Monday, May 5, 2008


Alright, this story about the Austrian guy who kept his daughter in a cellar for 23 years is starting to get my goat. I mean, a totally unimaginably sucky tragedy. The kind of thing it's actually hard to wrap your head around, like death, or the Bush administration. Cheap liberal pot-shots aside, the way this story is being told is not OK.

So the guy's lawyer is essentially claiming insanity. Naturally. What would you do if you were this guy's lawyer? Clearly he slipped, fell, and imprisoned his daughter for nearly all of her natural life. Could happen to anyone.

But the whole sneering tone of the article as it discusses that defense, amid details about baby remains in furnaces and previous rape convictions (not to mention gratuitous use of German), is messed up. I guess I'm sensitive to the way people cover a mental illness defense. Here is a man who clearly made a choice, and who is morally culpable for that choice, no matter what was going on internally. At the same time, that shouldn't undercut the fact that mental illness is real, and that it does affect people's actions and choices negatively. Bah, the whole thing just seems to undermine the idea that mental illness is a real thing. But maybe it's just my hyper-critical view of the rhetoric.

The I Hate Cedric Theme Song

Two days ago, I can only hope, was the last conversation I will ever have with the most obnoxious client provider in the history of the universe. Ever. In celebration, a little music.

Oh Cedric, my Cedric, you're such a damn ass
You're behind on the subject and full of hot gas
When you're clueless you won't just bite down and admit
Holy crap! I'm not paid to deal with your shit

badum dum dum...

actual conversation with Cedric!:

me: Hi, I'm X's primary counselor.
Cedric: ... OK.
me: I'm working on some treatment goals for him. He's pretty tight-lipped. I was wondering what you thought.
Cedric: Well, I have my own treatment plans. You need to find your own.
me: ... ... ... ? I'm asking for your insight, since you have been working with him.
Cedric: Well, that's your job.
me: huh...

Oh Cedric, dear Cedric, please do roast in hell
And why does each sentence you say start with "well"?
I call you a jerk but words can't convey
The depth of how much I want you far away

ba dum dum dum...

me: Hi Cedric, how are you doing?
Cedric: ...
me: OK, so I'm calling to ask about X's medications. It seems he is running low.
Cedric: Well, I don't know about that.
me: You're his primary provider. Aren't you in charge of making sure his meds are filled? (Note to reader: the answer is yes)
Cedric: Well, you are going to have to call his doctor at the hospital for that.
me: Do you have the doctor's name?
Cedric: Not in front of me. You'll have to look it up.
me: Or a number? Anything to make calling the hospital a little bit easier?
Cedric: No.

The one I hate most of your many bad traits
Is the utter refusal to let me know straight
You'll weasel and whine and say "that's not on me"
Which is true, even when it needed to be

ba dum dum dum...

me: Hello Cedric, I am having a hard time finding X housing. Do you have any leads?
Cedric: Well, this one. But it probably won't be ready for several months.
me: We can only keep him 90 days. Is there anything else that can be arranged?
Cedric: Well, I'm following up on this one. But it probably won't be ready for several months.
me: Fine, never mind.
me several weeks later: Hello Cedric. I am working with the bed committee to get X housing before he leaves. I did most of this paperwork, but you need to fill out one section. Can you do that and fax it over?
me even later: Hello Cedric, it turns out we need to apply for emergency funds. Again, I need you to fill out this one section and fax it over.
me even later: Hello Cedric, I need to work out X's departure date.
Cedric: Well, that's your guys' issue.
me: Of course it is. But we need to coordinate it with you since you will be helping move his possessions. He can move in on the first.
Cedric: I know. I arranged the housing.
me: ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ahhhhhhhHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh Cedric, dear Cedric, you fail again
Turns out you can't tell me if, where, or when
And then you imply that I don't do my work?
Well guess what? You're right! I did yours you damn jerk!

May I never work with this man again.

White flags

For once I could talk a lot about my personal life, which has been more interesting as of late. And so I am not going to, because there would be to much to say and to process and the whole thing would get overwhelming. I guess it is better to have things be overwhelming rather than stagnant and depressing, but it still isn't quite at the place where I could stand back and give it a quirky, entertaining, bloggy spin in a few short paragraphs.

On the other hand, I happened to browse some of my old comments from posts on various blogs and discovered, much to my ego gratification, that some of my comments and garnered serious responses. Which is not necessarily saying much in a blog community, but it is nice to know that I got people thinking. Most of the time it was for making less liberal comments in a very liberal atmosphere. This is especially awkward because a) I am very liberal in most respects and b) there are so many concern trolls on blogs that I think I automatically get lumped in to that category.

I'm not sure if I need to explain concern troll, but essentially it is a person who acts sympathetic to your argument just to tear it down (ie. "I agree that women should have equal rights in principle, but this is a time of war...). As you can see, obnoxious. So when I come along and point out that maybe Giuliani taking a phone call during a press conference wouldn't be quite so frowned upon in that blog if a democrat had done it, people assume I am concern trolling. Which makes sense really, because even though all I'm really trying to say is that we shouldn't worry about minor crap like that, it sounds high-handed.

My problem is that I never figured out a genuine white flag to raise, like "no really, I am sympathetic to your overall concerns, but there are some minor points I disagree with." Because just about anything you say like that comes across as concern-trollish. And even if there were a genuine white flag, concern trolls would just co-opt it immediately and it would become meaningless. One of the reasons I stopped belonging to these communities as a rule. Rosemary's is still fun, though.