By Guy Somerset
There is an acquaintance of mine currently suffering a serious illness and completing the sixth round of treatments, each with a two week interval for recovery.
During this time he does not recuperate at home. He does not plaintively contemplate the world sitting near a glistening lake. Every day, immediately following his sessions, he goes to work.
The reason he does this is he has a family for which to provide and he has a sense of obligation to things larger than himself. Even if he does not endure to see the result, his labor - manual labor, mind you - ensures a better future for others.
Such a self-awareness some in this world significantly lack...
Gretchen Carlson was a minor league intellect at a major league media conglomerate - Fox News.
She was formerly a Miss Minnesota as well as the 1989 Miss America winner. Afterward she became a television personality at various outlets prior to News Corp.
Carlson (not unlike many of us one time or another) endured a poor work environment. Colleagues disdained her as a "fluff reporter" and "set dressing" rather than a journalist.
This attitude was not without justification given Carlson did little serious news and was more or less a "talk show" host. She never broke an important story and she covered mainly human interest pieces.
Her commentary was usually banal if not ridiculous. In particular, lauding the Federal Reserve decision to replace President Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill stands out.
Even so, these failings do not justify the slurs Chief of Operations Roger Ailes evidently directed to her. At the same time, there were no armed guards barring Carlson from departing the premises.
Gretchen Carlson chose to stay at Fox News and thereby gave implied consent to her treatment.
For this, she was given $800,000 a year at the media behemoth despite her notable lack of gravitas. That is $2191 - per day. Subtracting weekends and holidays it is approximately $2739 - again, per day.
Vital to note is by her own admission Carlson was never, not even once, physically assaulted in any way. She was merely the point of some untoward comments and a few unseemly jokes. That is all.
Following dismissal due to low ratings, later proved when her replacement Shephard Smith garnered an all-time high in the same program slot, Gretchen suddenly realized she had been "harassed" for years.
In a civil lawsuit Carlson - who could have quit at any moment - claimed she was a "victim" and settled for $20 million. Given her 11 years with the network this comes out to $1.8 million every single year for the "mental anguish" of more or less typical Middle-School lunchroom banter.
Andrew Luck was a professional football player for the Indianapolis Colts as quarterback.
He was a successful university player, Number One pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, and with the team seven seasons. Of these Luck played but six, suffering various moderate injuries which required surgery.
None were life-threatening. Generally, torn muscles. He did have a lacerated kidney which left him briefly urinating blood, though nothing as consequential as complications from a severe illness.
Throughout his career Andrew earned approximately $97 million, and averaged $23 million per year in his latest contract. He gave up nearly $60 million guaranteed and potentially $450 million in total.
He is only 30 years of age.
Though a pacifist, I confess viewing his retirement press conference I had an overwhelming desire to bitchslap weepy Andrew Luck so hard that neckbeard would fly off his demented Leprechaun face.
Especially galling was when he claimed it was the "hardest decision of my life." Seriously? Helping someone who asks it to end their life is hard. Deciding whether to cease life support for an unconscious loved one is hard. Committing an abortion is hard.
Choosing whether to retire with $100 million or keep throwing a rubber ball for $500 million is very easy.
Andrew Luck may not be the worst person on earth but he is clearly the most self-absorbed jackass trotting upon it.
Rather than demonstrate intestinal fortitude and do what needed to be done - toughing through one more year for $20 million or endure the full career for a half a billion - he flailed out.
This has nothing to do with football. Many other individuals have done work they suffered through to achieve some noble aim - but for Andrew it was all about himself.
Eugenia was raised in Moldova, one of the poorest countries in Europe. The girl had nothing growing up and often not even enough to eat. Yet she was attractive.
She was 18 years old when while working in the fields a woman came by and offered her a job. It was as a maid and though Eugenia had no documents the women promised she would obtain these on her behalf.
After speaking with her parents it was agreed Eugenia would go to Moscow. She had no conception, either mentally or geographically, where Moscow was located but she knew it was a glamorous city.
By this time most readers suspect how her story ends.
The woman offering the job was a human trafficker. She took Eugenia and another girl to Istanbul. When they arrived the teenagers protested but they had no funds, no documents and were threatened they would be in further debt if they did not comply.
Needless to say, they did not become maids. Eugenia was pimped out to as many as 50 men a day - every day.
Following months of such treatment she attempted to escape during the holiday of Ramadan, when Turks are religiously bound to strictly have sex with their wives. Eugenia climbed out a window and made it a few feet before falling three flights where she landed with grievous injuries.
She was in hospital only briefly before Turkish authorities released her back into the clutches of the same Turkish pimps who forced her to resume the mistreatment. That a wounded Eugenia defecated during intercourse did not matter to her abusers.
Eugenia was eventually rescued and returned to her homeland yet routinely had thoughts of suicide.
Incidentally, the amount which she was to have earned as a maid? $200 a month for six months. $1200 total, which in Moldova would have purchased her family a home. Not rent - bought.
My Serious Immodest Proposal
Gretchen Carlson and Andrew Luck are both worthless human refuse. Each had virtually unimaginable advantages and each either abused or squandered them due to essentially fleeting inconveniences.
Yet there is still time for them to redeem themselves and this is the way:
In the case of Gretchen, I volunteer to spend the next year of my life (365 days, no breaks) engaged in whatever menial task you devise. During this time you are permitted to verbally "abuse" me in any way. For the low price of $2100 per day you can say anything you like and I will merrily respond with a smile.
If your first greeting when I arrive is, "Good Morning, Moron!" it's fine. If by lunch you are asking, "Hey Idiot, don't you think you have a fat ass?" I will amiably assent I should lose a few pounds. If when I leave you call out, "See you later, you drooling retard faggot chink!" there is no problem here.
As a bonus, for holidays Gretchen is allowed to smack my backside or pinch me on the bum.
Yet I want that $2100 a day - every day. And by the end of my year I want $800,000 cash in full.
In regard to Andrew, more or less the same applies. For one year of my life, any task either intellectual or mundane will be done. Calculating your taxes or cleaning your toilet, each is acceptable.
Since your complaint was the "burden" of temporary pain, at the end of every day you get to strike me in the thigh as hard as possible with a whiffle bat. Nonetheless, I get paid $54,000 per day for the privilege.
As your bonus, at the finish of one year you get to whack my thigh with all your might using a regulation aluminum baseball bat. If it breaks my leg, it's allowed. If it does worse, I'll accept that as well.
Yet I get the $20 million at the end of the annum - paid in full.
With these sums I will go to Moldova myself and for whatever time it takes I will use Gretchen's $800K and Andrew's $20M to build orphanages, construct schools, repair homes and distribute small amounts individually as seems best fit to enable decent youngsters to live decent lives.
I will take no salary for this work. I will provide entirely transparent records. I will not accept less than the full amount each of you two scumbags above wasted on your vanity - 800K and 20M respectively.
This is an entirely serious proposal. Either or both of you can contact me care of the Editor of this Publication.
Eugenia and I will be waiting on your excuses.
Guy Somerset writes from somewhere in America
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced the termination of diplomatic relations with NATO at a time when US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ended a meeting in Georgia with his counterpart