Sunday, April 5, 2009

That's the news from Washington.

Two unfortunate Washington stories on the front of today. A second-generation candymaker in Leavenworth burnt his Alpine-themed shoppe to the ground with kerosene lamps, sugar-scented smoke billowing from the hills, handwrittten recipes charred like a marshmallow over the fire. Ironically, the store had been particularly profitable recently, thanks to recession-driven need for cheap indulgence.

The second story was far worse. A man, 34, discovered his wife was leaving him and killed their five kids, 7-16, then himself. The daughter girl who helped him discover his wife's infidelity was 16, conceived when the man was 18 and the mother 13. I can't think of words to describe the tragedy of this woman's life -- impregnated at 13 by an older man, tied to the trailer park for 16 years, to attempt some escape at the age of 29 or 30 that leads to the murder of your five children and the suicide of your husband. The deaths themselves are a horror, undoubtedly, and maybe she should be considered lucky to not be among the dead. She certainly doesn't seem lucky to be alive, though.

A comment on the said the mother should share some of the blame -- that she was "out galavanting with other men when her kids were at home and needed some parenting." I make no excuses for the woman's flaws and failures -- I'm sure she had many. But the percent of blame I'd place on the mother in this scenario is an invisible sliver of a pie cart occupied primarily by the father, with a solid second wedge going to oppressive social dynamics.

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