A specific use of the word “beautiful”

I am about fifty pages into trying to put this real-life horror movie into book form, this story of cooties in the kindergarten playground, dictated to me, with an air of inevitability I can now almost taste, by a group of old friends, every detail exactly perfect as it happened. If by perfect we mean “beautiful” in the sense certain Ukrainian Jews used to use the word beautiful.

One example of this special use of “beautiful” was the explanation given to a Ukrainian Jew, in 1942, about why a Ukrainian policeman had to shoot a young Jew who had stolen bread. The Jew, who saw the policeman leading the boy away at gunpoint, had sought to save the kid’s life. He tried to convince the policeman, a man he knew, to punish him in a less extreme way, perhaps a beating and a fine. The Jew described how the policeman explained himself, “in a beautiful way.”

Let’s say I fine him,” said the policeman, “and he can’t pay the fine. And we both know he can’t pay the fine, that’s why he stole bread. So if I let him go with a fine that he can’t pay, am I really doing him any kind of favor? Things will go very badly for him in a very short time, with the SS, and I’ll also be in trouble. So by shooting him, I’m actually performing a kind of mercy, it’s better all around, for everybody.”

When I describe the story that a group of my lifelong friends have dictated to me as beautiful, this is the sense in which I mean beautiful.

Message from the Holy Land

Dearest Elliot [sic],

I got your letter yesterday and after trying to read the whole thing a few times, I stopped and just slept on it.

I tried to think about why you were writing it and why to me.

I can’t say I was able to make sense of it, but my heart clearly understood. 

I felt how much pain you are in and how deep your suffering goes. It obviously didn’t begin with the event that triggered your divorce from your bosom buddy and the community that came with him. It began way back within your own family and all the unfinished business you carry like an albatross throughout all your relationships and life.

The letter was more like a purge than an invitation to a conversation. 

I also don’t believe there’s anything I can say to you that will assuage your suffering. If you’re willing to unpack it all, you have to see a professional.  I can tell you that Ilan found his peace many many years ago through meditation. I can attest to the change the man internalized over the years and the impact it has had on our life together. 

If you’re comfortable with just being ‘right’ you’ll spend your life brewing and it will take it to the grave. If you want to find your peace, you know what you have to do. If you want to face your demons you have to find a neutral setting and do all the hard painful work that it takes. You can’t change all the people in your world, but you can change yourself and heal.

Think about it Elliot [sic]. Do you want to throw away the remainder of your years by being angry, by being ‘right’ or do you want to find your peace.

Only you have the answer. 

With much love,


I replied with more explanation of why I’d been so hurt and so forth. That night I had a call from the Flying Monkey, Redacted’s best friend and confidant. After that loving chat, I had no choice but to amend my reply:

Oh, one last thing.  You asked why I sent you the pages you could make no sense of.   A reason I forgot to mention in my previous email is that I consider you perhaps the sharpest and most perceptive person in the circle.  I was hoping for understanding, which, clearly, you could not provide.

In replying to you a few days ago I made the same stupid mistake I’ve been making all along, since that hideous year bookended by two angry Yom Kippurs.  I tried to use reason to persuade someone who had clearly made up her mind, based on the other party to my ugly “divorce” from X/Y having already persuaded everyone we know in common that they behaved perfectly and Eliot is, alone in the history of divorce and every other conflict, entirely to blame for everything that happened.  When he’s frustrated he says the fucking f-word!  And worse!

It was very clear from your moralistic response that you follow that interpretation, only one party has behaved aggressively and immaturely (from my point of view, I am not that party, of course – and I have the receipts, if anyone who has judged me unworthy of friendship were interested in being fair, or empathetic). 

Consider for a second: if I was the enraged person you portrayed in your pitying judgment, would I have reacted as mildly as I did to what can fairly be seen as the judgment of someone who feels infinitely superior to me?  Based on a false account imparted during a successful attempt to assassinate my good name among people I have long loved, listened to, made laugh?   No feelings I might have about being unfairly judged and banished by an entire group of old friends, most of whom I never had a hint of a quarrel with, are appropriate — except as manifestations of a need for intensive psychiatric work?  

When someone you care about is upset, you ask them what happened, you listen to them.  You offer to help, if you can. 

When someone is upset and you tell them they have no right to be upset, that they are wrong, and immature, and irrationally clinging to childhood pain, and unable to get past their previous abuse, are aggressively angry, unforgiving, hellbent on being right at all costs and trying to change everyone in the world but themselves, and are unwilling to do the hard work everyone else in pain has presumably done to become more fully human — well, you really shouldn’t sign that kind of message “much love,” darling.

I’ll leave our dear friend the final word on this ugliness (well, me, actually, but you know how I am).

The only way to flush these hard feelings, dear Seedj, is by having the last word in a quiet battle with self-righteous, toxically clannish pinheads.

Dream from the book

I was sitting in the front row of a good sized theater, like a large university lecture hall, a movie of some kind was playing on the screen. The lights in the room were also on and nobody in the room seemed to be paying much attention to what was on the screen. There was general conversation going on throughout the hall.

In the row behind me sat the adult son of old friends of mine, a good looking young man with a bison-sized head, even more so in the dream. We were chatting amiably when he leaned forward, inclining his impressive head until his chin rested heavily, but affectionately, on my shoulder.

He told me quietly, into my ear, that I’d gotten him into hot water with his parents, by telling them about some homemade cannabis edibles I’d sent him recently. His parents, long time enjoyers of good cannabis, were apparently militantly anti-cannabis these days and I’d compromised him by outing him with my loose lips.

I apologized, assured him that the last time we’d seen each other, his father and I’d smoked a joint together. I told him I was sorry to have put him in hot water by my unintended indiscretion. Then I imparted my own news, his father and mother had withdrawn all meaningful signs of their friendship from me, after fifty years.

Suddenly, cinematically, he was seated in the last row of the amphitheater, covered by the same blue blanket the rest of his college classmates in the seats around him were draped in.

“Are you writing the book?” he asked, his voice as clear and close as when he was seated next to me. I told him I sure was.

We spoke back and forth for a moment until I told him I was uncomfortable having this kind of private conversation by calling across a large, crowded room.

It was good seeing him.

Attachment v. Authenticity

Gabor Maté, in The Myth of Normal, points out that we have a primary need for attachment, that it is impossible to survive as infants or live healthily without close attachment to others.

Our other primary need is authenticity, being true to ourselves, being in touch with what we mostly deeply need. When these things are in conflict… watch out.

As Maté writes “for many people these attachment circuits powerfully override the ones that grant us rationality, objective decision making or conscious will, a fact that explains much of our behavior across multiple realms.”

Dig it.

The right to be heard

Chapter 11 (from a work in progress)

If you are a humanistic person, you probably believe that every child is born with the right to be heard. It is one of those unalienable rights Thomas Jefferson enumerated in the Declaration of Independence (omitted from our Constitution for the practical, profit-driven reason that many men – and all women – were not created equal to their owners, nor endowed with jack shit). A child is born with a right to be heard.

Much of what the child has to say, granted, can be annoying as hell. First it’s crying and screaming about things the parents can only guess about, and unless they guess right, it will never stop. Hungry? Load in the diaper? Feeling neglected? Wet? Cold? Wanting a hug? Who the hell can tell? For some parents, this irrationally complaining baby’s incoherent crankiness will set the tone for the subsequent relationship.

You were belly-aching from the time you were born,” a father will tell his needy son, once the boy is old enough. “I didn’t know what you were screaming about then and I don’t know what you’re upset about now. You have a room of your own, in a nice house, with heat, hot water, all the food you can eat, clothes, sneakers, toys, games – and you know how hard I work to give you all those things. And yet you complain. I have no idea what it is you think you’re somehow owed and not getting… (etc.)”

This may all be true, from the father’s point of view, but none of it is any help to the child, who still wants to be heard.

What is your fucking problem, son? Use your words.”

You don’t listen to me,” says the boy.

“What are you talking about? I’m listening to you right now, son. All I ever hear from you is complaints, if it’s not something you can explain to me, it’s some gripe you can’t put into words.”

You’re not hearing me, dad. When I talk I can see what I’m saying does not go into your head. You never hear what I say.”

That’s insane,” says the father, “I heard what you said just now, right now, five seconds ago. You said I’m not hearing you, that your words don’t get into my head, that I never hear what you say. I heard all that. How can you say I never hear you?”

The son is no match for this adult and his implacable logic and soon gives up, still feeling he is never heard. Why does he feel this way? When he says he’s scared, his mother tells him he has nothing to be scared about. When he tells his father he’s cold, the father tells him the temperature in the house and explains why it’s impossible to feel cold at that temperature. The adults always unite to insist that they have heard everything reasonable he has to say.

You have the right to be heard. If someone claims to love you, and will not listen to what you have to say, take the brutal hint, stop talking and call someone who can listen. If there is nobody around, sit in a quiet place and put your words down on a page. You have the right to be heard, no matter what people who claim to be better than you might have to say about it.

Trauma is visceral

If you have experienced trauma, and I hope you never have, you will know that you feel it in your body.

You will feel it, sharply, in your lungs, or your heart, your spine, your skin, in various internal organs. Trauma is experienced viscerally. If you have the misfortune to know trauma, you know that it is awful, disorienting, terrifying shit that feels like drowning or being electrocuted.

To convey the experience of trauma, I think it’s necessary to make the reader feel some measure of how extreme and unbearable the feeling is.

The description of trauma needs to be a bit visceral too. To say that it is blindly terrifying fucking shit is a little more accurate than describing it as extremely discomfiting and acutely painful.

I wrote a post recently that was intended to convey the traumatic feeling of being of being betrayed and vilified by people you love, people who claim to love you, people you trust, who insist they love you while brutally blaming you for their own incapacities. If you have experienced this particular trauma you will know how truly fucking soul destroying the experience is.

So while I can say it hurt terribly when these people unfairly judged me, shouted me down, threatened me, vilified me and did their best to destroy my reputation among our mutual friends, I can convey the experience more accurately by describing it as my lifelong friends exerting all their powers to convince people who are fond of me that I am Adolf Hitler incarnate.

That is the best way I know to conjure the to-the-death zero sum game one is up against with people who will pay any price not to feel they have ever been wrong. There is always a certain percentage of these merciless people in the population, sad to say, and their particular genius is manipulating you to make you question things that are actually beyond question. A sudden transition into Hitler underscores the absurdity of a childish insistence on being right, no matter how ridiculous you must make your claim to righteousness.

It feels essential to me, in describing a complex emotion so terrible, to include an element of discomfort to convey the specific deadly truth of that inescapable trap. If the description is not somehow a bit unsettling, I don’t think the reader can fully understand the particular pain that I’m trying to convey.

The pain of blaming yourself, somehow, for failing to fix a problem you didn’t create and that nobody alive can fix, except maybe the person blaming you.

It is two different things to say my friends betrayed and vilified me or my friends insist that if I deny I am Hitler that proves I am Hitler.

The second description captures much more closely the mindfucking experience I am trying to convey to the young woman I was addressing in the post about our respective traumatic mistreatment at the hands of the same couple. For her this couple was her mother and father, for me this couple was my two closest friends for 50 years, or so I believed.

Let me put it this way, if you find yourself in a disagreement or conflict with people who love you there is always a way to resolve things peacefully, unless one of the parties is incapable of admitting fault for anything, because to admit wrongdoing is humiliating to some. If you absolutely cannot admit fault you must deny the hurt of the other person, and since it is impossible that you caused it, the pain must therefor actually be the fault of the person who is suffering and making you feel bad about yourself.

So it is not that the hurt person who is seeking to resolve things with you is simply wrong, a jerk, or some kind of generic doody head. The other person must be irredeemably evil, a compulsive liar, adamantly stubborn, viciously determined to win at any cost, capable of any insane atrocity, for example recruiting an army of fanatics to build huge industrial camps to murder as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time. In short we are talking about Hitler here.

It’s some sick shit, I understand, but it also is what a zero sum worldview is, sad and horrible as it is to say or write. So referring to myself as Uncle Hitler, even while giving what seems to be compassionate counsel to someone I know to be suffering from something I myself experienced from the same couple, aside from the dark, Jewish irony of it, compresses all that in the best way I know, distasteful as it also, undoubtedly, is.

If someone is not a monster like that, there is always hope of resolving whatever the problem is. If someone is Hitler, you are absolutely right to declare them dead to you and nobody will ever fault you for it. Lest you think that I am projecting, and casually doing the very thing that I hate, I have always proved myself willing to endure a great deal of frustration to try to make peace, until it is clear to me that I am being treated as an implacable enemy. Once you see that, in my experience, the only road is away from that person, no matter how much you may have shared and loved.

When being conciliatory becomes a problem

A friendly readiness to compromise, be agreeable and conciliatory becomes a handicap only when you find yourself in a conflict with someone who has to win, no matter what.

This type quickly makes a deadly weapon of the benefit of the doubt that you keep extending to them. In this moment, it is very important to listen to what that unsettled feeling in your stomach, in your lungs, your muscles is telling you.

You learn agreeable behavior as a baby, as a matter of survival. You must be easy to get along with, easy to love. It is good to be easy to get along with, until you find yourself locked in a struggle with someone who sees the world only as domination or submission.

These motherfuckers play a game where only one person walks away alive at the end. Learn to see the deadly game as early as you can, learn to get away from them as soon as you can. If necessary, learn not to feel bad if you have to kick them hard or punch them in the face to get away from them. They will do much worse to you if you stick around and keep trying to reason with them.

Clarity v Clarity

Life is complicated, confusing, sometimes maddening in its perplexing complexity. It is natural for a person to search for clarity and simplicity when everything is overwhelming. The feeling of seeing things clearly is a great help for mental health. Clarity is a much better guide than confusion for knowing what to do, how to act, what is right and what is misguided. Clarity is undeniably a good thing.

The most common form of clarity is based on general consensus, shared views on right and wrong. Everyone around you agrees about the basic issues, you agree on the proper authorities and experts to consult for confirmation, and you don’t have to constantly fight your way through painful conflict over every detail of every single aspect of everything in a sometimes aggravating life. This kind of clarity is normal, commendable, and at its heart based on love, trust and faith, the highest reasons to believe anything.

There is another kind of clarity that some insist is more substantial and more useful than the clarity of general consensus, faith, love and absolute loyalty. This kind of clarity requires a little more work, and a little less faith. It is slightly more difficult to get, since it seeks evidence and some kind of reasonable confirmation rather than just general agreement.

This kind of clarity is also often seen as more supremely annoying, abnormal, superiority-based and frankly provocative as fuck, this “so-called” clarity based on doing the work to think things through clearly, reconcile conflicting points of view and reach conclusions that can be explained clearly to others.

Practitioners of faith and love-based clarity find this “reasonableness based” clarity profoundly lacking in the three most important aspects of human life — love, trust and faith. We love each other, trust each other and we have faith in each other. Nothing could be simpler, or more commendable, better or more praiseworthy.

The practitioner of so-called “reasonableness-based clarity” already admits that love and trust are not enough for him, nor faith, absent the so-called reasons he claims allow him to see things more clearly than “normal” people, those he feels pugnaciously superior to.

You see where we’re at here. It is elementally human to want to feel you are right, that you are not wrong, that you are not talking out of your ass, out of a blind need to feel right, not wrong, not talking out of your ass. Love covers all those things, of course, since your motivations and intentions are of necessity spotless, if they come from love.

The cold-hearted person who keeps demanding so-called Reason (and for some reason this type likes to capitalize the word Reason in the context of a principle of thoughtful life derived from fact, evidence, experience, trial and error and so forth) will always be lacking in that most important single thing in life — love (and its close cousin loyalty). They also, those who keep delving, and thinking, and digging in emotionally difficult terrain, lack trust and faith, clearly, as shown by their very actions.

They cannot accept that a deity arranged this miraculous universe in a way humans can never fully understand, and that all human attempts to understand the will of one so omnipotent, omniscient, ubiquitous and all-loving are merely the vanity of the flawed creations of this perfect being, creations made in his perfect image… so how can you expect them to understand?

It is easy to understand that people who strongly feel they already have perfect clarity would be offended, even angry, at the assertion that they have taken the easy way out of a difficult problem by accepting something less than ideal, for the sake of peace of mind. I’d be offended, as I am, when people attack my notion of clearheaded analysis, often certain of my position before I can even express it. Homo sapiens, the “wise ape”, is also a reflexively self-justifying, warlike ape.

Those who may happen on these opinionated posts of mine, please don’t mistake me for someone who accepts that an all-powerful, all-merciful creator has dreamed up a world perfect beyond my comprehension and overflowing with a divine love I have locked my heart against. As Neil DeGrasse Tyson points out, it is not possible, in the face of acts of God like earthquakes, tsunamis, plagues, killer floods, events that kill thousands of innocents, including children, that the same God whose acts these are is all-powerful and all-loving. If he was all-loving, you know, and if he was all-powerful, you know.

Leaving God out of it, those who get clarity through ideology, accepting a belief system without questioning what it is made of, what motivates it, what the likely results of its goals are, God bless. Not for me, though. Getting clarity is the only way through the dim night. It’s often more strenuous than serene acceptance of an explanation that gives maximum comfort, though the serene acceptance method often has unintended consequences.

Believe what you like, I say. I don’t proselytize, it’s against my religion. I say what I have to. You take in what you’d like to and disregard the rest, it’s still a free country. God, it is said, created freewill, the basis of human life and all human misery. Human freewill, of course, is God’s get out of jail card against the blasphemous charge that He is not all-powerful and all-merciful, for any evil that humans encounter is the fault of human freewill, God’s gift to mankind, and no fault of an all-powerful, all-loving Creator. I’ll leave it to more pure minds than my own to fight that one out. I have to go now.

Accepting things we should not accept

The world is, more often than not,  a war zone, a very tragic thing considering the miraculous nature and boundless natural beauty of the besieged place where we spend our fleeting lives.  Think too much about its potential to be a peaceful place where neighbor does not lift up sword against neighbor and your heart will break. 

Right now, worldwide, a violent war is raging over who will own everything – a few people with the power to impose their will on those with less power, even if it comes at the price of destroying the habitat all living creatures depend on to survive — or the rest of us.  The powerful will spend unimaginable sums of their vast fortunes to ensure that their will becomes permanent, inviolable law. 

They will hire huge armies, capable of exerting whatever terrifying force is necessary to silence dissent and all alternatives for the present and future.  They will divide us all and make many angry enough to kill, and make sure they have easy, legal access to the firepower to spray death as easily and terrifyingly as humanly possible.

They will destroy all records of the past, rewrite history by rewriting the laws to prevent the dissemination of history they find repugnant.  They will obliterate all avenues to compromise that could help create a more perfect, more just, more sustainable world.  They want total war because they see the world as a war zone and they have the means to win a total war.  Most of us don’t.

Antisemites call this small group of willful, powerful people with immense wealth, hellbent on destroying morality, controlling governments and imposing their hateful will on the rest of humanity The Jews.  Racists, who can’t give the race they hate credit for being intelligent enough to have thoughts of their own, attribute their feeling of lost power to the Jews, who are replacing them as the power bloc in democracy with brown robots programmed to do the infernal work of the Jew, so they can impose their sick vision on the rest of the good, God-fearing people, the rest of the people like them. 

You don’t have to be an antisemite to reduce the war-torn world to this kind of paranoid cartoon.  Just think of the unknown aged billionaire who legally left Leonard Leo, architect of the 6-3 extremist Federalist Society Supreme Court majority,  a war chest of $1,600,000,000 to strategically spend doing whatever is necessary to finish creating the world this small, powerful minority hopes to see in perpetuity.

We learn the names of most of these creepy reactionary billionaires (and, to be fair, there are some billionaires who bankroll Democrats hence corporate Democrats) only in their old age, after a lifetime of dirty deeds: The Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson, reclusive Robert Mercer (patron of Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway, Cruz turned Trump patron), secretive Jeff Yass, Ken Langone (Home Depot), Betsey DeVos, Erik Prince, Harlan Crow, who bought his own far right Supreme Court justice, Peter Theil, Elon Musk, among others on the far right with money to burn. There are dozens of these motherfuckers, all cursing George Soros, a Jew, for being the evil radical left puppet master/bankroller of pedophile Democrats.

The Age of Reason, we are reminded, was an aspirational age.  Like the Warren Court, that expanded rights and greater justice to all citizens of our democracy, The Enlightenment was an outlier in human history.  Most of our bloodstained past is written by ruthless rulers, in the blood of the oppressed.  Oppression itself, with its attendant atrocities, is so ubiquitous in human history that we have many words to describe it over the ages, including serfdom, slavery and genocide.   So let’s not talk about any of that anymore, shall we?

The larger war sadly rages in our personal lives too, when conflict arises and empathy disappears.  Damage done to us by damaged people who were in turn damaged by damaged people lingers, may become all we can see.   For a feeling of safety in a hostile world, for the comfort of attachment to others, we sometimes accept things we should not accept. 

As I’m unable to sleep because the replaced knee is making things too uncomfortable, for the 24th night in a row, I find myself wondering about the things damaged people accept from other damaged people that may be unacceptable.  We can accept mistreatment that damages us worse than we already are, thinking it is the price we must pay for things of greater value, like love, friendship, a feeling of community.

We are all born reaching out for love and attachment.  Chemicals are released in the brain of the baby, of the parent, to create an intoxicating pleasure in bonding.  Things do not always go according to this beautiful plan, because most people have been damaged during this earliest stage of life, including, tragically, the parents.   

Parents are often overcome with their problems and nobody bothers to teach anyone how to do the difficult, almost impossible, job of being a compassionate parent when you are beset with your own terrible challenges.  It can’t be easy, to be always loving, always kind, always patient, when you are exhausted and the fucking baby won’t let you sleep.  Behaviors arise in the parent and the child that nobody bargained for.   Then the child is an adult — and then?   We wind up accepting things we should not accept, as the price for things we need in a dangerous life that ends, for all of us, in death.

Being abandoned when you are physically impaired, is it something you should ever tolerate from people who love you?   What goes on in the group of lifelong friends when they decide “if he’s too weak to keep up, he’ll just have to do the best he can, it’s not our problem”?   

Instead of waiting, or turning back to make sure he is not in trouble, let him struggle on, if he’s strong enough, he’ll make it, We made sure he bought hiking sticks and has a bottle of ibuprofen.  If he’s really too weak, we’ll unfortunately have to go back and see what happened.  Why is his trouble walking our problem when we are out on a beautiful day, in a beautiful place, enjoying a beautiful aerobic hike?  Why would he selfishly think we’d be thinking of him if we hadn’t seen him in an hour or two?  He knows the way back to the car, it’s at the end of this clearly marked six mile trial.

When, limping, you show up at the end of the hiking trail, where they have been resting, and will rise as soon as you appear, ready to continue, they will smile at you and say “we wondered what happened to you.  Are you ready?”  Meaning, we’ve had a nice rest, for a while, since you’ve been struggling to catch up with us for the last few hours, you don’t expect us to wait longer for you to rest yourself now, do you?   

Meaning, we smile, you smile, you accept that there is nothing wrong with the strong not waiting for the weak, it is clearly the way of the world.  You have to keep up, or you die.  In the end, you did not die, all’s well that ends well and you go out for a nice meal, pretending, for the sake of old friendship, that nothing is amiss.  Why get angry just because you were treated thoughtlessly?  This is a lesson you learned as a baby, you show you’re fine by acting fine and everything is as fine as it can be.

Being abandoned emotionally when you feel most in need of reassurance from loved ones, is that something you should ever accept?  Imagine what is going through the minds of those who turn away when they know you are most in need.  Imagine what makes them so angry afterward that you can be so unfair as to question their love just because they didn’t reach out after they promised to.  Imagine the immensity of the damage that makes someone act like that. 

Whatever it was, can you really accept a lack of basic empathy from a person who claims to love you?  It harms you in a place where healing is very difficult, it attacks your ability to trust.

I feel great fear for the adult son of parents who live by this ruthless credo of strength and shifting all blame to others.  The son feels he lacks the basic strength of an ordinary person, because, in fundamental ways, he has always been struggling to keep up with the illusion of vigor, indomitability and self-sufficiency his parents have set before him.   

If he can’t accept something as basic as that, maybe he’s not ready to take his place as heir to their good name.  I wonder if they really meant to teach their children the ruthless truth that someone they love can be removed from the world because their parents insist, in spite of they guy being alive and well, and desperately hoping to speak to the one most clearly in danger, that he is fucking dead to them. 

There are winners, son, and there are losers.  Winners persevere, never hesitate, do whatever is necessary to win, they face their fear and conquer it with their will.   You, sad to say, although we raised you to win, to keep up, to never pity yourself, do not seem able to do these things.  We love you no matter what, of course, but you must accept that we had nothing to do with the sad state you are in now. 

The son smiles, accepts their help whenever they offer, winds up, days after moving back into his parents’ house,  in a psychiatric hospital.

Something very serious must have occurred for these two parents, the strongest, proudest, most admirable people any of us have ever met, to subject themselves to the shame of admitting their son to a mental ward.  They taught their adult son that their word is final, if they say people he loves, who are walking around right now, are suddenly and forever dead, those people are fucking dead.