Instant Pariah

« September 2006 »

Memo to parents: YOU ARE DUMB.

Up to a point, I can't blame you. You're merely acting on fundamental genetic imperative. The species must continue, so you must spawn, and make sure your spawn reaches adulthood. Or at least lives long enough to make spawn of their own. But one of the great things about a brain is that it allows us to overcome our genetic imperatives.

We can, for example, wear condoms. We can choose when to breed. Or whether. We can recognize that life carries with it certain dangers, and that we live at a point in time, in a place where those dangers are smaller than at any other time in human history. A child growing up in Western civilization right now is incredibly safe. Yet never, it seems, safe ENOUGH.

Partly it's the corporations, knowing you're more likely to buy something, say, a chemical-covered disposable cloth, if they tell you it'll keep your kids from getting ebola sitting at the dining room table. Partly it's the politicians, exploiting fear and promising to protect the children from anything that may harm them, be it Mortal Kombat, swarthy terrorists, or environmental pollution. OK, that last one's a bit farfetched.

But at the end of the day, there's one thing above all else that nobody dare say children are safe enough from. And that's Uncle Fondle McCreepy. Pedophiles. Sexual predators. Deviant kiddie-fiddlers. Who apparently lurk by the millions in our playgrounds and Chuck E. Cheese Pizza Time Theaterses, slavering at the parade of unripe genitalia. And on the rare occasions that they're caught, the liberal courts provide them plenty of loopholes to walk the streets again. Or so we're told.

How else do you explain the Vermont judge who got death threats for offering prison and treatment instead of just prison to one convicted sex offender? How else do you explain the legislative one-upsmanship designed to ensure that even after prison and treatment, sex offenders can't live anywhere, work anywhere, or do anything? Parents having their kids taken away because of bathtub pictures? And certainly, how else do you explain Ohio trying to close that pesky loophole that lets filthy perverts walk free just because nobody was able to prove they're filthy perverts?

Yes, according to the Toledo Blade, Ohio is on the verge of setting up the first ever "civil registry" for sex offenders in the country. Here's how it works. Someone says you fucked a kid. Someone convinces a judge that you might have fucked a kid, even though they can't prove it in either a court of law or a civil suit. The judge agrees, and you get put on a new list, and have to follow all the same rules about where you can live and work as people who've actually fucked kids.

The only difference is, after SIX YEARS, you can ask the court pretty please to be taken off the list, and if the judge thinks you haven't fucked any kids in that time, you get taken off the list, and the incredibly efficient government bureaucracy ensures that not only does that happen instantaneously, but you never turn up on an old copy of a list some HR guy stashed in a drawer somewhere. It's not due process, but as long as it keeps ONE CHILD from getting his weiner touched at camp, I'm sure you'll understand and bear your false stigma with pride.

Obviously, I'm not pro-pedophile, but for FUCK'S SAKE, PEOPLE. Get a fucking grip. Your kid's probably safe from bad touch just on the odds alone. You can't protect everyone from everything, and you certainly can't do it with a process so ripe for abuse it makes the "terrorist bounties" we paid out in Afghanistan look enlightened by comparison. You might as well just castrate every man on the planet. That way, not only will no children be molested, but in 20 years or so, there won't be any children to molest.

I don't care how heinous or repulsive a crime is. It doesn't mean that you get a free pass to go apeshit and drag society down with you into slavering witch-hunt insanity. If you can't bear the thought that something bad might happen to a kid because people aren't constantly monitored and locked up at the slightest whiff of a hint of perceived trouble, then you shouldn't be having kids, living in this country, or frankly, existing in our shared reality. Bad shit's gonna happen on a regular basis, and what matters isn't the extent we go to prevent it, but how we deal with the aftermath.