Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Things That Piss Me Off Tuesday - the hey look it's actually Tuesday edition

Alert the media. I actually have my shit together this week. Sort of. Well, okay, fine. I don't, but I am at least writing this post on the correct day of the week, so I get a high five.

Let's just get to it because I don't know how long I'll have before the kids stage a mutiny. No, but really....

Rape is rape is rape.
If you haven't seen the cover of New York Magazine this week, go. Here is the link to the story. 

On the cover, black and white photos of every woman who has come forward (so far) accusing Bill Cosby of drugging and abusing them. At the bottom of the photo, an empty chair to represent the victims we still don't know about, the ones who may still not even realize they are victims, the ones who may never come forward.

I've seen a lot of people angry over all this, for the fact that he wasn't charged with anything when he should have been, for the fact that he basically confessed in a deposition and still nothing happened, for the fact that there are people who seem hell bent on still defending him.

There is a legal argument to be made that he could still be charged, though it would take a little fancy footwork to get it done. The statute of limitations has run, Cosby believes he is in the clear for the crimes he perpetrated, but the truth is that he may not be. All it would take is one very creative and convincing attorney. In the law, there is a way to stall the statute of limitations, to arrest it and keep it from running when there is active concealment of a crime. Here, since Cosby routinely drugged the women before raping them, there is at least a theoretical argument to be made that some of them may not have actually realized that they'd been raped until other women started to come forward. The drugs he used could have fogged their memories of the interactions to such a degree that the couldn't have reasonably known what actually happened to them.

I hope one of them seeks charges, and I hope that there is a prosecutor out there willing to go for it.

Oh, speaking of rape....
As if Donald Trump isn't disgusting enough as it is, it's come out now that Ivana accused him of raping her several times while they were still married. His lawyer seems to think that the fact they were married is enough of a defense, but actually it isn't. Rape is rape. Period. Just being married to your attacker doesn't make it okay.

Marital rape is...wait for it...rape.

The advisor has since apologized. Sort of. Then threatened to sue the reporter who published his comments. Because that's the Trump way, right? Make an ass out of yourself, then threaten other people because of it.

    So fucking gross.

    Money can buy anything....
    By now, some of you may have seen the story of the Minnesota dentist who paid $50,000 to kill a healthy male lion in Zimbabwe. 

    I just can't even with this shit.

    What the hell is wrong with people???

    Poor misunderstood hunter man is now dealing with the wrath of the internet. Awww, almost sucks as much as getting hunted for a trophy. Let me play a tiny violin. NOT.

    The Boy Scouts Make Progress. Just not entirely.
    The full vote of the national executive board was taken yesterday, and they decided to do away with the ban on gay leadership.


    Church sponsored units can still choose to limit leadership to exclude gays if they so choose. 

    We are fortunate to have found a troop that has always been inclusive and will continue to be so.

    Here's the thing about boy scouts (and just about any organized activity for kids as it is)...ready for this truth I'm about to drop on you?

    It's hard....really freaking hard to find adults who are willing to take on leadership positions to begin with. BSA has seen a fairly dramatic drop in membership, and I can tell you that I know many many people who've pulled their children because of the policies against gay youths and leaders that existed until now. A lot of the people who left because of those rules had been leaders, and damn good ones.

    BSA knows that society is evolving. They also know that a core part of their membership is based in churches who refuse to see that. This decision is a compromise of sorts. Let the churches keep their outdated rules, let the rest of us embrace all the kids and adults who want to be a part of the organization.

    It's progress. Slow, lumpy, ugly progress.

    Tragedies are tragedies, for sure, but they aren't what social media makes them out to be
    The case of Madyson Middleton, a missing 8 year old girl appears to have come to a tragic end when a body was found yesterday in a dumpster. Shortly after the discovery a 15 year old boy was arrested in her disappearance. 

    This is an awful, unimaginable, horrible tragedy. Please don't misunderstand what I am about to say and confuse it with trying to minimize how awful this particular case is, though.

    Cases like this are rare. Exceedingly rare. Statistically less common than in the past even.

    The biggest threats to kids when it comes to abduction, kidnapping, abuse and murder are family and friends, not strangers. 

    The problem is that cases like this one, where a child just disappears, are terrifying for parents. The media, social media especially, hyperfocuses on these specific type of disappearances, not ever recognizing just how rare they are. In the process, parents become scared and anxious, living in fear of something like this happening to their children.

    Reasonable caution is important, obviously. Children should be taught to trust their instincts when it comes to interactions with both strangers and people they already know. What shouldn't happen though, is what I'm seeing in the comment sections and attached to shares of the story, where parents are vowing never to let their children play outside or ride their scooters or go to the park out of an irrational fear, fed by social media, of something like this happening.

    Could it happen? Of course.

    Anything is possible.

    It's just not very likely.

    We can't let fear dictate how we raise our kids, you guys.

    Go Set A Watchman
    It took me months to decide whether I would read this book or not because of all the controversy surrounding it. I read it and haven't honestly had the visceral reaction to it that so many people assumed I would. I see it for what it is, a rough first draft of a story that wasn't intended to be made public. People are having a hard time reconciling this Atticus with the Atticus of TKAM, not realizing that these characters are fictions. It's entirely possible to see them as separate and distinct individuals, one more evolved than the other through the tools of time and editing...but it's as possible to see them as exactly the same person, separated by time and point of view.

    Reconcile the two Atticuses or don't, but the truth is that the version of him that appears in GSAW is probably a hell of a lot more historically accurate given the time and the setting of the story. For that matter, it might even be more accurate now, and perhaps that is what is so threatening about this book.

    It certainly makes reading it timely in 2015 in light of all that has been going on.

    Atticus isn't perfect, but he never was. In TKAM he did his duty in court, did the best he could one could argue, but only after he was assigned the case in the first place. He is more preoccupied with the Ewells than he ever is with the Robinson family. It's entirely possible that the GSAW Atticus and the TKAM Atticus are indeed the same person.

    And people don't like that.

    Because people don't like having their biases revealed. People want to be resolute in their convictions, not revealed to having given in to their biases and practicality. Atticus did both.

    Atticus is just a little too close to home, I think.

    I didn't hate the new (old) book, in fact to me it humanized Atticus and Jean Louise in ways that TKAM never did. This book was far more about her personal evolution, about how her view of the world changed, about seeing the flaws in the people around her.

    It hasn't ruined anything for me.

    I do sincerely hope that Harper Lee wasn't manipulated into releasing it, though I suppose we may never really know the truth.

    My favorite quote from the book is this one.

    "Prejudice, a dirty word, and faith, a clean one, 
    have something in common: 
    they both begin where reason ends."

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