But Jill Carroll is increasingly starting to bug me. The details are still murky and it’s hard to appreciate what she’s been through. And maybe JPod’s right about Stockholm syndrome. And maybe the media’s selectively choosing what to show of her statements. But it would be nice to hear her say something remotely critical of her captors, particularly about the fact that they murdered her translator in cold blood. I’m very glad she’s alive, but I’m getting a very bad vibe. More, no doubt, to come.
And you know, what I find really interesting here is that Jonah really does seem to think that the point of Jill Carroll’s release is his dilemma over how to feel about it.
I knew from an unfortunately necessary familiarity with his work that Jonah cherishes opportunities to show that he has a more elevated sensibility than the rest of us. It takes a man’s man, after all, to joke about hurricane victims as the hurricane is hitting them.
However, I am beginning to find the mutterings of Jonah and JPod and the others on the subject of Carroll somewhat one-note. They’re all focusing on how she makes them feel, as if her central role in all this is as some kind of vessel into which to pour their emotions, as if she is, not a person with a complex story and a family and a past and a future, but a symbol to them. They don’t know how to feel about her, and their emotional upheaval is assigned as her failing.
There’s a self-centered attitude here that would be frankly kind of amusing if it didn’t inform a worldview that is at the moment wrecking our country and spewing invective at a young woman who’s been through a horrible ordeal.
Don’t think I don’t feel for Jonah, though, in the end. It’s so hard, this time in a person’s life, when you discover the mere act of having expectations doesn’t make people fulfill them. It makes you realize the world doesn’t revolve around your head, and man, I remember the first time I realized that myself. It was twenty-five years ago, but God, it was painful.
Jonah, Jonah, Jonah. Let’s see if we can’t ease your passage through this difficult time. Let me explain this nice and slow.
Nobody. Gives. A. Shit. How. You. Feel.
No one cares if Jill Carroll bugs you. It’s not her job to bug you or not bug you. It’s not my job to bug you or not bug you. It’s not anybody’s job to do anything you want them to do, not anybody except the poor NRO intern who has to get you your Yoo-Hoo and churro at 4 p.m. each day. It’s that poor kid’s job to keep your complacent ass happy. The rest of us? Are pretty much immune from any obligation to you whatsoever.
Go back to putting the words “Neocon” and “KLo” into your Time-Life Sounds of the 70’s soundtrack, okay, muffin? At least that seemed to amuse some people.