Appeared in the North Shore News – May 30, 2014
The “survivor story” is a staple of the news business. A sure-fire read, or mesmerizing clip on the television news.
A shaken mother who survives a still-smouldering house fire – holding the hand of her small daughter, who, thumb in mouth, gravely clutches a doll, while faithful dog Homer, whose barking woke the family in dark of night, wags his tail at mom’s feet and is puzzled and slightly nervous about the praise bestowed on him – that’s a smash segment for the Six O’clock News.
Though it’s in tough if it competes for space with the story of a survivor of a bear attack, interviewed from her hospital bed, exhausted, heavily bandaged, just able to speak – but she whispers that she doesn’t blame the bear, a mother and cub that she stumbled on, and says she hopes they weren’t tracked down and shot. That story is guaranteed to make you look up from the crossword – even from the latest enchanting T. Lautens column.
If those items happen to coincide with yet another classic, the surviving pilot yarn. The news hour team will scarcely contain their joy at their abundance of riches – the anchor putting on his Concerned Face that endears him to an audience who really think they know him as a friend.
That would be the story of the survivor whose light plane crashes in deep forest, the wreckage eluding searchers, then staggers out six days later – weak, tattered, dazed, grasping a broken arm that miraculously is his only injury – but alive, mercifully, alive.
(Hold on, let’s lighten up: When a plane really did crash on a road in Richmond in 2011, a driver saw it coming and jumped out of his car and into a ditch. Wait, here’s the punch line. CKNW reported: “He said he wasn’t religious but he thanked God he wasn’t killed.”) Yes, there are few stories as compelling as the survivor story, and the media jump all over a good one. But here’s a survivor story that I can confidently predict the media will jump – to get out of the way of covering.
It’s an abortion survival story. And I see the usual suspects are instantly heading for the exits.
So sorry to upset their tum-tum.
Kindly, I’ll avoid the sickening techniques of abortion that the pro-choice triumphalists strive, with much success, to suppress – not just in the media but notably in those citadels of truth and free expression, the university campuses, where students’ anti-abortion images are savagely shut down, usually backed by trembling administrations.
This survivor’s name is Melissa Ohden. She spoke Monday at the Hyatt Regency at a sold-out fundraiser for Signal Hill, a pro-life organization (prochoice, pro-life – I’d use other terms if there were any). Signal Hill measures the growing sophistication and depth of the movement.
Melissa is alive because of bungling. Her abortion went wrong. Weighing two pounds, she was found crying in a pile of … oops, I’ll spare the squeamish of the unpleasant details.
That was in 1977. Her teenage birth mother was a university student. Melissa was adopted. At 14 she learned the facts of her birth. Later she formed an abortion survivors network. She tours speaking about her experience. She lived to have a child in the same Sioux City hospital where her abortion failed. She is a beautiful woman. Radiant.
Consult the Internet for more. Or check the local media. They’ll cover Melissa’s speech as conscientiously as they cover pro-life marches. Which is not at all.
We don’t have much “old” on the North Shore. So treasure the North Shore Light Opera Society, founded in 1948, the oldest continuously performing musical theatre organization in B.C. There’s still time to see the NSLOS’s “21st-century imagining” of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Gondoliers at Presentation House, closing tomorrow night. The librettist and composer had bitterly quarrelled, sulkily reconciled, and the production was insanely rushed – Sir Arthur Sullivan’s overture and even choosing the title were madly late in the process.
Allowing that W.S. Gilbert’s rapid-fire wit, word gymnastics and obscure references are hard to follow, you’ll enjoy the energy, fancy footwork and youthful nine-piece band of this 66th NSLOS production.
Heart-rending scene: Drivers grumbling about a slowdown on the Upper Levels west of Taylor Way recently were anguished to pass a beautiful fullgrown deer sprawled on the roadway.
I encountered a man who was appalled by my belief that Canada should join other nations in whatever it takes to deal with Islamic terrorists Boko Haram, who have abducted hundreds of mostly Christian schoolgirls in northern Nigeria. Send in soldiers, skilled assassins – fine by me.
I think it was the assassins idea that outraged him. Was he morally horrified by the offing of Osama bin Laden?
© Trevor Lautens, 2014