Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What the green guy does...

Andy Hallett, who played the role of Krevlornswath of the Deathwok Clan, or Lorne for short on the vampire drama "Angel", passed away this past Sunday of heart failure. Hallett's character Lorne took advantage of his own singing skills as the owner of a karaoke bar that was open to humans, demons, vampires, and other walks of life (he kept the peace with a spell that prevented nonhumans from committing acts of violence). Along with running the bar his character he also had the ability to see the future of people by having them sing to him (once again referencing his singing talents).

After the show's conclusion in 2004 Hallett worked on his singing career playing several show across the country and singing two tracks on the Angel soundtrack (Angel: Live Fast Die Never) released in 2005. Unfortunately this was also around the time he began his battle with heart disease. He passed away on Sunday at Cedars-Sinai Hospital with his father Dave Hallett at his side.

This is a video of this two tracks "Lady Marmalade" and "It ain't easy being Green" starting at about 3:05 in. The first song is "La Song" by Christian Kane, the actor who played Lindsay).

One of my favorite lines was from the season five episode "Underneath". The scene is of Lorne at a bar mourning the death of Fred who was killed earlier in "A Hole in the World". Its one of the few times in the series where he was not in a cheery mood.

What do I think? I think I'm tired. I think I'm sick and tired of wearing bells on my toes and making like everything's gonna be OK. I think it's pathetic that lately I'm too scared and sad to tell people the truth so I just say what they wanna hear instead. Most of all, I think the term "Happy Hour" should be banned from the English language. There's nothing happy about this hour or any other.

This hour is indeed not happy. He will be missed.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

This is a test

I actually read this post about 2 days ago and I have to say I was a bit angry but not for the expected reasons. Now I've had conversations with Renee before and they usually end up us on different ends but for the most part were always civil about it. I agree with a lot of what she has said on her blog in the last year (and I think her one year blogiversary is coming up) and I have also disagreed with a lot of what she has said (however I still say she is better off than most of recent regulars who have set up shop there and appointed themselves her protectors). This is one of those times I (mostly) disagree. However there is already a melee of stupidity on that post so I'll just keep my thoughts here.

I'm sure a feminist that reads about a man getting angry over that post would probably go into something about telling him to get mad for the right reasons. This would be an effort to redirect him because there is a good chance he is/was mad for the right reasons after reading this.

I've been taking lessons from the bunch at Feminist Critics on how to simply address issues without going off the deep end into sarcastic remarks and blind anger. This post is a test of those lessons.

This is discrimination and sexism and the mehnz trumpet that if feminazis really cared about equality, this would be an issue that we actively sought to change. It seems perfectly reasonable doesn’t it; that with all of the serious issues currently facing women today from sexual assault, domestic violence, FGM, inequality in employment, the double day, reduction in reproductive rights, and poverty, that we should seek to spend the precious few resources that we have fighting an industry that is male run about its essentialist portrayals of masculinity.(emphasis mine.)

Now after reading the constant barrages of feminists saying that men are the ones that need to take responsibility on some women's issues I find this almost funny. One could almost say its hypocritical. I do believe that everyone should lend a hand in all the problems that plague humanity but given how massive these problems are I can't blame people who dedicate their efforts to one set of issues. And I like the "precious few recources" part. There is no question that women's advocates command a lot power, a lot more than men's advocates. I'll get back to that emphasized part at the end.

Though they have allowed some women to take on some visible roles of importance by enlarge when we think of personalities that we deem of great importance they are male.

On hand I hear feminist minded people talk about the women who have fought hard to get to where they are. But as one can see it is very easy to spin that into being allowed to take those positions and make that progress.

Even in traditional situation comedies where the husband is presented as mindless ,it is not nearly as diminishing as it appears at first glance. The husband as idiot allows the male to abdicate his responsibilities as an equal partner of the household while selfishly seeking out his personal gratification. This supposed idiocy allows him a sense of freedom that is seldom granted to the female characters. Secure in the knowledge that the wife will cook the meals, balance the books, raise the children, and provide boring if guilt free marriage sex, the man is free to continue on in a state of perpetual childhood.

What Renee is missing here is this "abdication of his responsibility" is what makes men justifiably angry. Shows like that are sending the message that men are too incompetent to take on their share of the responsibility. And contrary to what she and her people have already decided we don't like that. If a show were to portray a woman as being too incompetent to perform tasks it would just as angering.

As we know, along with the freedom of adulthood comes greater responsibility. By changing the gender dynamic to present the woman as the alpha female, the infantalization of men in the situation comedy actually oppresses women, in that it forces us once again to take on multiple roles that are often time consuming and stressful.

Change that "actually" I emphasized to "also" and I am right on board with that. But her use of "actually" makes this look like an attempt to twist discrimination that hurts both men and women into something that might be bad for men but women are the real victims. And this has always been one of my problems with feminism (as well as most forms of activism). There is nothing wrong with drawing attention to the ways the groups one advocates for but when its done by actively trying to trivializing other groups its not healthy for anyone.

If the mehnz are so concerned with the damage that this is doing to the boys club they can appeal to the men that run the media to do something about it. (emphasis hers)

This is a tactic I've seen feminists use plenty of times. Instead of demonizing those in power they demonize the gender of those in power as if maleness in and of itself is evil. I don't declare myself an MRA but at least (for the most part) when they talk about their own issues they focus on the seat of power itself. When dads are wronged in family court they talk about the court system that cheated them not the gender of lawyers and judges. When they talk about the media that minimizes all domestic violence accept male against female they talk about the media that does said minimizing. Yes they do talk about feminists who perpetuate (and sometimes actively support) such things but even that gets twisted into blaming.

While that post by Renee can be somewhat informational this (and the comments over there) is mostly just another mudball being slung between men's and women's advocates who are actually very close to seeing eye to eye.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I've been a little busy this week...

and blogger.com has been blocked at my job so I've started to simply email links to myself so I can go back and post on them later. Here goes.

Sarcastic shock and notation of physical differences: In this Connecticut divorce trial the husband alleges that his wife forced him to have sex. Not only does this give cause for the writer of the article to start off with, "She forced Swede love on him!" but it would seem one of her lawyers thinks he can prove it didn't happen because, "The notion that she could be raping a 226-pound man who's 6-foot-3 is beyond the pale," I wonder if this Laura Italiano will open with such shock and awe the next time a woman alleges her husband raped her during a divorce trial and I wonder, if said wife is larger than said husband, will her defense attorney use this Robert Cohen defense to explain why it could not have happened.

It's important to know that this is not domestic violence: Helen Sun just wanted to speak with her husband. Problem is she changed the locks to the bedroom and then handcuffed herself to him while he slept. Well for some reason Helen then bites him while he was on the phone with 911 calling for help. Police have charged Sun with third-degree assault, disorderly conduct, reckless endangerment and unlawful restraint. The words domestic nor violence are anywhere in the article. I guess that is why no is talking about this during this time in which networks, shows, and many in the blogshpere are tripping over themselves to have "real" and "frank" discussions on DV.

A virginity is not a commodity: UK mother Lucy Baxter is searching for a woman to have sex with her son who has Down's Syndrome. And it would seem that she is even willing to hire a prostitute for the act if need be. She says "I'd like all my boys to find love and enjoy sex." Now from what understand love is a wonderful thing and sex can be quite enjoyable but how can sex be enjoyable if it is bought for you? The article says he asked for the help but this just seems odd.

Male victimization: Toy Soldier expresses his feelings on how male victims (namely male victims of female rapists) are treated in some feminist discourses.

Not a whole lot mind you but I have been a bit busy.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Maybe the Georgia Sex Offender Registry has a quota?

A few days ago I did a post on the situation of housing of sex offenders. Well after reading this I wonder if some of the people on the registry in the state of Georgia are being denied certain jobs and living spaces without having even committed a sex crime.

A sex offender registry is supposed to be a maintained list of people who have been convicted of sex crimes. Those who end up on this list are forbidden to live or work within a certain distance of places when children are known to gather. Great idea but did know you that in the state of Georgia in addition to those who commit sex crimes:
...the law applies to anyone convicted of kidnapping or false imprisonment of a minor, regardless if a sexual act was committed.
That's right. If you kidnap a minor and do not perform a sex crime with them you still end up on the registry. Now there are two problems with this.

First the definition of false imprisonment/kidnapping is more broad than most people think. In 1994, Donnie Lee Boone and two others held up an Augusta restaurant. Because the men moved four employees, one a 17-year-old, from one part of the restaurant to another, they were convicted of kidnapping. I challenge anyone to give a reason why this man has been classified as being the same level of threat as rapists, molesters, and abusers. There are those who commit sex crimes after they have kidnapped a minor but in this situation it is pretty obvious that there was no sexual motivation behind the robbers' actions. By all means punish them for the robbery but there is a such thing as going too far.

Secondly knowing full well the restrictions that actual sex offenders have to live with I think this is putting an unfair burden on people that do want to get on with their lives and actually contribute to society.
At 17, Darnelle Harvey took part in the robbery of a Dairy Queen in Chamblee. Brandishing a gun, he ordered a 16-year-old to lie down as the holdup progressed. This got him a false imprisonment conviction, and because the victim was under 18, Harvey became a sex offender.

After getting out of prison Harvey took up the trade of welding. So far he has had to give up two jobs because the first one required him to move out of state and the second one was at a ranch that hosts parties for kids. Harvey himself even comments on what is likely to happen to people who not allowed to rejoin society.
“If you can’t work, you can’t take care of yourself. When you can’t do that, it might lead to robbing or stealing. What’s left?”

At least the law making body behind this is reviewing this provision. Senator Seth Harp (R-Midland) is working on amending the legislation so that it only requires those who kidnap a minor and commit a sex crime against them to register. (But of course if they commit a sex crime against said minor whether they were kidnapped or not wouldn't they have to register anyway?)

I understand the need to protect innocent people from the clutches of vicious criminals and I know that society is taught that any interaction between a man and minor is a possible sex crime but the line has to be drawn somewhere. Just because a man is interacting with a minor, even in an illegal manner, does not mean its of sexual nature.

Shoutout to Robert Franklin, Esq.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Through a New Looking Glass: Housing for Registered Sex Offenders

In society there those that we wish we could just get rid of and put them out of our mind. However the answer may not always be as simple as killing them. When I say kill I'm sure you think I'm talking about criminals and you would be right. Once a criminal has served their sentence what do you do with them? More specifically what do you do with some of the worst criminals once it is time for them to try to rejoin society?

I was reading this story today at MSNBC about how a Catholic charity in Lexington, Kentucky scrapped plans to buy a house that would have been home to four registered sex offenders amid protests from local residents.

A few years ago I would not have cared that they didn't have a place to stay. But now things are not so clear.

Yesterday's perception: What we have here are some of the worst people in society, sex offenders. This means that they have hurt innocent people in of the most personal, private, and horrible ways possible. Frankly speaking I don't think there were then or are now too many people that would be willing to allow such people to ever see the light of day again. And how dare they think that they should be able to live anywhere near a civilized neighborhood. To the devil with them. Don't care where they end up.

Today's perception: What we have here are some of the worst people in society, sex offenders. This means that they have hurt innocent people in of the most personal, private, and horrible ways possible. Frankly speaking I don't think there were then or are now too many people that would be willing to allow such people to ever see the light of day again. And how dare they think that they should be able to live anywhere near a civilized neighborhood. However I think it is important to keep up with such people. There have been stories of scores of registered sex offenders that live in shelters, under bridges, and other off the radar locations. This is a problem.

One of the reasons a lot of these offenders were able to commit their crime(s) in the first place was because they were able to stay off the radar of suspicion. But at least then their whereabouts are usually known and can be tracked. However in the event they are caught, serve their sentence, get registered, and then disappear they will be off the radar of suspicion and the literal radar as well. This means they will have the element of surprise to strike again and will be able to get away much easier since there will be almost nothing to track.

Now mind you I would not advocate that they be allowed to live near locations near children but at the same time I have never seen anyone offer some sort of alternative living situation that would allow for them to still have someone keep tabs on them. Plain and simple people make such a big deal about registering sex offenders just to let them fade off the map anyway. If they want to keep up with these criminals then they have to be put somewhere they can be watched.

At first glance it is real easy to just write someone off as an undesirable that should just be dumped off at the wayside but at a second look it night not be such a good idea to allow such people to drop off the face of the planet so easily.

Do our young boys need help in school as well?

Okay over the last few days I've been reading about what is called a boy crisis in American schools. (This may be related to the recent creation of the White House Council on Women, I'll get to that in a later post.) What this crisis describes is the state of boys in our education system and how it may be letting them down.

You have people on one side saying that there is a crisis and citing how there are fewer boys with diplomas and degrees, how young boys are committing suicide more often, fewer boys attending college, and so on.

On the other you have people who insist that there is no boy crisis because the education system has been all about boys in the past, how the gender gaps aren't as big as the supporters claim, saying the supporters are just back lashing against the fact the girls are catching up and in some places passing boys, and saying that attention should be paid to boys and girls.

And of course you have each side crying sexism at the other.

I have to say that I'm still new to this and will try to come back with my own thoughts on the education situation with today's boys.

In the meantime if you have any info pertaining to it by all means please share.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Ladies and gentlemen....

For the last several weeks people have been going on and on about Chris Brown abusing Rihanna. Some saying the Brown needs to go to prison. Some saying that "a man should never hit a woman for any reason" (which is bullshit). Some saying that Brown's music label should drop him (I wonder if those same people would want Rihanna's label to drop her if it does turn out that she started the confrontation). There has even been an influx of news articles and tv specials that boasted very frank discussions on DV but then proceed to continue the belief that male vs. female is the only form of DV there is. Here's what I have to say about it.

Chris Brown needs to be brought up on charges and go to prison. If it turns out that she did start the confrontation then such information needs to be brought to light (no matter how badly the "it doesn't matter who started it he needs to be punished" crowd that would want to continue the myth that only men commit DV wants to keep it quiet) and possibly charge her as well.

Thank you. That is all.

Friday, March 13, 2009

A little bit of math if you will

A story from Fathers4Fairness.

2 - The number of sex crimes committed against under aged children in the same school in the same week.

2 - The number of abusers.
1 - The number of male abusers.
1 - The number of female abusers.

2 - The number of victims.
1 - The number of male victims.
1 - The number of female victims.

Okay things are adding up properly so far right? Then let's continue. But be warned it gets a bit tricky.

A. 1 - The number of abusers who had their gender, name, age, exact occupation, and town of residence revealed.

B. 1 - The number of abusers who had their age, gender, and not so exact occupation revealed.

C. 1 - The number of victims who had their age revealed.

D. 1 - The number of victims who had their age concealed in order to protect their identity.

Now I'm sure this is not the first time you've seen (even if you didn't realize or don't want to admit) a female being granted more anonymity than a male no matter which side of the ordeal they are on but having this both occur in the same article helps bring that ugly truth to light.

Now I'm not sure who is in charge of what information about a suspect and a victim is released to the press, although I would guess someone in the police department, but its pretty clear that when it comes to at least sex crimes there is an obvious gender bias as to whose anonymity is worth protecting and whose is not.

Upon suspicion a male's entire life is given to the public. Upon suspicion only certain parts of a female's life is given to the public. Its almost as if "innocent until proven guilty" or "guilty until proven innocent" is employed based on one's gender.

When the victim of a crime a young male is put under scrutiny for it is assumed that he is actually the real culprit therefore protection really isn't that necessary. When the victim of a crime a young female is guarded more tightly than the president and it is a crime against nature for any info on her to be given to the public.

So we supposedly have one system of law enforcement and justice yet it acts in one of two ways depending on what gender one is. Interesting.

Shoutout to Fathers4Fairness.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

One hell of a bargaing chip

Take a look at this (and this) and tell me what the hell is wrong. And I'm warning you that the second link goes into graphic detail of the conditions this girl was living under. I've been so enraged that I can barely finish reading it (so pardon me if my anger causes me to get all rant-like and shit).

1. Abuse - Yes it is horribly wrong that this woman abused an innocent little girl so harshly and for so long that at the age of about 5 she had never learned to speak or eat properly. But that is not what I'm talking about.

2. Female sentencing discount - Another reason this has be pissed is be because of the "sentence" she got. Facing up to 20 years in prison, Crockett was actually sentenced to two years of house arrest, probation and 100 hours of community service. That's a WTF moment if I there ever was one. Close but that is not what I'm talking about.

I'm sure you noticed those two things but what I was really talking about was how she got the discount.

Danielle's birth mother, Michelle Crockett, was charged with child abuse and faced 20 years in prison. Still, she refused to give up custody of her daughter. So prosecutors offered a plea deal: She could wave her parental rights and avoid jail time. She was sentenced to two years of house arrest, probation and 100 hours of community service

You read that right. This woman, after abusing her daughter for years, would have still had her parental rights over this child if she had refused the deal and taken the 20 years in prison. Mary Winkler all over again. And if I'm not mistaken judges have the authority to negate plea bargains at their own discretion. So first I want to know why the hell he didn't negate this bullshit (assuming its possible to do so) and second how in the ten circles of hell do someone abuse a child and still be able to use parental rights as a bargaining chip?

Now we know that the parental rights of fathers are usually held at the mercy of mothers and the courts (as if a father could use his parental right like this woman did) but I find it shocking that a mother was able to possibly maintain them despite facing 20 years (too short of a sentence) as if a mother's connection to her children somehow trumps the children's well-being.

Cases like this are a shining example of why the current state of child care in this country needs to seriously examined and seriously overhauled.

Okay I'm out.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

I wouldn't call it cream....

but damn if it hasn't floated to the top (or at least near the top). I decided to register with StumbleUpon and ran a search on "men's rights" and then filtered with "men's issues" and low and behold this piece of nonsense rears its head again.

This post was apparently a breakdown of Men's Rights Activists are all about. Mind you its by a feminist/feminist ally but nevermind that. See this is some of the hypocrisy that I occasionally see among activists. They have no problem telling other groups what they are really about but woe be the outsider soul that dares to tell them what they are really about.

On one hand I find the hypocrisy comically ironic. On the other I can understand why an MRA would be infuriated by this crap. On another it makes me glad that I don't bother with titles. On another...hold on I only have 2 hands...lol.


...does this mean that phrases like "not bad for a girl/woman" and "even a woman/girl can do it" are now fair game?

The night a Comedian died...

I saw The Watchmen tonight and wanted to get my thoughts down (and hopefully get some discussion going) before I lost them. Yeah this will have spoilers so act accordingly.

First things first.

1. This movie takes place in a fiction 1985 (the original comic was released in 1986-87) so don't waste too much time going over why the content really doesn't relate to today's current conditions (assuming you think they don't).

2. This movie is violent and has a lot of sexual content. People being dismembered. People exploding. Consensual sex. Attempted non consensual sex. Quite a bit of nudity (in fact more nudity that I remember from the books). Its rated R for a reason folks. This one is not for the kids.

3. This movie is LONG. At a whopping 2hr. 45min. you better be prepared to go the distance. Although I have to say that it did not feel that long to me (but of course I was really into it).

3a. This movie was made by editing a 12 part comic book mini series. I highly recommend you read it (you can get it in graphic novel format for about $20 at amazon) because there is a LOT of content that had to be left out to make it all fit into a single movie.

The movie starts with a man by the name of Edward Blake sitting in his apartment watching tv. An unknown assailant breaks in and kills Blake. The following day a masked man scales the side of the building to enter the scene and do some investigating. Finding a hidden button in Blake's closet the masked man opens a secret door. Behind this secret door is the beginning of a long journey that could end with the apocalypse...

Never really done a movie review before so I'm just gonna wing it by going over the things that caught my attention.

I have to say that Snyder and crew did a damn good job on editing the content of the original books. There is coherent story for people who don't know about The Watchmen while at the same time the people who know (or at least remember) will not feel lost trying to piece together and remember parts that were edited out. (One thing that was edited out was the murder of Hollis Mason, the original Nite Owl.)

Violence: By cutting away a lot of the content it seems to me that some of the mood and feeling of the times was lost and in turn kinda made the extreme violence look out of place. I'm sure a lot of people who see the violence in this movie will think it was put in just for shock value but its not. It was in there as a sign of the dark, dank, and hopeless world that Rorschach describes throughout the movie. Yeah the Comedian was a sadistic killer but at the same time he was fighting for his country. Its real easy to call Dr. Manhattan a murder for what he did in Vietnam but were his actions really any different from the atom bombs that were dropped in Japan to end WW2? And then there is the practical joke "Kill millions...to save billions." The violence in this movie is not there for shock. It's there to give a look into the human condition.

Sex: There was quite a bit of sex in this movie and it seems to have several meanings.

Near the beginning of the film Rorschach was describing the current state of things and how they will turn bad in the end. In that description he lumps prostitutes in with wrong doers as if prostitution in and of itself is a bad thing. I didn't like this and wondered why he did that until I remembered that his mother was a prostitute that neglected him as a child which would explain why he holds them in such low regard. Not saying the generalization is okay just saying where it may come from.

During the story the Comedian attempts to rape the first Silk Spectre. As we all know rape is a horrible crime and this gives another look at the dark side of Blake. But later Silk Spectre I has a consensual sexual encounter with Blake (which resulted in the conception of their daughter who would become Silk Spectre II). This goes to show that sex can be the most beautiful thing in the world or it can be the ugliest thing in the world and how both visions can be carried by the same person.

To Laurie sex seemed to be symbolic of a connection. Early on we see her in a waning relationship with Dr. Manhattan. Manhattan is losing touch with not just his own humanity but with humankind altogether. All that keeps him attached is his relationship with Laurie. In the movie (but I think it played differently in the book) we see things come to a head by way of Laurie discovering that instead of having sex with Manhattan himself she was having sex with two of his clones while he himself continued his work. Once she leaves him and moves in with Nite Owl and eventually consummate their relationship with a sexual encounter after suiting up and patrolling the streets for old time's sake.

There is just so much going on in that story and so much to talk about I can't think of much less cover it all. Like I said at the top my hope is to get some conversation going about this work of fiction. Don't be scared to talk.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Through a New Looking Glass: Criminal Intent

This post talks about rape, specifically the rape of girls in Darfur, and more specifically a point of view that will probably get me attacked and piss you the reader off. I won't be mad if you decide to leave.

Yesterday's perception is not limited to yesterday's events. Sometimes I find myself wondering how my yesterday self would perceive current event compared to my today self. A few days ago at work I came across this article.

The article is of an interview with a man named "Adam" (not his real name), one of many men who have engaged in the violence in Darfur. He tells of how he was among those that attacked destroyed villages, killed men and boys, raped women and girls, and ruined lives. During his service he was sent into villages to kill and rape not just any people but his very own.

Yesterday's perception: A while back I would have written this guy off as a murderer and rapist that should burn in the lowest levels of hell and not give a damn about why he did the things he did. And I probably would have wondered why anyone would even bother with listening to his story.

Today's perception: In recent years I have begun to try to look at more than the what, who, when, and where of a situation and start to pay attention to the why as well. And paying attention to the why behind Adam's actions do offer insight.

Yes he was given arms and sent to kill people and destroy their villages but there is a reason why. First off he was deceived into thinking that he was being drafted into the military. Being forced to serve warlords, rebel armies, and even local governments is a harsh reality for many men and boys in that region of the world.

Some may wonder, "So why didn't he escape?"
From the interview:
"The order is that the soldiers at the front, and there are some people who are watching you from behind, if you try to escape or do anything you will get shot."

That's why.

Even under such threat he did attempt to escape. Unfortunately he was caught and tortured by being tied up under a tree where his torturers set a tire on fire above him so that the melting rubber would drip onto him. It's real easy to condemn a person that commits horrible acts but what about a person who does so under threat of torture and death?

Then there is the rape. Don't get me wrong a rapist is one of the lowest forms of life there is and I have to admit that I'm not too sorry that child rapists are the bottom of the food chain in prison (well in men's prisons anyway). But this caught my eye:
"Well it didn't feel like raping, I was feeling very bad but as I was ordered, I had to do something. What I did was take off my trousers and lay myself on top of the girl but I didn't feel like raping, so I lay there for about 15 minutes."

I want to be sure I understand him. "So you didn't actually penetrate the girls?" I ask. No, he says, "because I had no feeling for it, my penis didn't actually wake up, so there was no actual penetration," he replied.

I would imagine that in the middle of the chaos and violence going on around them a child would be horrified at the thought of being grabbed by an adult they don't know. More than likely the girls he did this too were terrified at having a man grab them, take off his own clothes, rip hers off, and only lay on top of her without actually having sex with her. But there are two things to consider.

1. He was under threat of torture and death to do those things. And even so he did not commit the acts that were expected of him. He only did just enough to stay alive. It would have been real easy for him to just simply obey the orders and actually do those horrible things.

2. By not actually raping those girls they did not experience the full terror that many, many others did. Even if for only a single moment they were spared a portion of the violence.

Now bear in mind I am not trying to excuse or explain away the things that he did but trying to get an idea of his motivation. And it seems to me that his motivation was survival.

After actually taking the time to read about Adam I'm am more confused than before. He took part in those raids and terrorized children (even if he didn't rape them) but at the same time he was under threat of death/torture and the girls he grabbed would have surely met a worse fate at the hands of some of the other soldiers (like all the girls who were grabbed by those other soldiers).

It would seem that one's perception can change significantly when you take the time to look at the why of a situation and not just the who, what, where, and when. My only problem now is that my perception of this man is now clouded.

It would seem that this new looking glass will not always give me a clear vision.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Dissent at Your Own Risk

I wrote this post a few days ago for Renee at Womanist Musings. Now that a few days have passed I'll put it up here:

When you read someone else's blog what do you expect? Do you expect a regurgitation of what you already know, think, feel, believe, etc? Do you expect to hear/read/get someone else's perspective on an issue? I think it may be worth it to visit this seemingly innocuous topic.

The reason for the visit is because I think that whether we realize it or not what we expect from a blog has an effect on what input a reader offers as well the reaction a reader offers to someone else's input.

When a user goes to a blog expecting to get a different perspective on a situation it is perfectly understandable and anticipated that there will be differences of opinion and said user will more than likely be a voice of dissent. Despite what many people may think being a dissenting voice does not automatically make one the enemy. However time and time again the dissenting opinion is often treated like a virus that must be eradicated. I find this to be a problem but the problem does not always lie with the dissenting voice.

Of course there are times when a dissenting voice comes onto a blog with the purpose of causing disruption however there times when the resulting disruption is not caused by the dissenter him/herself.

If people go to a blog to get a different perspective and hear a dissenting voice why is there the desire to respond to that dissenter as if they are not welcome? I mean if they are really there to get a different angle on the topic why do they react to the dissenter with great hostility in an effort to run them off of the blog?

I'm sure a person that does this is doing so under the justification of trying to stop the dissenter from stifling the conversation. So you have someone doing exactly what they don't want to happen to him/herself in order to prevent it from happening to him/herself. Unless the dissenter is truly trying to stop the conversation (and I'm sorry but the owner/moderator of the blog in question is the only one that can decide who can determine who is being disruptive) or turn it in a certain direction is it really fair to try to shut them out of the discussion? If someone responds with great vengeance and furious anger at the slightest hint of dissent, who is the one that is really stifling the conversation?

The reason I bring attention to this is because responding to any and all dissenting voices with unprovoked hostility can have very dangerous consequences. First and foremost if a blog suddenly begins to shut out anyone that does not agree with the crowd it will turn into an echo chamber. And by echo chamber I mean that the only voices that are heard are always saying the same thing. It's difficult to have open dialogue, much less incite change, when only certain dialogue is welcome isn't?