If you’re a fan of the New York Yankees, the New York City Ballet, Wall Street and humanity, this past week wasn’t your week.
The Bronx Bombers lost to their hated archrivals the Boston Red Sox – objectively a case of a good team losing to a better team; City Ballet powerhouse Joaquin De Luz retired, further depleting the ranks of the company’s principal dancers, riddled by a sexual harassment scandal – for the record, De Luz’s retirement was purely coincidental as he was not involved in the scandal; and the Dow Jones Industrials dropped about 1400 points in two days on tariff and tech concerns. (The Dow bounced back 287 points on Friday.)
This, of course, was par for the course. Markets rebound; people go on.
Some, however, never will. On Friday, we learned that dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi – who went into the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Istanbul Oct. 2 and never emerged --may have recorded his own death on his Apple watch.
On Wednesday, New York State Police arrested Nauman Hussain, son of Prestige Limousine Chauffeur Service owner Shahed Hussain, in the limo-crash deaths of 20 people west of Albany, charging the younger Hussain with criminally negligent homicide.
Also on Wednesday, the “PBS NewsHour” aired a report on the continuing plight of the Rohingya people, a Muslim minority in Buddhist Myanmar that is being ethnically cleansed from that country, the survivors fleeing to Bangladesh. For Rohingya women and girls, this has meant rape and pregnancy at the hands of Myanmar soldiers, a misery compounded by rejection by their Muslim families, who see only dishonor in these ravaged women. They are damned if they have an abortion and damned if they don’t, unmarriageable in an event with no future without marriage. For them, there is no way out.
That pretty much describes the plight of the victims of Hurricane Michael, the high-end Category Four hurricane that cut an apocalyptic swath through the Florida Panhandle and the Deep South, steamrolling through Georgia and dumping more rain on the Carolinas, still reeling from Hurricane Florence. Like Hurricane Andrew in 1992, this was a phenomenon of power, speed and velocity – a wind event rather than a hovering rainmaker like Florence or Harvey – that retained its strength inland, fed by its own fury. It’s an apt metaphor for this country at the moment with President Donald J. Trump fomenting division at his rallies and meeting with the one person who is probably even more of a narcissist than he is, Kanye West, while the Democrats consider rejecting Michelle Obama’s mantra: “When they go low, we go high.”
But that is not what is needed now. What is needed now is compassion, leadership and coherent, cohesive, decisive action. Oh, and in the case of Michael, cash – lots and lots of cash.
It remains to be seen if the daunting challenges of this past week will be met.