First off, I apologize to any of my fans for being away from this space for so long. As you all know, these have been trying times for me and my family; My lovely wife Karine had major back surgery just over a month ago, and is now convalescing in our home on Long Island. It's been a very difficult road in terms of her immediate recovery and hospital stay (including a long stint in the ICU), continued post-surgical pain, and the challenges of caring for two young children with one parent out of commission. I'll thank all of you who have offered kind wishes and who have supported our ongoing fundraiser to help cover expenses (special thanks to Gary Kayye of Ravepubs, Tim Albright of AVNation, and Corey Moss et al of the cAValry Rides show for lending their respective platforms to help spread the word. Thank you, AV friends!). It seems thematically fitting that my return to blogging will touch on the theme of family. Worry not, there will be more to say about the world of AV, fiction, and other thoughts. I'll start, however, with recent events involving former pitcher turned semi-professional loudmouth Curt Schilling.
|Say what you will about him - we'll never forget Schilling's |
performance in the 2004 ALCS.
Image courtesy of CNBC
I mentioned being a Republican, being a Red Sox and all that other stuff. I didn’t insert politics to make a point, I did so to make sure if you read it you knew that I KNEW people hate me for one or more reasons.
I look at it like this. If someone walked into your house and punched your daughter square in the face, what would your reaction be? You and I probably are thinking the very same thing. How is that different than what happened to my amazing Daughter?
Even those of us who dislike Curt Schilling will fight for his daughter. We feel as if we know him and, by extension, her. Sure, he's the crazy uncle with reprehensible political views and a shaky grasp - at best - of science. That doesn't make him any less OUR crazy uncle with reprehensible ideas.
Finally, there's the issue that absent legal remedies we've resorted to the extralegal weapon of shaming. This is open to all kinds of abuse, both intentional and subconscious. Consider the following thought questions:
- Is it likely that the same swift response would meet a victim of color?
- Is the response equal across the board, or is it arbitrary?
- One harasser lost a fairly low-paying entry-level job. Should a repercussion to such things be an inability to work? If so, how is he expected to feed himself?
- One harasser was suspended from college. Is an inability to get an education a reasonable repercussion? How will this benefit society?
- How does your response to Item 4 blesh with the fact that prisons often offer educational programs to inmates? Could this be seen as worse than a prison sentence, for either the harassers or for society?
I won't lie, I'm a primate just like you are (I assume all of my readers are primates. Apologies to any uplifted dolphins reading this on waterproof smartphones). My first reaction was satisfaction that justice was done; someone did something bad, and we hurt them. Stepping far enough back, I don't see this as a solution. I see one very powerful man throwing around his muscle against some nobodies without moving to take any steps to solve the bigger issues. I see the community reading about this brushing its collective hands together, muttering to itself "good job" while higher levels of more persistent harassment continue. I see an emotional response, not a logical one. Judicial approaches have a fixed penalty, standards of proof, and - at best - a path to post-penalty rehabilitation and reintroduction to society. This kind of ad hoc shaming has none of that. Can we do better? I want to believe that we can.