Tuesday, February 19, 2013

On PBS tonight

On Frontline: Raising Adam Lanza. See also this story from the Hartford Courant.

comments: 6

Daughter Number Three said...

Thanks for the reminder. I forgot all about Rachel Maddow's Hubris documentary last night, and it appears MSNBC doesn't repeat shows, a la PBS. I'll have to find it online, but at least I'll get the Frontline show.

Michael Leddy said...

It’s online. We’ve taken to catching more and more shows online, but I’m watching Frontline tonight.

Elaine said...

I left a comment and it got eaten by Blogger. I said it just right...and I don't have the energy to try and recreate it.

I heard a PBS preview of this broadcast. It does not sound like anything definitive was said. Every parent knows it is easier to be the parent of the victim than the parent of the perpetrator--even if it's a playground handful of sand in the face.
Even in minor flurries, a parent wonders where he/she went wrong, what might have been done, what was overlooked. Every parent should have the humility to realize that, 'There, but for the grace of God [or luck], go I.'
I can't think of a word that encompasses what I feel about the appetite for raking over the bones of a murdered woman--who might, in fact, have been killed by a son's twisted desire to spare her the reaction to his planned attack. In vain, it would appear.

Michael Leddy said...

I just watched the episode and didn’t see anything close to raking over the bones of a murdered woman. What I saw was the work of two reporters trying to learn something about the most important — and it seems only — relationship in Adam Lanza’s life. Nancy Lanza was characterized as a victim of her son’s violence and as someone devoted to him and trying to steer him toward some sort of future. Several people in the film spoke of her as making what turned out to be catastrophic choices — encouraging her son to shoot and keeping weapons in the house without locking them up. There was also a clear statement that nothing in a diagnosis of Asperger’s would point to what happened in Newtown.

I can’t imagine how it could be easier to be the parent of a victim in these or any circumstances — I don’t know how to quantify or compare such suffering.

Elaine said...

It isn't like you to so misread what I was saying, so perhaps it is that I expressed it poorly (having lost a post I was satisfied with) on rewriting.

One thing may be easier than another, even in the context of horrific tragedy.

A few weeks after our daughter's near-death (she was resuscitated, and emergency heart surgery at age 5 days saved her) a student at the HS where I taught received a car on the occasion of his 16th birthday. He took three friends for a drive...and was killed in a serious accident. As devastated as we were by our experience, all I could think was how much more dreadful it would be to lose a child after investing 16 *years* of love, care, and effort.

Michael Leddy said...

I meant literally what I said at the end — that I can’t understand how to evaluate or weigh suffering in that way. I think I’ve been influenced by reading about Vietnam veterans and the futility of comparing one’s suffering in war to that of others — who had it better or worse. But I don’t doubt that it’s easier to be reconciled to some circumstances than others.