Saturday, 18 April 2009


while it looks like i've been taking an extended easter break, i have done a bit of writing. there's my post here at the hand mirror, which links to a piece i wrote here about child discipline in islam. i've also just posted another piece at the hand mirror about an excellent interview kim hill conducted this morning with john simpson, about his film "men's group".

i too have been caught up with the guilty plea and sentencing of tony vietch this week. i've found his comments and those of his lawyer pretty awful. i see in mr vietch a man who seeks redemption, who feels unfairly targetted, and who seems to crave attention. the news this evening that he has made another attempt to take his life just adds to the sadness of this whole story.

as many others have commented, it looks like he is receiving some very bad advice and very little of the actual support that he needs. his focus and that of his minders has been on preserving his career rather than on preserving his life and his dignity. his paid lawyers and consultants appear to be more focused on garnering publicity for themselves than on doing what's best for their client.

who can know what is going on in his mind these past few days. my own suspicion is that despite all the people around him, he's feeling pretty much alone right now. i won't waste my time offering useless tips on how he could have handled the situation better or what he should do from here on in (useless in that neither he nor anyone around him is likely to be taking that advice).

rather i wish both him and his former partner peace and a turning away of the spotlight so that they can both start to heal from this experience. to a large extent, this is in their own hands.

and i wonder at my own motivation in following this story so closely. not that i've watched any of the television interviews of mr vietch or ms dunne-powell, but found this segment of nine-to-noon very interesting. mostly i've followed the story from blogs and links in those blogs to news articles on-line. generally i don't follow tabloid gossip about celebrities with any interest, but somehow i can't keep away from this one.

perhaps it's the issue of domestic violence, in which i have an interest as a person opposed to violence and as a trustee of an organisation that supports victims of DV. it's also anger at some in the media and the public who blame the victim for what happened to her, or who try to minimise her suffering. or maybe it's just that natural human tendency which compels us to slow down and look when we see a car crash, even when we know it doesn't concern us and what we see won't be pretty.


Moz said...

I've only followed the veitch story through reading posts like yours. I'm not sure why so many bloggers are upset about it, and I can't help feeling that the more attention we pay to him the worse things get for everyone involved.

I appreciate your post on child discipline much more - not just the "islamic perspective", your other comments made a lot of sense and gave me new ways to think about some things. Choosing to make your children fear you makes even less sense put that way than the more usual "must use violence to stop them", which has the implication of (say) forceful restraint than violent punishment. Hmm.

One more time for the people now... you rock. Thank you.

stargazer said...

and thank you moz, for that lovely comment.

i think most blogs that are dealing with it do so because of the wider issues it raises about the way our culture views domestic violence issues; and also because of the "celebrity" aspect which seems to have reduced his sentence.

but ultimately, you're right. i must work harder to wean myself off this...

lpcyusa said...

#What It’s Like to Chill with the Most Ruthless Men in the World
Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic:
Confessions of a Female War Crimes Investigator

Retrospectively, it was all so simple, natural and matter of fact being on a boat restaurant in Belgrade, sitting with, laughing, drinking a two hundred bottle of wine and chatting about war and peace while Ratko Mladic held my hand. Mladic, a man considered the world’s most ruthless war criminal since Adolf Hitler, still at large and currently having a five million dollar bounty on his head for genocide by the international community. Yet there I was with my two best friends at the time, a former Serbian diplomat, his wife, and Ratko Mladic just chilling. There was no security, nothing you’d ordinarily expect in such circumstances. Referring to himself merely as, Sharko; this is the story of it all came about.