Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Opinion: Author's Own

Mostly, feminism isn’t top of my list.

Occasionally, however, one of the sisterhood makes such a breathtakingly offensive remark that I feel slightly ashamed to be on the same team.

A discussion was taking place this afternoon in the next-department-over (you know, the one where they’re all a little bit thick, but it’s okay as one of them is doing one of the directors*) about the then-ongoing trial of John Hogan.

In case you can’t be arsed to clicky, I’ll summarise:

John Hogan, on learning that his (already foundering, as admitted by both parties) marriage was lurching towards its final demise, waited until his wife’s back was turned, then scooped up his six-year-old son and two-year-old daughter and, with them in his arms, threw himself over the fourth floor balcony of their holiday hotel room. His son died of massive head injuries, as his mother tried in vain to resuscitate him. John Hogan and his daughter survived with relatively minor injuries.

Now, I personally think that this was an incredibly selfish act. If you feel that your life isn’t worth living and that a quick backflip over the edge will put it all in perspective for you then please, be my guest. Don’t be taking two small children with you though.

Just my opinion.

However, the blonde one in the next-department-over disagrees. It’s much simpler from where she’s sitting. According to her logic, if Natasha Hogan hadn’t told her husband that their marriage was pretty much in the shitter, he would never have committed such a terrible act. In fact, she opined, the ex-Mrs-Hogan (ooh, and didn’t she divorce him a bit quick? Ooh..) should feel guilty that her son is dead and her ex-husband detained in a Greek psychiatric unit.

Oh! It all makes perfect sense now! People should always remain in unhappy relationships, in case the spurned partner decides to invite the kids to their pity party! Nobody should ever leave anyone, ever, in case they turn out to be the sort of deranged mentaller who sees child-killing as the ideal response! I should feel grateful that, on learning that I was leaving him, the Ex didn’t take Small Person down to the river and hold her under until the bubbles stopped coming up!

Good lord.

* That is a whole other story. You do not want to hear it. Brr.


Anonymous Mr Wibble chimed in with...

I really hope she never has to deal with the effects of severe clinical depression, or worse, psychotic depression. Bless her.

23 January, 2008 20:20  
Blogger rockmother chimed in with...

It is her opinion and I suppose she is entitled to it but..doh, derrr and eh pardon what? spring to mind. I was going to say thick cow but I didn't. Oops - I just did.

23 January, 2008 23:33  
Blogger Homer chimed in with...

I remember the Daily Msil taking a similar stance when it first happened - your colleague's not Liz Jones, is she?

24 January, 2008 08:41  
Blogger Donna chimed in with...

I watched the Tonight programme about this the other night. That poor woman. I guess I should feel some sympathy for the man too. I can't ever imagine being in a state of mind to try to take my childrens' lives. :(

24 January, 2008 09:56  
Blogger Rob Clack chimed in with...

My immediate reaction was that they should lock him up and throw away the key, but then I took a mental step backward, and realised I know so little about it that I'm not entitled to hold an opinion.

I still think he was totally wrong, but..but..but..

24 January, 2008 13:14  
Blogger Arabella chimed in with...

Having read so many accounts of men doing this kind of thing when their partner tries to break away it makes me wonder: are these men just conniving little psychopaths or is paranoid schizophrenia more common in white men than we're led to believe?

24 January, 2008 14:05  
Anonymous belladona chimed in with...

Bollocks to that - fuck him, there can never be any justification for that. I do not care what mental illness he may or may not have, not every man does this. They manage somehow not to kill their offspring so what was his problem? We're all so eager not to say the wrong thing in case its not someone's fault because they were 'ill'. No-one ever seems to admit the possibility that even if you are ill you may still have some self-control.
As for that woman - dear god. Suddenly my latent 'illness' is coming out. What a shame I have some control after all.

I'm sure lots of people will think I'm being harsh. But I'll post anyway.

24 January, 2008 21:02  
Blogger Jasmine Seal chimed in with...

Here here. Your colleagues sound like my mother - maintain a marriage, keep up those appearances at all costs, no matter what inherent dangers of an unhappy relationship might be. My soon to be ex-husband's alcoholism and propensity to leave half drunk vodka bottles stashed behind the curtains is of course my fault for being quite such an inadequate wife. Maintain the happy exterior at all costs and go and spend his money - that will make it all soo much better! Unhappy relationship - my arse, you don't know you're born my girl, if he kills you in a drunken rage and takes the little one with you, you only have yourself to blame! Better to be wiped out in suitably dramatic and cataclysmic fashion that have to face the "failure" of divorce....Rant....sorry...this really hit a nerve.

Actually as an aside, I do think that the poor guy did have quite a few unrelated mental health issues, apparently both his brothers committed suicide, and unsurprisingly he's attempted suicide 4 times in prison. I therefore feel that the judgement was the correct one in that he was clearly incapable of committing murder in strictly legal terms with the pre-meditation that that requires and I hope and pray that he gets the help and healing that he needs as indeed does the rest of the family. Easy for me to say that though, when I haven't had my child killed.

24 January, 2008 21:17  
Blogger Kyahgirl chimed in with...

that is just horrible. keep the children out of it!
could you please throw the blond from the next department over off the nearest tall building? thanks!

26 January, 2008 00:10  
Blogger Smirking Cat chimed in with...

There is no excuse, no illness, no pardon for killing the kids along with himself. None. It's not harsh to point that out; it's simply assigning responsibility right where it belongs: to the person who commits the act.

09 February, 2008 02:24  

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