RFK's Grief and the Greeks



RFK's Grief and the Greeks


I had seen this American Experience program on Robert F. Kennedy before, but decided to watch it again since it reminds me so much of my dad who practically worshipped the guy.

It talked about RFK being in not only emotional but actual physical pain after the assassination of his brother. Here's what I picked up on with more awareness this time: He was a devout Catholic but could not find comfort there after his brother's death. His sister in-law, Jacqueline suggested he read from the ancient Greeks. On his tomb in Arlington Cemetary are the words of Aeschalus that helped him deal with his grief and make sense of the world.

I know of one quote before his brother's death that seems to impart a real sense of homophobia within the man, and he had been known for being a tough little bastard, all probably natural for a boy of whom some family members had worried was a "sissy" due to his small stature, sensitivity and shyness. Apparently, this greatest of homosocial cultures helped transform him, and transcend a self that had responded aggressively to the world's doubts about him, with a more profound acceptance of himself and the rest of humanity.

I'm more convinced that Greek culture wasn't just incidentally a homosocial and homosexual culture. Great things came from a culture wherein men loved one another. It kind of makes sense that nothing too great can come of a culture wherein men do not love one another, or where that love is seen as some pathology. The pathology lies with a culture that would view love as a pathology.

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