Sex Offender Terrorism and the San Diego Union-Tribune
Clearly the San Diego Union-Tribune has a new formula to increase its flagging circulation numbers while it glosses over or ignores more mundane but highly important social issues—focus on sexual offenders as a new modern day witch hunt.
It’s Monday May 3, 2010 front cover could not be more obvious in its attempt to exploit the recent confessions of the John Gardner killings of two local teenagers. OFFENDERS IN CLUSTERS spread the top front page as thee big print “alarmist” story to curry curiosity and vigilante alarm with its graphic pictures of hotels that rent rooms to sexual offenders released from prison. That is to say that even though this is a local story—if you want to sell to peoples’ fears the front page is the way to go.
Not that it is not important for parents and vulnerable people to know where clusters of the x-offenders reside—but rather this new form of “sex predator terrorism” is such an emotional issue for so many—and why not punish those hotel managers for being so egregious as to rent to these kind in their business practices? This is clearly the unspoken message. If you harbor terrorists—we will get you and you too will be humiliated in process—because the persecution of the new witch-hunt will not stop. Tomas de Torquemada has just come back to Venice.
John Gardner is the 9-11 story of criminality. Play it over and over again to keep it foremost in the minds of people so draconian laws can be put in place. Play like a Rodney King beating so the most irrational and highly agitated can cause a groundswell of persecution. The fact is nobody even wants plane ordinary homeless people hanging around—the sure in the hell don’t want sexual offenders. So basically offenders are forced to jumping off bridges or other forms of suicide.
And granted perhaps some offenders are dangerous enough and egregious enough they should be dead—but practically everything is sexually offensive these days—especially if you are male. This response on furthers what was already a lot of prejudice against men in general—something our society has been loathe to discuss—how much fear, hatred, and mistrust women already have toward men—before Gardner abducted anyone.
Men are already being “profiled” like never before. You want a date—if you are a stranger you need to have a background check—especially if you are meeting someone through the Internet. Women are encourage to have investigators watch their boyfriends and husbands—you never know. But now the suspicion levels are even higher.
For years now plenty of women would ignore you like you didn’t even exist. They might walk right acting as if they didn’t even see you. Men are now invisible. Why take a chance? Some would stand yards away from a bus bench—not out of deference but so they would have to interact with you. Beside you can’t afford a car—your lowlife—you are automatically not worth knowing, etc. When a women sees a male stranger now she doesn’t think about how good looking he might be—her first gut reaction is—what kind of pariah is this?
Then comes one Gardner and everyone must be measured against his criminality. Every male is that a “potential” Gardner. This is what the Union-Tribune newspaper is creating—an atmosphere of paranoia and persecution. Nothing is as eminent as the next likely abduction.
Surely the article itself gives the impression of some balance, such as quoting one as saying they have to live somewhere, etc. But this is not really what seems to be going on. Numerous apartment renters are being smeared, as their businesses will be ostracized, and equally humiliated, for daring to help those some in society deem too low to deserve help or any form of sympathy or forgiveness. The new standard is that everyone who has every done anything sexually questionable or despicable, as to be labeled sexually deviant, is now beyond mercy. (Sodomites, as they have been known since times biblical, should not get too comfortable.)
Yet there are forms of rape that are not physical—rather they are psychological. To rape means to seize, that is to take against the will and to humiliate—something many people are very adept at doing—even if they are not male or strong. Or why is rape considered such an odious crime if not the psychological trauma it might carry?
Rape then is a form of psychological humiliation. Theoretically any woman or wimp can finds ways to humiliate and psychologically rape people—but we don’t give this much stigma if one is making allegations, or spreading rumors, or even telling others embarrassing truths. But it can still be just as, if not more, embarrassing to the person or company being lime-lighted for the world to see.
It doesn’t matter if allegations of physical rape by an x-president turned out to be deliberate lies—the mainstream media still played the story. It still had its effect. There are people who go into journalism to write about scandals so they can embarrass and humiliate people—and it still can be a form of sanctioned rape.
Take the John Hartley case when he was running for city council. Two women saw him urinating in a cup while he was in his vehicle taking a break from campaigning and passing out literature in neighborhoods. Naturally, after a while human animals have to urinate—it is a biological reality. But you see he was male—and in today’s world men have no benefit of the doubt—no matter who you are. So the women swear he was masturbating—after all, his penis was projecting outward from his pelvis to the cup and he was shaking some last droplets. Certainly that deserved unqualified exposure in the local newspaper so the common people should decide how perverted he was? And yes there were jokes and pooh-poohs for Mr. Crime Stopper—but more importantly he didn’t have a chance in Satan’s iniquitous hell to win as a democrat after that. More importantly one can assume he felt greatly more humiliated than what the media gave hint.
One can argue some people should be shamed for what they have done. But how many times and for how long? And more importantly how many others should be hurt in the process—friends, relatives, acquaintances that suddenly become non-acquaintances? Sexual scandals affect a lot of people—not just the alleged violator.
More importantly how many “shameless” acts go by with little or no media attention? Where was the San Diego Union-Tribune when Saddam Hussein was actually doing his gassing of the Kurds? They didn’t report the story because it was before he nationalized Iraqi oil. Is the gassing of hundreds of people to death somehow less a crime than a murder related to rape? Or what about the torture of “hundreds” of people in America’s black site gulag system and the murder of at least dozens in process? Where was the heroic media on this subject—rather than parroting the “few bad apples” spiel? Is torture and consequential murder while being murdered somehow less evil than sexual offense? Or why has the media not come out about the number of children and old people who have been imprisoned in places like Afghanistan and Gitmo?
This is not to change the subject. This is to point out that there is a lot of criminality that takes place under Empire. One could equally argue that those who coolly invest in profit making stocks from military hardware companies equally profit from murder. After all is that not what is the essence of war—murder—save the usual propaganda and the racism of killing people who are not white, Judeo-Christian or capitalists?
But fear is such a wonderful thing to get people excited and to find scapegoats. Besides this society has a cornucopia of anxiety provoking concerns so it is very convenient to find some scapegoat—like sexual offenders. One can hardly imagine a subject more provoking of anxiety, in its own right, than sex, sexual fantasy, and sexual need.
It’s not like we live in a sexually healthy society in which sex is actually considered worthy of esteem. No, sex has been the shame scourge of the centuries. Even witches were reputed to have orgies with Satan and to kiss his backside. Many people have ambiguous feelings about their sexual urges and desires. So what better subject to use as a scapegoat tunnel?
Why was it that those politicians and preachers who screamed against the perverts and the homosexuals turned out to do what they themselves condemned? Why was it that those that demanded to censor what was permissible in pornography had such an avid interest in seeing all the films so they could make judgments for others? There is something obsessive in some peoples’ need to know the secrets of other people.
How many people have “projected” their own stuff onto other people in their unrelenting crusades of zealotry? One should be deeply wary of people who play the heroes in creating new laws and new forms of discrimination. Granted there are dangerous people and this should be considered a serious issue—but do not be fooled by the helping professionals and the news media who claim to be the good guys in white hats. For example there are plenty of psychologically unhealthy people who get degrees in psychology, social work, etc.
There are all kinds of ways to do violence against an enemy. If one dishonestly complains of being harassed in a workplace environment and a man looses his job because of this unproven allegation—it is a form of violence. It may not have a physical wound—but it still is injury. Doing the witch craze people were afraid of strange people who didn’t conform to “fitting” in society. Some women were accused of witchcraft because of mere hostilities and jealousies, etc.
Human nature is itself perverse. There are plenty of people who are not sexually fulfilled or socially happy. There are lot of people who are frustrated and who are not comfortable with their own sexuality, animality, and sexual impulses. This society is a shame-based society that too often hates other people who are different—even if they are liberated in any way so as not to live to some Puritanical standard.
But as long as society can stay focused on the terror of sex, then the newspaper staff doesn’t have to address all the programs that are being financially gutted because the military and homeland security budget continues to inflate, and military hardware companies support foreign policies that actually create even more insecurity but more profit.
This way they don’t have to address how much a small sliver of the very wealthy have taken more control of this society or how monies will be appropriated or misappropriated. They don’t have to address as readily the number of homeless, bankrupt, unemployed and doomed to poverty—because Frankenstein murders are out there “clustering” in hideaways.
The fact is the American style really is predatory. Look how many dictators the government has help put in power and propped up—including the Shah of Iran. Look how the people of America continue to expect cheap energy while maintaining unreasonable expectations about how much material wealth they should have—even if it means exploiting other societies. In truth we live in a criminal society. We create the conditions of life as short, nasty and brutish for people in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, etc., and yet we must maintain the biggest prison system in the world—because fear is the most high for Americans.
No amount of fear is too much. No amount of suspicion is enough. All are to be branded and wear a badge of shame for eternity. This is their idea of a Christian nation. So obviously we need some kind of witch craze—and rather then women it is now men.
So we will read an endless series of articles that will milk sex crimes. After all crime reporters need to be employed. There is always a priority place for catholic priests or Polanski on page two. But the key is never to relent on drumming sex crimes—around the world. After all, if as the Union-Tribune says, there are 110,000 sexual offenders in California—then we should never think to ask why few cases from such a large number? Everyone is a John Gardner now.