Oct 16, 2009

Balloon boy was in the attic all along. When asked by cops why he hadn't revealed himself earlier, he replied, "We did this for a show." Then the boy threw up.

But maybe the boy was misunderstood. It's not clear. Let's say, it was a show. The family from Wife Swap went to the Fame Shop. It was all a hoax to get publicity for an alien-watching, storm-chasing family with an fish eye for recognition. So what.

But this hasn't gone down well with a lot of people. I overheard this kind of comment more than once. "Yes, but after watching that story for nearly all afternoon what you wanted was that either the boy was found dead, or better, alive, of course. But not hiding in the attic."

Dead or alive — you could feel horror or you could sigh a great sigh of relief. You could feel clear about what happened. But the boy curled up in a basket in the attic above the garage was a rude ending: a little too human. Too ambiguous.

It would be like giving a young president in his first term a Nobel Prize. It would be like letting Ken Lewis resign from Bank of America — instead of giving his head to Madame Lafarge. It would be like finding out that it wasn't the NFL players union that undid the deal with Rush Limbaugh, it was the powers-that-be at a New York Law firm, whose partners once included Rudy Guiliani and whose clients include many Republican candidates.

And then what if we never find out whether this was a hoax? What if that's the real ambiguity? What if we're left with our suspicions, which in turn are tied to how we view children in general and our own children and our own flights of ambition?


1 comment:

Anjuli said...

I was simply relieved the boy was fine. As for him hiding in the attic- well there was many a time when my son (now a physicist with NREL) almost burned our house down, or did some other life threatening experiment & I too would find him hiding somewhere. I was always glad to find him ALIVE!!

As for anyone who dared to even think of wanting this to end with a 'dead' little boy- well, words fail me.