TV Ripped My Son From Reality

When Art Imitates Life, Forward Columnist Feels Used

Ripped From My Life? A new ‘Law & Order’ episode hits a little too close for comfort for columnist Lenore Skenazy.
nate lavey
Ripped From My Life? A new ‘Law & Order’ episode hits a little too close for comfort for columnist Lenore Skenazy.

By Lenore Skenazy

Published December 22, 2011, issue of December 30, 2011.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

About two weeks ago, I was ripped from the headlines.

Ouch.

A friend sent me the link to a new “Law & Order: SVU” episode. “SVU,” in case you didn’t know, stands for Special Victims Unit — victims who are cuter, smaller or more heinously abused than usual.

So, it opens with a chubby-cheeked boy with curly brown hair about to leave for school, but first being patted by his loving mom.

“I can’t believe I’m letting you go to school on your own,” she says.

“Mom, everyone else in fourth grade does!” he replies.

She kisses him goodbye, and off he goes to the subway alone for the very first time.

Hmm.

As you may recall, I’m the mom somewhat famous for letting my own chubby-cheeked, curly-haired fourth grader take the New York City subway alone about three years ago, and then writing a newspaper column about it. I ended up on pretty much every news and talk show except “Oprah,” defending my decision. My son continues to take the train solo.

But I think you can guess what happened to the “Law & Order” boy seemingly modeled on mine. Or maybe you can’t — because not only was he murdered (duh), he was tortured first. Apparently, a mere child murder just isn’t gruesome enough to guarantee viewers will sit through the commercials anymore. So the SVU coroner uncovers the body and shows the exceptionally attractive detectives the cigarette burns all over the little boy’s chest. She also informs them that he was so scared, he wet his pants. (Nice touch!) And — just in case we watch it thinking, “Well at least it was fast, right?” — she adds that the boy was conscious every single agonizing second before being strangled by the very scarf his mom patted when she kissed him goodbye…. for the last time.

By that point, I was screaming at the screen. Actually, I started screaming the second I saw that boy, who looked like mine, except dead in the morgue, pockmarked by burns. It was way too real.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel: http://jd.fo/i4UDl
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.