Patterico's Pontifications

12/24/2007

Quote of the Month

Filed under: Abortion,General — Patterico @ 8:38 am



Via Michelle Malkin:

Over the course of the evening, a few friends call. Each time I say something like, “You know, we were going to go out, but Emily’’s just not feeling well.”

This is true. She has been nauseated for almost a month. I tell them, “We’’re just going to stay in and stay warm.”

Emily listens carefully from the other room. The abortion is no one’’s business but ours, we’’ve decided.

Brian Goedde, writing about his girlfriend’s abortion . . . in the New York Times.

43 Responses to “Quote of the Month”

  1. Stunning.

    They have all the earmarks of the hip NYC intelligentsia: a cool apartment, self-conscious guilt free vegetarianism, ironic detachment.

    And the moral sense of an ant.

    Patricia (f56a97)

  2. Narcissistic little schmuck isn’t he?

    Mike Myers (31af82)

  3. Yeah, but earmarks don’t always tell the real story of whats perculating under the surface. You can make all the right statements, and send the right signals and have all the apparent the blase cool of the so called NYC intelligentsia but in dead of night when there are no distractions Emily will stay have come face to face with her decision and try to live with it. What a shame.

    Dana (44f154)

  4. The abortion is no one’s business but ours, we’ve decided.

    But of course, as a typical lefty journalist, he finds the need to share this story with all NY Times readers. I wish some people had the good taste to keep private matters private.

    JVW (765692)

  5. The BOTH of them need serious psychiatric care.

    PCD (09d6a8)

  6. The most telling part is her refusal to drink and his being “baffled” by that. She knows, at some level, what’s going on. Her refusal was probably a sign she was having second thoughts. Yet to him, the guy, it’s baffling, because he’s bought into the whole “it’s only a lump of tissue” lie. Emily knows different, because the baby is actually growing inside her.

    I wonder what would have happened if, at the moment she declined more than a sip of champagne, he had been a man and said: “Why don’t we have this baby?” Or even just a “are you having second thoughts?” Maybe Emily made this decision because she knew somehow that if she didn’t, Brian would be history in about 2 seconds, self-absorbed as he is.

    PatHMV (85af6e)

  7. But, as one “reverenddon” says on the Malkin comments, we are sinning to judge these two….

    Completely forgetting about the “sin” of taking a life….and of eliminating the possibility of that life having a lifetime of happiness with adoptive parents who would also have a lifetime of happiness…

    But, they do have their “choices,” don’t they???

    reff (99666d)

  8. They’re married now, how nice, how many other innocents have they decided to slaughter, all in the name of convenience. If that’s crude and insensitive,….tough shit !! They’re a couple of married ,ignorant ,assholes, whom have shown themselves to be undeserving of the responsibilty of children or sympathy. They’re so certain of their right to choose, but, haven’t the courage of their convictions to share their decision of death with their friends.

    Edward Lunny (85f233)

  9. I will say, though, that the Gimme Lean soy mush he mentions is really, really good. The sausage substitute is well spiced, tastes like sausage — and has no fat.

    Patterico (05fad0)

  10. “The abortion is no one’s business but ours, we’ve decided.”

    Ahhh,….. Brian, there is the possibility of a third party with a business interest.

    Ms. Judged (becd1d)

  11. BTW, Merry Christmas to you and yours Pat.

    Ms. Judged (becd1d)

  12. I know about abortion first hand, with a family member. I opposed it without success. I also have experienced the loss of a child. The sadness never leaves you. Brian may never get it, Emily will never forget it.

    “Grief gnawed relentlessly, but as time passed and he became accustomed to the pain, its acuteness subsided to a constant dull anguish.” – from a novel I’ve forgotten the name of

    JayHub (0a6237)

  13. Am I the only one who gets the understated (by omission) sadness of this entire piece? Anyone with an ounce of subtlety can tell that the whole point of this piece is regret/sadness. This is his confession, not a callous shrug.

    After reading it, also suspect this is the author’s way of expressing to his wife, in the most understated way possible, that he feels like the abortion was a bad decision. Symbolism and irony are pretty much all this guy can use to express his feelings, but they are clearly there.

    The whole article focuses on shallow, empty consumerism during the holiday prior to the abortion, and how he felt guilty before the the abortion — although he focuses on his guilt about “the stupidest lie ever”. Now, on another holiday without the child, his thoughts are straying back to the last days before the abortion.

    He talks about how carefully his wife orders him to protect the dumplings, which they eventually feed on — I’m pretty sure that’s symbolic of his regret at their willingness to abort their child (which should be protected) just so they can live a more comfortable (well-fed) life.

    This isn’t an article bragging about an abortion. It’s telling the story for a reason; to express regret.

    He’s not coming out and screaming “my wife and I are evil; we killed our baby!” But that’s pretty obviously what he’s confessing here, in a very understated way.

    The most obvious indicator is that he sets out up-front in the article “The abortion is no one’s business but ours, we’ve decided.”

    This article is clearly his his complete rebellion against that “decision.”

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  14. It’s telling the story for a reason; to express regret.

    But the one it would matter most to will never, ever know.

    Because they killed the baby.

    Par R. (490a09)

  15. After reading it, also suspect this is the author’s way of expressing to his wife, in the most understated way possible, that he feels like the abortion was a bad decision.

    Publishing it in The New York Times is the most understated way possible?

    You and I have a different definition for “understated”.

    If he really was expressing regret, he’d have taken this matter up with his wife in private. Instead he chose to air this for all to see. It’s narcissism disguised as remorse.

    Steverino (af57bc)

  16. I like the comment over at Michelle’s that, given the NYT circulation figures, maybe they are keeping it quiet.

    Mike K (6d4fc3)

  17. way tmi from an exhibitionist.

    assistant devil's advocate (99e821)

  18. I’m with Phil. The man feels guilt. And Steverino’s right – this is his narcissistic way of handling it. But the saddest thing of all is that this is still not a confession. It’s not like he would change anything if he could do it over. He’s reflecting on just one-of-those-sad-things-in-life. You know… we all go through them. as if it were all outside his control.

    Just one of those things.

    But the guilt he feels, even if artfully expressed, will not go away. Not ever. Not like this. Only when he can look at himself honestly, with all his chic sophistries stripped away, and recognize the monster he is will he be able to find the forgiveness he is offered.

    don (46957b)

  19. I kept waiting for the happy ending. You know… they both catch on. One of them says what they’re so carefully not saying.

    Man, how depressing.

    And yet, this is a good time of the year to confront such emptiness – just when we’re reminded most of the child who came to fill it up.

    don (46957b)

  20. Don:

    You complained “I kept waiting for the happy ending.”

    Maybe you didn’t finish the column, where they decided to:

    “brush our teeth, climb into bed and have unprotected sex”

    I bet he finished with a “happy ending”

    TomHynes (6c3e12)

  21. I believe what they have done should be a crime — murder — and, since it’s premeditated, they should be put to death. Were this the law of their state at the time the act was committed.

    Further, since this is a crime against humanity whatever the law of the land now, I believe they should, in the future, be tried and punished.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  22. Amen, Don #19.

    DRJ (09f144)

  23. “The abortion is no one’s business but ours, we’ve decided.”

    He had to tell someone I guess, and by using the NYT, he put it out to the smallest amount of people possible 😉

    This piece should be titled:

    We wanted to go out tonight, but after the killing of our child, we needed to refresh

    Verlin Martin (899dce)

  24. The New York Times – a liberal readership who will by reading your horrific little artistic piece will validate your barbaric “choice” – is the place to go when you can’t go to confession I guess.

    The poster above is right. Emily will never forget this. And she knew, if she’d “chosen” differently he’d be gone, the selfish bastard.

    Have seen firsthand what abortion’s aftermath does to a woman. It’s far from pretty. If this guy isn’t dealing with it yet with her, he will be, I guarantee it.

    And, if you or someone you know is dealing with it now, please visit: http://www.hopeafterabortion.com. You don’t have to go through this alone.

    no one you know (b74c0b)

  25. Oh…COME ON. I read your blog because you’re a sharp attorney who does a good job parsing newspaper articles and hanging bad writers with their own rope…but you couldn’t even read between the lines to get the painfully obvious (and somber) message of this piece.

    Kudos to Phil for actually getting the message.

    Do you really desipise pro-choice liberal English professors so much that you can’t even give this guy the benefit of the doubt? But OK, let’s pretend this liberal professor is too stoned to realize he’s outing himself in the same essay in which he describes how *several years* ago, he wanted to keep his abortion private. Then you’d have to ignore him willfully listing the pathetic lies he had to tell…the use of the word “guiltily” …and how he goes to great lengths in his writing to show what an insensitive ass he is compared to his wife.

    God…this is someone who agreed to an abortion, and is now stating his regret with it…and you go and roast him for it because it’s beyond you to think there might be subtext to this. Sure, he’s no Hemingway, and some people would prefer he express his guilt in sackcloth and ashes rather than writing a subtly phrased essay in the NYT…But wow, talk about being blinded by partisanship. I’ll just chalk this up to holiday laziness and the allure of the Malkin hypervenilation machine.

    No wonder newspapers and TV news have to write for a 4th grade level.

    Mike (bfd9f4)

  26. Hell, in your short post, you didn’t even get the guy’s marital status correct…he’s married to the woman in question. If you missed that, then I could see why you might have missed that he was, in this present age, writing about his state of mind several years ago, when he and the girl were just dating, and felt like they should keep hushhush on the abortion.

    That’s a pretty important distinction, and I think, disqualifies this quote as being idiotically ironic to be “Quote of the Month.”

    Mike (bfd9f4)

  27. Hmm, not sure what Patterico missed. Emily was his girlfriend at the time of the abortion, something the article makes clear.

    And I think everyone gets the subtext all right. The subtext is: it’s all about ME and MY WIFE and though I’m feelin’ a little Dan Fogelberg “Same Old Lang Syne” about our now-dead baby this Christmas, basically I wanna write about how I FEEEELLL about it in the New York Times to a liberal readership so all the liberals in Manhattan can see how nuanced I am.

    I’ve read articles written by men who regret being part of an abortion decision. Believe me, if this man had truly repented this article would NOT sound like this. And it wouldn’t be in the New York Times.

    Once again that website address if anyone needs help, especially at this difficult time of year, is:

    http://www.hopeafterabortion.com

    no one you know (b74c0b)

  28. Patterico should say his “then girlfriend.” This quote only sounds ridiculous if you think the writer was simultaneously wanting to keep the abortion private and wanting to write about it (under his own name) in the NYT.

    I’m sorry, but as a pro-life person myself, I don’t see why we should expect everyone to describe their abortion experience the same way. I’ve heard people talk about it in terms of what the baby would be like today if he/she were carried to term. I’ve heard people focus on their own feelings and regret.

    This guy goes a roundabout way in describing his feelings…and maybe that’s a conceit he has being a professor of writing, that he wants to come up with a new way of talking about a common situation.

    Who are you to say how he should really write about his guilt? Admittedly, he’s probably not pro-life…and so I respect that years later, he is still reflecting on this. Yeah, his written guilt may sound pathetic to people who are hardcore pro-life and are used to abortion-regretters wailing at the altar of a church. But I would put his well-written essay of regret above the many people out there who could give two-shits about the abortion they had years ago.

    It’s a good piece…not as good as Hemingway’s “Hills like White Elepehants”, which seems to be its inspiration, but provides some good insight on a person who was most likely ambivalent or supportive about abortion before he and his gf went through it. I don’t expect everyone in the same situation to do a 180 degree turn on an entrenched belief.

    Mike (bfd9f4)

  29. Well, can certainly understand what you’re saying about different expressions of guilt even if I don’t agree about this particular guy, though I think you’re absolutely right that prolifers are used to coming across more well thought out, and less seemingly self-centered, expressions of regret.

    I still maintain this sounds really self-centered (all his feelings, not even reflecting much on her feelings, and virtually nothing at all about the life they snuffed out). One big objection I have to this is, it’s in the NYT in the first place, not a place you first seek out if you’re truly self reflective and wanting to work through your grief and guilt with your (now-)wife.

    BTW, I thought “Hills Like White Elephants” was really pro-life, unlike this article, and made the woman’s anger and anticipated guilt over the abortion very clear. The man’s obtuse selfishness was clear in that story though, IMO the same as in this one.

    This quote for example: I don’t want to ruin the mood. I just tell myself that we could never see this situation the same way, and that even what we decide together we’ll have to experience separately. That’s that.

    Could be, too, I’m just biased toward Emily’s feelings because I saw my best friend in college get to the suicidal point because her guy pressured her into two abortions. He sounded a lot like this guy.

    no one you know (b74c0b)

  30. just found link for “Hills Like White Elephants” if anyone’s interested:

    http://www.moonstar.com/~acpjr/Blackboard/Common/Stories/WhiteElephants.html

    Mike, hope you and all on here have a nice Christmas.

    no one you know (b74c0b)

  31. Wouldn’t someone who feels regret actually express regret?

    DRJ (09f144)

  32. no one> I think you and I mainly disagree on style…Yes, the piece is mostly focused on his feelings. I don’t see that as a bad thing, because who else can he speak for best besides himself? He might have chosen first person so he could explicitly say some of the superifical thoughts that he had years ago. Such as the one you quote.

    I have to give this guy the benefit of the doubt. That he is self-aware enough to realize how superifical the following statement makes him sound: “I don’t want to ruin the mood. I just tell myself that we could never see this situation the same way, and that even what we decide together we’ll have to experience separately. That’s that.” ”

    Such an admission is just down right embarrassing. I don’t think you have to be the Pope to realize that.

    Maybe it would help if he said outright, “Boy, was I stupid for thinking that”…but this is a writing professor, and maybe he wants to be a little more subtle and artsy about it. Does that conceit make him less sincere than another writer who would devote half a column to an altar god/devotional to God? Maybe. But to be honest, I’ve read enough of those type of essays that reading another one isn’t going to change how I think about abortion. Not to say this particular essay is groundbreaking, but it did cause me to think more about how various people deal with their abortions.

    Mike (8e0e3b)

  33. no one> thanks for the link and Merry Christmas to you and all others here.

    FWIW, this is the standard I judge self-centered essays on abortion…some of you long in the tooth may remember this NYT essay from a few years back where a woman described aborting two of her triplets:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/18/magazine/18LIVES.html?ei=5090&en=f4176027eece64e3&ex=1247889600&pagewanted=print&position=

    Mike (8e0e3b)

  34. “but it did cause me to think more about how various people deal with their abortions”

    The people most hurt can’t think about it, they’re dead.

    Verlin Martin (899dce)

  35. You should consider putting that on a bumper sticker, so I could better remember that.

    On the other hand, the people who have the most impact on whether abortions happen in the first place are the parents. So I do see some value in caring what thoughts go through their heads, once in awhile.

    Mike (8e0e3b)

  36. This is all just bizarre. Either the piece means they’re both callow and empty, or it means he’s full of regret and shame. I’ve got some news for you. One can feel sadness for a choice and still be willing to make the same choice again.

    “I believe what they have done should be a crime — murder — and, since it’s premeditated, they should be put to death.”

    That’ll win elections

    blah (fb88b3)

  37. Abortion is a private procedure and should remain such. It’s tough enough to deal with for those personally involved with such a decision and action.

    There exist many reasons to abort a unwanted, unexpected or unable to raise said child.

    You may feel differently and I’ll provide a paypal account you can send lots of money to in order to offset the costs or raising such children.

    Oh and we can herald the trollops that managed to get knocked up as well! Promise to do our best to not use the label trollop in our press releases.

    Some think such is wrong, fine, raise your hand as a proud to be grand parent of your 12 yr olds offspring, and her sperm doner! I can almost predict you already do not like him!

    Don’t be shy!

    TC (1cf350)

  38. There exist many reasons to abort a unwanted, unexpected or unable to raise said child.

    I agree. Unwanted children should be gotten rid of. And don’t get me started on unexpected children! How dare they come along and upset my expectations! Don’t I have a constitutional right to have my expectations met? Don’t I?

    Linus (1e8968)

  39. “You may feel differently and I’ll provide a paypal account you can send lots of money to in order to offset the costs or raising such children.” There are hundreds of thousands of people waiting to adopt children and they are forced to go to other countries like China, because there are no US children to adopt. You might try educating yourself before you shoot off that mouth (keyboard) again. That is the least valid argument for abortion I can think of. It is popular on the far left, tough.

    Mike K (86bddb)

  40. Mike, while I thank you for that link, the person in that link really bothered me….even in spite of the editor’s note telling us more about her….I read nothing in her story, however, that gave me any reason to feel any empathy towards her decision, especially when I read that she volunteered to get off birth control without other options being considered, and was so concerned about her own personal life that she couldn’t be bothered with the problems of pregnancy w/triplets….

    I’ve got to go now, and throw up….

    I was recently honored to stand up for old friends (both in their late 40’s, and both stood in my wedding, and were college roomates of my wife and me) as they adopted twin 3 year olds after a long legal fight involving their birth mother and her inability to follow court mandates. A sad story for the birth mother, a wonderful story for the children and our friends. Yet, this woman, who couldn’t be put out with being laid up for several months, would rather just stick a needle into two living beings in her body, and let them die….

    reff (99666d)

  41. Jeez… TC’s like krazy kagu writing whole paragraphs.

    Leviticus (f22d17)

  42. “Yet, this woman, who couldn’t be put out with being laid up for several months, would rather just stick a needle into two living beings in her body, and let them die….

    IOW, she was no Jamie-Lynn Spears.

    David Ehrenstein (4ce68d)

  43. David

    I’m happy Jamie is not having an abortion…I just wish she’d do one even better by not only giving that baby life but giving it a mother and father and putting the baby up for adoption.

    What a true role-model Jamie would become at that point.

    Darleen (187edc)


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