- Satel, a psychiatrist, doesn't understand why the people around her might not want to donate a kidney to her! That she doesn't understand the emotional reasons is appalling, since she is a psychiatrist. That she says there isn't much medical risk of donating is worse.The surgery, per se, isn't all that hazardous. But kidney failure in old age isn't uncommon; neither is diabetes, which puts an enormous strain on the kidneys. The future risks of donation are thus harder to quantify. Lastly, and I realize this is very cold, but a large number of Satel's fellow libertarian-conservatives espouse the virtues of selfishness. Perhaps the people around her are just following Randian principles.
- Letters responding to Sally Satel's article are here.
- The Booth Gardner story troubled me in various ways, though I was very pleased by the inclusion of feminist viewpoints and those of disabled activists. I was disturbed by the situation of bioethicist Sally Wolf's father, who was dying in agony. I think she was probably wrong to say there was no way to hasten his death, but what really got me was that he was apparently not being adequately medicated for pain. (Rant deleted about inadequate pain management in the so-called health care system.) I was also troubled by the many contradictions in what Gardner says he wants and how he is living his life: not like someone who wants to die.
- On to Trebs. When McGrath talks about how media-savvy and famous Netrebko is, I have to ask if he's ever heard of Geraldine Farrar, the Met's greatest draw a century ago, who on her retirement was carried down Broadway on the shoulders of her fans. She was enormously skilled at manipulating the media, and had a great publicity machine. Check, for example, the ease with which you can buy Farrar postcards on eBay. It's like buying Caruso 78s: very, very easy. Or check out that memoir of Farrar's, written from the viewpoint of her dead mother!
- And the line about Netrebko being "one of a new breed" of opera singers who can act does a huge disservice to generations of riveting singers. Muzio, Rysanek, so many more. I think what he probably means is, opera singers who act the way film stars act. Yes, the style IS different when you're being photographed from inches or feet away versus being viewed at 90 feet from a balcony. Opera is primarily a live theatrical medium.
- I'm not sure I'll be able to drag myself to the end of the McGrath story, yeah. Too annoyed!
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
I'm just catching up with the Dec. 2 NY Times Magazine, which contained Sally Satel's story about looking for a kidney, the cover article about former Washington governor Booth Gardner's search for assisted suicide, and, of most interest to readers of this blog, Charles McGrath's search for Anna Netrebko. How many annoyances in these articles? Let me count the ways.