It’s been an interesting few weeks: a few weeks that have left me scratching my head and, as a result, wondering when the heck I turned into my parents. And, how did I not notice?
As for recent events, there’s been quite an interesting mix. Philadelphia’s famous (and infamous, in some minds) Cardinal Bevilacqua was found competent to testify in a case in which he and others were being accused of protecting abusive priests and covering up sexual abuse cases. The cardinal died a day after the court found him competent, and a local coroner is now performing toxicology tests. The authorities say that there’s no smoking gun making them do the tests, but it’s just the right thing to do in light of the trial…and the timing. I have confess (no religious pun/reference intended) that the timing of his death did make me raise an eyebrow. But, then again, what about the scandal in the Catholic church doesn’t? I was raised Catholic and, like many of us, always heard how good the church and it’s representatives were.
And, while we wait for these toxicology results — did any of us ever imagine that wed be waiting for toxicology tests on a mainstream religious leader? — the trials continue. Now, there are murmurings about files found in the archives of Philadelphia’s Catholic church that contain specific and detailed accounts of various priests’ behaviors…with children. The little bit the news has released (and you know they must have been legally restricted otherwise many of the networks would already be creating dramatic re-enactments) was pretty out there, even for adults who’ve heard of plenty, and are not necessarily prudes.
Over in the Happy Valley, Jerry Sandusky and his lawyers were in court to request that jurors for his upcoming trial are chosen from the local community (the prosecution is seeking a change of veneer), asked for and received increased access to his grandchildren and more flexibility in his house arrest (yes, for real). His questionable (in my opinion) legal team allowed him to whine at a press conference about how his neighbors and friends just don’t treat him the same any more. Ya think? Oh, and the judge? He also said it was okay to pick local jurors, and that a change of veneer was not necessary. The original judge who pooh-poohed bail and opted for house arrest was later revealed to have had Second Mile ties — close ones. Anything we should know about this most recent judge? Anything that outweighs the rights of HOW MANY kids?
And now, sadly, tragically, there’s Whitney Houston. Her death, like Michael Jackson, became the news for 36 hours. Not that I don’t feel for her family and friends, and to a lesser degree the fans and lesser still, the industry mucky-mucks (now I really sound old!), but seriously? These same execs contribute to the spiral of these folks. Even Clive Davis, who discovered Whitney. At her funeral, he said that she had a once in a lifetime talent and similarly that it was a talented for which “we” had waited a lifetime. No pressure, right? Why are we surprised when celebrities (and so-called celebrities a la reality TV) struggle with addiction and mental and behavioral health issues — their “demons”? We all like to think that we’d behave better (I know I do) that we’d overcome temptations and the pressures, but would we? Could we? What must it be like to have to live up to be a once-in-a-lifetime? Might as well be a/the deity.
Oh wait…the church. I forgot. Maybe that close to the top, isn’t such a good thing in any way or any setting.
Or am I just getting old? And who let my parents into my head anyway?