Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Crime and Punishment

Public attention, at least amongst those of us who identify with what one loosely calls "the Left" sometimes like a game of spin the bottle. One day it's rampage shooting, the next day it's police brutality and the next sexual assault. That isn't really a prescription for a cure although it keeps the ratings and emotions high.

Too bad, because these things are serious and real and deserve long term attention instead of the snap judgments, generalizations and hyperbole resulting from our national attention deficit and rage addiction.  The dethronement of disgusting Harvey Weinstein seems to have spurred a journalistic hunger for more similar stories and perhaps the desire to get attention by people who make a living from getting attention.

I admit that reading that George Bush Sr. had apologized for a sexual assault occurring 4 years ago, I was shocked, but reading the story changed that to irritation because to my "insensitive" mind sexual assault implies sex or at least something closer to it than telling a dirty joke or a collision with a 90 year old man confined to a wheelchair -- and both while the man's wife watched.  Rude? Perhaps. A lack of social graces understandable in someone of that age? Perhaps. A hyperbolic, opportunistic accusation? I think so and irritating because it will feed more arguments that all such accusations are false or exaggerated.   

Certainly they are not all or mostly false, even if demands that people be protected from insult, or any disturbing sights, sounds or comments have become common. Perhaps Heather Lind had a right to take offense, but calling something tasteless "assault" is damaging to a legitimate cause. That attention is being given to this while the real transgressors can admit to it and get away with it is tragic.

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