A.A. Bondy
American Hearts

Leaves in the Gutter

For What I Don't Become

The Thick of It
BBC America

Saddest Ghost Lamp

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Didion on Schiavo

I've been meaning to point out Joan Didion's take on the Terri Schiavo debacle in last week's New York Review of Books. It's not really a take so much as a pitiless vivesection of every facile talking-head "argument" that bounced around the airwaves during the Passion of Terri, and an artful disaggregation of what Didion calls "the spectral presence called 'Terri'" from the woman named Theresa (Didion's insistence on using her full name, which at first seems odd, like referring to "Daniel Rather," serves to remind us how thoroughly the cable news establishment had processed Schiavo into a political and cultural shorthand).

Didion comes down against the removal of Schiavo's feeding tube, and I frankly don't know anymore whether or not I agree with her. But her astringent and merciless gaze is the ideal antidote to the shitstorm of sophistry that accompanied that woman's death.