For this writer there are events and incidents that transcend the usual causes of sadness for many of us. Yes, we all have a myriad of memories of sadness. Perhaps when a loved one or pet becomes ill or passes away. Perhaps when someone we love moves away from us, and we hurt from missing them. My earliest memory of a transcending type of sadness was when, as a five year old, I was standing in my bedroom viewing a movie on our 12 inch black and white TV. It was a scene from the film Of Mice and Men, based on John Steinbeck’s novel. This was near the end of the film, when George knew he could not let his mentally handicapped pal Lenny be murdered by vigilantes for accidentally strangling to death a young woman. As he got Lenny to stand with his back to him, George repeated the plans they both shared for the future . He had his gun hidden from view as his friend was focusing on the rabbits he loved so much. George then blew Lenny’s brains out! Not knowing, yet intuitively understanding that this was a ‘ Mercy killing’ I began to cry. My mom heard me and rushed into the bedroom shouting ‘ That is NOT a movie for a little boy!! Turn it off!! That sad feeling has remained with me my entire life.
When I was seven there were these two kids, a girl from my class with her younger brother, waiting with me for the dismissal gong. As we stood on the steps by the exit doors, I saw a bunch of kids teasing the two. The brother and sister had red hair and lots of freckles, unique to many in our school. Some of the kids were taunting at them, calling them fat little piggies. The younger brother started to cry. I turned to the both of them and said ‘ No one is gonna hurt you two. Just follow me out.’ With that, the gong went off and the mob of us pushed through those heavy steel doors. I made this nasty face at some of those who were bothering the two, and walked the brother and sister to the safety of their mom waiting by the curb. My sadness was for the fact that people could be so damn mean to the vulnerable among us… for no reason.
When I was eighteen the call came from my grandmother ( my mom’s mother) that my grandfather, who had emphysema, had been rushed to the hospital. She was a nervous wreck, so my brother and I were told to go to the emergency room and check things out. When we arrived, and we were escorted into the area where he was, the sadness overwhelmed me. My grandfather was laid out on a stretcher, unconscious and just in his underwear. I broke down at the sight of this! My brother had to push me out of the area, I was so overcome with sadness. Seeing the man who would take me for walks in the country, or cook me my favorite dinner ( homemade German style clam chowder and fried flounder), now looking like a corpse…
In previous columns this writer has mentioned the two neighbors of mine who came back from the ‘ Nam’ in wooden boxes. My sadness was for the mom of one of them, our school crossing guard, and for the younger brother of the other soldier. Both of these people were devastated by the loss of their loved ones to a ( so called ) ‘ War’ we had no business ever being involved in. The mom of the Marine lost her wonderful bright smile after her son died. The brother of the Army Ranger got into drugs a few years later, and died of an overdose soon after. It seems at times how sadness can be so contagious. This was the impetus to get me into becoming an anti war activist, which I remain today.
The morning of March 19th , 2003 I awoke early on, as the night before we knew something heinous was going down real soon. When I stood by the television and watched what was called ‘ Shock and Awe’ , I cried, and took some time to stop. Once again intuition can take over and instruct us. In my heart of hearts I knew that this illegal and immoral action was the worst I had ever experienced, even more evilly potent than the Vietnam debacle. Matter of fact, it was on par with my sadness when studying the JFK conspiracy, knowing that Lee Harvey Oswald was truly a patsy for the real Deep State. Oliver Stone did this nation a tremendous service with his 1991 film JFK, which I watch at least twice a year. When I come to the part when Kevin Costner, as Jim Garrison, almost breaks down giving his summation, I break down. There are no time limits on sadness.
Now we have a new sadness, this pandemic. Too many people , worldwide, are dying from this virus for it to be taken with anything but a grain of salt. This writer dismisses the talk, from both sides of the political spectrum, that this virus is overblown and part of a plan. Yes, there are most likely plans by those who run things, the Uber Rich who own the corporate world and our government, for more control over us working stiffs… that’s a given. The secondary sadness I and others feel is the callous and evil ( yes, evil) manner in which so little money is created for the millions of small businesses and hundreds of millions of working stiffs. Yet, they ‘ give away the store’ to the big businesses and Wall Street. I see and hear and read about mega millions of us working stiffs out of work, knowing that those lucky to get benefits will see that end soon. Meanwhile, tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions of us will be at risk, virus wise and financially wise. Why won’t the mainstream media and our politicians flood the airwaves with an idea that 99+% of us need NOW, the Universal Basic Income stipend ( which Spain is already adopting)? You know why, don’t you? This phony Two Party/One Party system and embedded media, taking their orders from the Military Industrial Empire, cannot do the possible… by calling it… duh, impossible! For whom? For the banks and large corporate world, who just got their second bone -the first being the 2008-09 bailout? Do those who control things actually believe that one or even two $1200 gifts is going to keep families afloat? Maybe it takes sadness to wake people up and take off the clown makeup this empire’s propaganda conned them into wearing for so long.
Isn’t it bad enough that the Deep State wanted a circus and got enough people to elect a clown?
Philip A. Farruggio
May 12, 2020