Monday, March 4, 2013

Miffed to Melancholic in Ten Minutes

This morning I congratulated myself for already having achieved the worst idea of the week: affixing my thigh-highs to my undies via safety pins. I won't go into detail, but let's just say that gravity overwhelmed my civil engineering efforts.

Then I went from miffed to melancholic in about ten minutes. The transition began when I sat down at my desk and checked in on the latest in Health & Human Services news, because that's part of my job. Usually I read articles about state budgets for deinstitutionalization, or studies about co-morbidity rates, or opinion pieces on healthcare. Pretty dry stuff, usually. Sometimes I get inspiring stories where children with disabilities get intervention early enough to make significant improvements in the quality of their lives. Those are great.

However, the news items this morning were neither great nor dry. A colleague sent me a link to an article about the new guy heading the L.A. County's Department of Children and Family Services. As I read it, I saw the picture of a little girl on the left sidebar, along with the headline link: "Report excoriates L.A. County agency in child deaths, torture." Now, I usually see these types of reports associated with Florida, so I clicked the link.

If you didn't click like I did, and I don't blame you, here's the skinny: case workers who basically give zero shits contributed to the deaths by abuse of children. The child in one of the highlighted cases was two years old. The other was a "young boy," found in a closet. In both cases, the agency received multiple tips that the parents or caretakers abused the kids. The agency closed the inquiries. When they did check, Vyctorya and Johnny were dead.

So I stopped reading. I went to BBC to read general news. Then I saw "Lab bids to combat species smuggling." In one example, poachers in Kenya slaughtered 79 elephants and put their loot in six crates that were then confiscated in Thailand. A photo I once saw on BBC flashed through my mind: a dead would-be mommy elephant, her tusks chopped off, her baby cut out of her out of curiosity, both corpses left on the ground.

As you can tell by my blog name, I love elephants. They're smart and gentle and sociable.

It's sad that we live in a world where people murder magnificent creatures to decorate some douchebag's house or improve some sap's fertility. It's awful that horrible people become parents and then hurt and kill their own children.

It really puts my thigh-highs situation in perspective.