Between our gubernatorial scandal, the crane collapse, the Sean Bell shooting, and the demise of Bear Stearns, there is a lot of bad news filling the local headlines here in New York.
However, for some reason, I find myself obsessed with the tragic story of young Nixzmary Brown, the 7-year-old Brooklyn girl who was systematically starved, abused, tortured, and beaten to death at the hands of her own parents. Every article I read about her has me in tears.
According to her own father's confession, both parents hit Nixzmary repeatedly with a belt, dunked her head in cold water, and used duct tape and bungee cords to tie her to a chair. A litter box was her toilet. The young girl was completely emaciated and, at her death, weighed 37 pounds (roughly the weight of a child half her age.)
The fact that a parent can inflict such pain on their own child is beyond my realm of understanding.
The scary thing is that one need only watch the local news anywhere in the world to hear these horrible tales of abuse. Nationwide, the trend has gotten so bad that there are websites solely devoted to documenting cases of child abuse.
I don't know about you guys but there seems to be a shocking rise in the incidence of child abuse on this planet and I think it augers for the end of the world.
Look, to a certain extent, I understand man's inhumanity against their fellow man. I don't believe we'll ever see a world without war or conflict. At a purely macro level, human beings are violent creatures intent on seeking conflict with others.
At the individual level, I also get the fact that occasionally people are going to brush up against another individual and hey, their life must end. That doesn't make it acceptable but, at some level, I think we all understand that transaction. As Dennis Miller once said, we're all big boys and girls and we dig our own graves.
But when did we start taking it out on innocent children?
How about we all join in making a little pact with one another?
You've got to promise me that if you ever get to the point in your life where you are so puzzled, confused, and frightened that you feel that the only way out is to abuse or molest a little kid, well then, you have got to fucking kill yourself. You've got to bite the bullet and take one for the team.
Do we have a deal?
Because honestly I can't think of anything worse in the world. What compels a person to take out their anger on a mere child? And how can people do that to their own children?
I get the fact that raising a kid is damn hard work and can often be an exercise in futility. I've frequently thought that parenting is the greatest test of man's patience since Job.
There are times when I've spent an hour cooking my daughter her favorite dinner and she's tossed it onto the floor in a rage of fury. I've walked into her room to see that she's painted the walls with poop. We've gotten into more fights about bedtime than I thought were even possible. She seems to have her most extreme meltdowns at the most inopportune times imaginable. And don't even get me started on how many books of mine have been destroyed because the Peanut ripped out the pages, stuck them in her mouth, and said to me, "Look, Daddy! I'm chewing gum!"
But see, that's where the true test of parenting begins.
When you can stand on the brink of chaos, teeter on the verge of insanity, want to throw yourself off a building and still look at your kid and say, "God damn, I'd do anything in the world for that little munchkin"...then you're ready to be a parent.
Run out and get yourself a copy of "Finding Nemo." Watch it 50 times. Pour some milk on your favorite shirt. Now deprive yourself of sleep for about a year.
Ok, now maybe you're ready.