Rape is one of those tricky subjects that usually make people think, “Oh geez. What is he going to say now?” when I write about it (surprisingly, I write about rape often — especially in my dream journal … [sob]). This tv-news-on-the-web segment about two 16-year-old guys convicted of rape is normally outside of our range of interest. We like web series, and YouTube personalities and … and … cats. But every so often, we stretch out our nets to include trolls.
The so-called “informed trolls” commenting on this video (screengrabs below, natch) are the sort of reason that we are failing as a nation. People who actually have the motivation to voice their opinions USUALLY HAVE TERRIBLE OPINIONS! Myself included … sometimes. We clearly need some of those “speak softly and carry a big stick” Teddy Roosevelt types to whoop some sense into us.
This video, and its commenters, and even its reporters, is one of those instances where every party involved is wrong. “Rape is a terrible thing” is pretty much the only sensible thing anybody has to say in all of this mess. Any additional opinions are fool’s folly.
See, this CNN reporter stupidly makes commentary on-air about these “two poor high school athletes” who are going to juvenile hall for their crimes — a sentence that effectively ruins their chances at having any sort of athletic career. Before you fly off the hook as most trolls are apt to do, sit quietly and listen. Yes, the boys did ruin their own lives by “fingering” (ooh, such a nasty-sounding word) a drunk girl and then taking a photo of her. But the CNN reporter is not stupid for feeling sadness for the boys; she should feel sadness for them — lives ruined in any capacity are never a good thing. She, of course, should have been smarter than to air her personal opinion. It is her job to report, not to editorialize (that is for dickheads like me!). Of course, the rub is that had she felt the other way, this all likely would have been moot.
By flying off the handle and screaming down any opinion that doesn’t match our own, we lose sight of what really matters: The victim was stupid for getting drunk irresponsibly, the boys were stupid for raping a fellow human being, the CNN reporter was stupid for editorializing, the trolls are stupid because they exist purely on emotion rather than logic, and I am stupid for thinking that I can appeal to anyone and change their mind.