The last thing I want to write about, now that my belly is proceeding me into every room by approximately 2.3 seconds, is wholesaling baby parts. But dammit if that’s not what’s trending in my newsfeed these past 24 hours.
But you and I both know that Facebook has fundamentally myopic tendencies, meaning it caters to your specific likes/beliefs/interests/sexual preferences/cat food brands/etc., and that you won’t see something you disagree with, most of the time. Because you’ve probably unfriended and distanced yourself from anyone with whom you disagree in real life.
I’ve never personally unfriended anyone for such a thought crime, but I’ve been jettisoned from quite a few former college classmate’s lists myself, so I know how it works. And I know that without their presence in my own little echo chamber, things sound a lot more homogenous.
Which is hardly helpful for the purpose of debate and ongoing discussion. But I guess it reinforces our little bubbles. And I guess it’s part of why I was not at all surprised to see that although every other hashtag in my social networks yesterday was #ppsellsbabyparts, it was nothing but crickets from CNN, MSNBC, ABC and the like (oh, but this gem from Cosmopolitan is rich). I even forced myself to stroll through 30 minutes of Anderson Cooper last night on the treadmill, knowing full well that he wasn’t going to cover the story. But I had to see for myself.
Before I go any further I want to confess this: I’m disgusted, first and foremost, by my own deep apathy for the situation. When the news broke yesterday that Planned Parenthood had fallen victim to yet another undercover investigative journalism sting, this one featuring a high-ranking medical officer in the company discussing selling dead baby parts for profit over a leafy kale salad and red wine lunch, my blood pressure was unchanged.
My first reaction, internally, was something like “well of course they’re selling human organs for profit. Why wouldn’t they?”
Blase. Utterly unsurprised. And the longer I sit with the news, the more disgusted and disturbed I am by my own emotionally-neutral state. For God’s sake, I’m 9 months pregnant. I should be sobbing when I listen to testimony about “carefully crushing above the neck and below the pelvis, to keep abdominal organs intact;” because I can’t even get through most bedtimes without tears, lately.
But there’s nothing.
Sure, I’m disgusted on an intellectual level. But the gut reaction of horror, pain, and revulsion is notably absent.
And I blame myself as much as I blame our violent, twisted, sadistic media – both news and entertainment.
When I was a young teenager, maybe 13 or 14 years old, I saw my first real horror movie: Silence of the Lambs. (I’m almost 100% sure without my parent’s knowledge.) It horrified me on such a deep level that I honestly cannot, to this day, look at Anthony Hopkins in photographs or in any other movies. The evil he so convincingly portrayed in the character of Hannibal Lector was so profound that I was shaken to my very core.
My developing teenage mind was assaulted by the idea that a anyone could eat human beings, that this man could be so intellectually superior to the average person and yet ensnared by such demonic evil as to be able to casually remark about “nice chianti and Fava beans” whilst dabbing traces of his victim’s blood from his lips with a fine linen napkin.
Fast forward 15 years or so and we find ourselves immersed in such a culture of violence, both on the news and in our so-called entertainment, that I doubt Hopkin’s performance would push any envelopes or raise any eyebrows today.
Cannibalism? Yawn. Saw that on CSI last week. Scalping and skinning? Ho-hum, isn’t ISIS doing that in Siberia or somewhere right now?
And that’s why this can happen. That’s why a corporate behemoth like Planned Parenthood can continue to gobble up tax dollars and butcher up babies all while convincing the public of their benevolent generosity towards “underprivileged” women and minorities.
Feminism, my ass.
Turns out it might be closer to cannibalism, of all the possible isms it could resemble. And that even when such a story breaks, the news rolls upon deaf ears and hardened, calloused hearts, worn weary by decades of daily doses of demonic violence and evil emanating from our screens and from our newspapers.
Shame on us. Shame on a world that, when news of the trafficking of tiny human hearts and livers hits 1% of the mainstream news, good men and women don’t take up arms and rush to the defense of the defenseless. Don’t start a revolution.
When I was younger I used to wonder about the German people and why nobody tried to get out ahead of Hitler, how an entire nation could have fallen under his evil spell.
Now I know. Now I see, firsthand, that none of us are immune to the horrors of our day. And that as the temperature rises, the frog slowly cooks, oblivious to his own imminent peril as the mercury creeps ever upward. And that at a certain point the human mind, when confronted with such appalling and obvious wickedness, shuts down or short circuits in cowardice or fear or apathy or, or, or …
I’m still searching for my “or.” I’m still trying to figure out why I’m not physically standing in front of a Planned Parenthood clinic this morning, blocking the doorway with my enormous pregnant belly so that not one more woman, not one more child is destroyed at their hands.
Instead I’m writing this up in a coffee shop, my own unborn collection of human parts rolling around beneath my too-tight skin, kicks visible to the nearest barista even through a layer of fat and muscle and spandex.