By the beginning of this week, I thought there wasn’t really anything that could turn the sorry spectacle around Terri Schiavo into an even bigger travesty, and then Jesse Jackson “intervened” - of course without changing anything. What would a Jesse-Jackson intervention be without the media circus but with actual results? That would just not be very Jesse-Jackson’ish.
In any case, I didn’t think I would be able to find an article about the case that was not bordering on the insane - as did most articles from both camps (this seems to be the new standard in the US; makes you wonder where that thing called the sensible middle ground went - wait, who left the window wide open?) - and then The New Yorker’s Hendrik Hertzberg very pleasantly surprised me with his article.
If you’ve never read something about the case before, this is really all you need to know (there also are some details in there that you didn’t read anywhere else like that the “persistent vegetative state” was the result of an eating disorder!). And if you’ve read everything else now that the body has finally died, too, you can make this the last article you want to read about it.
It just seems to me that the main phrase of Hertzberg’s article (“The body lived; the mind died”) applies equally well to American politics these days.