Saturday, February 03, 2007

Still More: Ilana Mercer's Daughter Weighs In On Hornbeck

Barely A Blog - Letter of the Week: My Daughter Weighs In On Hornbeck

Ilana's daughter sez:
If you’ve been participating in this here blog at all, you’ll want to read this. I have perused some of the antagonistic comments here and think there’d be more substance to my response if I didn’t comment about them. Instead, here are my impressions of the Shawn Hornbeck debacle. Straight from the horse’s mouth. The horse being Ilana’s daughter. And I’m not really a horse. I’m a person:


Ilana's daughter is wrong. I really didn't want to read another attack on Shawn Hornbeck and his family by anyone in the Mercer clan. Unfortunately, that didn't stop it from happening, again... I also question her personhood, a little.

That little shit. That is my reaction; it has little to do with what my mother taught me. This reaction has to do with my mother and how I feel about her.


I suspect that Ilana's reaction is no more based on reason than her daughter's, no matter what either of 'em says. This seems to be about their inability to sympathize with folks who aren't like them.

It is quite a thing, being my mother’s daughter, to read of her impressions of parenthood, and particularly in this article regarding Shawn Hornbeck. Bill-O is generally a man not good for one’s digestion, but I sympathize wholly with his low regard for this kid. And my mother’s, too.

I can see it now. This bathos ridden North American kid, quivering and gesturing at the keyboard. Still full of histrionics, even without an audience. To pen something so sinisterly anonymous to his parents, a simple sentence so torturous because it is coming from the child: “How long will you look for your child?” What kind of awful dramatic shit is that? How many crappy Hollywood flicks has this kid seen? How many books has he read in comparison?


No, miss Mercer, you CAN'T see it. You can create a version of events to justify how you feel or what you believe, but you cannot really know anything, any more than anyone else who wasn't there.

You imagine a child havin' a ball torturing his poor parents with anonymous cryptic messages. Other's imagine that Shawn was made to write it, under threat of violence, or that it wasn't Shawn who wrote it at all, but Devlin. Folks can imagine scenarios all day, based on whatever is or isn't in their hearts.

I think we ought to wait until we have more facts, rather than inventing these fictions, at all... But I ask you; If they're going to create these fictions, why are the Mercer's so willing to imagine the worst of Shawn and his motivations? What does it say about them?

Here’s a basic guide to escaping the torment Shawn suffered through. You email your folks, you tell them where you are and you get your ass home. They’ll come get you; parents are good at that. They generally like to keep kid and kid’s possessions altogether under one roof.


Saving yourself from predators is just that easy. So easy, even a child could do it. The fact that so many children are murdered or raped in these situations means nothing to miss Mercer. If they didn't save themselves by hoppin' on the old internet & popping off an email to mummy & daddy (like I would've)... Screw 'em. Who needs such weak willed kids, anyway? It's not like their parents can't make more...

Cold. Very cold.

As a child partially schooled at a private elementary and middle school in Cape Town, South Africa, I have seen a different kind of child than the North American specimen. I was shocked to my core when I first stepped into a North American classroom. I was disgusted with and dismayed by my classmates, as they genuinely, unblinkingly quizzed me about the population of lions in my back yard, how come I wasn’t black, and, “Why did you leave a place that had such nice weather.” Not to mention the petulance and total lack of respect for the teacher, the teacher’s lack of discipline with respect to the feet on the desks, the eating in class, the idiotic guffawing and god knows what else I took in within 10 minutes of immersion with my fellow 12-year olds. ILANA INTERJECTS: [I recall you came back crying. You said: “Mom, the children in my class are retarded. Take me out of there.” So I did.] END ILANA This is the way fellow feelings are nurtured in North American schools and obviously in the homes, too. I couldn’t bring myself to act that way with my peers, even away from home.

I quickly skipped a grade and moved just slightly beyond the level of the stupid and ascended to the heights of mediocrity. That is about as good as it gets in the North American schooling system (sadly it has gone that way now in my place of birth, too).


Do I even need to say anything?

Look, kitten... Speaking strictly for my little parcel of North America, you're welcome out, anytime... Take your mom with ya...

A combination of my experience in schools here and in South Africa and my home life lead me to this overall impression of Shawn Hornbeck’s behavior. It is mostly a gut reaction, hence the emotion. Yes, I accuse this victim for his total lack of care. If he hated where he was, he would have emailed his parents and told them where he was. If he was feeling the slightest discomfort he could have shuffled over to the computer and told mom and dad he was bored and was ready to come home now. He didn’t. He toyed with them. He cruelly toyed with his parents. How could you live with yourself? If you’re old enough to play a video game (I can’t even get them – they’re not as easy as they look), you’re certainly old enough to give a damn.


Slightest discomfort?

Is that what you imagine Shawn was feeling?

Like her mom, Miss Mercer has written a fictional story, and is railing against it, rather than facts. They have no idea what Shawn was thinking or feeling. None at all.

Okay. So for a moment I linger on his selfishness. Then I can’t help but think of my mother in place of his parents. It breaks my heart. I can’t even let my imagination wander there without shedding tears. Tears of disgust with myself if I were to do such a thing. When my mom writes about life coming to a stand still for a parent in this kind of situation, I know she ain’t kidding. I’ve seen her concerned for my life and it is an earth-shattering thing to look at. One should feel privileged and fortified for being the object of such emotion. I can say with utter confidence that I would have felt the same way at age eleven or fifteen and will continue to feel that way until I am an old woman.


I can say with utter confidence that you're fooling yourself if you think that you would feel that way at 11. Despite your pretty words, I doubt you really have the ability to empathize outside of your little circle, even now. If you did, you would avoid adding to the hurt of Shawn and his family by keeping your vicious opinions off the internet, where they can see them.

You say you feel. Good for you. Why broadcast it to the world, when you know it's going to bring grief to all those victims and families who don't share your opinions? What is the point of needlessly hurting others?

Shawn could obviously access a computer and other people. That premise alone is evidence enough that that child could have done something. But he did nothing. He prolonged his situation unnecessarily. And why am I not surprised? My old peer group in South Africa understood the value of life and respected their families. No matter how belligerent we all were as teenagers, no matter how much we would push our parent’s patience and write horrid things about them in our diaries, we loved them utterly and would never give them cause to worry for our lives. No way. We acted out within known boundaries. We were grounded, sure. We had to do extra chores. Absolutely. And we had to shed the attitude, definitely. So what? Did it kill us? No. It just made us human with a value for our lives and the lives of others. We don’t require special tuition in order to learn how to give a damn.

posted by Ilana Mercer on 02.02.07 @ 6:27 pm |

Yes, Shawn could access a computer and other people. That doesn't prove anything. It doesn't address what he believed would happen in his world if he took advantage of that access. Perhaps he acted badly. He most certainly didn't act the way a smart cookie like you would've at 11. But you have no more knowledge about why he acted as he did than I, or anyone else does. You think you know, of course. Your whole diatribe, like that of your mother's, is all about what you think you know about Shawn Hornbeck and his ordeal. You've written a story, and now you're punishing the bad character you created. It's fiction, dear. All fiction.

Your writing does not provide any evidence that you give a damn about anyone outside of your mom.

You certainly don't give a damn about Shawn Hornbeck, or his family. Because they failed to meet your standards, they mean nothing at all. At best, they're but a bad example in Ilana Mercer's preachings on free will.

What of other parents of children who failed to act as mother & child Mercer think they should've, and were harmed or killed as a result? What should they take from your words? Should they believe, as you do, that they deserved whatever they got?

From where I sit, your ability to give a damn is severely lacking. You & your mom live in a cold, heartless world.

And now, the comment I sent to Ilana's Blog , which she rejected, as usual.
Ilana, I really like your daughter, at least in this one sense... Unlike you, she doesn't waste a whole lotta time with lofty theories... She speaks much more plainly about what you've been saying since your first hit piece on this kid.

Shawn Hornbeck was a bad child who deserved everything that happened to him, once he failed to summon the courage and reason required to escape the first time he had the chance. That little shit made his own damned bed, and chose to lie in it. (And if he was joined in that bed by some 300 pounder with a penis, well, he must've chose that, too...)

Given your belief in free will, I wonder why you (and now your daughter, as well) have chosen to write these articles about Shawn. I mean, even if you are correct about everything you've said, how does your saying it benefit you or anyone else? Do you fail to realize how your words will hurt Shawn Hornbeck and his family, or is it that--like Shawn failing to contact his mother when he had the chance--you simply fail to care? Like Shawn, are you not choosing to act in a way that will bring hurt and anguish to every victim and family who fail to live up to your standards? Never mind Shawn... What motivates your poor choices, Ilana?

As I said in comment one, I believe that you and your daughter lack compassion. I feel sorry for you both, as well as for all who share your cold, cruel world. I hope they choose better in future.

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