Dream saga of WWII

first_imgAnd then there was the food.“I went home and went to the larder and ate everything I could see. Went out and met my sister and a friend at a restaurant and had a large dinner. Then went to another pub and had some food there. Then went to another pub and had more food. Went back to the first pub and found a good mixture of drinks — barley wine and mild ale. Then I had a dish of prunes and custard into which a bottle of ale had also been poured. I rejoined my sister and had another meal. Then back to the pub and had a large mixture of various snacks. While I was there, some German guards arrived with more prisoners.”For World War II POWs imprisoned in a converted castle in Laufen, Germany, the stuff of dreams included impressive helpings of food, as well as family members, escape, and an overwhelming sense of the tedium of camp life.That was the result of a study by a group of Harvard undergraduates who spent several months probing the dreams of 79 British officers captured during the Battle of France and interned at Laufen between 1940 and 1942.The unusual study was conducted under the tutelage of Deirdre Barrett, an assistant clinical professor of psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and at Harvard-affiliated Cambridge Hospital. The work — presented at a dream-research conference in Berkeley, Calif., last year and set to be published this fall in the journal Imagination, Cognition, and Personality — resurrected a study begun by a captured British officer who died before being released from camp.Barrett came across the dream journals during the summer of 2011, while teaching a Harvard Summer School course abroad at University College, London. She had arranged for the students to have access to several local archives for the class, including the Wellcome Collection in London. Barrett had met the collection’s director, onetime Harvard doctoral student Ken Arnold, when he returned to campus to deliver a lecture.Wellcome staff had collected various materials related to dreams for the class, including the Laufen journals, which had never been studied. They immediately caught Barrett’s eye, and she copied their pages for later analysis.“There are materials there that no researcher has ever looked at,” Barrett said. “The prisoner dreams immediately grabbed my attention.”The journals were compiled by Maj. Kenneth Hopkins, who had hoped to use them after the war for his doctoral dissertation at the University of Birmingham. He kept daily notes about the dreams of 79 fellow prisoners, recording some 640 dreams in six volumes. One volume was lost in subsequent years, so the study by Barrett and the students was based on the remainder: 492 dreams recorded in five journals.Two years into captivity Hopkins died of emphysema. After the war, the journals were forwarded to his doctoral adviser, Charles Valentine, and they eventually made their way to the University of Birmingham Library, and then to the Wellcome Collection.In the spring of 2012, Barrett asked students from her freshman seminar on dreams whether they were interested in helping analyze the work. Five — Angela Oh, Jasmine Panton, Zach Sogolow, Malcolm Grayson, and Melanie Justiniano — jumped at the chance. Over the next few months, they read through the journals, coding them for common elements, and then conducted a statistical analysis.What struck Barrett is that the dreams more closely resemble those of prison inmates than those of soldiers who have experienced battlefield trauma. Barrett said that difference likely reflects the fact that Germans treated the captured officers relatively well, according to the Geneva Conventions, and that the men were captured early in the war, during the brief Battle of France, and so didn’t see a lot of combat. It’s likely that many were on their first action.“I was surprised that they didn’t look more like other wartime trauma populations,” Barrett said. “It was striking that they did have these features you see in prison dreams. … They’re bored to tears and longing to get out, nostalgic for the people back home.”Specifically, the dreams showed significantly fewer females, friends, and animal characters and more male, family, and dead characters than those of a standard population described in a 1966 study that is used as a benchmark for dream content. The dreams also showed less aggression, friendliness, sexuality, and striving than are typical.When the POWs dreams did contain violence, it was often extreme and realistic — battlefield violence, shooting, stabbing, and killing — compared with the standard male population, where dreams of aggression are more frequent but consist of arguing, insulting, and pushing. Sexual dreams also appeared to have been marked by captivity and featured distant, unattainable women, such as the wife of an officer or an aristocrat.Escape was another feature of the dreams and reflected diverging attitudes toward escape in camp: that it was one’s duty or that it was perilous, and pointless, since the war was unlikely to last long, Barrett said. The records included two members of the Laufen Six, a group of officers who were recaptured after escaping from Laufen and then sent to the prison camp at Colditz, thought by the Germans to be difficult to escape from. Their successful escape from Colditz brought the officers fame, resulting in books, a movie, and a board game based on their exploits.For the students, now juniors, the study offered an opportunity to engage in in-depth research in a way that is often difficult inside the constraints of a semester, Barrett said. Because the data had already been gathered, the project allowed students to jump right to the analysis stage, giving them real-world experience within a manageable time frame.Jasmine Panton, a Cabot House junior concentrating in history and literature, said the study allowed her to delve further into her interest in dreams and to highlight an area of dream research that is not well explored.Many of the 200 to 300 dreams she read and coded were quite sad, Panton said, and the level of intimacy she felt with the men was haunting. The study triggered at least one new dream, in which Panton was in a POW camp herself, being chased but unable to run or scream.Angela Oh, a Leverett House junior and a neurobiology concentrator, also coded hundreds of dreams and said the experience was like reading a novel, one that offered a very personal picture of the prisoners’ experience.Oh, who made a presentation on the work with Barrett at the 2012 dream conference, is continuing to pursue her interest in dreams and is working with Barrett on another project, comparing transcripts of sleep-talking episodes with subjects’ recollections of their dreams.While the Laufen work doesn’t replicate the study Hopkins had envisioned, Barrett said it did have a feeling of reviving something long hidden.“In a very specific sense, we have not done the study he was going to do, but on the other hand, he put so much effort into collecting these data, and the other men put so much effort into it, it definitely feels like we’re bringing something to fruition that had been dormant.”last_img read more

Van Nuys agency embracing seniors afflicted by mental illness

first_imgFunding for the program comes from Proposition 63, approved by voters in 2004, that taxes California residents who earn more than $1 million a year at 1 percent. The program currently has a $550,000 budget. For more information, call Mark Lamers or Michele Shepherd at the San Fernando Valley Community Mental Health Center at 818-374-6901. [email protected] 818-713-3634 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Six months after starting a search for 40 seniors suffering from mental illness and at risk of becoming homeless, suicidal or isolated, a Van Nuys-based agency has filled about half its slots and is looking for more clients. With its full-service program for older adults, the San Fernando Valley Community Mental Health Center has been trying to reach out to a severely underserved population, said Michele Shepherd, assistant for older adult services. Shepherd said one in three older adults in 2003 was estimated to be living at or below 200 percent of the poverty level in Los Angeles County. In the San Fernando Valley, that equals 94,370 people, and a large number of those are likely to suffer some form of mental illness. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre “The people we are trying hardest to serve are not personally motivated to get services and aren’t linked up with other agencies,” said Mark Lamers, clinical psychologist and the program’s coordinator. Lamers said it has been challenging to find, and keep, 40 clients. “When we find them, we have to take the time to get to know them,” Lamers said. “These people don’t necessarily look at someone from the mental health field as an ally.” But Lamers said the program’s ability to bring together all elements of care has been successful. “People are not waiting months or weeks to spend 15 minutes with someone,” Lamers said. “Just knowing that they have someone there 24/7 if they have a crisis helps to reduce the intensity of that crisis.” last_img read more

Children the focus for January activations

first_imgBrand South Africa’s initiative, Play Your Part, will host activations in January that will focus on children’s education and livelihood. (Image: Shamin Chibba)The year has barely started yet Play Your Part is already planning activations for the month of January. The events will focus on  children’s education and welfare. On Friday, 29 January, Play Your Part will be at TT Lekalake Primary School in Batlharos Village, Northern Cape, where it will open a mobile library.The initiative will build on Shout SA’s libraries initiative. It also acknowledges that active citizenship is the key to move South Africa forward. Shout SA was founded in 2007 by singers Danny K and Kabelo Mabalane to find ways of making the country safer for all.Both singers will be at the activation, alongside Play Your Part ambassador Tebogo Ditshego, who is the chairperson of Read a Book SA. Representatives from two other stakeholders, the Square Kilometre Array and Hip Hop Foundation, will also be at the event.Play Your Part will also be involved in two GEM activities this month. On 23 January, Play your Part and GEM volunteers will make their way to the Refilwe Community Project in Lanseria near Johannesburg to spend the day with its 130 children. Apart from playing with the children, participants will also help to prepare meals for them.On 30 and 31 January, GEM and Play Your Part will run a clean-up campaign at Ethembeni Children’s Home in Johannesburg’s city centre.To join GEM activities, download GEM Project via USSD by dialling *120*GEM1 # or get the app from the App Store and Google Play. Once you have signed in, you will be able to see which volunteering opportunities are available in your area. When you have decided on a day and a place, the app will tell you how many Gems you will earn for volunteering on the project.last_img read more

GoPro Releases New Hero5 and Impressive Karma Drone

first_imgNot just a drone, the GoPro Karma is a complete stabilization system at a real competitive price. It packs a punch with the new GoPro Hero5.All images via GoProWhat was expected to be just a drone turns out to be a whole stabilization system packaged together. The Karma system from GoPro is a collapsible drone and handheld stabilizer all packaged into an easy-to-wear backpack.The system was designed specifically for the new GoPro Hero5 and GoPro Hero5 Session. It is backwards compatible with the GoPro Hero 4 series.The Karma with a GoPro Hero5 will cost $1,099. Included at that price point is a GoPro Hero5, the Karma Drone, the Karma Grip, the Karma Controller (with built-in touchscreen), and the carrying case. The system alone costs $799 for those wanting to use their Hero4 cameras. The other option is a $999 bundle with a Hero5 Session. Karma will go on sale on October 23rd.This system is GoPro’s take on a similar setup offered by the Yuneec Typhoon line. The Yuneec Typhoon drone and SteadyGrip start at $899. For comparison, the new DJI Phantom 4 will set you back $1,199. (DJI’s handheld stabilizer, the Osmo, is not compatible with the Phantom 4 camera.) That said, we should hear from DJI in the coming weeks about their new foldable drone.Take a look at some of the Karma footage captured with the GoPro Hero5 and Hero Session 5. Not to be lost in the Karma news, the GoPro Hero5 specs have also been released. The camera shoots 4K footage and RAW photos. The camera has a single-button setup and a two-inch touchscreen display. The camera is waterproof without a housing, very impressive considering the touchscreen controls. The Hero5 starts at $399, but you can save $100 by bundling with the Karma.Are you excited about this GoPro news? Share your thoughts in the comments below!last_img read more

LA Revilla sends out cryptic tweet amid Kia hullabaloo

first_imgQC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Kung magpapalusot man lang sana ginandahan niyo na ang rason. Hindi talaga eh. Bagsak kayo sigurado kung may lie detector. 💩— LA Revilla (@wilLAREVILLAme) October 27, 2017FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 New team manager Joe Lipa offered a feeble explanation on the trade during talk with the media before PBA Commissioner Chito Narvasa announced the approval, which likely triggered Revilla’s post on social media.“One man cannot spell the difference from a team winning a championship. But for us to have three to four veteran players who we believe isn’t only talented but can also contribute to the development of the younger players, we believe that we can be very competitive,” Lipa told reporters.The 27-year-old Revilla has been the team’s star since his arrival in 2014 and is entering his fourth season for the Picanto, who wasted a golden opportunity to draft a sure-fire star in Christian Standhardinger.Lipa also said the Fil-German big man, who is not the typical rookie having played professionally in Germany and with the Philippine national team, “is a great player” and “has a big potential.”Standhardinger is the consensus top choice in the coming draft on Sunday.ADVERTISEMENT CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Read Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Revilla hasn’t taken down the tweet and also hasn’t made another statement. View commentscenter_img The trade was also approved by PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa Friday night an hour before Game 7 of the 2017 Governors’ Cup, won by Barangay Ginebra, tipped off. Kia acquired Ronald Tubid, JayR Reyes, Rashawn McCarthy, and a 2019 first round pick.Trading away a high draft pick is nothing new to Kia.In 2015, the franchise also dealt its rights to No. 2 pick, which turned out to be Troy Rosario, to Talk ’N Text in a three-team trade and got veteran swingmen Aldrech Ramos and KG Canaleta in return.The Picanto followed it up with another head-scratching move a season later when they shipped Ramos and Canaleta despite having a promising campaign.Kia recorded a woeful 6-27 slate this season, including a 0-11 card in the Governors’ Cup. LATEST STORIES Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH It appears that even LA Revilla couldn’t hide his dismay over Kia’s controversial move that sent the No. 1 overall pick of the 2017 PBA Draft to San Miguel Beer.Revilla, the Picanto point guard, wrote a cryptic tweet on Friday night, the same day that after Kia management defended the team’s eyebrow-raising trade move and asked for patience from fans for their “unconventional” ways in the league.ADVERTISEMENT Black admits ‘not very happy’ with how Game 7 was governed John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion MOST READ Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:30’Excited’ Terrence Romeo out to cherish first PBA finals appearance00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Gameslast_img read more

Light vehicle sales down 94 per cent in November for ninth month

first_imgTORONTO — DesRosiers Automotive Consultants Inc. says light vehicle sales fell 9.4 per cent in November compared with last year for a ninth straight month of declines.The consultancy says a total of 143,668 vehicles were sold in the month, compared with 158,653 a year ago, as passenger car sales fell 11.4 per cent and light truck sales were down 8.7 per cent.DesRosiers says that with the light vehicle market down by about 44,000 units so far compared with last year, it’s almost certain that this year will be the first since 2009 that there won’t be year-over-year growth in the market.Sales are down 2.3 per cent as of the end of the month compared with last year, made up of a 9.6 per cent decline for passenger cars and a 1.1 per cent increase in light truck sales.Despite the dip from last year’s record high, the light vehicle market is still close to 50,000 units ahead of where it was at the end of November in 2016.  General Motors, which last week announced it was closing its Oshawa assembly plant, saw sales dip 18.3 per cent in the month compared with last year, while Ford Motor Co. saw a 10.7 per cent drop and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles was down 35.1 per cent. Toyota sales were up 11.5 per cent and Hyundai sales were up 10 per cent.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Abdullahs of Kashmir

first_imgOne of the spoilt dynasts of Indian politics, Omar Abdullah, has made the demand of taking the state of Jammu & Kashmir to the pre-1953 status and has called for having a separate prime minister and president for the state. This separatist call must be unreservedly condemned. The Abdullah family of Kashmir have treated the state as their personal fief; they have exploited the people and have based their politics on threat, coercion, violence and have made repeated calls for dismembering India. They have pandered to terrorism and separatism; they have peddled the narrative of Pakistan on Kashmir and have presided over one of the most gruesome episodes of ethnic cleansing that has taken place post-Independence. They come across as parasitic political elements who have no allegiance to the Indian Union, have no commitment to India’s freedom and her future. It was the same family which had tricked Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee into entering Kashmir and had then incarcerated him, subjected him to great pressure, physical pain and mental trauma ultimately leading to his sudden death while Nehru looked the other way. This subversive and mischievous demand is, as Arun Jaitley has argued, “intended to create a separatists psyche.” Also Read – A special kind of bondPrime Minister Modi has rightly asked Congress and the “Federal Front” parties to clarify their stand on this demand made by Omar Abdullah, since National Conference is an inseparable ally of the Rahul Gandhi-led Congress and is, at the same time, defying logic, a fundamental constituent of the Federal Front. The theatrical Farooq Abdullah was a star attraction at the January 19 Brigade Rally organised by Trinamool Congress. Let Congress and the other parties make their position clear on Omar’s demand – do they support a separate existence for Kashmir, do they support his call for separating Kashmir from the Constitutional framework of India, do they adhere to this divisive call, is it the agenda they wish to fulfil, if, by chance of fate, they ever come to power at the Centre? Will the separation of Kashmir be their objective, will their foreign policy be directed towards that end? These are questions that these parties, especially Congress and the lead party of the Federal Front, Trinamool Congress, have to answer to the people who are in no mood to tolerate separatism. Also Read – Insider threat managementBut the Abdullah family’s tryst with separatism goes back a long time, as exposed first by Dr Mookerjee while participating in a debate on Kashmir in the first Lok Sabha on 7 August 1952. Dr Mookerjee pointed at how Sheikh Abdullah, Omar Abdullah’s grandfather had increasingly resorted to the language of separatism, “Since when did the trouble start? Let us look at it dispassionately. Since Sheikh Abdullah’s return from Paris some time ago statements started to be made by him which disturbed us. Even then we did not speak out. His first statement he made in an interview which he gave when he was abroad, about his vision of an independent Kashmir. And then when he came back he amplified it, then again retracted from it and gave an explanation, and then speeches which he has made during the last few months were of a disturbing character. If he feels that his safety lies in remaining out of India, well, let him say so; we will be sorry for it, but it may become inevitable…” Sheikh Abdullah’s call for an “independent Kashmir” was first made on foreign soil. We remind Omar of these words and throw these back at him. If he and his family feel that their safety lies in remaining out of India, let them articulate it so, but they cannot pass off their urge to be separate from India as the wishes of the people of Kashmir! He would, Dr Mookerjee said, “give whole-hearted support to the scheme (separate provision) as an interim measure” only if Sheikh Abdullah accepted the sovereignty of the Indian Parliament. “Let Sheikh Abdullah declare that he accepts the Sovereignty of this Parliament. There cannot be two Sovereign Parliaments in India. You talk of Kashmir being part of India, and Sheikh Abdullah talks of a Sovereign Parliament for Kashmir. It is inconsistent, it is contradictory. This Parliament does not mean a few of us who are opposing this. This Parliament includes a majority of people who will not be swayed by any small considerations. And why should he be afraid of accepting the Sovereignty of this Parliament of Free India?” The New India of today has no interest in pampering separatism; it has no patience with sentiments and attitudes that challenge the Sovereignty of India. But the Abdullahs of Kashmir have a history of flashing the card of separatism while living off the Constitution of India and all the largesse that comes with it. Their politics has always promoted internal and communal conflict while fanning the flames of separatism. Their approach is best described in the words of the legendary and sagacious former Governor of Jammu & Kashmir and one of the most respected administrators of our times, Jagmohan. His words are worth recalling, one should keep these in circulation in our collective mind. In his opus, “My Frozen Turbulence in Kashmir”, Jagmohan writes how as he was battling “against heavy odds and dealing with the manifold problems of internal subversion and external conspiracy, Dr Farooq Abdullah and his partymen were playing a highly destructive, even unpatriotic, role…” The National Conference and its leaders, records Jagmohan, “did not enjoy any respect at all. They were not in a position to do anything positive. But they could inflict damage. They could float rumours; they could incite public through unscrupulous means. They could even pose as collaborators of the subversionists. They could whisper into their ears: “Please don’t misunderstand. What you have been doing from outside, we have been doing from inside.” They could even champion the cause of terrorists.” Jagmohan pointed out how Farooq Abdullah’s MLAs and former ministers openly celebrated “Maqbool Bhatt” Day, with one of his trusted MLAs Abdul Rashid Dar, “calling upon his party, the National Conference, to join the freedom struggle. He declared that he was placing his services at the disposal of the J&K Liberation Front (JKLF). What do these statements reveal, asks Jagmohan, “do they not show that the commitment of the National Conference to India is only a ruse, a stance, to secure power and rule? As soon as the power goes, loyalty to the Indian ideal goes.” They never utter a single word “against terrorists and their crimes”, and keep abusing our security forces instead. On February 15, 1990, Farooq Abdullah himself called for international intervention in J&K, keeping alive the legacy of his late father. In a statement released to the press, he said that the “entire Kashmir is writhing in pain due to continuous acts of barbarism and brutality by the army and para-military forces.” He said the Valley and Srinagar had been “converted into Nazi camps”, he said that the “Kashmiris are witnessing their beloved country being converted into a vast graveyard” and appealed “to the national and international upholders of humanity to intervene in Kashmir and have an international inquiry made into the general slaughter of Kashmiris at the hands of the army and para-military forces.” Sheikh Abdullah was the original proponent of “Tukde Tukde” politics; Farooq Abdullah ably succeeded and exceeded him in pushing the contours of that “Tukde Tukde” politics. Today, Omar Abdullah, the third generation of the dynasty, has emerged as one of the most vocal and articulate proponents of the legacy of that “Tukde Tukde” politics. The Abdullah’s cannot think and act otherwise, for them to accept India’s unity and sovereignty is anathema. They are essentially history-sheeters of separatism. The only answer to their cancerous politics is to decisively and democratically reject them while asserting and endorsing Narendra Modi’s vision of a “New India.” (The author is Director, Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation, New Delhi. Views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

AMMK wants EC to allow agents 24×7 in EVM centres till counting day

first_imgChennai: The Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) headed by TTV Dhinakaran Monday urged the Election Commission to allow agents of political parties to stay round-the-clock at centres where EVMs used in the April 18 Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu are stored. A day after a woman tahsildar was suspended for alleged violation of norms in entering a room where polling records were kept in Madurai, AMMK leader Thanga Tamilselvan said his party had ‘suspicion’ about state government officials deployed for poll work. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ Presently agents were not allowed beyond 10 pm and the restriction should be eased to avoid escalation of suspicion, Tamilselvan, a key aide of Dhinakaran, told reporters here. “If the counting happens in a day or two, it would not be a problem. But it is a month-long wait (for May 23). We are okay with efforts taken by the EC, but its implementation lies with officials of state government,” he said. He also questioned the need for the official to visit the storage room. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral officer Satyabrata SahooSunday ordered the suspension of the tahsildar after an inquiry based on a complaint by CPI-M candidate in Madurai constituency. Officials had clarified the tahsildar did not enter the strong room, where the electronic voting machines were stored. Three-tier security system has been provided to the strong rooms, which are being monitored using CCTV cameras round-the-clock, according to poll officials. A delegation of leaders of DMK, Left parties and VCK called on the Chief Electoral Officer here Sunday and demanded a high level enquiry into the ‘lapse’ and criminal action against erring officials involved in the Madurai incident.last_img read more

ICC announces star-studded commentary line-up for WC

first_imgNew Delhi: The International Cricket Council announced a star-studded lineup of commentators for the upcoming World Cup in England and Wales. The complete list has a total of 24 names and it includes Michael Clarke, who was captain when Australia lifted the trophy in the previous edition of the tournament. Harsha Bhogle, Sanjay Manjrekar and Sourav Ganguly are the Indian commentators for the mega event. Kumar Sangakkara, who recently became the first-ever non-British president of the Marylebone Cricket Club, is the only Sri Lankan commentator. Pakistan’s Wasim Akram and Ramiz Raja, and Bangladesh’s Athar Ali Khan are also part of the panel. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: Rijiju Brendon McCullum, who captained New Zealand to a runners-up finish in the 2015 tournament, is also part of the commentary panel. Regional broadcasters are also expected to add to the list of names. Full list of commentators for 2019 World Cup squad: Nasser Hussain, Michael Clarke, Ian Bishop, Sourav Ganguly, Melanie Jones, Kumar Sangakkara, Michael Atherton, Alison Mitchell, Brendon McCullum, Graeme Smith, Wasim Akram, Shaun Pollock, Michael Slater, Mark Nicholas, Michael Holding, Isa Guha, Pommie Mbangwa, Sanjay Manjrekar, Harsha Bhogle, Simon Doull, Ian Smith, Ramiz Raja, Athar Ali Khan and Ian Ward.last_img read more

Commentary Scott Torgersons death tweet about Desmond Howard no joke

When I was a kid, I hated the Pittsburgh Steelers. I still do to a certain extent. They always seem to beat the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns, sometimes in the most heartbreaking ways imaginable. I remember when Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger came very close to losing his own life in June of 2006 when he was involved in an ugly motorcycle accident. Luckily, Roethlisberger survived the crash, but I was not about to send my condolences to the quarterback of the Steelers. I was mad that he didn’t die that day. I thought with Roethlisberger out of the picture, maybe the Bengals and the Browns could finally break through and win a championship. I realize now that comments such as those are insensitive. Wishing death upon someone is cold and heartless. I could use the “excuse” that I was young and didn’t know any better, but, nevertheless, I accept the fact that I used a very poor choice of words. Apparently, I’m not the only one who wishes death to well-known athletes. Last weekend, Scott Torgerson, host of the popular sports talk radio show “Common Man and the Torg” here in Columbus, made a similar comment.  Torgerson, who professes his Buckeye fandom on a daily basis, along with his extreme distaste for everything involving the Michigan Wolverines, tweeted this about former Heisman trophy winner and current ESPN college football analyst Desmond Howard: “I wish Desmond Howard would get fired or die so I can watch Gameday again.” Now, I know that Ohioans, fans of the Scarlet and Gray, are bred to hate that School up North. Lord knows that image of Howard striking the Heisman pose against the Buckeyes makes any Ohio State fan cringe.  However, there is a fine line between being passionate and letting that passion overtake you. That is what happened to Torgerson. He deleted the tweet and apologized for his comment, tweeting, “My Desmond Howard tweet was a joke. I think if you listen to the show you know that. My apologies to those who took it seriously. Total Joke.” My question to Torgerson is this: How is wishing someone would die a joke? I recently went to the funeral of the brother of one of my best friends from high school. Believe me, death is no laughing matter. Since this infamous tweet, Torgerson has been suspended from the airwaves indefinitely.  The lesson to take from this is do not let your fandom cloud your overall judgment as a human being.  There is more to life than spending every waking moment hating someone just because they beat your favorite team. I learned this lesson when I was young. Unfortunately, there are some people in this world like Torgerson who didn’t get the message until it was too late. Think before you say it. Think before you tweet it. Think before it is too late to fix. read more