Thursday, October 9, 2008

Fear and Convenience

Meet Linda Riss and Burt Pugach. In the 1950s, Linda began having an affair with the much older and married Pugach when she was 21 years old. When she tried to leave him for another man, Burt harassed Linda for six months before hiring two men to throw lye in her face. Linda was left permanently disfigured and nearly blinded from the attack. After Burt served a 14 year prison sentence, Linda married her former tormentor and the two have been together ever since. The couple became subjects of a documentary entitled, Crazy Love, which came out last year.

Are you following? It's pretty twisted.

I read Manohla Dargis's review of the film last year and I immediately thought that Linda was insane and wrote off the movie just like that.
We talked about Linda's case against the NYPD in class yesterday, and I've been thinking about this crazy story since.

Dargis writes:
"At 22, years before the women’s liberation movement could have presented her with viable alternatives to marrying her assailant — by then the only man left in her life — Mrs. Pugach was thrown into a darkness that enveloped her ... She seems to have been terribly, terribly alone. She’s married now, of course, but given her husband, it’s easy to believe she still is."

Dargis seems to blame Linda's plight on the pre-women's lib stone age, but I too have seen fear and convenience, albeit in much subtler forms. When the mothers, and mother's mothers have never glimpsed a romance, where will the daughters learn that someone who calls you out of your name because he can isn't very good company, and that someone who ever loved you would never hurt you like that?

From the Tyra Banks Show?

Thao Nguyen - Fear and Convenience

The Thao Nguyen song is a live version from her spectacular Daytrotter Session many moons ago.

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