One day Anni was twirling and singing one of her original compositions.
"It's my gift!" she declared.
Dizzy, she fell with spectacular gracelessness.
Laying on her back on the tile floor she began flapping her arms and legs
as if she were making a snow angel.
"Falling down is also a gift!" says she.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

network tv is bad for my health

Here I am steaming and stewing again. I just watched the premiere of Revelations on NBC. And wouldn't you know it? Organ donation came up again! Hooray for National Donate Life month! But, wait...What's this? You mean, the transplant people are the bad guys? You mean, they're fighting the Catholic Church? And, somehow, organ donation is being presented as antithetical to the Right to Life movement? And that's when my head exploded.* This one was even worse, much worse actually, than the Grey's Anatomy episode. For one thing, in a nod to the new vocabulary we have all acquired post-Terri Schiavo, the child was described as being in a persistent vegetative state. People in persistent vegetative states are nowhere near being qualified as organ donors. This child, miraculous or not, was speaking and writing. That’s a pretty good indicator that she’s not brain dead. But yet, there was some team of ominous (and arrogant and stubborn, of course) doctors pushing for her to be an organ donor, while a nun and a priest fought to stop them. I don’t doubt that the Catholic Church would be against using that child as an organ donor. So would all Organ Procurement Organizations and any doctor associated with any transplant program in this country. What’s going on? Does it really need to be said that the Catholic Church supports organ donation as a compassionate and loving choice? As do all major religions in this country? Did they need to conflate the issue of Right to Life with organ donation? Did they need to create characters pushing for organ donation to be the bad guys? What’s going on here? *edited to add: I missed the first 15 minutes of this show, which was probably a good thing, as Cecily pointed out that the parents were evidently being paid by the recipients of their child's kidneys. OK. There's nothing to say to that except maybe...Holy Crap. Oh. So. Illegal.


Blogger ocelot said...

How strange. "The media" create new versions of reality. The journalists are vultures, foisting a private family issue (Terri Schiavo) upon us night and day for weeks to polarize the nation about something that was none of our business (I tried avoiding coverage, but it was everywhere - airport monitors, public bathroom radios, egads!). Hollywood perpetuates the extravaganza by fabricating behavior that would be eye opening if rooted in reality, but is just emotional manipulation via deceit.

I try not to be conspiracy minded about the "they"'s (they're doing this, they're doing that), but sometimes it's so coordinated and deliberate, it's hard not to rail against "them".

4/13/2005 10:31 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

I entirely sympathize--it must be maddening to see that junk when the topic is something you know and care so much about. Nonetheless, this is a network TV drama we're talking about. How many subjects more complicated than "cop kills bad guy" are such shows known for presenting responsibly? Hell, even the news shows are more likely to distort and sensationalize their subjects to get people's attention. The function of network shows is to sell products, and I truly believe the content is a secondary consideration. Getting ratings is way more important to them than getting it right.

I didn't see Revelations, but I'm worried that as the voices of extreme religious conservatism grow louder in this country, we'll be seeing more TV dramatizations of conflicts (real or artificial) between religious ideals and scientific/medical principles.

(sorry for the long comment, but your posts are always thought-provoking!)

4/13/2005 11:58 PM  
Blogger Moreena said...

I enjoy long comments, especially as I tend to make them myself.

It may well be that this sort of inaccurate, vaguely (or not so vaguely) negative presentation of organ donation has been going around for a while, and I just haven't noticed it. Yes, of course, I know of the urban myths of waking up in a bath of ice, but at least this didn't impinge on those wanting to be legitimate organ donors (nor did it leave the official transplant system in the wrong, as these were always presented as outside of the system). I'm just concerned that the actual system is being to be painted in a ghoulish light, and even more concerned that some might be pushing to lump the donation and transplantation system into this massive argument over Right to Life and Pro Choice. It's just not accurate...and I hope this is not a sign of things to come.

4/14/2005 7:51 AM  
Blogger Laurie said...

Argh! I didn't see the show, but as a Catholic (OK, sort-of-maybe Catholic), I'm disgusted! Of course no one would ever sanction the use of a child (or anyone for that matter) as an organ donor if they are in a "persistant vegetative state"! That's not brain death!


I hope you're writing another letter!

4/14/2005 8:57 AM  
Blogger Yankee T said...

I didn't see it, either, but I find it extremely troubling. The arm of right-to-life fanaticism is long and strong. We need to be very factual and vocal about issues like organ donation. Yes, please...write another letter!

4/14/2005 11:58 AM  
Blogger Sterling, Massachusetts said...

Some of you are insane.

A network TV show distorts reality.

You complain about the distortion.

Then from this very same distorted view of reality, you draw inferences about the beliefs of "Catholics", "the arm of Right to Life fanaticism", and "extreme religious conservatism".

So let me see if I get this straight. The show was completely UNbelievable when it comes to organ donation....but BOY were they accurate when they come to portraying our political enemies?

What a crock....

4/14/2005 3:00 PM  
Blogger Moreena said...

Oh, boy. Hmmm. I don't think I said anything about the Catholic Church that they haven't said themselves (namely, that they support organ donation). And I don't think I said anything about the Right to Life movement, either. Except to say that I hope that it doesn't somehow get caught up in an anti-organ-donation view, which I don't believe it is right now.

I surely don't expect to get my views about catholics from watching a tv show. But the fact of the matter is that the Catholic Church is not as subject to the sort of public opinion that might be formed from watching tv as the organ donation movement might be. Organ Donation just doesn't get talked about so much on a day-to-day basis, and there are so many misconceptions out there. When a tv show does a program using organ donation as a plot device, and gets it all wrong, the repercussions can be great.

4/14/2005 3:37 PM  
Blogger Moreena said...

Not that I don't think that the Catholic Church and religious conservatives shouldn't be mad, too, if a show watched by 7 million people seriously misrepresents their views...

Really, organ donation shouldn't be a right vs. left issue. Or religious vs. scientific. Or whatever opposition you care to come up with. Really, not. And I hope you would agree with me.

4/14/2005 3:49 PM  
Blogger Jay said...

You are having a rough time this month, but good for you for keeping it up. I am sending out my own letters to keep the cause going. I guess we can only hope to make a small difference. Keep posting, keep trying.

4/14/2005 7:21 PM  
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