Tuesday, April 19, 2011


You may recall the Duke Lacrosse case of 2006. The major players on the team threw a classic frat-boy/jock party and hired some ‘sex workers’ to liven things up. As always, I hold no brief for these sorts of things, either in general or at college where there are far more important things to be done. And the world needs all the mature human energy – modulated through the genuine gifts of the male or the female – that it can get.

One woman hired for the evening then claimed that she had been ‘raped’, perhaps multiple times.

And they were off.

The DA at the time, with a sharp eye to the waves and with his board well-waxed, immediately launched into the classic SO script, deploying all the panoply of media skewing (fueled by strategic ‘access’ to ‘information’ granted to ‘reporters’ by his office), males behaving badly (or naturally, take your pick), class and gender ganging up on innocent victims, ‘evidence’ hastily tossed around. It was during this affair, as well, that a hundred or so faculty members demonstrated and signed a petition on the woman’s behalf, one of the profs actually saying in public what is probably standard classroom material: “facts don’t matter”.

“Facts don’t matter” because you already know all you need to know: men are violent rapist lumps, women are helpless victims, and wherever it looks like something might have been perpetrated, then it no doubt was perpetrated, and indeed is probably under-reported. This gambit, as I have often said, draws its heritage from the Leninist revolutionary book (we already know what’s wrong so we don’t need to know anything else because that will simply confuse and obstruct the quick achievement of the Revolution) and from the Nazi propaganda play-book (the public only needs to know what we think it needs to know, and ‘truth’ is simply whatever we in Berlin decide is good for the German people).

In the end, the case didn’t hold up at all. Indeed, the State had to step in, remove the DA (who has since been disbarred for his manipulations), and dismiss all charges; the State’s Attorney General attributed it all to “a tragic rush to accuse”. The University administration, faced with a choice between due-process seeking the truth and the standard full-court Mania press opted to remain ‘balanced’, while also making rather unkindly remarks about the accused players.

All pretty much standard for the Mania, except that this time truth actually won. Many of the Mania-types overplayed their hand, probably because they were so used to ‘world’ they had created on campus – where the merest whiff of accusation can wreck a student’s future – that they figured things couldn’t possibly go wrong if they took their act national.

They can’t be blamed for thinking that. In this case, though, the fact that the parents of the accused had enough money to hire the best legal representation and actually require some attention to the facts, and also kept their efforts decently represented to the media, played a substantial role in keeping things from going the way of the Mania dampdream.

Although the Mania did win one small point – the State refused to prosecute her for the crime of making false charges (it would ‘re-vicitmize’ her, it would have a ‘chilling effect’ on future accusers, it would ‘send the wrong message’ – that sort of thing), the accuser has had a continuing string of run-ins with the law, and not minor: she set a fire to an occupied dwelling that contained her children (misdemeanor charges were filed); and she confessed in a police investigation that she had smashed the windshield and burned the clothes and threatened to stab the personal body, of her boyfriend.

She has since stabbed him, and he has just died.

She is now charged with murder.

The co-author of her memoirs hopes that “people don’t rush to judgment”. And I agree. There is a legal system and there is due-process for dealing with this sort of thing.

But the system has been substantially skewed by the Mania, grievously weakening evidentiary laws and pretty much abolishing the presumption-of-innocence, all with the media’s melodramatic soap-opera predilections.

It will be interesting to see how things develop.

The most obvious Mania ploy would be to insist that her victimization by the Duke experience, if not by the accused players themselves, was the font and origin of all her subsequent life-problems. But it will be a stretch to make it seem credible: she was in her mid-20s for the Duke affair and apparently very little ‘traumatic’ happened in a sexual way. (Although of course ‘trauma’ is now defined so porously that having to put up with just about anything you don’t like can qualify as ‘trauma’ – which puts the classic two-year-old on an almost guaranteed path for ‘traumatic experiences’.)

And most victims do not go on to commit such mayhem as this woman has. Although to read some of the victimist comments on this or that site you get the impression that a lot of such afflicted folks do fantasize. And I wouldn’t rule out a more overt Mania strategy of making advocacy lemonade with these lemons by claiming that once you are ‘victimized’ and thus ‘traumatized’ – even if the legal system proves so insensitive as to insist on evidence – then anything at all is possible and must be accepted as understandable.

It is also of interest that the article here refers to the Duke case as having “heightened long-standing tensions in Durham [NC, home of Duke] about race, class, and the privileged status of college athletes”. Which is true, but doesn’t really reach the major ‘tensions’, which are about the Mania and the gender-war that fuels it. As so often, nobody really wants to talk about the elephant(s) in the middle of the national Room.

Perhaps a too-candid or skeptical discussion would ‘traumatize’ those who don’t want their Mania too candidly or skeptically discussed. It is both Propaganda 101 and Marketing 101 that you don’t want your ‘product’ mentioned except in ‘positive’ terms; you don’t want any of the ill consequences put out there for everybody to see.

I recall one astute little German kid being quoted after the war as having figured out that something wasn’t right about the government story that the Jews were being sent to new homes in the East. He had gone down to the trainyards to see those unhappy humans loaded onto passenger trains while their luggage was loaded into baggage cars on an adjacent track. But, he noted, when the passenger train pulled out … the baggage train remained where it was and didn’t follow. And that got him to thinking.

Another German, a young soldier, wrote home from the Eastern front in its early, successful days: don’t believe the newsreels (shot by the Propaganda Ministry) about our being welcomed everywhere we go here – we shoot and hang and burn and “everybody knows what we bring now”.

In a time of Mania, it is this type of ‘observing between the lines’ that helps to keep a less-gauzy view of the happy-face spin put on things by advocates and propagators who very much want you to simply approve of what they are doing and stay out of their way.

We should not do that. We should not let ourselves be manipulated like that – no good can come from the embrace of un-truth.

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