least for now. I cannot say more with any authority. Yet, all of us suffer or have suffered in some way. We know that careless words hurt, that pity is unnecessary, and that genuine caring, whether expressed or not, reminds us we are not deserted. Others do care...and pray...and do research...and raise funds...and understand. Each one has a part to play, and no help of comfort is in vain. I hope my  new friend agrees, or will correct me if already I have misspoken. Because I don't think I have cancer, and she knows she does. She is living...with cancer.

(c) 2011 Opinari and Jean Purcell {OWN} posts may be quoted with attribution: (date of post, URL address of blog, post title)
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