Friday, May 13, 2016

Karen expresses her grievances with Henry Hill.

In this scene from Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas, Karen expresses a legitimate grievance over Henry Hill's dalliances with Janice Rossi. However, she makes the mistake of using violence as the medium of her expression. When Henry is finally able to talk her down enough to throw her off him, he raises a valid question: "I got enough to worry about getting whacked on the street, I gotta come home to this?"

Henry raises an important if, for most of us, metaphorical point: if I want harsh criticism, if I want abuse or maltreatment, if I want people who disrespect me or even who would kill me, the world at large abounds with opportunities. Home, whether constructed from wood, brick, or merely affection and commitment, should provide a place where we are safe even in our disputes. Grievances will inevitably occur as people rub elbows at close quarters with each other, but they should never attempt to use violence as a means to resolve those grievances, whether that violence is physical or psychological. And some grievances might not even be worth bringing up.