Monday, January 29, 2007

Fun with Ilana (& Bill), part 1

In the beginning was Bill O'Reilly, and he was bad. Very bad. Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad. (If I'm not mistaken, that's one "bad" for every segment Bill O'Reilly has done on Shawn Hornbeck to date. It's close, anyway...) If you are unfamiliar with the story, or are interested in finding more bits I've written about Billo's treatment of Shawn, follow them links & don't skimp on the "comments" sections...

Then one morning whilst doing a search, I came across WorldNetDaily: In defense of Bill O'Reilly, by ILANA MERCER. While I generally wouldn't bother reading anyone who writes for WorldNetDaily, I was interested in reading the first, and as yet only, person write, speak, or otherwise communicate in support of the thoughts Falafel Bill offered about Shawn Hornbeck on tv & radio. (To my knowledge, rumors of an interpretive dance in support of O'Reilly are unfounded.) As you may've guessed--particularly if you read Ms. Mercer's piece--I did not find myself agreeing with much of anything she offered in her defense of Bill. And, noting that she also had a blog on which she'd posted portions of the Worldnet article, I set out to offer another side.

Noting the rules,
Barely A Blog is private property. Posts are published at the discretion of the proprietor. The forum is moderated and missives edited for style and taste. Please keep comments concise (200 words, at most), run a spell check, and try as best as possible to be grammatical.

and knowing that what I wanted to say might not pass muster, I offered a very quick "test post." I said,

May you never be a victim.
But if you are, may you find more compassion in others than you possess in yourself.

Please seek spiritual guidance and reclaim your heart.

To my utter surprise, it appeared on the blog a few hours later. On it Ilana had added the following, in brackets & bold print that clearly identified it from my own,

[How do you know i have not been a victim? Yes, ass-uming again…]

I was perplexed. Curious, I replied

I “ass-umed” nothing. My wish for you never to be a victim addressed your future. I made no statement about your past, either way. For the record, I hope you never WERE a victim, either, but I’ve no way of knowing.

And seeing as how we’ve never spoken before, I also wonder why you claimed I was “ass-uming again”.

(Nitpicky, I know, but as a writer, I would hope you appreciate the need for careful wording in order to convey specific meaning.)

Thank you for posting my first comment (& hopefully this one, as well.) I am generally suspicious of blogs who edit for content prior to allowing a comment to appear. It often ends up that only those who’s comments are complimentary ever see the light of day, manufacturing a false impression that there is little or no dissent with the official blog position. I find that a coward’s way of winning an argument. I hope to find you feel the same.

When this comment appeared, it contained the following comment, as regards my "ass-uming" questions.

[I was referring to the general habit of assuming or asserting with no prior knowledge, which is a habit I encounter in many interlocutors these days. I am in the process of updating this blog post with a comment I hope you will ponder and address. So please check back]

To my thank you, she replied:


So far, so good. In the meantime, comments were showing up from other readers. As I read them, it became all too clear I was not amongst friends... ...or sane persons. I note here that Ilana added none of her own bold, bracketed "words of wisdom" to either of these posts. One is left to assume she read 'em, approved of their content (& whatever else she looks for prior to permitting others to speak on her blog) and sent 'em on through... Two excerpts, from two different contributors (Same blog as before.):

Shawn’s life is what many children no doubt dream about - sort of like “Treasure Island” - going off on a ship and just playing games day and night.
I’m amazed that O’Reilly had taken this position. This is a man who agrees with the likes of Susan Estrich and Wendy Murphy that young men under age 18 are too young and innocent to consent to or knowingly initiate sex with adult females, describes such affairs as “rape” and “child molestation,” and believes the “victims” are “traumatized.”

Raise your hand if you're a little frightened.
Me, too.

My third offering to Ms. Mercer's blog:
Reading through the comments posted thus far… I’m almost at a loss for words.
“Treasure Island”?!? “…going off on a ship & playing games day and night”?
Am I misreading Michael’s comment, or is he advocating in favor of some kinda NAMBLA offshoot for women, where having sex with boys isn’t a crime, but a loving and beautiful act for all involved?

Forgive me for being a little bewildered, but the thinking expressed here is very new to me.
Are children just tiny adults to you folks? Are they just as capable of making decisions as you and I, intellectually or emotionally? Is there even any such thing as emotional development, or is that just more psychological claptrap? Should the actions of children be judged by adult standards, or are children… well… children? Is any psychological condition legitimate, or is it all–if you’ll forgive the expression–crazy talk?

And Ilana... Might it be fair to suggest that it wasn't me "ass-uming" anything in our first encounter, but you...?

I intend to get more involved with specific portions of both the original piece and the update, but fear that to begin in this comment box will put me over the posted word count.

This post also appeared, but Ilana chose to remove the line suggesting that she had made the assumption. (Too snarky? Too accurate? Perhaps we'll never know... I sent her an e-mail wondering why, but there has been no reply.)

But added comment? You bet there was... Ilana said:
[Thanks for your contribution. Indignant huffing and puffing does nothing to discredit opposing views—and almost always conceals straw arguments. I have never said children are, developmentally, miniature adults. They are not. But neither are they amebas. To follow your determinism, one might as well not impart any direction or moral instruction to a child, because he is incapable of so much as calling home if lost. My perspective arises from a non-deterministic view of human beings. You might want to read up a bit also on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder—the real deal, not the version the public has been brainwashed by. Thanks. —ILANA]

I shall end here, and resume this exciting adventure in a post in the near future. (Taking no chances on the possibility that some other topic may strike, and occupy the "next post." For the record, I have no other family or friends expecting a baby, so I think it'll be safe to assume part two will be next, but... 8>)

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