Wednesday, January 26, 2005

On the Mark -- Taking a Ride on the Time Machine

I was reading the papers today and thought for sure I must have somehow gotten on H.G. Wells' time machine and went back a few centuries.

In Egypt there's a paternity case under way. A 27-year-old woman had the "gall" to refuse an abortion when she got pregnant out of wedlock, although the couple seemed to have a written agreement that they were privately married. Typically, a woman in her "condition" would have had an abortion, had her hymen replaced to "refresh" her virginity, and then gotten married as soon as possible to the next clueless man. As crazy as this sounds, she's lucky in some respects, because in some other countries she would have been stoned to death.

Then there was the case in Phalaborwa, 280 miles northeast of Johannesburg, where an employer was so unhappy with one of his workers that he didn't just fire him, he had him fed to 20 white lions. They happily devoured him after he had been tied to a tree and beaten with machetes.

Then I read (again) about how the United States is about to confirm its new attorney general, Alberto Gonzales, who is notorious for his department's torture memo (which he is trying to distance himself from) that "gave a disturbingly narrow definition of torture, limiting it to physical abuse that produced pain of the kind associated with organ failure or death."

I had to check my calendar to make sure it really is the 21st Century.

1 comment:

Janet said...

It's scary some of the things you hear these days. Now try hearing something out there from somewhere you know. Extra frightening stuff.