Taking Time to Smell the Roses (or Hear the Music)

By Rebeldad Brian Reid

Gene Weingarten wrote a wonderful piece in the Sunday magazine last weekend, asking what would happen if one of the world's greatest musicians -- playing one of the world's finest instruments -- showed up at a Metro stop to play street musician for the better part of an hour. Would anyone notice?

For the full answer, you need to read the whole piece, but there was one paragraph that really hit me in the gut:


There was no ethnic or demographic pattern to distinguish the people who stayed to watch Bell, or the ones who gave money, from that vast majority who hurried on past, unheeding. Whites, blacks and Asians, young and old, men and women, were represented in all three groups. But the behavior of one demographic remained absolutely consistent. Every single time a child walked past, he or she tried to stop and watch. And every single time, a parent scooted the kid away.

It left me wondering what I would have done, kid in tow, on a busy Friday morning. I'm no classical music connoisseur, but I like to think that I have enough of a musical appreciation to enjoy it. Had my daughter pulled my sleeve and begged me to stop for a moment to watch the guy jamming on his fiddle, would I have even broken stride? I'd like to say that the answer is "yes," but I'm not so sure.

Over-scheduling of kids, like over-scheduling of adults, is not intrinsically bad. There are important skills to acquire and lessons to learn from piano/swimming/Tae Kwon Do/ballet/soccer/yoga/Kindermusic/etc. The problem is that jumping from event to event dulls the ability to appreciate serendipity. And while I make efforts to match the curiosity of my kids, my life isn't open-ended enough to indulge every request. "Yes, sweetie," I can hear myself saying, "that music is beautiful. But we need to grab the lotion at CVS and then get back on the Metro and then, quick, get you a snack at home before we leave for your recital."

I don't think I'm alone. I can think of only one, or maybe two, parents who I am absolutely confident would have taken the time to stop for Joshua Bell, other commitments be damned. How about you all?

Brian Reid writes about parenting and work-family balance. You can read his blog at rebeldad.com.

By Brian Reid |  April 12, 2007; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Childcare
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primoris

Posted by: Fred | April 12, 2007 7:28 AM

If they wanted people to stop and listen to Bell play, then they should have had him there during a non-rush hour time. People are trying to get to work, thinking about work, worrying about work, etc, during rush hour.

When I mentioned the news article to my wife (it was on ABC News as well complete with video), she thought it was a silly concept to have him play at that time. Had he played during other times I feel more people would have stopped to listen; at least he made $32!

Posted by: John L | April 12, 2007 7:42 AM

If you don't stop to small the roses once in a while, you going to miss out on some of the greatest moments in life.

Everybody has, at the very least 20 minutes of free time a day. Take some of that time each day and enjoy life a little.

Being two minutes late once in a while for something is not going to end the world.

Posted by: John Q | April 12, 2007 7:52 AM

I think it was precisely the right time-when people are rushed is when they need the break to stop and smell the roses. We need more breaks and more time to do nothing but indulge but more and more the badge of honor is how busy you are.

Posted by: atlmom | April 12, 2007 7:55 AM

Brian

"Over-scheduling of kids, like over-scheduling of adults, is not intrinsically bad."

Yeah, it is bad. That's why it's called OVER scheduling.

"There are important skills to acquire and lessons to learn from piano/swimming/Tai Kwon Do/ballet/soccer/yoga/Kindermusic/etc"

For you, Bozo. Not for everybody.

Posted by: Officer Krupke | April 12, 2007 7:55 AM

32 bucks for 43 minutes? More than I make in an hour!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 7:57 AM

I was also very moved by Weingarten's piece, because I know that had I been by myself, I would not have stopped, but if my two-year-old daughter had been with me, I'm sure we would have. I know that my daughter would have demanded to stop and hear the violin player, and as a mother who works outside the home, I try to make the most of our time together, experience-wise. Having a child has taught me to slow down my usual fast-paced tempo.

Posted by: Rockville mom | April 12, 2007 7:59 AM

I'm pretty sure I would have stopped, but I can't be certain. When we've been with our kids in other cities, we've stopped for street performers, sometimes sitting on the sidewalk for 15 minutes. Like Rockville Mom, I try to make the most of my time with my kids. We try to live at a slower pace anyway than most (which is partly why we moved from the DC area).

Is anyone else still pondering yesterday's blog topic? My husband and I had a great discussion about it last night. It reminded us both how strongly we feel about raising HAPPY (rather than accomplished) kids.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | April 12, 2007 8:23 AM

Rockville Mom, what was truly sad to me in the piece were the children-- the children wanted so much to listen and watch this amazing show, but parents were physically placing themselves between Bell and their children -- blocking aaccess in any way possible just to keep the kid walking. I don't blame them! We kid stops for ANYTHING. And we are always advised to "BE CONSISTENT" so if I make an exception here for the guy with a violin, then shouldn't I also make an exception to watch the bug on the leaf? Maybe this constant drive to be consistent at all times is at odds with promoting balance? Maybe balance is about knowing when to make an exception to the rule? I wonder how many times I have blocked access to beauty and genius from my child just so that I could stay consistent, when I could have used it as an opportunity to say-- "this is worth stopping for-- bugs aren't. why? Because I said so-- now hush and LISTEN and watch. For in two minutes, we have to move on . . ."

Posted by: Jen | April 12, 2007 8:24 AM

Thanks Brian. I would not have stopped. I am frightened sometimes at the speed my life is taking and the feeling that I don't know where the heck I am going. Next time, I will stop.

Posted by: Bob | April 12, 2007 8:28 AM

I liked that piece on Sunday too. I'm pretty sure I would have stopped because we routinely stop for street musicians and it's just as often me bringing the kids over as it is them pulling me. Music is a big thing in our family.

I'm torn on whether the experiment would have been better at a different hour. For me, stopping would have meant being late for work, which would have meant staying later and missing out on time with my kids that afternoon - a very tough choice. If they were with me, no biggie but that's not the case. So I think you might have had more people stopping at different hour. But, it was a very interesting experiment. I was struck by how hard it seemed for Joshua Bell to perform to an audience that ignored him so outwardly.

Posted by: PT Fed Mof2 | April 12, 2007 8:30 AM

Leslie, you're late, I wrote about this in your blog DAYS ago. ;-) Anyway, like many, I feel that out of fairness, the performance could have been staged after work hours. How many people would have gotten in trouble at work for being late? On the other hand, society in general, around here especially, rushes about too much in an over-inflated-self-important/absorbed-daze. Until everyone, and I mean everyone, relaxes a bit, this city and the surrounding area will remain a "soul-sucking" nightmare.
Eventually the bottom HAS to fall out, and the stress of just getting from point A to point B needs to take second place to an awareness of the world around us and life in general. When people spend more time focused on the destination than the journey (a trite and true phrase) they miss out- whether it is a short trip to work, or racing so fast in a search for balance that they realize they missed out on enjoying life. People have become so absorbed by their rush to accomplish more that they do not even pay attention to the road because they are so engaged on their cell phones- THAT is how much our blindness to their surroundings has affected society. Lets see, I can hurry to work to see what the latest pseudo-crisis is, or I can enjoy the last 30 seconds of a great song on the radio/ipod, or watch a bird in flight, or marvel at a tree waving in the wind as sunlight dances between the leaves... really of all the things people get worked up over, how many of them are REAL emergencies? As a former military guy it pains me to see a manager at a restaurant blow up at a waitress in front of customers over her messing something up, or someone lose their temper over an elderly person taking a few seconds too much time to make it through the crosswalk, or when someone says something mean on this blog about one of my silly postings (just seeing if you're still reading). Really, how many of us have lost it over an insignificant delay, much less taken time to create a small delay when the rewards of doing so are immeasurable? There are not many of us who, if we are a few seconds or minutes late, are going to dramatically alter the course of world events, so WHY the rush? How many lives are on the line if we don't make it from point A to point B to get to our cube farms or offices exactly on time? How many lives are wasted by rushing and missing out- either by failing to appreciate beauty along the way, or wasted by not being safe and paying attention to surroundings?

Posted by: Chris | April 12, 2007 8:37 AM

"Over-scheduling of kids, like over-scheduling of adults, is not intrinsically bad."

Of course "over-scheduling" is bad. If you'd said just "scheduling," I would have agreed with you. Unless, by "over-scheduling," you just mean that we don't leave enough time between activities to move a little slower. I think earlier this week or last week there were some comments about how people used to allow more time to get to work, on the one hand to allow for any unexpected delay, but also so they could start their day more leisurely... look at the paper for a few minutes before jumping into their work. But a lot of times we leave at the last possible moment and then rush rush to get to work (or wherever) on time and then if there is any unforeseen impediment, it's just that much more stressful.

BTW, the 7:59 post is from a different Rockville mom.

Posted by: Rockville Mom | April 12, 2007 8:37 AM

My daughter and I did stop and see Joshua Bell. She is communting with me because we are on week 3 of onsite day care.

We did stop to hear the music and I even knew, due to my classical music training
that one of pieces he played was Bach.

Thank you Joshua Bell for bringing such beautiful music to Metro Center.

Posted by: shdd | April 12, 2007 8:38 AM

Dang it, that was Brian, not Leslie... I keep forgetting to see who writes these things... LOL

Posted by: Chris | April 12, 2007 8:40 AM

On "Over-Scheduling": I'm guilty of a poor word choice, since "over-scheduling" is indeed -- as has been pointed out -- intrisically bad. Perhaps I should have said that "busy schedules" are not automatically a bad thing.

Posted by: Brian Reid | April 12, 2007 8:46 AM

I find myself agreeing with officer krupkake about the over-scheduling bit. OVER doing it, as usual of course, by calling brian a bozo, but spot on nonetheless.

Posted by: Chris | April 12, 2007 8:48 AM

seriously, if you people don't know when to step outside of your routine because you happen upon art, you have the wrong focus in life.

Reading this blog never fails to impress one thing upon me: adults have lost track of what it's like to be a kid, and likewise, endlessly curious.

Posted by: f00 | April 12, 2007 8:50 AM

Shame on anyone lucky enough to hear Joshua Bell in person who doesn't stop to listen!

Posted by: not in dc | April 12, 2007 8:50 AM

Great piece today, Leslie. It really made me stop and think, and I don't even have kids! It made me remember one time, when I was going through something difficult, and my mom was ill. I went to West Virginia to spend the summer with her, and we really held each other up during that time. Once, we walked to the grocery store, and on the way back, we saw a little butterfly fluttering in a roundabout way, trying to get across the road. We sat down and watched that thing for half an hour until it finally corkscrewed its way to the other side. That was years ago, and it's still a fond memory for both of us.

BTW, it's Tae Kwon Do. And I wouldn't suggest it as an activity for kids. As an art, it has its merits, but the over-commercialization (there seems to be a TKD school on every corner) and its popularity have diluted its effectiveness. There's a running joke among some martial artists that you can buy black belts out of vending machines; the trophies and tournaments only make it worse. I'd suggest something a little less popular (the schools tend to be more authentic) like Shao lin, any animal kung fu, or if you want to go really hardcore, Muay Thai.

Posted by: Mona | April 12, 2007 8:50 AM

I also wonder if the results would have been different at a different time, perhaps evening rush hour. I also would like to believe that if I didn't stop to listen, that I would have at least slowed my pace down a bit and noticed him. That struck me in the article, that according to reports most people didn't even give him a glance, slow their pace, or even notice that there was music happening.

Jen, not all of the child-rearing "experts" say be consistent, some actually say be true to your feelings and share that with your kiddos. Just depends on who you read.

Posted by: New Poster | April 12, 2007 8:52 AM

To Jen,
I understand what you mean about being consistent. For me, it's what I'm consistent about. I consistently won't purchase any little thing my daughter wants at the grocery store or I consistently make her hold my hand in a parking lot. But if she wants to explore something or have 10 books read to her (a great bed-time stalling tactic, I know), I roll with it. Of course, for the next six weeks, she is still and only child - we'll see what happens when baby #2 arrives!

Posted by: 0759 (different) Rockville mom | April 12, 2007 8:54 AM

I would have stopped regardless of kids with me or not. We routinely stop and watch buskers (with a careful check on not impeding traffic, purse closed, etc.). I like acrobatics the best, personally.

Posted by: dotted | April 12, 2007 8:56 AM

To Mona: Thanks for the clarification on TKD. Maybe I should look into Muy Thai. A preschool/high school classmate of mine, Sam Sheridan, just published a book on his experience as a fighter, and Muy Thai was his introduction into that world.

To Bob: Thanks for the honesty. I was beginning to worry that I was the only one who would acknowledge sometimes losing my focus on the important things.

Posted by: Brian Reid | April 12, 2007 8:57 AM

I think it is shameful and a reflection of a complete lack of exposure to classical music to fail to recognize the face a world renowned violinist. Whether one had time or not to stop and listen is a completely different issue. We can recognize Anna Nicole Smith or Paris Hilton or a famous athlete. Maybe it's OK or not OK to stop or not to stop for street musicians. I have no opinion on that. But not to recognize the face of Joshua Bell or at least to say to oneself...this guy looks like Bell, but it can't be him, can it?..........

Posted by: anon | April 12, 2007 8:58 AM

My brother and sister-in-law overschedule their lives all the time. One day they had us over for brunch in the morning, then go to have a birthday party for their own child at whatever place they were having it, then rush to two sporting games that there kids are in, go out to dinner, and then attend an event at the local church! It's insane!!!!!!! They can't possibly enjoy any one of those things. Our family on the other hand would do one (maybe two) of those things in a day. Saturday is our son's birthday party and that's the ONLY thing we have planned for the entire day.

Posted by: Here's an example... | April 12, 2007 8:58 AM

I doubt I would have stopped. This is coming from someone who worked for a symphony for eight years (even meeting Josh Bell at one point) and played the fiddle for a few years. I love the music and can appreciate the difference between really fabulous talent and merely very good talent. I would have enjoyed listening to the music on my way up the escalator, but that's all the time I would have devoted to my appreciation on a morning commute. I doubt I would have even looked hard enough at the player on my way by to recognize him.

My husband would have been more likely to stop because it's more in his personality to lay aside schedules and goals and destinations and just appreciate what's right in front of him. It's an admirable trait, but it has an unfortunate tendency to lead to poor performance reviews at work. On a Friday morning commute, I'm more concerned about my performance review than about classical music.

Sure, we can all find time in a day to slow down and pay attention to our world, and I can recall a few times in my life that I've been stopped dead in my tracks by unexpected beauty. Maybe this would have been one of those times, but the smart money would be on me walking by and thinking a few hours later "man, that guy was really good!"

Posted by: Sarah | April 12, 2007 8:58 AM

Guilty as charged. Sometimes I have to take a deep breath because my older girl is a dawdler. She loves to examine every new thing and music stops her in her tracks. So mornings can be stressful if I have an "important" meeting or a clinic full of patients. I agree that the evening rush is a little more conducive to 'smelling the roses'. I often dawdle with her if she is curious about something on our way home and have more patience for listening to the train go by, etc. So I have sympathy for the parents who rushed their kids by....

Posted by: Sunniday | April 12, 2007 8:59 AM

Different Rockville mom,

Congratulations and good luck with your #2.

Posted by: Rockville Mom | April 12, 2007 8:59 AM

Mona, I see you and I share the same handicap today. We were so busy rushing through life, trying to get our posts in, that we failed to notice that it was Brian and not Leslie, who wrote the above prompt!

Alas, Tae Kwon Do, a wonderful martial art has suffered much abuse this last decade. The overcommercialization has ruined something great. I remember working for my belts under a strict, but patient, instructor. They instructed us on not only the form, but philosophy of it as well- teaching a time and place for rules and sportsmanship, a respect for everyone, cautioning us to be responsible and not abuse what we had learned, and most importantly to throw everything out the window about the "rules" if our lives were ever on the line. ;-)

Posted by: Chris | April 12, 2007 8:59 AM

Chris: yes one of my favorite lines from freiends is by chandler, when someone (I think monica) says something juicy. And he said: if I don't enter those numbers (turning around to stay)- it doesn't make a bit of a difference.

Posted by: atlmom | April 12, 2007 9:00 AM

Is part of the commercialization of Tae Kwon Do the fact that kids/adults seemed rushed from belt to belt. When I looked into it quite a few years ago, every place talked about how basicly every 3-6 monnths (or maybe even less, I can't quite recall) you'd test to get a higher belt, acheiving a black belt in a matter of few years. Seems like it should take a good many years to acheive the highest ranking in an art, but maybe that's just me.

Posted by: New Poster | April 12, 2007 9:11 AM

True life balance has to include finding the small joys in every day. The extra 10 minutes with a cup of coffee and your teenage daughter. The after dinner conversation, hearing the jokes that the 6th grader tells. Or the last hour of the day when everyone is asleep, except me. I would have stopped to listen. It would have been for a short time because of my hectic life, but I would have savored that small unexpected joy of the day.

Posted by: Merry | April 12, 2007 9:12 AM

FYI: I fixed the Tae Kwon Do spelling in the body of the post. Thanks for the sharp eyes.

Posted by: Brian Reid | April 12, 2007 9:14 AM

I doubt I would have stopped if I was on my way to work or school. But to the larger issue, we try hard not to overschedule our lives. But it is hard. DD goes to preschool 5 days a week for developmental delays. So we quit all the gymboree type classes. We figure she needs a break. But it is hard to meet errands, family obligations, visit friends, work and school. We are not sure what we will do when DD is older and will be involved in more of her own activities. I do think everyone is very busy these days. My guess is the commutes are so long, two working parents, kids in a ton of activities. And am I right, that kids have more of a social life then before? They seem to get invited to more parties and play dates. I miss the days when kids just ran out doors and played.

Posted by: foamgnome | April 12, 2007 9:17 AM

Tae poes hapepn.

Posted by: Chris | April 12, 2007 9:17 AM

To John Q: Yes, I have at least 20 minutes a day to enjoy the unexpected, and how I spend those moments has a lot to do with my overall happiness. Unfortunately, I don't often get to choose when those 20 minutes actually occur.

Posted by: Brian Reid | April 12, 2007 9:17 AM

To new poster: my sister was telling me that in addition to the 'color' belts, they would have levels for each belt too. The parents thought it was a scheme for them to buy a new uniform every 3 mos or so.

Posted by: atlmom | April 12, 2007 9:18 AM

Well, I just stopped to read the entire article and it was well worth the time. What a lovely piece - and so sad too. I'm inspired to become a little less controlling so that I'm open to the possibility of beauty around me. It's everywhere - not just in a once-in-a-lifetime subway performance by Joshua Bell.

I was actually at the Boston concert given by Mr. Bell that was discussed in the article. And I count violin playing as my main hobby. So I would like to think I would have stopped to listen. Perhaps I would have - but if I did, it would sadly have been only because the performance was aligned exactly with my interests. My kids, however, would have pulled me to check it out and I would have been annoyed with that.

Thank you for the wake up call!

Posted by: equal | April 12, 2007 9:20 AM

To Chris: If we had a pun-of-the-day content, you'd win, hands down.

Posted by: Brian Reid | April 12, 2007 9:21 AM

one other thing to think about...

Lets say (picking a name out of a hat) it was Sting (or Bono or other giant in the pop music world), with an acoustic guitar, singing his songs? Would you have stopped?

I'm sure the number would have skyrocketed. And not just because the crowd was star-struck, but because they knew the songs and had connected with them; that the person+songs had emotional attachment.

The point is that, imho, classical music has lost a lot of relevancy today. It's not a part of our everyday lives, and holds a sort-of high-culture cache, which occupies a very specific purpose. Although I know I have, I don't mean to offended anyone. Regardless of how important classical music is to you, you must know there's some truth in what I say.

But getting back to the main point - would you stop if it were a more relevant musician?

Posted by: f00 | April 12, 2007 9:25 AM

Kurt Vonnegut died last night. So, for those interested, a combination rose/CTOTD
__________________________________
From the NY Times obituary:

To Mr. Vonnegut, the only possible redemption for the madness and apparent meaninglessness of existence was human kindness. The title character in his 1965 novel, "God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater," summed up his philosophy:

"Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It's round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you've got about a hundred years here. There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- 'G#@ d*&n it, you've got to be kind.' "

Posted by: Marian | April 12, 2007 9:30 AM

"But getting back to the main point - would you stop if it were a more relevant musician?"

And that was my point--to me, Josh Bell IS a relevant musician and the music is familiar. But I still probably wouldn't have stopped.

Posted by: Sarah | April 12, 2007 9:33 AM

I wish I knew how many more people were stopping now to listen to street performers in DC since that article was published.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | April 12, 2007 9:33 AM

Marian,

Thanks for the Vonnegut post. I was thinking about a CTOTD for today. This will do nicely.

The adaptation of his novel "Slaughterhouse- Five" to the big screen failed miserably in trying to explain the meaning of his book.

Posted by: Fred | April 12, 2007 9:38 AM

One time we were in Charleston, SC for a vacation, and a street guitarist was playing to the crowds. My wife and I stopped for awhile to listen, and as we began to leave my wife dropped a $20 bill into his collection jar. He stopped playing, got up, chased after us and thanked her for her generosity. As we walked away I asked her why she gave him so much; she said "I liked the music".

Now, had we been going to work I doubt we would have stopped nor would she have left any money at all. It's all in the timing; on vacation you can take time to pay attention to things you don't when you are in your usual daily mode. Maybe that isn't the ideal but it's reality.

Posted by: John L | April 12, 2007 9:40 AM

Foamgnome - I have often thought about that same thing. When the kids are young you can keep them in one place(ds takes gymnastics and spanish in the after school program where he goes to preK). But when they are in school- aren't the logistics much more difficult?

Posted by: atlmom | April 12, 2007 9:41 AM

"I think it is shameful and a reflection of a complete lack of exposure to classical music to fail to recognize the face a world renowned violinist."

Not everyone is a classical music fan. It is no more shameful than not recognizing the face of a world renowned neurosurgeon, for example. I'm sure not everyone can do that.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 9:41 AM

it is sad but you are right about the classical music. You would have offended my mother who is a classical pianist and a teacher. But then, again, 99% of her students are asian whose parents believe that in order to get a well rounded education, classical music is just as important as sports. These are very middle class families, not "elite".

Posted by: to f00 | April 12, 2007 9:42 AM

Brian, you made my day! Leslie and her "alpha girls" can eat their over-achieving unbalanced hearts out. I am the king of puns! Perhaps the post can grant me space so I could become their very own syndicated kingpun. bwahahaha

Posted by: Chris | April 12, 2007 9:46 AM

I read the article and Weingarten's chat, and am a little amused by the number of commenters (some here), who said, well, he should have done it some other time of day so more people could stop. In other words: yes, I am fully open to serendipitous beauty -- as long as it is scheduled to occur when I have an opening in my schedule for it. Ahhh, irony.

I don't do this well myself -- I get caught up in what I'm doing, get tunnel vision about must-accomplish-task-now. It takes a lot to jolt me out of that focus -- if that happened outside my daughter's kindergarten, there's a good chance I would have been focused more on beating traffic in to work. Then again, I listened to the tape, and the music is just beautiful (I used to play violin and hated it, but his playing makes me reconsider). I hope I would have stopped, even for a minute. But I don't know. And that makes me sad.

Also to Jen: consistency doesn't have to mean rigidity. We had the same problem with a playground right at the exit to my daughter's daycare -- sometimes I had time to let her play, sometimes I didn't, so did being consistent mean I always had to say no? It doesn't. Being consistent means that your child always knows what to expect from you. I started to tell her in advance whether we'd be able to play or not, then always followed through with what I said. Maybe you could tell your child in advance no stops when you're really in a rush; or when you do have the time, say you can only stop for 2 minutes, and then leave when you say. There are all sorts of ways to be consistent and still let kids take some detours to enjoy the unexpected.

Posted by: Laura | April 12, 2007 9:47 AM

Good morning, Fred. I hesitated to appropriate the CTOTD. That quotation really touched me though, and I wanted to share. Of Vonnegut's writing, I've only read Slaughterhouse Five. The Times obit made me want to read more of his work. I saw the movie when I was too young (a teenager) to have an understanding of it.

Anyway, thanks for being generous in sharing the CTOTD space for today. I alway enjoy reading your CTOTDs.

Posted by: Marian | April 12, 2007 9:48 AM

Dang it Laura, "I am fully open to serendipitous beauty -- as long as it is scheduled to occur when I have an opening in my schedule for it." Conform, dang it, conform! It is too early to buck for post of the day. ;-P

Posted by: Chris | April 12, 2007 9:50 AM

My middle school son went out one morning to get the paper and was later than usual coming back. Feeling a bit annoyed, I went out to check on him, and found him absolutely transfixed by the sight of a deer in the yard across the street. We watched it for a while together in silence. I am sure I wouldn't have seen it had I gone for the paper, due to single-minded focus. As other posters have noted, this is why having children is such a delight: they are so open to new experiences and so delighted by things outside the routine.

Posted by: Bethesda | April 12, 2007 9:53 AM

I would have stopped wiht my child if I saw a nice performance on the way HOME from work. However my boss and my co-teacher would have a fit if I was even one minute late-- and the mornings are tight enough as it is. So no, at morning rush, I wouldn't stop. Not because I don't want to but I just can't.

Posted by: American mom abroad | April 12, 2007 9:55 AM

I think I would have stopped. My daughter loves music. She takes a class at school and it is the reason she gets up on Mondays!

I do think it is harder to balance time in DC than other places. The communte alone is killer. I used to be so tired by the time I got home, made dinner, played with the kid, put kid to bed, etc. The weekends were for cathing up.

Posted by: scarry | April 12, 2007 9:56 AM

"I think it is shameful and a reflection of a complete lack of exposure to classical music to fail to recognize the face a world renowned violinist."

If I were on my way to work, I wouldn't have my kid with me and I wouldn't have had the time to notice who the guy was in the first place.

I punch an electronic time card. It's not a good idea for me to be late for work. More navel gazing.

Shoulda, woulda, coulda......

Posted by: Anita | April 12, 2007 9:57 AM

Great topic! I hope I would have stopped. My daughter is only 9 months old, but she would have liked that. I was so impressed recently when I stopped into a coffee shop on my way to work. A mom and her preschooler were in line ahead of me, apparently on their way to work/school. The coffee shop had a french press for sale, and the little boy was asking his mom about it. She took the time to explain how it works, and how some people think it makes the best coffee, etc. She told him that they actually have one at home, and they could try it out if he wanted. That is the kind of mom I hope to be!

Posted by: tara | April 12, 2007 9:58 AM

To Bethesda: We'll have to lobby Gene to get a deer in a Metro station. I bet that would draw a crowd :)

Posted by: Brian Reid | April 12, 2007 9:59 AM

"I think it is shameful and a reflection of a complete lack of exposure to classical music to fail to recognize the face a world renowned violinist."

Well, I would know Sting or Bono because they were popular before I had young children. While I do enjoy classical music, most of our CD collection was built long ago. I wouldn't know many current pop stars either. I haven't been to a grown-up concert in a long time, though we do take the kids to some wonderful classical children's concerts.

Once in a while, I catch a Great Performances on PBS, but I'm more likely to have heard about Joshua Bell on NPR or read about him in the paper. I wouldn't necessarily recognize his face. Even if I had seen a picture of him in the paper, his look isn't as distinctive or flamboyant as a pop star's (though he is quite handsome).

Posted by: Marian | April 12, 2007 10:02 AM

Brian,

The trouble is that Gene would do it! (the deer)

Did you read Gene's discussion about this event? He explains many of the questions that have been asked here. It was posted on Monday.

I wonder how many people did hear the music but could not stop for whatever reason. Maybe the few seconds of its beauty resounded in their minds the balance of the day.

Laura does get the post of the day award!

(still 54 but getting closer every day!)


Posted by: Fred | April 12, 2007 10:06 AM

My kids likely would have stopped to listen, and I likely would have let them stop for at least a minute or so. Unless we were running late.

But is the enjoyment of the music legitimate only if one stops? What if one slows down to listen and enjoy (multi-tasking, Washington style), or keeps going but enjoys the music as a little pick-me-up as they rush on to work?

What do actions mean? What do they say about humans and culture? Are we getting the right message or clouding it with our preconceived notions?

Can you walk and smell roses at the same time?

Posted by: theoriginalmomof2 | April 12, 2007 10:13 AM

I enjoy classical music also, listen to it almost every day even for just 10 minutes or so. Very soothing while driving. But I don't think I would have recognized Bell. I don't even know if I would have recognized Yoyo Ma, and he's even more world-famous. But I do believe that I would have recongized the beauty of the music and that I think was more the point. If people don't even recognize or appreciate truly beautiful art (music in the this case) from a great artist would they appreciate or recognize beauty (in all its many forms) at all.

Posted by: New Poster | April 12, 2007 10:17 AM

Brian, and I apologize for calling you Leslie! :-)

"Is part of the commercialization of Tae Kwon Do the fact that kids/adults seemed rushed from belt to belt. When I looked into it quite a few years ago, every place talked about how basicly every 3-6 monnths (or maybe even less, I can't quite recall) you'd test to get a higher belt, acheiving a black belt in a matter of few years. Seems like it should take a good many years to acheive the highest ranking in an art, but maybe that's just me."

Absolutely. A good school will not test you until you are truly ready--for a few gifted students, this means every six months. For most, it means no more than once a year. If you're really fortunate you can find a school that does not have belt rankings--Wing Chun, boxing and Muay Thai are examples. They are also some of the most difficult and practical forms. I'd say, when looking for a school, there are several factors. First, decide which art fits you best, and this may take some time and several tries. I've tried Tang Soo Do, modern Wushu, traditional Shao lin, Muay Thai, boxing, and Mantis kung fu. It really depends on the individual. BF likes Muay Thai, I prefer Mantis. Second, see how commercial the school is. Is the front window lined with huge trophies? How showy are the students and masters? How many tournaments do they do? How often do they test for sashes or belts? Does the master have practical experience (street fighting and work as an Air Marshal, in the case of my Sifu), or is it mostly for show (tournaments and trophies)? Does the master speak the language of the country of origination? Do the students meet outside of class? For example, my Sifu has barbecues every year for all of us, multiple parties for anyone who's graduating/getting married/having a baby, etc., and sometimes he'll just take one or a few of us out to dinner just to chat. When my parents separated the first time, he called me often to see how I was doing and let me know he was available if I wanted to talk about it. Does the master demand perfection, or does he just shrug, say it's good enough, and move you onto the next level? Does the school push you into signing a contract immediately, or do they let you try some classes before signing? Are the higher-level artists fit? An out-of-shape brown belt who gasps for breath during conditioning exercises indicates a lack of overall good fitness and health; the school should emphasize all characteristics of health, including mental health, nutrition, fitness, etc. Does the master know the history of his art and its country of origination? And above all: do you feel comfortable and at home in your school? My school is my family; I've never felt more accepted or more like I belonged in my life than when I step into that studio. I wouldn't accept anything less at this point.

"Alas, Tae Kwon Do, a wonderful martial art has suffered much abuse this last decade. The overcommercialization has ruined something great."

Chris, this is such a shame. TKD has immense potential. Looks like you found one of the good schools. As a soft form practitioner, I give TKD and TSD a lot of flack, but I actually do respect the art. It's the bastardization of them that I hate.

Sorry about hijacking the thread with this post! :-) But I hope it helps anyone who's looking for a school.

Posted by: Mona | April 12, 2007 10:21 AM

Well, mr. Bell was on cnbc last night asking a question to those guys on fast money (I think that's the name of the show-the guys from wall street who are just hanging out having fun)

Posted by: atlmom | April 12, 2007 10:24 AM

"However my boss and my co-teacher would have a fit if I was even one minute late-- and the mornings are tight enough as it is. So no, at morning rush, I wouldn't stop. Not because I don't want to but I just can't."

I think this is the point that most are missing. If our schedules are so tight that even a several minute detour in our routine causes such problems, how can we possibly be leading balanced lives?

Posted by: anon for this | April 12, 2007 10:24 AM

Do you think maybe they did it during morning rush hour because there would be more people to observe? That way they'd have better results (statistically, anyway).

Posted by: Mona | April 12, 2007 10:35 AM

"However my boss and my co-teacher would have a fit if I was even one minute late-- and the mornings are tight enough as it is. So no, at morning rush, I wouldn't stop. Not because I don't want to but I just can't."

Same here. If the Second Coming happens while I'm on my way to work, I'll miss it and I'm sure I'll be forgiven by Jesus.

I'm the sole provider for my immediate family and the partial provider for several aged relatives.

If I go down, everyone goes down big time. I'm not going to beat myself up for choosing to support very dear people and a couple of beloved pets over some silly social experiment.

Posted by: Maria | April 12, 2007 10:36 AM

I don't anymore, but I used to metro into DC every day. I would have stopped to listen! I wish I could have been there to hear.

I have had to learn to stop and smell the roses again. It is so easy to get caught up in the rush of things.

Chris and Mona,

Yes, it's a shame that so many martial arts schools are so commercial. I've belonged to one for four years that is based in the traditional Korean arts and teaches traditional values. It is non-profit and all the instructors are volunteer. We struggle to keep adult students because it is NOT an easy going belt factory. Getting to black belt can take about 10 years, and only if you're an adult, I think. The kids love it. Check us out if you want: injiyong.org. I'm not trying to be a commercial(!) although I know I sound like one - I just wanted to say that all the good schools aren't dead. When I was in college I went to a similar traditional Karate school in downtown Baltimore. I don't know if they exist anymore...

And to try and keep this somewhat on topic, studying a martial art has really taught me to slow down and listen to life's music!

Posted by: TKD junkie | April 12, 2007 10:36 AM

Would I have stopped? Depends on my schedule. A lot of time, I have flexibility so a few minutes doesn't make a difference, and yeah I'd like to think I would have stopped. On the other hand, if I was heading for an appointment with a demanding customer and time was tight, then no way; the consequences are too severe.

If I was with one or more kids? Probably wouldn't make a difference; we'd stop if we had time; if it was close to an important appointment, no.

DW's response? "Joshua Bell? DDG? His Strad? Classical music? Consequences be darned, I'm watching the whole thing!"

Posted by: Army Brat | April 12, 2007 10:37 AM

"Do you think maybe they did it during morning rush hour because there would be more people to observe? That way they'd have better results (statistically, anyway)."

They did it on that day at that time because that's when Josh Bell was available.

Posted by: Sarah | April 12, 2007 10:46 AM

Ah, Brian....one of the beauties (no pun intended) of being a SAHP is being able to stop and smell the roses. If you doubt for a moment that you would have stopped to listen, you need to do a priority check. :o) I actually thought this was a Leslie post as well, and until someone posted your name and I went back to look, I had been reading it as such.

Jen - "And we are always advised to "BE CONSISTENT" so if I make an exception here for the guy with a violin, then shouldn't I also make an exception to watch the bug on the leaf? "

Yes, you should stop to watch the bug on a leaf as well as listen to the guy with the violin, as often as you can, unless you have a legitamate reason to not do it (i.e. you'll be late for school or work or an appointment, and not "because I said so.") But it shouldn't be an exception. Being consistent doesn't mean "always saying no."

Posted by: momof4 | April 12, 2007 10:54 AM

"My husband would have been more likely to stop because it's more in his personality to lay aside schedules and goals and destinations and just appreciate what's right in front of him. It's an admirable trait, but it has an unfortunate tendency to lead to poor performance reviews at work."

Sarah,

How sad for your husband that you dismiss his ability to be in the moment as "an admirable trait, but..."

Silly, affluent people all over the country spend obscene amounts of money on the clothing, accessories, and instructional classes they think are the key to finding serenity, while your husband has it instinctively. He stops and pays attention.

And you seem to have no respect or real admiration for this aspect of his character. Your performance review is, in your scheme of things, more important, more immediately demanding, more reality-based, more deserving of your slavish attention.

That's so sad.

Posted by: pittypat | April 12, 2007 10:59 AM

I would have stopped. I love listening at chance encounters with musicians of all genres. Importantly, I'm not going to be fired for being 5 minutes late. (Thanks everyone for reminding me how lucky I am.) So although I can't berate individual people who did not stop, I do think our society is way out of balance since almost no one could or would take 5 minutes to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Sure, in the past I've been one of those people who thought what I was doing was oh-so-important -- and sometimes perhaps it was. But now I'm older and either wiser or more tired out. I've had it with running around in circles just so I can be patted on the back for being a hero, even if nothing really came of my showy heroics.

Posted by: Diane, Baltimore | April 12, 2007 11:01 AM

I think it would be interesting if the same experiment was done in Sydney, New York, Paris, London, etc., and then note the different responses. For example, I believe more people would stop in Sydney/Melbourne just because it is part of our culture. I don't believe not stopping has anything really to do with kids. I think it has more to do with the culture of appreciating/approving/ allowing street buskers. Too many people in the US associate buskers with beggars and will not stop.

Posted by: dotted | April 12, 2007 11:02 AM

"How sad for your husband that you dismiss his ability to be in the moment as "an admirable trait, but..."

Silly, affluent people all over the country spend obscene amounts of money on the clothing, accessories, and instructional classes they think are the key to finding serenity, while your husband has it instinctively. He stops and pays attention.

And you seem to have no respect or real admiration for this aspect of his character. Your performance review is, in your scheme of things, more important, more immediately demanding, more reality-based, more deserving of your slavish attention."

On the contrary--it's why I married him and why I love him. When we were first dating, he challenged me to blow off one thing a day, just for the sheer pleasure of being irresponsible and slowing down a bit. I did. And I'm a lot more laid back now than I was back then, entirely thanks to his influence.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 11:04 AM

so the Washington Post put together this experiment. I wonder how many Washington Post reporters who didnt know of the 'experimental nature' of it stopped on their commutes.

Posted by: april12 | April 12, 2007 11:07 AM

TKD junkie, I'm so glad to hear there are Korean forms still alive and well and not over-commercialized. My experience with them was terrible, but I've always suspected that was a problem with the schools and instructors, not the forms themselves. :-) It's too influential an art to just go to waste on what you so eloquently call a "belt factory."

And I'm with you on stopping to smell the roses--my form has taught me to slow down as well. It didn't come easy--taking Tai Chi classes was a part of the package, at least mentally, but the habit is to do the moves as quickly as possible; Tai Chi forces you to do the opposite. It really helped my world view; I can more easily find beauty in the mundane.

Posted by: Mona | April 12, 2007 11:09 AM

Maria posts:

"However my boss and my co-teacher would have a fit if I was even one minute late-- and the mornings are tight enough as it is. So no, at morning rush, I wouldn't stop. Not because I don't want to but I just can't."

Same here. If the Second Coming happens while I'm on my way to work, I'll miss it and I'm sure I'll be forgiven by Jesus.

I would have agreed that Laura one the post of the day, until this one from Maria. It's a tie in my book. Ladies, you've captured both points exquisitely!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 11:10 AM

dotted--
Even in this country some cities have a longer tradition of street musicians--New York, Boston, and San Francisco come to mind.

Maybe part of the problem is the layout of DC. The Kennedy Center is pretty removed from the working part of the city if my memory is correct. Pardon my lack of knowledge here, but does DC have a college-level dedicated music conservatory like Berklee or Juilliard? Students from these schools often perform in the subway stations. And people do stop to listen.

Posted by: Marian | April 12, 2007 11:10 AM

egad. "one" should be "won" in my 11:10 post.

Posted by: homonym alert | April 12, 2007 11:16 AM

I absolutely agree RebelDad. I have told quite a few people about the article in the same context (not many people in Philly read the Post). It's amazing how much a child notices, my own 3 year old daughter included. We really do need to stop and see the forest for the trees every moment of our lives we can.

Posted by: Philly Mom | April 12, 2007 11:19 AM

I love to stop for the bug on the leaf...until my 14 month old tries to eat it :)

Posted by: AL | April 12, 2007 11:22 AM

Sarah, your 11:04 post was amazingly gracious in light of pittypat's snark.

Pittypat, someone has to pay the bills. That's what gives the other person the freedom to be more laid back. Ying and yang. Try to appreciate that others' marriages and relationship are often about opposites attracting and not about both persons being perfect in the same way.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 11:25 AM

Mona,

I'm so glad you have a good place, too :)

I looked for YEARS to find a place that was really interested in the art, not just the money. It's changed my life. I started at 31, and it's really helped me get over many physical and mental challenges. Tai Chi never did it for me, personally. I am naturally a very high-strung, anxious person. I HAVE to move fast now that I am able to. And I really enjoy studying a truly combative art. Moving to the point of having "no mind" in class helps me slow down in other areas of life and find inner peace and strength and... balance! :)

Posted by: TKD junkie | April 12, 2007 11:25 AM

"jumping from event to event dulls the ability to appreciate serendipity"

I love that! Serendipity!

I know I wouldn't have stopped with my daughter in tow, and I play classical music in a symphony.

But serendipity is so important in our lives.

A few days ago my 4 year old daughter and I got caught in the rain, she loves standing in the rain, so we did, and both got totally soaked! Walking back to our car, we passed two ladies who I would guess were in their 60s. One looked at me and said to her friend loudly enough so I would hear, "Didn't know it was wet t-shirt contest day" and the other responded, "Well, they'll pay for it with catching a cold" And I smiled to my daughter and told her that standing in the rain was the best 10 minutes I had spent in the past month - honestly!

And I believe that in 20 years I won't remember every single Saturday soccer practice I dragged her to, but I will remember standing in the rain with her.

Posted by: Silver Spring | April 12, 2007 11:30 AM

"I love to stop for the bug on the leaf...until my 14 month old tries to eat it :)"

Ha, my newphew tried to eat a slug once because he thought it was a french fry!

Posted by: scarry | April 12, 2007 11:30 AM

I wouldn't have stopped if I'd been on my way to work. I would have enjoyed the music on the escalator ride. Sad to say, getting where I am going is always my priority.

As a Band Mother I will say that if it's been a clarinet or a trumpet I might have stopped or at least have enjoyed the music more. Certainly if my instrument playing children had been with me I would have.

Overscheduling aside. My son, the one who had trumpet lessons for years that I nagged endlessly to practice, recently signed up to play in a community theater group. Don't ask me why he couldn't have done this when he was in high school and it would have been a resume builder for college applications!

I saw the play, and there were girls in skimpy costumes involved so it may have been more a social interest than a musical one on his part, but I did feel gratified that my seemingly futile efforts at music may have become a fun part of his almost-adult life!

Posted by: RoseG | April 12, 2007 11:32 AM

"My son, the one who had trumpet lessons for years that I nagged endlessly to practice"

Great, another whipped man conditioned by his mother to expect and respond to nagging from women!

Why didn't the kid's father NAG him
endlessly??

Posted by: Leo | April 12, 2007 11:43 AM

I'm interested by how many people are still responding to Jen's comment about not stopping for the bug on a leaf and being consistent. That one stuck with me, too -- mostly because I thought, "Hey, I stop for cool bugs on leaves!" Teaching myself the habit of stopping for beauty is something I've been working on the last several years to help restore my own balance.

I find that when I take the time to stop -- for a cool bug, the scent of rain, or a terrific street musician -- it is amazing how much my stress level drops. I suddenly feel more in control of my to-do list, more serene and less harried.

I lost that skill somewhere along the way in my childhood, and it has turned out to be hard to get back, but the reward is worth it!

Posted by: Northern Girl | April 12, 2007 11:48 AM

But momof4, if we stop to watch every bug on every leaf and watch the man with the violin and yadda, yadda, yadda-- then we will never get anything done! while I was a stay at home mom I did have more time to dawdle with the kid, but I decided to go back to work now that he is in school and we have places to go, committments to meet, etc. and it would be rude/ unresponsible to blow off school and work so that we can look at every little thing-- so we have to make choices above what is important to look at and what can be ignored.

I am looking forward to switching to part-time work soon and hopefully that will allow more time to allow serendiptious moments of exploration.

Meanwhile, I think I'm going to stick with making exceptions only when it is something that i am also interested in-- maybe that is cruel, but mommy was starting to go insane looing at every freakin' bug on a two block walk to the playground and that isn't a good for anyone. to those that have the temperment for it-- G-d bless you!

Meanwhile, I'll just have to hope that I'm teaching my child about priorities and discriminating the exceptional from the mundane. (yeah, yeah bugs are "exceptional"-- compared to Joshua Bell playing Bach on his Stadivarius?-- hmmmm, not so much.)

Posted by: Jen | April 12, 2007 12:05 PM

It's not cruel but a bit selfish. Why can't you compromise and sometimes stop for something that he alone is interested in. Not everytime, but sometimes. I agree that it would be annoying to stop and look at every bug we come across, but stopping to look at an occassional bug might lead to some unexpected fun. It is a balance, and ONLY stopping when you are interested is one-sided not balanced (which I believe is what this blog is about).

Posted by: New Poster | April 12, 2007 12:19 PM

That's the main reason I took my daughter and left the metro WDC area: far too hectic. I didn't want to have to schedule play dates, I didn't want to give up three hours of my life every day commuting to and from work. My commute time here is an hour total each day, and my kid goes out after school and knocks on the neighbors' doors to play with her friends.

We would have stopped for the musician: my daughter is a music student and she would have stopped me. We have a different mindset living out here in the desert... we stop for the coyotes, too!

Posted by: single western mom | April 12, 2007 12:23 PM

Jen -- you crack me up! And you know how it goes -- one bug is interesting, but the resulting bug obession is annoying!

Posted by: Arlington Dad | April 12, 2007 12:24 PM

***Off topic alert***

I wondered what some of you thought about the difficuties of true rape victims coming forward when false (and very public) accusations of rape occur? Does it justify a column like the following?

---

LET THE LIAR BE NAMED & SHAMED

April 12, 2007 -- HER name is Crystal Gail Mangum.

She is the woman who falsely accused three Duke University students of rape.

Yesterday, the attorney general of North Carolina came forward and flatly declared the three young men "innocent of these charges."

That means their accuser is a liar.

Her name is Crystal Gail Mangum.

It is the policy of the news media not to publish the names of rape accusers on the grounds that they should not have to fear public shame for coming forward with word of a horrifying personal violation.

That is a noble policy. But it needs a codicil. The codicil is that if a rape accuser is revealed as a liar, her name should be spoken loudly and often - as loudly and often as the names of those whom she falsely accused have been over the past year.

Her name is Crystal Gail Mangum.

She must be denied anonymity because she makes a mockery of the very policy of granting anonymity to rape accusers. We do not publish their names so that they will not fear public exposure. But people who are tempted to do the monstrous thing Mangum did should fear public exposure.

They should be terrified of it.

They should have nightmares about it.

They should be given no encouragement whatsoever to believe they can launch a nuclear weapon at someone's reputation and escape unscathed.

Her name is Crystal Gail Mangum, and she should not escape the world's scorn because she is poor, or because she is black, or because her life circumstances led her to work as a "stripper."

Her name is Crystal Gail Mangum, and she does not deserve to lick the underside of the shoes of hardworking and honest people of color and modest means who somehow manage to get through life without attempting to destroy and defile the lives of others.

At his press conference yesterday, Attorney General Roy Cooper said something odd about the liar Crystal Gail Mangum. He said she would face no charges for her false accusation.

He said, "Our investigators who talked with her and the attorneys who talked with her over a period of time think that she may actually believe the many different stories that she has been telling. They worked real hard with her. It doesn't make sense. You can't piece it together."
The suggestion here is that she has psychological problems. So do millions upon millions of people in the United States. And they too manage, somehow, not to spin lies about rape into false arrests.

They somehow manage not to force families of those they falsely accuse to incur legal fees reportedly totaling more than $1 million per family. These families are sometimes described as "affluent," as though the fact that they live in nice communities in nice houses means they can afford million-dollar fees.

Attorney General Cooper did a good thing by making so unambiguous a statement of innocence as he freed David Evans, Reade Seligmann and Colin Finnerty from their year of torment.

Until I hear more that might justify his decision beyond a desire not to inflame racial passions in the Tar Heel State, I cannot help think that Cooper has done a very, very wrong thing by allowing Crystal Gail Mangum to avoid the judgment of his state's legal system.

Unless he changes his mind, then, the only justice she will face is the public exposure of her name and the revelation to all the world that, if she had had her way, three young men would have been sent to prison on false charges.

Her name is Crystal Gail Mangum.

Let her name be the new Mudd.

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | April 12, 2007 12:26 PM

Now assuming that you were going to the playground for your son's enjoyment then what would it matter if you just went for a bug walk instead. But perhaps you were going to meet with other moms so the purpose of the playground was two-fold.

From another perspective, only looking at what you are interested might very well teach your son not only to discriminate exceptional from medicore, but that what mommy wants/is interested in is important and what I'm interested is not.

Posted by: New Poster | April 12, 2007 12:27 PM

"what mommy wants/is interested in is important and what I'm interested is not."

LOL - in my house, mommy wanted homework done before tv, but the children are interested in tv, not homework. You better believe that what mommy is interested in is more important -- in some situations.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 12:30 PM

Texas Dad of 2

I wonder why you continue to copy and paste articles to try to drum up interest?

Posted by: Jake | April 12, 2007 12:31 PM

Sarah,

I'm glad to know that you love your husband for his unique abilities and that you've learned from him some lessons in rose-sniffing. I'm sure he's learned from you, as well, in ways that have made him a better person.

Posted by: pittypat | April 12, 2007 12:31 PM

One of the commuters who didn't stop to listen said he didn't notice because he was listening to music on his iPod. (I think it was the Cure--not classical, but great music!) This would most likely be me. I am sure I miss out on the occasional moment of serendipity because I listen to music while I walk to work--but it's music I adore and have chosen for the very reason that it adds serenity or energy to my experience of each day.

I think it's important to note that we are all missing all kinds of beauty, all the time--but not always in service of drab everyday routines. Sometimes it's because we've already chosen a different beauty.

Posted by: worker bee | April 12, 2007 12:31 PM

With all the talk of the terrible hectic lifestyles here in the WDC area I have to wonder just how many of us are truly effected by it? We have a one year old and since her birth have met a few families on our block of townhomes with toddlers. Two of us knock on each other's doors when we are going for walks to the park and make spontaneous playdates. My husband's commute is about 5 minutes, mine about half an hour. I balance by working from home when I can and leaving early when I can, to avoid extra traffic. Although things feel hectic in my life from time to time and of course I do get tired from the day to day grind, I wonder if it would really be different in a different city, or if we use WDC as an excuse? This of course worries me for the future when we're on to kindergarten and elementary school ... but can it really be that bad that we won't look at the pretty spring flowers or stop to listen to the 'birdies' singing like we do now?

Posted by: Bad Mom | April 12, 2007 12:32 PM

Texas Dad of 2,
I agree wholeheartedly with the concept of some type of punishment for a false accuser (atho the families could perhaps sue in civil court the young woman has no money) however; I can't help but feel that women who are true victims of assault may be afraid to come forward now.
The same holds true for the teenage girls here in MD a couple of years back who falsely accused a teacher of sexual misconduct only because they weren't happy with their grades. His career and good name were lost forever.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 12, 2007 12:35 PM

Wow, New Poster is very judgemental. I don't like that...

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 12:35 PM

I was appalled when I heard about this case. I, like a lot of people, thought those young men were guilty. It made me think about my daughter and how I would kill someone who did that to her. Now we all know she lied and I feel no sympathy for her--none. I think she should be prosecuted. False claims of rape and racism only hurt the people who actually experience it.

Those boys will always be branded with rape even though they are innocent.

Posted by: scarry | April 12, 2007 12:37 PM

Scarry,
And the crime is such that unless there is a video or another witness it is very difficult to prove, even if it goes to court.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 12, 2007 12:41 PM

Pittypat! How ya doing? I remember you love the holiday lights -- so are you stopping and smelling the roses this spring (well, I guess it's tulips now)?

I could tell all of you that I'm one of those wonderful, peaceful folks who enjoys all of life's details, and you might believe me when you see me literally smelling the roses. But I love Spring in DC and I love to grow plants and garden and be outside -- those are things I really enjoy. But I'm sure I would have walked past that violin concert!

Posted by: Arington Dad | April 12, 2007 12:41 PM

Tx dad of 2, I think it does justify a column like that. People like her crying wolf desensitize society. I do not think that there is a person who does not at least know someone who really did suffer such a tragedy in real life (my own mother). For this woman to come forward and ruin the reputations of 3 people is a tragedy as well! Can you imagine if they were wrongfully convicted as a result? Maybe 10-20 years later DNA evidence would have set them free if it had not just done so already, as it has for many- but look at how that lost time/money can destroy a person's life! A rape victim can overcome their tragedy, but what she nearly did to these boys could have done them harm that would have been neer impossible to overcome. They themselves could have been raped in prison, but in fact were left violated by the whole process anyway! I think real rape victims should be encouraged to come forward more so the guilty can be punished, but slanderers/scammers need prosecuted and exposed to the fullest extent of the law to discourage a different type of rape.

Posted by: Chris | April 12, 2007 12:46 PM

KLBUBut one should only be afraid to come forward if one is lying. Exactly what the article stated.

Posted by: atlmom | April 12, 2007 12:49 PM

"adults have lost track of what it's like to be a kid, and likewise, endlessly curious"

I was really struck by this comment, and by Jen's posts as well. My son is also a dawdler who wants to stop and look at everything and just goof around a bit. It's always one more thing. So I find myself often struggling with the desire to just get something done, the need to get to work, or whatever it is that I'm focused on and my sympathy with how frustrating it must be for him to so often have to conform to our schedules and my desire to encourage his curiosity and imagination. I feel like we so rarely let kids just be anymore. So I've tried to build in more time to allow for the inevitable explorations between the front door and the car door in the morning, and I've tried to learn to either let him take the time and truly appreciate it with him, or just say no and move on, but not to let him stop and be impatient about it. But it is something I have to often stop and evaluate - does it really matter if I take two more minutes on the way to X?

Posted by: Megan | April 12, 2007 12:52 PM

"But one should only be afraid to come forward if one is lying. Exactly what the article stated."

But it is very rarely clear cut whether she is lying or not, and as so many victims of sexual violence will tell you, the fear of not being believed is huge. The idea that you could be telling the truth but everyone will think you are lying, and then you will have to face something like this, seems to me would be a pretty big disincentive.

Posted by: Megan | April 12, 2007 12:55 PM

"False claims of rape and racism only hurt the people who actually experience it".

I take this back, I think they probably did say racist stuff to her when she and the other girl were dancing, which is really sad, but does not warrent false rape charges.

Posted by: scarry | April 12, 2007 12:58 PM

A significant number of women/people who are assaulted NOW don't come forward. Bashing this woman won't help. Punishing without resorting to name calling would be more appropriate.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 12, 2007 12:58 PM

Bashing this woman won't help.

I don't feel sorry for her, but I do think she has mental issues.

Posted by: scarry | April 12, 2007 1:00 PM

As I live in a very small town, silence sometimes pervades the neighborhood.

"With no noise of civilization in my ears
Only the crickets and frogs speaking to me"

As other have said this morning, music has its beauty as do bugs on a leaf.

I take from Gene Weingarten's article a challenge to myself to look for the beauty in everyday life.

On CTOTD tomorrow (if I am not too busy listening to the birds) The surprising connection between eggs and culture!

Posted by: Fred | April 12, 2007 1:01 PM

Aw, would you look at that! A MOOmy who admits that it's not all flowers and sunshine and bugs!

Posted by: to Jen | April 12, 2007 1:03 PM

Chris- you leave out your 'to be's. I have to ask...are you from Pittsburgh? he he he...

I have to agree with KLB's point. It doesn't serve to bash her any more than it was appropriate to bash the boys last year. However, I believe it is now appropriate to publish her name. Speaking as a parent of a lacrosse player, I have to say this episode has been a cloud on the whole sport down here in NC.

Posted by: dotted | April 12, 2007 1:03 PM

I want to take my guitar over to that spot at L'Enfant Metro now. I'll bet I could make alot of $$$ now that the Post has shamed everyone into thinking they have to stop!

It hasn't been mentioned, but I think some people didn't stop because they automatically stereotype buskers as homeless degenerates; that might have been the reason for shuffling the children away (in addition to needing to get the kids to daycare on time, needing to get to the office on time to make a living to support said kids, etc). Seriously, buskers sometimes do snort/mainline/drink their respective takes--in most cases, it's not a wholesome career choice.

Posted by: Somewhere, MD | April 12, 2007 1:04 PM

You know just because I was lactating for 2 years doesn't make me a MOOmy! (sure felt like it sometimes!)

Posted by: Jen | April 12, 2007 1:09 PM

"and it would be rude/ unresponsible to blow off school and work so that we can look at every little thing"

Of course you shouldn't blow off school and work to look at bugs. But too often we fall into the trap of "no, we can't stop" even when there's no compelling reason to *not* stop. Other posters have said they might not have stopped to listen to the violin on their way to work, but they would have on their way home. But too many people wouldn't stop either time because they're so conditioned to reach their destination as quickly as possible.

I understand your point about how you can't *always* stop. But you made it sound like if you do stop it's an exception to the rule and you're not being consistent, and I think the exception should be *not* stopping. :o) You can be consistent by saying "we have a few minutes to spare this morning so it's OK to stop" but on the days you don't "we're on our way to school and we're running late so we can't stop."

Posted by: momof4 | April 12, 2007 1:09 PM

Funny how big a deal it is for white men to be falsely accused of a crime. We are oh so concerned about the impact to their reputations, the cost to their families of the defense. There is rarely any attention given to the cost to black men in reputation and resources, when they are falsely accused of a crime.

If Crystal Gail was white and the lacrosse players black, the state a.g. would never have taken over this case. There would have been no outcry on behalf of the young men. If they'd been tried and found not guilty, no one would refer to them as "innocent". They'd say they got off.

Posted by: anon for now | April 12, 2007 1:10 PM

It's amazing, but absurdly American ,that Gene Weingarten (drug mainliner and adulterer) has set himself up as the "Stop and Smell the Roses" poster boy!

Posted by: Joy | April 12, 2007 1:15 PM

And not only their reputations and cost of attorneys-the team wwas not ranked-they canceled games etc. They lost out on all sorts of stuff just because they were accused-no one wanted to even wait for a trial.

Posted by: atlmom | April 12, 2007 1:18 PM

Funny how big a deal it is for white men to be falsely accused of a crime. We are oh so concerned about the impact to their reputations, the cost to their families of the defense. There is rarely any attention given to the cost to black men in reputation and resources, when they are falsely accused of a crime.

So because these guys were rich white kids, it is OK to forever smear their reputations? What a racist statement that is.

You are right about the black accused and white accuser but the answer is not condemn the white kids due to the color of thier skin, but to expect equal concern and attention to the falsely accused black person.

If these kids weren't rich they would have been raped in prison. I suppose that would be a fitting punishment for being white.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 1:22 PM

"I take this back, I think they probably did say racist stuff to her when she and the other girl were dancing, which is really sad, but does not warrent false rape charges."

Scarry,

I'm only guessing, but maybe it wasn't what those particular boys said. Maybe it was just hearing the same kind of filth, over and over, from so many mean-spirited boys. Maybe she just cracked and lashed out as a result of an overload of abuse and humiliation.

I'm not excusing, just trying to find an explanation...

Posted by: pittypat | April 12, 2007 1:23 PM

Did somebody say something, or was it just nobody?

Posted by: New Poster | April 12, 2007 1:24 PM

There was not sufficient evidence to prove charges of rape or sexual assault, so the attorney general dropping the charges is appropriate.

I looked back at some of the news stories. No toxicology tests were conducted to confirm the presence or absence of a date-rape drug. There was evidence of blunt-force trauma consistent with sexual assault. I don't believe there was conclusive evidence of that trauma occurring at the time of the alleged rape or at any other specific time. The testimony of the other woman present that night changed.

I can't say conclusively what happened or didn't happen to Crystal Gail Mangum. The attorney general claiming the "boys" (these were men all over 18) are innocent does not mean they did nothing wrong or are of good character. The prosecutor should not have brought charges with insufficient evidence. In that sense, the accused were wronged. Most news organizations were pretty irresponsible too--big surprise there!

I'm not convinced this is so cut and dry though in terms of no sexual assault occurring. The report of the sexual assault medical staff suggests the possibility. If that report has been refuted, I would be quicker to believe that the accuser is completely guilty of false accusation.

Posted by: Marian | April 12, 2007 1:24 PM

oh SNAP, you go New Poster

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 1:25 PM

I think that we should have a similar law for the accused that we do for the victim. That way if the charges are false the accused, would be protected.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 1:25 PM

momof4-- good point. I guess I've been trying to force myself to be consistent and it just doesn't come naturally to me so I am doing to all wrong. I'm starting to think my child will actually be better off if i stick with full time work rather than spend more time with me since I really haven't got this parenting thing worked out. hopefully by the kid I have 4 kids I'll have your wisdom!

Posted by: Jen | April 12, 2007 1:25 PM

Hi, Arlington Dad!

Yes, I tend to stop for any aesthetic diversion -- partly because I'm easily distractable and partly because I love feeling the momentary joy of something beautiful.

I've been smelling a lot of hyacinths lately. Only downside to all this springtime sniffing is that tree pollen allergy has filled my head with all kinds of nasty stuff. Ugh.

Posted by: pittypat | April 12, 2007 1:26 PM

i meant to write "by the time I have 4 kids . . ."

Posted by: jen | April 12, 2007 1:27 PM

The DA said there was insufficient evidence that there even was an assault.

These kids should sue the DA Nifong for the way he handles this case. He saw balck "victim", rich white "perps" and use the case to get re-elected.

He should be in jail.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 1:30 PM

"i meant to write "by the time I have 4 kids . . ."

Don't do us any favors.

Posted by: to Jen | April 12, 2007 1:30 PM

Pittypat -- I put up lights -- colored lights -- for the first time this year. I finally figured out that you can get a $3 doo-hickey that you can screw into your porch light, and they you can plug your lights into that. Truth be told, I used to think colored lights were "tacky," but they've grown on me, and the response from my two littles ones was truly magical.

As far as "smelling the roses," it's very cute now that my (genius) four-year old can point out and promounce "forsythia." The DC area has beautiful blooming trees and gardens all over -- not just the Tidal Basin!

Ah yes, not that flu season is just about over (knock on wood), it's allergy season.

Posted by: Arilington Dad | April 12, 2007 1:33 PM

But truly I'm not trying to be judgemental, I didn't say Jen was cruel, she said it of herself. I did say it sounded a bit selfish but when someone writes "I'm ONLY going to stop if I'm interested..." that does sound selfish, might not really be what she meant but it is what she wrote. And it's because I was there myself. I still tell my kids sometimes that if mommy is going nuts it's not a good thing for any of us.

But I've been able to step back, after having certain attitudes questioned, and see that now that I have kids it is not ONLY about me, but also about them and that they have wants, dreams, and interests different from mine that are important to them. Just as important to them as some of mine are to me. That's the BALANCING part for me, trying to provide balance within our whole family. It doesn't mean that I always get my way, or they always get their way--but that we work to balance things out.

Posted by: New Poster | April 12, 2007 1:36 PM

Those boys will always be branded with rape even though they are innocent.
--------------------------------------
This is one of the only cases where the final innocence has proclaimed at least as loudly as the original charges. Who is it that is branding them?

This goes back to the alpha comment yesterday. We have had people serve years on death row who were wrongly convicted. But yet there is more of an outcry over the pain (and I will admit there was some) of these alpha-boys for whom the justice system worked to correctly clear their names. I feel bad for them - but do think the sympathy they are getting is disproportionate to others who suffer much worse fates in the judicial system.

Posted by: really? | April 12, 2007 1:38 PM

That's the BALANCING part for me, trying to provide balance within our whole family. It doesn't mean that I always get my way, or they always get their way--but that we work to balance things out.

Well said New Poster! We too work hard to be family focused, not child focused - there's a big difference and it can be difficult, but it is about respecting each member of the family.

Posted by: moxiemom | April 12, 2007 1:39 PM

Jen -- stop that. You have no reason to be so critical of yourself or your parenting techniques. Patience comes in many different forms, so stop beating yourself up. You haven't told us too much, but so far we know that you nurse your child (that's good) and walk your child to the park (that's good) and you don't look at every bug (that's sane).

Posted by: Arlington Dad | April 12, 2007 1:39 PM

Entering the conversation late in the game, as usual, but...

I'm amazed at not only the number of people who seem to have very strict work schedules, but also the number of people who leave themselves so little time to get where they're going! I'm lucky enough to have a flexible schedule, but even if I didn't, I'm sure I'd give myself more than 2 seconds of leway to get where I was going...

Posted by: dlm79 | April 12, 2007 1:42 PM

I agree that the DA said there was insufficient evidence. I agree that he should not have gone forward with the charges.

My point is that the accuser deserves to be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt if she is to be convicted of making a false accusation.

Yes, the report of the sexual assault experts was insufficient to prove that an assault occurred at the time/place she accused the players of assaulting her. I understand this to mean insufficient in terms of legal evidence for the purposes of a trial.

It doesn't mean that she did not suffer blunt force trauma. According to the report, she suffered blunt force trauma. The testimony of witnesses can't confirm when or where the trauma occurred. It seems to me that it is possible that trauma occurred in that bathroom--provable, no, but possible. I don't think any of the witnesses in the house that night are credible.

I'm sure an attorney could explain what I mean better.

Posted by: Marian | April 12, 2007 1:43 PM

I think what Marian's point is that saying there is not enough evidence for a conviction is not the same as saying the accused person is innocent.

I don't know the details of this case, so I can't say what's what here, but it is certainly true that lack of evidence does not always equal innocence.

Posted by: Megan | April 12, 2007 1:49 PM

Anti-rape condom:
http://www.rapestop.net/index.asp

A great idea. But suppose some girl uses it for malice (found out her husband cheated, is abusive, etc.)? When the man goes to the hospital to get it removed, he will automatically be assumed to be a rapist.

However, I do think it's a great idea, and would love to see it hit the market.

Posted by: Mona | April 12, 2007 1:49 PM

The only "proof" of innocence would be the accuser recanting her story. Even then there would always be the fear of intimidation.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 12, 2007 1:50 PM

Funny how big a deal it is for white men to be falsely accused of a crime.
---------------------------------------------

The reasons that this case was even brought to the public discussion are that 1) the media overplayed it, 2)Certain elements in the black community seized upon it for their purposes 3)The "Group of 88" Duke professors basically found the individuals guilty without any evidence and 4) an individual running for DA used it for political purposes.

The investigation was blotched from the beginning, exculpatory evidence was withheld, the accusers not even interviewed for several months after the alleged crime, a staged lineup held to "identify" the attacker and many other errors in procedure were made.

The AG of NC made a definitive statement that the accused were innocent. No evidence whatsoever was found to base any thread of criminal activity. The NYT has some of the original court documents posted as well as the statement of the AG of NC.

Beyond this, the AG stated that the accuser has a history of mental problems which cast doubt on the several versions of the story that she told over the months of investigation. This is also the reason he stated for not pursuing any charges against the accuser.

Posted by: Try Reading the Facts | April 12, 2007 1:52 PM

To Really???---

In ga we have the ga innocence project , which just freed a man wrongly convicted and yes, that was screamed froM the rafters. And the ga state govt is about to pass a law that will give him about 1.5 million dollars-doesnt make up for the pain, but at least helps to apologize.

Posted by: atlmom | April 12, 2007 1:53 PM

No, Marian, I think you explained it very well. The main issue is very little evidence and its lack of quality. I agree with you and with "really."

I also find it very curious that the Attorney General would say he believed the men were innocent. I would expect more of "I believe there is not enough evidence to move forward in this case." But then again, this case has been emotion-filled on all sides from jump, understandably.

Posted by: theoriginalmomof2 | April 12, 2007 1:54 PM

To Marian,

I agree with you. If I recall correctly, the prosecutor said she believed what she was saying, the problem was she had several conflicting versions of the event. I.e. unreliable witness. Doesn't mean she was deliberately lying, but there wasn't enough for the case to go to trial.

Finally - publishing names - what good will that do? It's hard enough for rape victims to come forward as it is - now you're going to say, if you can't prove your case, we'll shame you to the whole world? C'mon. I'm sure she's been through hell herself too.

Posted by: pd | April 12, 2007 1:55 PM

"This goes back to the alpha comment yesterday. We have had people serve years on death row who were wrongly convicted. But yet there is more of an outcry over the pain (and I will admit there was some) of these alpha-boys for whom the justice system worked to correctly clear their names."

To: really?

Thank you for this observation. I've heard the claim "Their lives have been ruined" a few too many times in the past two days.

Relative to a wrongly accused and convicted person who has served time in prison or been executed, the lives of these boys have barely been touched.

Yes, things will be different for them than might have been the case if the incident hadn't occurred. But lives ruined? Hardly.

They'll still have good educations that will get them good jobs. They'll have good food, nice clothes, warm, stable homes, probably pretty good lives, all-in-all.

Perhaps they will have learned something valuable from this and will work to improve the inequalities that exist in the society they inhabit. The speech made by the one young man (was it Seligmann?) suggested that his eyes had been opened to the plight of people who lack resources. Let's hope this discovery sticks with him as he decides on a career path.

In any case, all three would do well to keep a low profile over the next few years. As the columnist in the Charlotte Observer noted, no one in this situation is blameless.

Posted by: pittypat | April 12, 2007 2:03 PM

From the NYT article

"This came after it had been revealed that sophisticated DNA tests found no traces from any of the three defendants -- or any other Duke lacrosse player -- on her body or clothes. DNA from other men, however, was found."

Posted by: to Marian | April 12, 2007 2:03 PM

so... dotted, I had no IDEA what on earth you were talking about at first, in reference to me leaving out my two bees. ;-P
They buzzed off in order TO BE free from becoming excessive supurflous words in an already over-weighty cumbersome sounding sentence. ;-) To be, or not to be? Why insert extra words?

Pittsburgh? The city of male sibling affection? Not I! TO BE further from the truth, would be quite an accomplishment! I am from an undisclose-ed location, specifically, not that one (I now duck behind the safety of the net, and hopefully do not get caught in a web)

Even better- I have no accent, and nobody can figure out where I am from on first guess. Suffice to say I am a citizen of the galaxy having hurtled through the cosmos on an amazing little blue/green planet for 26 journeys around a flaming ball of gas. Unfortunately, as time marches on, the more I try to stop and appreciate things, the more I smell the music. Have you HEARD what they let on the radio these days? I will let you know if/when I start hearing the flowers (and hope they are nicer to me than a girl named Alice).

When you stop to think, don't forget to start up again. ;-P

Posted by: Chris | April 12, 2007 2:04 PM

"When you stop to think, don't forget to start up again."

My vote for quote of the day!

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 12, 2007 2:06 PM

We have had people serve years on death row who were wrongly convicted. But yet there is more of an outcry over the pain (and I will admit there was some) ......

Really, I feel sorry for them too and I feel horrible for the young man who was shot to death in New York hours before his wedding. I don't think you can generalize how people feel and I don't think you can dismiss individual pain because they belong to a certain race either.

What has happened to other people doesn't make what happened to them any better.


Posted by: scarry | April 12, 2007 2:08 PM

Thanks Mona and KLB for clarifying what I was trying to say.

Is it typical for an attorney general to declare someone innocent? Does does his statement make it so, even in a legal sense?

Posted by: Marian | April 12, 2007 2:08 PM

Thanks Mona and KLB for clarifying what I was trying to say.

Is it typical for an attorney general to declare someone innocent? Does does his statement make it so, even in a legal sense?

Posted by: Marian | April 12, 2007 2:08 PM

I am glad to hear that case was covered well locally. It is not news that the national press doesn't fixate on a reasonable cross section stories - but when I flip on the national news it seems like it would be as difficult to avoid knowing that the charges were dropped as is to not know that ANSmith died. I would put money on them ending up on wall street (or equivalent) in a year and would happily bet anyone who thinks their reputations are somehow too tarnished...

Posted by: really??? | April 12, 2007 2:08 PM

Maybe I am too cynical but I never doubted that her charges were false and she was an opportunist. My symphathies are 100% with those boys and their families. I think a $1 milion dollar attorney fees are a huge burden for any affluent family maybe short of filthy rich kind. However, their reputations did not have to be damaged to the extent that they were. It was clearly the fault of that prosecutor, who was also an opportunist or a political coward. I hope they will sue him back and restore their names.

Posted by: cynical | April 12, 2007 2:09 PM

Anti-rape condom:
http://www.rapestop.net/index.asp

A great idea.
However, I do think it's a great idea, and would love to see it hit the market.

Posted by: Mona | April 12, 2007 01:49 PM

Why don't you merely carry a gun and shoot every man that you come in contact with?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 2:10 PM

Sorry, KLB, I stole that quote, and thus, sadly, should receive no recognition for it. In full DC tradition, I accept full responsibility for any discomfort this may have caused you and any other readers of my posting, and hope you accept my apollogies, and will still consider electing me as your future president someday. ;-P

Posted by: Chris | April 12, 2007 2:13 PM

http://news.findlaw.com/nytimes/docs/duke/evans41107dsmsnot.htmlIs


it typical for an attorney general to declare someone innocent? Does does his statement make it so, even in a legal sense?

Look at the dismissal notices, a legal document!

Posted by: to Marian | April 12, 2007 2:15 PM


The only "proof" of innocence would be the accuser recanting her story. Even then there would always be the fear of intimidation.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 12, 2007 01:50 PM

Are you saying this concerning just this case? a rape case? or any criminal case?

This is a serious question.

Posted by: To KLB SS MD | April 12, 2007 2:17 PM

pittypat your post makes me sick.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 2:17 PM

Mona, you know, some brilliant mind will now concoct an armored condom, and the profilactics race will begin, thus symbolizing the start of armageddon! If you thought the cold war was tough... watch out! It starts out with simple machines, and before you know it there will be nuclear-bio-chemical-intercourse-warfare!

Posted by: Chris | April 12, 2007 2:20 PM

The words "roses", "flower", "smell", "music", and "listen" appear in 1425 posts by 608 different contributors.

Our top 10 most sensuous posters listed below

15 KB
18 Megan
19 momof4
22 Laura
23 foamgnome
23 scarry
24 cmac
25 Mona
32 Emily
42 Father of 4

Posted by: Blog Stats | April 12, 2007 2:20 PM

I am talking about any case but more likely one with a significant amount of publicity, high visibility "underworld" contacts (if I may use the old fashioned word as it seems to fit). How many witnesses to murders, etc are killed or their families intimidated before the trial? It has happened here in recent years. I am sure it is the exception rather than the rule but it does happen.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 12, 2007 2:22 PM

Blog Stats, LISTEN up, your posts SMELL. ;-P (I have to keep trying). "sensuous" should be the word of the day LMAO!

Posted by: Chris | April 12, 2007 2:24 PM

I cry unfair advantage to Father of 4 as he is has to speak more of smells and listening than the rest of us. :-)

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 12, 2007 2:24 PM

I think the Duke case is an opportunity to teach our sons and daughters to consider the potential outcomes of their actions. Is it illegal to hire a stripper for a group of white young men? Nope, but it sure isn't wise. When you invite certain people or situations into your life, you increase the likelihood of bad outcomes even if you didn't do anything illegal. Someone else said on the Duke page - when you lie down with dogs you will get fleas. Wise words.

Posted by: Moxiemom | April 12, 2007 2:25 PM

And Chris,
Your honesty in not taking credit casts grave doubt on your presidential aspirations.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 12, 2007 2:26 PM

In any case, all three would do well to keep a low profile over the next few years. As the columnist in the Charlotte Observer noted, no one in this situation is blameless.

If these men did nothing illegal, they are blameless. Maybe they should be blemed for being rich and white?

They'll still have good educations that will get them good jobs.

I don't think you understand the stain associted with a rape charge. These boys will always be the "Duke Rapists" in the eyes of many.

I understand that it is hard to feel sorry for rich white kids (male or female, see Tues). But these kids were just trying to live their lives, which have been forever changed for the worst.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 2:26 PM

KLB, but you see, I am part of a new wave of apathetic voters who will one day get fed up of all the dishonesty and decide to choose our president via how popular they are on a reality TV show... oh wait... you're right. I'm screwed!

Posted by: Chris | April 12, 2007 2:29 PM

Didn't Ryan Seacrest compare the voting for American Idol to an election? I didn't see it but heard about it on the radio. Maybe that IS the way of the future. We start out with 12 candidates. Each week they compete and one gets voted off.
Week one would be their platforms. Week two they would have to drag their families out for show and tell. Week three we would go back to elementary school teachers and pals for dirt. And so on and so on and so on.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 12, 2007 2:32 PM

"I understand that it is hard to feel sorry for rich white kids (male or female, see Tues). But these kids were just trying to live their lives, which have been forever changed for the worst."

They'll get over it. They are young, privileged, and apparently innocent. Their lives may never be exactly the same again, but maybe that's not so bad. Perhaps they will never take things for granted again. Their innocence has been announced widely. I doubt that they will be subject to scorn forever. This will blow over eventually, and they even might be better people for it. Worse things have happened to better people.

Posted by: Emily | April 12, 2007 2:32 PM

She doesn't care.

Posted by: to April 12, 2007 02:26 PM | April 12, 2007 2:33 PM

yeah, but they would all be hand-picked by the behind the scenes powers that control all the networks. Nothing will change...

Posted by: Chris | April 12, 2007 2:34 PM

If you notice, most of the people still placing blame on the boys are women. Most of the men can see the damage done to these kids.

Just as men have a hard time understanding a women's fear of rape, women have a hard time understanding a mans fear of false accusation. While rape is far worse, being falsely accused is not a walk in the park. It's affects can ruin ones life forever.

Moxiemom, you think it is reasonable consequence for your reputation to be ruined, to lose a year of college, cost your parents $1m, your teammates to lose a season of a varsity sport for hiring a stripper. That's harsh.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 2:35 PM

Thanks Arlington Dad-- I feel much better now!

Posted by: Jen | April 12, 2007 2:36 PM

I am talking about any case but more likely one with a significant amount of publicity, high visibility "underworld" contacts (if I may use the old fashioned word as it seems to fit). How many witnesses to murders, etc are killed or their families intimidated before the trial? It has happened here in recent years. I am sure it is the exception rather than the rule but it does happen.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 12, 2007 02:22 PM

I see your point but also consider that accusers file baseless charges for reasons of spite, revenge, mental illness or other twisted motives.

I have been on the wrong end of this once before. As the police told the accuser, you have to have proof. The individual spent a sum of money to find the "proof" only to find what she did proved my innocence. She was unfortunately, mentally ill.

Posted by: To KLB SS MD | April 12, 2007 2:37 PM

So, why is hiring a stripper a bad thing? Many are "working" to pay their way through college and get an education, or support a child. These boys could have been performing a public service in keeping a woman off welfare! I just had to stir the pot on this one... where is that ex-star to weigh in? ;-P

Posted by: Chris | April 12, 2007 2:39 PM

To KLB SS MD | April 12, 2007 02:37 PM,
I understand completely and yo uhave every right to be skeptical. I wonder what happens more often - false accusations or failure to accuse due to fear of humiliation and/or reprisal.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 12, 2007 2:39 PM

Jen, parenting is by far the hardest thing I've ever done, and if I could do things differently with my first when she was very young I would in a heartbeat. And I'm sorry if I implied that you were doing it all wrong. I just saw a lot of what I used to think (pre-kids) in what you wrote and responded to that.

Posted by: New Poster | April 12, 2007 2:39 PM

I don't like in NC or DC. I haven't followed this story closely, mostly just the headlines. I don't remember the boys' names now, so I doubt that they will forever be remembered as "the Duke rapists" by the majority of people in this country.

What I do remember is that one of the boys had other charges, possibly some sort of assault charge.

As far as I am concerned, this is a story that is over.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 2:40 PM

"Moxiemom, you think it is reasonable consequence for your reputation to be ruined, to lose a year of college, cost your parents $1m, your teammates to lose a season of a varsity sport for hiring a stripper. That's harsh."

I'm not Moxiemom, but although the system is not perfect, it actually worked for these boys. Probably because they come from privilege, and were able to hire good lawyers to represent them. The real tragedy is that many innocent people end up doing serious jail time because they don't have the money or resources to be properly represented. The system does not work for them, unfortunately, and because they are poor or people of color, no one cares.

Posted by: Emily | April 12, 2007 2:40 PM

You know one of my friends spent two years in prison on a false rape charge. The girl was mad because he went back to the mother of his child. He choose not to fight it because of his son and took the plea bargin.

She had sex with him, he felt bad, told her that he was going back to the other girl and she went straight to the police with her false charge. I am sorry, but this is not acceptable. Of course there was evidence, they had just had sex. His life will never be the same. He is now a registered sex offender.

I just don't think it's okay to lie and no I don't think it's okay that their families however rich they are had to pay all that money for a lie.

Posted by: scarry | April 12, 2007 2:41 PM

"I think the Duke case is an opportunity to teach our sons and daughters to consider the potential outcomes of their actions. Is it illegal to hire a stripper for a group of white young men? Nope, but it sure isn't wise. When you invite certain people or situations into your life, you increase the likelihood of bad outcomes even if you didn't do anything illegal."

Good point, Moxiemom.

It's worth remembering, though, that those boys WERE doing something illegal. Those who were underage were drinking illegally, and those over 21 were illegally providing them with alcohol.

And, frankly, hiring a couple of poor, black, exotic dancers to entertain a bunch of not-poor, alcohol-swilling, white frat-boys wasn't criminal, but it sure was unsavory.

These boys may not be guilty of the crimes they were charged with, but they were definitely guilty of crimes for which they weren't charged. And they're anything but innocent, in the larger sense of the word.

Posted by: pittypat | April 12, 2007 2:42 PM

Emily, these boys didn't do anything wrong, why is OK that this happened to them? You (neither of us) have no idea what type of kids these were, you have assumed that because they a rich white BOYS they deserve what they got. If this happened to your son, how would you feel?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 2:42 PM

Not on either side - just a comment:
..years from now when one of these young men wants to switch jobs and the HR department "googles" him it will all be known so it will indeed follow them.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 12, 2007 2:42 PM

pittpay,

Couldn't disagree more with some of what you just wrote.

>"They'll still have good educations that will get them good jobs. They'll have good food, nice clothes, warm, stable homes, probably pretty good lives, all-in-all."

So I guess that over $1M legal bill per family average that came from this is just something they should, you know, not bother complaining about? I mean, they are rich, right?

Not suggesting any of these young men covered themselves with glory, and maybe they're massive jerks, for all we know. That seems rather beside the point, for this discussion--which is that they were innocent of rape charges.

Seems to me that on this site people daily express agony over every even potential perceived slight, real or imagined, even in the small potato promotions/raises work world.

But these families face seven figure legal bills from false accusations, not a couple thousand dollars here and there, yet should be satisfied that they have "good food, nice clothes, warm, stable homes, probably pretty good lives,"???

And to add to the feat some real jujitsu--for being the bearers of false accusations against them: "Perhaps they will have learned something valuable from this and will work to improve the inequalities that exist in the society they inhabit."

Wow. That's some chutzpah. And I though blaming the victim was what people were supposed to be against...

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | April 12, 2007 2:43 PM

http://news.findlaw.com/nytimes/docs/duke/evans41107dsmsnot.htmlIs

This link goes to a news article, not a legal doc. The only dismissal notices I found connected with this case were Nifong's. I went to the official website of NC Attorney General Roy Cooper. There is a document titled "Comments by Attorney General Roy Cooper: State vs. Finnerty, Evans, Seligmann" under the Press Releases link. This does not appear to be an official dismissal notice, or indeed a legal document.

Is this the doc to which you refer? Is there another legal document issued by the attorney general yesterday that hasn't been posted yet?

I really do want to know if the Attorney General's statement that the players are innocent has legal meaning.

Nifong's dismissal document (facsimile here: http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/1222062duke1.html) uses the language "there is insufficient evidence. . .the State is unable to meet its burden of proof with respect to this offense."

The word innocent is not used in the legal document. It looks to me like the AG used the word "innocent" in a press release, not a legal or court document.

Posted by: Marian | April 12, 2007 2:44 PM

Mona, the TKD dojo you go to is a lot like the Judo dojo my DD goes to. Teachers are all culturally grounded, non-profit studio (all volunteer run, even the office staff, and many of the teachers are public school teachers or former Olympians, or both). Teachers get out there and exercise with the class, belts are given out as appropriate, and tournaments are seen as a way for the kids to learn new skills and practice against new partners (trophies are nice, but not the goal).

I wish there were more martial arts schools (whatever flavor) that kept those kinds of principles. I know we never would have let DD go to the TKD place that had the 'free Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles class with complementary TMNT weapon' sign up last week. UGH!

Posted by: Rebecca in AR | April 12, 2007 2:45 PM

I am glad that you lead a life of such virtue that no actions during your life would be a violation of any law. Ran thru any red lights recently?

Posted by: to Pittypat | April 12, 2007 2:45 PM

pittypat, that was another disgusting post. They didn't do what we charged them with but they must have been guilty of something. The KKK used to say that about black people all the time.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 2:45 PM

"Emily, these boys didn't do anything wrong, why is OK that this happened to them? You (neither of us) have no idea what type of kids these were, you have assumed that because they a rich white BOYS they deserve what they got."

I NEVER said they deserved it. I simply stated that they will get over it. They were exonerated. The system worked for them. They are not in jail. They will move on from it if they are smart. Wallowing in self pity never helps anyone.

Posted by: Emily | April 12, 2007 2:46 PM

Wow, I come back at the end of the day and instead of talking about smelling the roses we are talking about Duke students and strippers. Unfortunately, I do think this event will follow them for life. It is just the world we live in. Regardless if all charges were dropped, some people will always hold it against them. Like moxiemom pointed out, it was just not a smart thing to get involved in.

Posted by: foamgnome | April 12, 2007 2:46 PM

"I don't think you understand the stain associted with a rape charge. These boys will always be the "Duke Rapists" in the eyes of many....I understand that it is hard to feel sorry for rich white kids (male or female, see Tues). But these kids were just trying to live their lives, which have been forever changed for the worst."

I do understand. But pay attention to the comparison I'm making.

Compared to wrongly accused and convicted (and sometimes executed), innocent people, these three guys have their freedom, their whole lives ahead of them, and the skills to be successful.

Posted by: pittypat | April 12, 2007 2:47 PM

Again, all you mothers of sons, if this happened to your son, you would be OK with it? Feel he deserved it for being male?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 2:48 PM

Who among us has never done something that had the potential to be disastrous? Unprotected sex that could have led to an out of wedlock child or an STD, driving after one drink too many or that joint back in college? Sometimes it is just a moment of bad judgement that can follow us forever or, more often, we do not have a child or an STD and make it home safe and sound.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 12, 2007 2:50 PM

I am going to go back home and turn myself in to the police for underage drinking.

Do you guys think the statue of limitations has worn out, do you think they will be easy on me because I am pregnant?

Hey, while I am there I think I will file for divorce too because one time my husband went to a strip club for his buddies bachelor party.

Posted by: scarry | April 12, 2007 2:50 PM

Emily, wallowing in self pitty helps LOTS of people. Look at ANYONE who has gone through ANYTHING in their life. Imagine how much money they will make when they sell their story for a movie, or write a book! Don't forget the talk-show/lecture circuit! The more they wallow about it now, the more cash they can wallow in later. ;-P Note to self: Write book. Wallow. Send to Oprah for endorsement. Wallow some more. Appear on Oprah endorsing book. REALLY wallow it up for the camera. Retire. Wallow in cash.

I bet I said wallow a lot. I wonder if Blog Stats will ever tally who said it the most. ;-P

Posted by: Chris | April 12, 2007 2:51 PM

Compared to wrongly accused and convicted (and sometimes executed), innocent people, these three guys have their freedom, their whole lives ahead of them, and the skills to be successful.

And that makes it OK? An injustice is an injustice regardless of the outcome or the victim. The fact that you bend over backward to find some blame in these boys tells a lot about you. I hope you don't have any sons.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 2:51 PM

Go to this article
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/12/us/12duke.html

Click on the link Text Dissmisal notices (NC vs.

Then scroll down to the scanned document entitled "Dissmial/Notice of Reinstatement"

The word innocent is there.

Posted by: to Marian | April 12, 2007 2:51 PM

Pittypat, I'm with you.

Something tells me these guys will be just fine, despite the ordeal. They have everything going for them. It's unfortunate that they had to ride this wave, but they will most certainly move on.

Posted by: Emily | April 12, 2007 2:52 PM

"Emily, wallowing in self pitty helps LOTS of people. Look at ANYONE who has gone through ANYTHING in their life. Imagine how much money they will make when they sell their story for a movie, or write a book!"

Chris, I don't agree that wallowing in self-pity is the same as writing a book. To me, wallowing means feeling sorry for yourself, moaning and groaning, and doing nothing to help yourself. Writing a book means that you are taking control and doing something to make your life better, by at least making some money. Wallowing does not involve any action. Writing does.

Posted by: Emily | April 12, 2007 2:55 PM

You women who think this is no big deal make me sick.

You spend all day Tuesday talking about how those poor girls have it rough and how hard it is for them. But then something awful happens to some rich white boys, they deserve what they got.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 2:56 PM

You know who gets no pitty, the boys who are "doing it" with their teachers... I mean... DANG! ;-P

Posted by: Chris | April 12, 2007 2:56 PM

Here's a question for all you lawyer types - Is the $1 million legal fee average or is this for "the best legal defense"?

I think this is a sad case all around, but before we feel sorry for the amount of legal fees, I really want to know if they could have bargain-shopped and gone with a less-expensive legal team. I put this is the same category as "Don't complain about the cost of a luxury SUV, when a middle of the road sedan will get you where you are going."

Posted by: anon for this | April 12, 2007 2:57 PM

Anon at 2:56. You need to brush up on your reading comprehension skills. No one here said the Duke guys deserved what they got.

Posted by: Emily | April 12, 2007 2:57 PM

Something tells me these guys will be just fine, despite the ordeal.

Wow, I can just feel the compsassion flowing from you.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 2:58 PM

I don't always agree with pittypat, but this time I think she has a point. There was injustice done to these boys, but they will be fine. Read this story, and then see if you think the Duke boys lives will be altered as much as this man's.

"In the summer of 1984 a nine year old girl was tortured, sodomized, and murdered near her home in Baltimore County, Maryland. Based only on circumstantial evidence, twenty-three year old Kurt Bloodsworth was convicted and sentenced to death. Bloodsworth spent two years on death row awaiting execution before an appeal on a technicality resulted in a new trial. Once again he was convicted. This time, however, he received a life sentence. That sentence was literally a life-saver for Bloodsworth. Nine years after his first trial, conviction, and death sentence, DNA analysis of the child's garments proved that he could not possibly have been the man they were after. The wrong man had been sentenced to death.
Unknown to Bloodsworth, three days after his 1st conviction police and prosecutors learned about David Rehill. Hours after the girl's murder Rehill showed up at a mental health clinic with fresh scratches on his face and told one of the therapists that he was "in trouble with a little girl". Rehill resembled the police composite, and not unsurprisingly looked remarkably like Bloodsworth. But then Bloodsworth was already behind bars. Six months passed before the lead was investigated. While Rehill was eventually interviewed, police records indicate that his alibi was never checked. Nor was he ever placed in a lineup. Despite the fact that the state had known about Rehill for two years prior to Bloodsworth's second trial, that information was withheld from the defense until just days before the second trial. (His attorneys did not have time to investigate and failed to ask for a postponement. The second jury never learned that there was another potential suspect.)"

Posted by: another view | April 12, 2007 3:01 PM

"Wow, I can just feel the compsassion flowing from you."

Look, these guys don't need my compassion, or yours frankly. They have a lot going for them. They'll be fine.

You, on the other hand....

Posted by: Emily | April 12, 2007 3:01 PM

Pittypat: These boys may not be guilty of the crimes they were charged with, but they were definitely guilty of crimes for which they weren't charged. And they're anything but innocent, in the larger sense of the word.

Emily: They'll get over it. They are young, privileged, and apparently innocent. Their lives may never be exactly the same again, but maybe that's not so bad. Perhaps they will never take things for granted again. Their innocence has been announced widely. I doubt that they will be subject to scorn forever. This will blow over eventually, and they even might be better people for it. Worse things have happened to better people.

Emily: No one here said the Duke guys deserved what they got.

In not so many words but, looks like it to me.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 3:01 PM

Look, these guys don't need my compassion, or yours frankly. They have a lot going for them. They'll be fine.

Did you say the same thing about the alpa girls?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 3:02 PM

Emily, here in atlanta we are paying millions of dollars for the defense of brian nichols-who killed a judge and security guard as well as another person (gbi, I think?). The 'normal' defense attorneys on staff are not good enough, the city actually hired very expensive attorneys to try this case-the defense attorneys on staff were apparently not good enough. O wish that money could be spent elsewhere.

Posted by: atlmom | April 12, 2007 3:03 PM

Sad, but it has nothing to do with this case.

Posted by: to another view | April 12, 2007 3:03 PM

I guess compassion is only given to the deserving? And white guys don't deserve it.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 3:03 PM

Atlmom,
Who is Brian Nichols, and why is he getting such special treatment?

Posted by: Emily | April 12, 2007 3:06 PM

(For pittpat and Emily)

You know, some of you and your daughters will probably face some unfair and underserved obstacles in life.

You'll face discrimination, unfair caricatures, unfair expectations about how much you should have to sacrifice to balance your lives.

But don't worry...

1)Something tells me these you'll will be just fine, despite the ordeal. You have everything going for you. It's unfortunate that you had to ride this wave, but you'll will most certainly move on.

2) Compared to wrongly accused and convicted (and sometimes executed), innocent people, you and/or your daughters have your freedom, your whole lives ahead of them, and the skills to be successful.

Now, I NEVER said you or women deserved it. I simply stated that you will get over it. The system worked for you. You are not in jail. And, you will move on from it if you are smart. Wallowing in self pity never helps anyone.

=====================================

Following your suggestions from above to their logical conclusion, we could simply roll up this blog and forget about it. After all, most of the "balance" seekers here are elite people (lawyers, professors, etc.) What hasn't killed you should make you stronger. So none of you have no room for complaints, right, all you well off people?

======================================

When in a hole, stop digging...

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | April 12, 2007 3:06 PM

"Sad, but it has nothing to do with this case."

I disagree. The wealth and privilege of these boys and their families kept them out of jail. That doesn't happen for the average Joe.

Also, if there is such a thing as measuring suffering due to injustice, the Duke boys pale by comparison.

Posted by: another view | April 12, 2007 3:06 PM

"Wallowing does not involve any action."

But anything that is not an action would be inaction, therefore TO BE engaged in the ACT of wallowing, would be doing something, and something is not nothing. I submit that even if they were pretending to wallow, that pretending would be something too. Parry, riposte, touche!

Emily, I have but one more thing to say:
wallow, wallow, wallow, wallow, wallow the yellow brick road. ;-P

Posted by: Chris | April 12, 2007 3:07 PM

Oops - "I don't like in NC or DC"

should be I don't live in...

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 3:09 PM

Look, these guys don't need my compassion, or yours frankly. They have a lot going for them.

Wrong, they HAD a lot going for them, now, in the eyes of many, they are rapist that got away with it.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 3:09 PM

"And to add to the feat some real jujitsu--for being the bearers of false accusations against them: "Perhaps they will have learned something valuable from this and will work to improve the inequalities that exist in the society they inhabit."...Wow. That's some chutzpah. And I though blaming the victim was what people were supposed to be against..."

Well, Texas Dad, it's interesting that one of the boys had this to say at the press conference (quoted from NYT):

"This entire experience has opened my eyes up to a tragic world of injustice I never knew existed," Mr. Seligmann said. "If police officers and a district attorney can systematically railroad us with absolutely no evidence whatsoever, I can't imagine what they'd do to people who do not have the resources to defend themselves. So rather than relying on disparaging stereotypes and creating political and racial conflicts, all of us need to take a step back from this case and learn from it."

A little chutzpah never hurt anyone. I have great hopes for Mr. Seligmann.

Posted by: pittypat | April 12, 2007 3:09 PM

Texas Dad of 2, LMAO! THANK YOU!!!
Laura still has the on topic post of the day, but yours is the off-topic post of the day. :-)

Posted by: Chris | April 12, 2007 3:10 PM

Texas Dad,
You know what? As a woman and a minority in this country, I have faced some unfair and underserved obstacles in life, includiing discrimination, unfair caricatures, unfair expectations about how much you should have to sacrifice to balance your lives.

And you know what else? I am just fine. Better than fine even. I don't expect the world to follow me around with a wailing violin. So get over it. Millions of people do just fine with obstacles and problems much worse than mine, and certainly much worse than those guys at Duke. Stop crying already and be a man.

Posted by: Emily | April 12, 2007 3:11 PM

Moxiemom, you think it is reasonable consequence for your reputation to be ruined, to lose a year of college, cost your parents $1m, your teammates to lose a season of a varsity sport for hiring a stripper. That's harsh.

Don't put words in my mouth. I didn't think it was reasonable, but it certainly isn't something unexpected. It is an opportunity to teach our children about unintended consequences. My son should learn to use caution when dealing with women and alcohol. My daughter should use caution when dealing with men and alcohol. The situation is ripe for misunderstanding. I plan to teach my son to be careful, don't have sex with a girl who is really drunk - she may consent at the time and feel differently later. This case is an example of something that the boys thought was no big deal that mushroomed into a disaster.

Posted by: moxiemom | April 12, 2007 3:11 PM

So, if you spend extensive time defending false charges or actually in prison on false charges, are you then put on the "prison-track" professionally?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 3:14 PM

"I am going to go back home and turn myself in to the police for underage drinking."

Come on, scarry, work with me here.

I made the point about underage drinking because everyone else is shouting, "These boys didn't do anything illegal!!!"

Well, they did.

They also used poor judgment and exhibited a bit of an entitlement attitude -- but these behaviors may just be attributable to the frat/athletic culture.


Posted by: pittypat | April 12, 2007 3:16 PM

So rather than relying on disparaging stereotypes and creating political and racial conflicts, all of us need to take a step back from this case and learn from it."

I suggest you heed his words and realize that you are one of the people he is talking about. You all saw "rich white jock frat boy" and assumed he deserved what he got. And even after it has been determined there was no crime, you still believewhat happened to them wasn't that bad.

It is the hypocricy that gauls me. If this were to happen to a poor black man or a woman, you would be up in a arms about it.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 3:16 PM

Thanks to Posted by: to Marian | April 12, 2007 02:51 PM

This is helpful to my understanding. In my view, the word carries more weight in the legal document than it does at a press conference or in a press release. I hope their investigation was conducted with integrity; the AG and staff certainly had access to more evidence than we the public did.

I've said all along that the DA was wrong to bring charges without sufficient evidence. I believe strongly in the presumption of innocence.

However, I do think that we have to be careful not to equate a lack of evidence with innocence in general. Especially when the alleged victim is as disadvantaged as a poor black woman in the South surely is. The vitriol in the original post on this topic is pretty strong.

Posted by: Marian | April 12, 2007 3:17 PM

"And even after it has been determined there was no crime, you still believewhat happened to them wasn't that bad."

It's not that I believe what happened to them wasn't that bad, I just don't think their lives are ruined because of it. They still have promising futures.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 3:18 PM

For myself, I'm pleased that Mr. Seligman can try to make some lemonade from lemons he didn't ask for. Doesn't mean I should rejoice that he was unfairly pelted with them.

Again, using the word/situation chageout: If your daughter successfully evades rape for her boss's advance, will you rejoice with "great hopes for her" that she used such unfortunatle can learn to take "step back from it and learn how to avoid" rapists in the future? Wouldn't be all be better off condemning the attempted rape from her boss, and condeming it as the only point of issue?

Normal people would eviscerate men for the reversed situational logic you are currently employing, and rightly so, but you have no trouble employing it now. It is frankly surprising...

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | April 12, 2007 3:19 PM

Moxiemom: I didn't think it was reasonable, but it certainly isn't something unexpected.

Would you say that to the girl who got raped when she passed out drunk?

Pittypat: So for the charge of underage drinking, I sentance you to a fine of $1m, loss of year of college, a ruined reputation and the stigma of being a rapist. Make sense to me.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 3:21 PM

"It is the hypocricy that gauls me."

I think you mean, "It is the hypocrisy that galls me."

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 3:22 PM

Oooh, spelling flame

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 3:23 PM

This may become a daily post - when warranted.

Winners today - Pittypat, Scarry, Emily.

There may be a lot of repeat winners.

Posted by: The Please Go Away Award | April 12, 2007 3:24 PM

"It is the hypocricy that gauls me. If this were to happen to a poor black man or a woman, you would be up in a arms about it."

Ironically enough, it happens all the time to black men and women. It just doesn't make any headlines because no body gives a sh*t.

Posted by: Emily | April 12, 2007 3:24 PM

Another thing I have learned from this blog is that I can't type when angry

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 3:24 PM

Texas Dad of 2 - I think a lot of the feelings from women on this issue reflect the poor treatment of legitimate female victims in the past (e.g., she asked for it). Not saying its o.k. but understanding that women have been victimized a second time by the system that is supposed to protect them coupled with the fact that they were certainly engaging in an endeavor that many feel is not respectful of women and the race/class factors may explain why few women are crying tears for these boys.

Posted by: moxiemom | April 12, 2007 3:26 PM

It appears that you have trouble thinking when angry as welll.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 3:26 PM

"I don't expect the world to follow me around with a wailing violin."

But if the world DID follow you around with a wailing violin, would you expect people to stop and listen on their morning commute? ;-)

Posted by: Sarah | April 12, 2007 3:26 PM

Emily- he was going to the court for a hearing and basically wounded the guard who was watching him change from prison guard to 'street' clothes, took her gun, shot and killed the judge and a court reporter, then left the courthouse, stole a car, and wasn't found until the next AM while everyone was petrified because he was out there. Google him-im sure there are a few stories out there about him. It was about two years ago.

Don't know why he is getting such treatment. I have absolutely no idea.

Posted by: atlmom | April 12, 2007 3:26 PM

Sarah,
Very good!!! Touche.

Posted by: Emily | April 12, 2007 3:27 PM

Ironically enough, it happens all the time to black men and women. It just doesn't make any headlines because no body gives a sh*t.

Black men I will buy, but women? Don't believe it.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 3:27 PM

"I think you mean, 'It is the hypocrisy that galls me.'"

Oh, I don't know. Given the opinion many people have of the French, perhaps there is a belief that hipocrisy can Gaul people.

Posted by: Sarah | April 12, 2007 3:28 PM

Yeah, hypocrisy, alright.

It's ok for rap and hip hop "music" to demean women and call whites "crackers", but when Imus (or any other white person) says something, it's racism.

Riiight.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 3:29 PM

Texas Dad of 2 - I think a lot of the feelings from women on this issue reflect the poor treatment of legitimate female victims in the past (e.g., she asked for it). Not saying its o.k. but understanding that women have been victimized a second time by the system that is supposed to protect them coupled with the fact that they were certainly engaging in an endeavor that many feel is not respectful of women and the race/class factors may explain why few women are crying tears for these boys.

i.e. they derserved it because they are boys. Bull&^%*

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 3:30 PM

Emily,

"And you know what else? I am just fine. Better than fine even. I don't expect the world to follow me around with a wailing violin."

Okay. Then we should expect no further complaints about any race and sexism issues, then, right? Because you faced down such issue, heck they actually made you stronger. So racism/sexism aren't necessarily bad things in and or themselves, to be condemned regardless of the harm suffered because of it, right?

Maybe bad things are just situational, you know? In fact, maybe in some cases they are good, or just neutral. Toughen you up a little. Shouldn't always be cast in a negative light, right? I mean, there are starving kids out there in the world today, so this wrong was really a wrong, was it? I mean, it has to be a wrong you care about first, right?

Hole is getting deeper, ladies...toss away the shovels, fast... :~)

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | April 12, 2007 3:30 PM

The double standard is alive and well.

"Millions of people do just fine with obstacles and problems much worse than mine"

I smell something, and it's not roses, or bad music...

Yep those millions are just fine, or would be if they stopped crying. Let them eat cake! Melodramatic hyperbole follows: I just don't know WHY anyone on earth would ever have problems affording daycare for children, food for their mouths, or an Ivy League education! Silver spoons, after all, grow on trees, don't they? Why oh why can't everyone be elite and a woman like me?
---
So, remember, if you're a man, nobody here gives a feces for what happens to you in life.

Posted by: Chris | April 12, 2007 3:30 PM

Texas Dad --

I would answer you if I could, but I can't follow what you're saying. Read what you wrote and see if you can translate. Please enlighten me:

1. What is a "chageout"?

2. What does this mean: "If your daughter successfully evades rape for her boss's advance,"

3. Ditto: "that she used such unfortunatle can learn to take "step back from it and learn how to avoid"

4. Ditto: "Wouldn't be all be better off condemning the attempted rape from her boss,"

Posted by: pittypat | April 12, 2007 3:31 PM

I'm not sure that anyone is saying these boys deserved what they got. They're saying that the judicial system worked and they were fortunate to have the resources to make sure that it did.

If this were to happen to a "poor black man or woman," I might be up in arms, but not because of the color of their skin. Assuming you meant poor as in economically disadvantaged, then such a person would not have the resources to fight this charge, and might well have been wrongly convicted. This would hold just as true for a "poor white person."

If I were one of those boys' parents, I think I'd be feeling a lot of things right now. Grateful that the judicial system "worked." Angry at my son for putting himself in this position (ala MoxieMom's comments). Anxiety over the legal bills. Angry at the woman who falsely accused my son. And REALLY angry at a prosecutor who seemed to have bungled this case from the beginning, and the media for helping everything spin out of control.

Easy for me to say since I'm not facing this, but I hope I'd encourage my son to move on with his life and not dwell on the wrongs he suffered. I'd encourage him to get counseling, and I'd probably also recommend that he move out of state for awhile for a fresh start.

Regardless, saying that these boys (men, really) are in a better position to recover from this injustice than your average falsely accused person does not imply they "deserved" to suffer. They certainly didn't.

Posted by: Vegas Mom | April 12, 2007 3:31 PM

Would you say that to the girl who got raped when she passed out drunk?

Umm, yeah. The fact that a girl could very likely be raped when passed out drunk is why I will strongly advise my daughter against putting herself in that situation. don't twist my words to make it sound like I blame the victim. I will also tell my daughter and son to: lock their doors at night, don't go into known bad neighborhoods, choose your friends carefully etc... While people who commit crimes should be convicted, I think we have a responsibility as parents to help our children lean how to avoid being the victim of a crime which is exactly the example this case provides to parents.

Posted by: moxiemom | April 12, 2007 3:31 PM

"Don't know why he is getting such treatment. I have absolutely no idea."

Innocent until proven guilty? Entitled to the same defense as the Duke boys?

Megan, chime in any time.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 3:31 PM

Note to son: don't hire strippers. don't treat women as objects. bad things come of this.

Posted by: Arington Dad | April 12, 2007 3:32 PM

It appears that you have trouble thinking when angry as welll

What a thinking post on your part

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 3:32 PM

New poster-- I used to treat my son as an equal and treated his choices as just as valid as my own-- but that just wasn't working. His choices seemed purposely selected to make me go nuts!

So I've become a bit more of the "Benevolent dictator" and it seems to be working. I'll consider what he wants but the bottom line is that I make the decisions.

Oh no! I've become. . . . . "The Decisionmaker"!

No seriously, I'll consider other parenting methods, but just so you know my ideal response would be "No let's not look at bugs until we get to the playground-- then you can spend as much time looking at bugs as you like while I read a book/chat with neighbors/ do Tae Kwan Do, etc."

Posted by: Jen | April 12, 2007 3:33 PM

Texas Dad,
You seem to think that my refusal to say that the Duke's guys lives are ruined means that I think they deserved what they got. Not so.

What happened to the Duke guys was unfortunte. It was an ordeal for them. It is wrong to for anyone to wrongfully accuse another. That said, the Duke guys will recover from this. Their lives are not ruined. They will be okay.

Is that so hard to understand?

Posted by: Emily | April 12, 2007 3:33 PM

Ironically enough, it happens all the time to black men and women. It just doesn't make any headlines because no body gives a sh*t.

Posted by: Emily | April 12, 2007 03:24 PM

Amen to that.

Also, just because these young men (not boys) were found not to have committed rape and/or sexual assault doesn't mean they are totally innocent, totally railroaded victims.

Something happened in that house that day. According to the investigation, it wasn't rape or sexual assault. But something happened. Does that mean those young men deserved to be falsely accused of rape? Of course not. But I find the use of the word "innocent" by the attorneys in NC to be purposeful, unprofessional and politically charged.

Posted by: theoriginalmomof2 | April 12, 2007 3:34 PM

Note to son: don't hire strippers. don't treat women as objects. bad things come of this.

Posted by: Arington Dad | April 12, 2007 03:32 PM

I'm sensing a bit of sarcasm in your post (please tell me if I read you wrong) - seriously, what kind of man would teach his son anything other than that?

Posted by: moxiemom | April 12, 2007 3:35 PM

Vegas mom: Regardless, saying that these boys (men, really) are in a better position to recover from this injustice than your average falsely accused person does not imply they "deserved" to suffer. They certainly didn't.

Thank you for saying outright that they didn't deserve it. That is more than I have heard from pittypat and Emily.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 3:37 PM

pittypat no I won't work with you on this one because I don't agree with you. Sorry.

Posted by: scarry | April 12, 2007 3:39 PM

Also, just because these young men (not boys) were found not to have committed rape and/or sexual assault doesn't mean they are totally innocent, totally railroaded victims.

Something happened in that house that day. According to the investigation, it wasn't rape or sexual assault. But something happened. Does that mean those young men deserved to be falsely accused of rape? Of course not. But I find the use of the word "innocent" by the attorneys in NC to be purposeful, unprofessional and politically charged.

Purposeful, becuse they can't find ANY evidence of a crime OR guilt. One person for "rapist who got away with it".

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 3:40 PM

"This may become a daily post - when warranted.

Winners today - Pittypat, Scarry, Emily.

There may be a lot of repeat winners.

Posted by: The Please Go Away Award | April 12, 2007 03:24 PM"

Posted by: you win the STFU award | April 12, 2007 3:41 PM

Everything bad that happens in life can be overcome- if you have the mind and heart to do it. Again, smell the roses. Think of how awful some people in this world have it, and be thankful for the opportunities you have. Do not however presume to think that you are in any way elite for your station in life, for the blood of those less fortunate is the same red as yours. Injustices are called injustices for a reason, and everyone deals with them differently, according to their resources; spiritual, mental, and physical. Again, to judge that the wronging of a man, is any less than the wronging of a woman, or vice-versa, is still judgemental, and in placing yourself in the position of judge, you have placed yourself not only as an elitist, but more importantly, you have placed someone as being beneath you- but regardless of your station, in doing so, you will have missed an opportunity to experience compassion and sympathy, emotions that are often misplaced, if not disgarded in our frantic unbalanced lives. So, in short, it is the one who scrambles to have it all, who has the least.

Posted by: Chris | April 12, 2007 3:42 PM

"Thank you for saying outright that they didn't deserve it. That is more than I have heard from pittypat and Emily."

I believe Emily did, several times. Most recently at 3:33.

Posted by: Vegas Mom | April 12, 2007 3:42 PM

Moxiemom -- NO saracasm there. I was illustrating that it's a simple message, and we need to instill some version of it in our sons.

"What kind of man would teach his son anything other than that?" What about the
-- Playboy subscription
-- Porn stash
-- Gawking at the low cut blouse
-- Not treating Mom with respect
-- Sadly, the list goes on. There are all sorts of subtle and not so subtle ways to make our sons think -- on some level -- it's okay to hire stripper or have sex with a drunk girl.

That's why fatherhood is such an important job.

Posted by: Arlington Dad | April 12, 2007 3:42 PM

Texas dad of 2 you really started a fight today!

Posted by: scarry | April 12, 2007 3:43 PM

Vegas Mom and The Original Mom of 2:

Thanks for your excellent insights into this issue.

The kneejerk boys on this blog who spend their days itching for a fight -- preferably with a woman -- are having a grand time today. They don't actually care about the issue itself; they just want to argue, condemn, demean, and self-congratulate.

P.S. I'm referring only to the jerks on the blog (they know who they are), not to the vast majority of the men here who contribute thoughtful comments daily.

Posted by: pittypat | April 12, 2007 3:43 PM

P.S. I'm referring only to the jerks on the blog (they know who they are), not to the vast majority of the men here who contribute thoughtful comments daily.

That is not fair. Just because they don't agree with you.

Posted by: to pittypat | April 12, 2007 3:45 PM

Arlington Dad,
You are so right. I'm glad there are dads like you out there. :)

Posted by: Emily | April 12, 2007 3:45 PM

I believe Emily did, several times. Most recently at 3:33

I didn't see this post whilee I was typing. But that was the first time she said it in so many words.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 3:46 PM

Ok, scarry.

But it's unlike you to be sarcastic instead of informative; usually you say that you disagree and why.

Don't understand why you opted for ridicule here.

Posted by: pittypat | April 12, 2007 3:46 PM

"Texas dad of 2 you really started a fight today! "

That was his obvious intention; he has tried it before on other topics.

I'm surprised that so many fell for this!

Posted by: Leo | April 12, 2007 3:46 PM

Moxie,

At least your post gives a potential reason for this flagrantly unequal sentiment. Doesn't make it acceptable, but offers some perspective on the blind spot.

Though frankly after being called on it, being shown the double standard/hypocrisy of your position, and then ruminating on it for a few minutes, I would think of all people this blog's posters might decide taking this line of logic is very self-defeating.

Because following the reasoning of pitty and Emily cuts off the very good will they usually want to call upon by the powers that be when trying to bring the daily "balance" injustices to light. Because if wrong is only wrong when YOU care about it, or you feel it sufficiently affects something you care about, well...

No one has to trip over themselves caring or getting deeply involved in this case. I don't care all that much. Regardless of commitment level to the topic, it doesn't mean you don't move to call something that is wrong, wrong. Not some half version of "they kind of deserved it, those rich white boys."

I mean, other than being a non-rich white guy, I have nothing in common with these guys. They might be nice, they might be jerks, they might be in the middle. But I have no problem saying wrong is wrong. I have no problem saying this idiotic DA should be disbarred. Unequivocally.

Then the topic subject moves on...

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | April 12, 2007 3:48 PM

"I didn't see this post whilee I was typing. But that was the first time she said it in so many words."

Perhaps that's true, but it's not my fault you have no understanding of nuance.

Posted by: Emily | April 12, 2007 3:49 PM

Ok, scarry.

But it's unlike you to be sarcastic instead of informative; usually you say that you disagree and why.

Don't understand why you opted for ridicule here.

I was not making fun of you. I was making light of the situation. I thought it was funny that you brought up underage drinking as a crime when I bet almost everyone on this blog has done it. That's all. I thought it was funny. Sorry if I hurt your feelings.

Posted by: scarry | April 12, 2007 3:50 PM

To pittypat:

Yeah, I know I am being a jerk about this but you are too. What dose calling me kneejerk boy have to do with the issue. If a man had the smae opinion as you I would be arguing with him too.

My main issue is the double standard you don't even see. If it happens to a man, it is no big deal because we are only men and on some level we deserve it. But if it happens toi a woman, we must do something to fix it.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 3:51 PM

One of these poor innocent boys was arrested and found guilty of gay-bashing while intoxicated in Washington, DC. He randomnly walked up to a stranger on the street and beat him while yelling anti-gay slurs. It's a matter of proven fact, he pleaded to it. And the victim has had to deal with that incident for the rest of his whole life too.

While no one deserves to be falsely charged, I am tired of hearing about these poor innocent boys. They were boys with prior criminal (violent) records.

Posted by: DC | April 12, 2007 3:52 PM

Uh, is it time to smell the roses or listen to the violins?

Posted by: Arlington Dad | April 12, 2007 3:52 PM

They were boys with prior criminal (violent) records.

Didn't know that one equaled three. I need to take math again.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 3:54 PM

It's time to eat the chocolate chip cookies in the breakroom!

Posted by: Vegas Mom | April 12, 2007 3:54 PM

Texas Dad of 2

"But I have no problem saying wrong is wrong. I have no problem saying this idiotic DA should be disbarred. "


Then why not make your statement and leave it at that?

Why attach yourself to an article fraught with controversy?

Posted by: John | April 12, 2007 3:54 PM

Perhaps that's true, but it's not my fault you have no understanding of nuance.

It's not my fault you nuance read differently to me. Clear communication is the responsibility of the speaker, not the listener.

Besides, why the nuance anyways, why was it so hard for you say the words?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 3:55 PM

Arlington dad - my apologies for misunderstanding your tone. Bravo to you!

Texas Dad of 2 - In a situation like this I think it is very difficult to be unbiased and given the anonymous nature of this blog none of us know the baggage that any given poster brings to the table.

Posted by: moxiemom | April 12, 2007 3:56 PM

scarry,

You didn't hurt my feelings. I was just disappointed in you.

Posted by: pittypat | April 12, 2007 3:57 PM

"Because following the reasoning of pitty and Emily cuts off the very good will they usually want to call upon by the powers that be when trying to bring the daily "balance" injustices to light. Because if wrong is only wrong when YOU care about it, or you feel it sufficiently affects something you care about, well..."

I have to laugh at the perspective of the stereotypical white male. For centuries, while males have spent their time oppressing others, including women, people of other races, etc. And they haven't even batted an eye. Thanks to the white man, slavery was okay less than 200 years ago. Women did not get the vote until this century. Segregation was part of this country's culture less than 50 years ago.

But when they feel even the slightest injustice against themselves, then man oh man, the world needs to stop and take notice and explicitly acknowledge and denouce the injustice. Otherwise, it's hypocrisy. Get our your violins, everyone. It is time to play the White Man's Wail Against the Cruel, Hypocritical world.

Texas Dad, you never cease to make me laugh.

Posted by: Emily | April 12, 2007 3:58 PM

To self-proclaimed jerk @ 3:51 p.m. --

Please show me where, in all of my posts today, I said anything approximating what's in your second paragraph.

Posted by: pittypat | April 12, 2007 4:00 PM

scarry,

You didn't hurt my feelings. I was just disappointed in you.

Because I made a joke? I mean I think you know where I stand on the issue. It is okay for me to disagree every now and then.

Posted by: scarry | April 12, 2007 4:01 PM

That's not what I meant when I suggested we smell the roses and listen to the violins

Posted by: Arligton Dad | April 12, 2007 4:01 PM

It's time to eat the chocolate chip cookies in the breakroom!

Posted by: Vegas Mom | April 12, 2007 03:54 PM

It is time for a poem - I can't believe Chris hasn't hit this yet:

Roses need smelled
Violets need picked
Gums needs chewed
and Lollipops licked

I haven't had time to read anything yet, no other contributions at this time.

Posted by: cmac | April 12, 2007 4:01 PM

"It's not my fault you nuance read differently to me. Clear communication is the responsibility of the speaker, not the listener. Besides, why the nuance anyways, why was it so hard for you say the words?"

3:55 -- Why is it so hard for you to write them? Geez, go back and read your post. "Clear communication" ain't comin' out of you, honey!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 4:04 PM

I have to laugh at the perspective of the stereotypical white male. For centuries, while males have spent their time oppressing others, including women, people of other races, etc.

Were you around for centuries? Me neither.

I have laugh at the perspective of the stereotypical feminist. Who feels that if it happen to man, he deserves it for the sins of his (and your) father.

I guess equality is only for women.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 4:04 PM

Please show me where, in all of my posts today, I said anything approximating what's in your second paragraph.

It's all in the nuance.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 4:05 PM

Roses need smelled
Violets need picked
Gums needs chewed
and Lollipops licked

Um, in keeping with the theme today, can we say:
"Violins need picked"?

Can you pick a violin? I know you can pick a fiddle, but I think the purists would say there's a difference.

Can't think of a good way to adjust the other two lines to go along with the blog's weird tangent today. Perhaps we can make it a group effort. Any ideas out there?

Posted by: Vegas Mom | April 12, 2007 4:07 PM

"Were you around for centuries? Me neither."

You don't have to have lived through all those centuries to feel the present effect of all those centuries of oppression and exploitation. What happened in the past does influence the present.

Posted by: Emily | April 12, 2007 4:07 PM

You don't have to have lived through all those centuries to feel the present effect of all those centuries of oppression and exploitation. What happened in the past does influence the present.

Posted by: Emily | April 12, 2007 04:07 PM

In other words, men deserve what they get.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 4:09 PM

Emily --

LOL! You're sooooo right!

Don't you think it's interesting that breast cancer research has hobbled along for decades with only modest successes due to inadequate research funding, but when prostate cancer hit public consciousness a few years back (due to improved testing for early diagnosis), suddenly gender-specific cancer was A BIG DEAL?

In no possible way do men suffer inequities on a level with women in our society.

Ok, guys -- let 'em fly!

Posted by: pittypat | April 12, 2007 4:10 PM

I think I stood partially accused of picking fights. Not so.

I do freely admit to bringing hard/topical subjects to the table. What do you truly get from time spent on milquetoast subjects?

I also enjoy talking to people with viewpoints unlike my own. I find I learn a lot more that way, and I even better organize those things I do firmly believe in better.

John,

I posted the original because I found myself with opposing thoughts on whether publishing that type of article helps defer false accusations in the future (considering the very unfortunate outcome for these families), or does a greater evil occur if it silences real rape victims. The topic was legitimate to me on those grounds.

After some good discussion, a few posters started down this "this bad thing wasn't really a bad thing" road, which I found rather astounding. If something is bad is only bad when compared to the number of genocide victims this year, or some other arbitrary standard like false imprisonment (which is obviously worse than this, so what?), then no injustice mentioned on this blog will ever reasonably be allowed to be called bad.

So to kick this back out of the rut, I came back with my previous post to say let's call this bad what it is (bad) and move on...I hope we can.

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | April 12, 2007 4:11 PM

Don't forget the best example of male bias - research in the 1960s that cited no ill effects of menopause. But these results may have something to do with the fact that men were the participants not women.

Posted by: mountainS | April 12, 2007 4:12 PM

scarry,

No. I just have a very high opinion of you. You're one of the folks on this blog that I particularly admire because you're completely honest and you don't play bu**s**t games.

Posted by: pittypat | April 12, 2007 4:13 PM

In no possible way do men suffer inequities on a level with women in our society.

Ok, guys -- let 'em fly!

Posted by: pittypat | April 12, 2007 04:10 PM

At least your sexism is out in the open.

So you are saying that inequities only matter when they disfavor women.

How many generations before we are equally suffering?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 4:13 PM

Pittypat -- If you want to argue medical gender inequalities, talk about ED drugs, but stay away from the prostate!

sorry that sounds gross.

Posted by: Arlington Dad | April 12, 2007 4:14 PM

scarry,

No. I just have a very high opinion of you. You're one of the folks on this blog that I particularly admire because you're completely honest and you don't play bu**s**t games.

Posted by: pittypat | April 12, 2007 04:13 PM

And she's a woman ;)

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 4:16 PM

Late to the game on the Duke case but saw a "Crisis Managment Expert" on the news this morning talking about the Duke boys. He claimed that as long as these boys don't over expose themselves on publicity - they will be okay. I know they are going to sue in Civil court - they should - combined they spent close to 3 million defending themselves. If they write a book and donate the proceeds to a charity for legal services for the underprivileged - hooray for them. However, if they start showing up with Paris Hilton to Hollywood parties or do a Saturday Night Live parody - they will compromise themsleves.

I do think these kids will be fine, but it doesn't mean they deserved what they got. If this had been my kid I would have had a hard time containing myself like their parents did.

Just saw that Nifong apologized? Too late, he is toast.

Posted by: cmac | April 12, 2007 4:16 PM

Arlington Dad,

Won't come near your prostate. I promise!

By the way, what you wrote earlier on the responsibilities of a good dad was awesome.

Posted by: pittypat | April 12, 2007 4:18 PM

Cave assignment time

Officer Krupke for usurping my prerogative of cave assignments (his comment yesterday), Chris for whatever but never in retribution for the creepy van song and Blog Stats for noting that I was No. 1 in a stat on a day that I was absent but not even in the running on a day that I am here.

Officer Krupke is assigned to the knuckle dragging cave as all liberals know that only knuckle draggers become cops and the converse.

Chris for two weeks to the Auxiliary Neanderthal and Bad Poets cave for 2 weeks.

Blog Stats to the prime numbers cave until he can recite pi to 600 million places.

Posted by: Fred | April 12, 2007 4:18 PM

Undergrounders, please check your email.

Posted by: catlady | April 12, 2007 4:19 PM

Vegas mom - my poem reflected my hungry side - I have not had my snack this afternoon.

Posted by: cmac | April 12, 2007 4:19 PM

Pittypat -- you know you've rubbed me the wrong way in previous discussions on different topics. But I gotta tell ya, I thought you were pretty clear-headed today, and don't think you deserve to called sexist. I also think some people didn't understand your use of the word "innocence." But that's my opinion.

Posted by: Arlington Dad | April 12, 2007 4:19 PM

I happen to think that the prostate exam is a good step towards equalizing things although they'd have to do a lot to make up for the annual GYN visit and having to give birth in a room full of people - but its a start.

Posted by: moxiemom | April 12, 2007 4:20 PM

Moxiemom,
Right on. And an annual colonoscopy may also be a good route toward equalizing things as well.

Posted by: Emily | April 12, 2007 4:22 PM

Okay, Moxiemom. I had that exam for the first last month. And I am traumatized. This is the one are where I've gotta say I'm all for the gender inequality. It's not fair, but it's the truth.

Susan Komens, give us some of your Pink Money so we can develop a kind, gentle, external, accuarte Postate exam.

And Moxiemom, you are as sympathetic as my wife.

Posted by: Arlington Dad | April 12, 2007 4:23 PM

Arlington Dad,

You're exactly right on the "innocence" thing. I wasn't talking about legal innocence but about innocence of character.

Emily was right that using nuance on this blog can be problematic.

Posted by: pittypat | April 12, 2007 4:24 PM

I happen to think that the prostate exam is a good step towards equalizing things although they'd have to do a lot to make up for the annual GYN visit and having to give birth in a room full of people - but its a start.

Posted by: moxiemom | April 12, 2007 04:20 PM

Moxiemom,
Right on. And an annual colonoscopy may also be a good route toward equalizing things as well.

Posted by: Emily | April 12, 2007 04:22 PM

Maybe a good kick in the balls for good measure?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 4:28 PM

Prostate exams and coloscopys are the EXACT OPPOSITE of smelling the roses, folks.

Posted by: Arlington Dad | April 12, 2007 4:28 PM

I happen to think that the prostate exam is a good step towards equalizing things although they'd have to do a lot to make up for the annual GYN visit and having to give birth in a room full of people - but its a start.

Posted by: moxiemom | April 12, 2007 04:20 PM

A good equalizer would be to have at least one other person looking on while the prostate exam is actually being administered. With commentary, like "Wow, your sphincter is really tight!" Or something like that.

Posted by: theoriginalmomof2 | April 12, 2007 4:28 PM

"Susan Komens, give us some of your Pink Money so we can develop a kind, gentle, external, accuarte Postate exam."

Sorry, but you're not getting a cent from Susan Komens until we can develop a gentle, external, accurate, pelvic exam. In the meantime, you'll have to suffer just like us girls. Except no one asks us to cough. (why do they do that?).

Posted by: Emily | April 12, 2007 4:29 PM

Have authorities had the Duke rape-accuser examined by psychiatrists for serious mental illness, such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, etc.?

Posted by: catlady | April 12, 2007 4:29 PM

"Maybe a good kick in the balls for good measure?"

Maybe.... Are you volunteering?

Posted by: Emily | April 12, 2007 4:29 PM

Prostate exams and coloscopys are the EXACT OPPOSITE of smelling the roses, folks.

Posted by: Arlington Dad | April 12, 2007 04:28 PM

Moon River!!!

Posted by: cmac | April 12, 2007 4:29 PM

"Why don't you merely carry a gun and shoot every man that you come in contact with?

Posted by: | April 12, 2007 02:10 PM "

A gun won't fit in my vagina, but maybe yours could accommodate one...

And not every man I come in contact with is a rapist.

Posted by: Mona | April 12, 2007 4:30 PM

I would have stopped with my kids. Maybe not for long but at least for awhile. I think music is very important to children.

Posted by: downtown mom | April 12, 2007 4:31 PM

You're exactly right on the "innocence" thing. I wasn't talking about legal innocence but about innocence of character.

Emily was right that using nuance on this blog can be problematic.

Posted by: pittypat | April 12, 2007 04:24 PM

Have you met these boys? On what basis are you judging their character? The one that beat up the homeless guy, I understand, but the other two? One of whom you praised above. You are judging them on the basis of their gender. which to me = sexist.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 4:31 PM

"In no possible way do men suffer inequities on a level with women in our society."

And what's even worse, those nasty men have conspired to die at younger ages than women forcing women to suffer even longer than men.

[BTW -- anybody look at the gender breakdown on servicemen and servicewomen deaths in Iraq -- I'm sure it's pretty close to 50/50, yes?]

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 4:32 PM

Oh, man, I leave for a couple of hours and come back to "A gun won't fit in my vagina, but maybe yours could accommodate one..."?? I hereby nominate Mona for the shot-milk-out-of-my-nose award of the day.

Posted by: Laura | April 12, 2007 4:33 PM

"Maybe a good kick in the balls for good measure?"

Maybe.... Are you volunteering?

Posted by: Emily | April 12, 2007 04:29 PM

Not my idea of fun, but I am sure someone will volunteer.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 4:35 PM

Texas dad of 2 wrote,

"I posted the original because I found myself with opposing thoughts on whether publishing that type of article helps defer false accusations in the future (considering the very unfortunate outcome for these families), or does a greater evil occur if it silences real rape victims. The topic was legitimate to me on those grounds"

Your opposing thoughts are interesting. I had a completely different thought about publishing the article. Your comments seem to center around the accuser - does it deter false accusation or silence real accusations. My thoughts are about credibility - will future accusers not be believed because there have been false accusations in the past.

I find it interesting that you feel that this incident could affect what victims will say, and I think it could affect what the accused will say (I'm innocent, it's a false accusation).

I think the tragedy for true victims of rape as a result of this incident is that their credibility will be questioned more than ever, and guilty people may have a better chance of not being convicted if there is only circumstantial evidence as opposed to direct DNA evidence.

Posted by: xyz | April 12, 2007 4:36 PM

To anon at3:31

Read what I wrote!!! I was responding to emily who was saying that poor people don't get to have fancy lawyers. And I gave an example wherein someone who will never again see the light of day has the city of atlanta *not* using its own attorneys and hiring very expnsive(and I'm paying for it) legal defense. Yes, everyone deserves representation, but I was giving a counter point to emily's assumptions.

Posted by: atlmom | April 12, 2007 4:37 PM

catlady - I think the State Attorney General was alluding to the fact that charges will not be brought against the false accuser because she actually believes they happened to her, which to me indicated mental illness.

From what I have heard on the news she had falsely accused 2 other people of rape before, I can't confirm that obviously.

Posted by: cmac | April 12, 2007 4:37 PM

And not every man I come in contact with is a rapist.

Posted by: Mona | April 12, 2007 04:30 PM

Just a potential one. ;)

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 4:37 PM

"Except no one asks us to cough. (why do they do that?)."

That question was answered in a magazine one of my teenage daughters left lying around the house. I don't remembe the magazine, but it was an article along the lines of everything you wanted to know about boys but were afraid to ask. LOL

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 4:39 PM

Roses need smelled
Violets need picked
Gums needs chewed
and Lollipops licked

Posted by: cmac | April 12, 2007 04:01 PM


cmac, do you have roots in Pittsburgh?

Posted by: In da 'Burgh | April 12, 2007 4:39 PM

In da 'Burgh:

My dad is from Pittsburgh. Do I have an accent on the blog?

Posted by: cmac | April 12, 2007 4:40 PM

"Have you met these boys? On what basis are you judging their character?"

They were at a party where a poor woman was hired to dance and take off her clothes.

I'm not saying they were rapists, I'm not saying they 'got what they deserved.' Were are discussing character here.

"You are judging them on the basis of their gender. which to me = sexist."

judging them based on the fact that they hired a poor woman to dance naked for them. Not judging on gender.

Posted by: Arlington Dad | April 12, 2007 4:41 PM

To anon at3:31

Read what I wrote!!! I was responding to emily who was saying that poor people don't get to have fancy lawyers. And I gave an example wherein someone who will never again see the light of day has the city of atlanta *not* using its own attorneys and hiring very expnsive(and I'm paying for it) legal defense. Yes, everyone deserves representation, but I was giving a counter point to emily's assumptions.

Posted by: atlmom | April 12, 2007 04:37 PM


I am the kneejerk boy, not the anon that responded to you.

Posted by: KneejerkBoy | April 12, 2007 4:43 PM

I love Pittsburgh. Even thought about moving out there. It just seems like such a livable city.

Posted by: Emily | April 12, 2007 4:44 PM

judging them based on the fact that they hired a poor woman to dance naked for them. Not judging on gender.

Posted by: Arlington Dad | April 12, 2007 04:41 PM

So every man who has ever gone to strip club is lacking in charater? You tar with a pretty wide brush.

I guess my college girlfriend who hired stripper for my birthday has no character either.

And what about women who hire a male stripper for their bachelorette partys? Are they equally lacking in character?
Do they deserve to charged with rape too?

Posted by: KneejerkBoy | April 12, 2007 4:48 PM

Smell the roses
Drink the wine
Hear the music
It is fine

Life is short
And life is cruel
Talk a walk
jump in the pool

Carpe Diem
While you can
Soon you'll die
So enjoy, man.

Posted by: Emily | April 12, 2007 4:52 PM

Your girlfriend hired a stripper for you. That's sad on so many levels.

Posted by: Arlington Dad | April 12, 2007 4:52 PM

cmac, are yinz jaggin' me? See http://www.pittsburghese.com

Posted by: In da 'Burgh | April 12, 2007 4:54 PM

"I think I stood partially accused of picking fights."

Not by me, I was making yet another bad joke. I thought it was a good topic, because most of us have strong feelings about it. I know I do.

Posted by: scarry | April 12, 2007 4:56 PM

I always thought there must be something wrong with men who get their sexual satisfaction form porn and strippers. Eeww.

Posted by: Emily | April 12, 2007 4:58 PM

Emily, are you referring to when Pittsburgh was named "Most Livable City" back in 1985?

Posted by: In da 'Burgh | April 12, 2007 4:58 PM

Is it still livable? It just seemed very friendly to me.

Posted by: Emily | April 12, 2007 4:59 PM

Your girlfriend hired a stripper for you. That's sad on so many levels.

Posted by: Arlington Dad | April 12, 2007 04:52 PM

I agree. There are wives who will buy their husbands Playboy. And I once knew a man who said his girlfriend insisted on going to a strip club with him (I guess to see what all the "fuss" about). I wonder why women do these things?

Posted by: theoriginalmomof2 | April 12, 2007 5:02 PM

Your girlfriend hired a stripper for you. That's sad on so many levels.

Posted by: Arlington Dad | April 12, 2007 04:52 PM

Not my girlfreind anymore. (we had her charged with rape).

Haven't been in a strip club for decades. You didn't answer my question(s) though.

I always thought there must be something wrong with men who get their sexual satisfaction form porn and strippers. Eeww.

Posted by: Emily | April 12, 2007 04:58 PM

Why am I not surprised?

Posted by: KneejerkBoy | April 12, 2007 5:02 PM

I always thought there must be something wrong with men who get their sexual satisfaction form porn and strippers. Eeww.

Posted by: Emily | April 12, 2007 04:58 PM

Do you feel the same way about women who do?

Posted by: KneeerkBoy | April 12, 2007 5:05 PM

I'll take KneeJERK Boy's bait, although I suspect I'll regret it.

Personally, I'm turned off by men who frequent strip clubs, subscribe to Playboy, or watch porn. Very high ick factor for me. And it sends a message to me about how they view women.

I'll give the guy who's gone to one or two bachelor parties the benefit of the doubt, assuming he behaved himself while there.

I don't understand women who hire strippers for their husbands or boyfriends. I've never been tempted to do that, and I suspect it's a sign of low self-esteem. My husband would be mortified if I did such a thing, but that's just us.

I'm not any more fond of male strippers than I am of the female variety. Never been tempted to engage. They seem very plastic to me.

Any of the people you named may be lacking in character. I try not to judge someone's character based on so little information. No one deserves to be charged with rape if they are innocent.

And I'll say it again, I don't think anyone here has said (or even implied, nuanced or not) that those boys "deserved" to be charged with rape. They merely pointed out they were fortunate to have the resources to fight the charges and that they would likely recover from the experience. Some have pointed out that they made some poor decisions that night (which, by the way, I agree with).

Can we go back to roses, violins, and bad poetry?

Posted by: Vegas Mom | April 12, 2007 5:05 PM

Why am I not surprised?

Posted by: KneejerkBoy | April 12, 2007 05:02 PM


Why am I not surprise that you're not surprised?

Posted by: To KneejerkBoy | April 12, 2007 5:06 PM

Do you feel the same way about women who do?

Yes. Double eeww.

Posted by: Emily | April 12, 2007 5:06 PM

Yes, Pittsburgh is still a friendly place.

Posted by: In da 'Burgh | April 12, 2007 5:08 PM

Well, the guys I know took each other out to high end steak houses for bachelor parties.

In my early 20s, I went to a bachelorette party where some of the bride's friends hired a male stripper. I found it pretty tacky, and have to admit I did drink a lot as I found it pretty embarrassing to be there. I wouldn't have gone if I had known there would be a stripper. No one tried to touch the guy or take him in a bathroom though.

Back then, women watching men strip was still pretty new. I doubt many young women were very bold with the strippers.

I'd have to look it up again, but I think there were witnesses who confirmed that young men at the Duke Lacrosse party made racist and violent comments (something about gesturing with a broomstick) to the strippers. If this is true, I would say that points to a lack of character. Not that a lack of character should lead to criminal charges. However, while they didn't deserve $1m in legal costs, they are not entirely sympathetic characters.

Posted by: Marian | April 12, 2007 5:11 PM

I don't understand women who hire strippers for their husbands or boyfriends.

...

Any of the people you named may be lacking in character. I try not to judge someone's character based on so little information. No one deserves to be charged with rape if they are innocent.

Posted by: Vegas Mom | April 12, 2007 05:05 PM


On the first: Me either.

On the second: What a perfect answer to the question posed. You get a gold star ;)

Maybe deserved was a pretty srong word, but lack of outrage or acknowledgement got the best of me. I still think pittypat thinks these boys deserved it on some level.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 5:11 PM

What's the job market like? I work for the feds, so it may be hard to find something comparable that pays as well. But if I found something, I could pretty much sell my place and buy a house outright in Pittsburg. And then, I would really be able to smell the roses.

Posted by: Emily | April 12, 2007 5:12 PM

That post at
Posted by: | April 12, 2007 05:11 PM

was me. 5pm EST, see ya

Posted by: KneejerkBoy | April 12, 2007 5:13 PM

I don't work for the Feds so don't know all about their hiring system, but there's a Federal office building and Federal courthouse dahntahn (downtown), so there are definitely Federal jobs here. Wouldn't Federal openings nationwide be listed in a directory?

Posted by: In da 'Burgh | April 12, 2007 5:18 PM

Emily, if you move to Pittsburgh can I change my name to Emily's Neighbor? I think there's a precedent on this blog.

Posted by: In da 'Burgh | April 12, 2007 5:20 PM

"I always thought there must be something wrong with men who get their sexual satisfaction form porn and strippers. Eeww."

Agreed - why would any man get turned on seeing attractive naked women doing sexually suggestive activities? Just defies the imagination...

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 5:21 PM

Ok, Vegas Mom. Here's some more bad poetry:

There once was a blog named "On Balance"
Which boasted a bevy of talents.
Some posters were pills,
Some thinkers, some shills.
And some of them even ate all plants.

Posted by: pittypat | April 12, 2007 5:27 PM

Speaking of poetry, there's a limerick lurking in the blog posts today, but I'm not talented enough to tease it out. We need Weingarten. I'm not sure if he'd be happy or horrified that we turned a discussion of his article about stopping to smell the roses into a debate about class, race, and strippers.

I got a gold star from KneeJERK Boy! Not sure how I feel about that . . . .

Posted by: Vegas Mom | April 12, 2007 5:28 PM

"I don't work for the Feds so don't know all about their hiring system, but there's a Federal office building and Federal courthouse dahntahn (downtown), so there are definitely Federal jobs here. Wouldn't Federal openings nationwide be listed in a directory?"

I actually saw the building when I visited, and took a look on the federal jobs website to see what was available in Pittsburgh. Kinda slim pickins, but maybe if I keep at it...

Posted by: emily | April 12, 2007 5:29 PM

Pittypat -- You read my mind! A limerick! Thinking of a dirty limerick (what with the stripper and porn discussion and all), but this will do! Thank you!

Posted by: Vegas Mom | April 12, 2007 5:31 PM

Allegheny County's largest employer is the combined University of Pittsburgh and UP Medical Center. See http://www.pitt.edu

Posted by: In da 'Burgh | April 12, 2007 5:32 PM

//So every man who has ever gone to strip club is lacking in charater? You tar with a pretty wide brush.

I guess my college girlfriend who hired stripper for my birthday has no character either.//

Maybe not lacking in character but most assuredly lacking class.

Posted by: pb&j | April 12, 2007 5:36 PM

The amount of class depends on the size of the stripper's ass!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 5:44 PM

The amount of class depends on the size of the stripper's ass!

Posted by: | April 12, 2007 05:44 PM


It certainly doesn't depend on the asses who are watching.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 5:52 PM

"//So every man who has ever gone to strip club is lacking in charater? You tar with a pretty wide brush."

This may surprise some of you, but I actually draw a pretty big distinction between men going to strip clubs and men hiring women to come and strip for them at private parties.

The distinction is mostly on the basis of the degree of vulnerability of the woman doing the entertaining.

Women who dance in strip clubs are, by and large, pretty safe physically from immediate danger. They're protected by large, fearsome bouncers and management who have an investment in them.

The men who go to the clubs are part of an anonymous and essentially non-intimate (barring lap dances) entertainment situation; they have to behave themselves, and would generally be tossed out for yelling racial epithets. Also, they have come to the entertainment as opposed to the dancers coming to them to entertain them. (There's something vaguely feudal about that.)

When a woman is called to dance/strip at a private party, she's on her own. No protection. She's essentially at the mercy of a group of men -- almost certainly drunk -- who want to be aroused by her.

It's this aspect of men exploiting this vulnerability that I think is so disturbing and distasteful. Because, somehow, in these situations, the woman's helplessness must add to the men's enjoyment.

So, for me, the character question isn't about men who go to strip clubs. It's about men who want to have women come to them to entertain, despite -- or possibly because of -- the vulnerability factor.

So, no, I wouldn't judge the character of a man who goes to a strip club if that's all I know about him.

Posted by: pittypat | April 12, 2007 6:02 PM

Wow, Pittypat, you have really thought about it. Of course your observations and thoughts make sense and are very well-reasoned. I had not considered the vulnerability of women who do private parties. Yikes.

Posted by: Emily | April 12, 2007 6:08 PM

This may become a daily post - when warranted.

Winners today - Pittypat, Scarry, Emily.

There may be a lot of repeat winners.

Posted by: The Please Go Away Award | April 12, 2007 03:24 PM

Off-topic rant:

This is the most dissapointing post of the day. There are many posts today that appalled me, and many (thank you Vegas Mom, the OriginalMomof2, pittypat and Emily) that made me cheer. Regardless, indicating to submitter with whom you disagree that they should go away is quintessentially insecure and 8th grade behavior - at best, particularly if the submitter whom you disdain identifies his or her opinions by a consistent name. Texas Dad of 2 pissing you off? Don't read his posts. Same with Scarry, me, pitty, Emily, Chris or anyone else.

Why would telling commenters with whom you disagree to go away EVER be the preferred solution on a blog? It's the internet, not your local book club. If all you want is to hear your own brilliance, buy a mirror and start pontificating. If you want to think critically and maybe even learn something, you have to participate in a forum where there are widely varying opinions and be able to ignore, tolerate or appreciate those participants. Don't you?


Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | April 12, 2007 6:11 PM

OK, address the blatantly obvious issue of choice of occupation. Did someone force the woman to be a stripper? Don't give me the economic rational as many both man and female make their living in a less "distinguished" manner.

Posted by: to Pittypat | April 12, 2007 6:12 PM

when you are paying your way through school, and yes, she was a single mom college student, you might need to make the most efficient use of your work-available hours. Now you're faulting her for working as a stripper? If she wasn't working, you'd be faulting her for being a single mom, or you'd be faulting her for being on welfare.

There are moment when it's embarrassing to be part of this small subsection of the human race.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 6:18 PM

"OK, address the blatantly obvious issue of choice of occupation."

Yeah, someone always brings this one up. Don't know which of you kneejerks it is this time, but here's the blatantly obvious answer.

The economic rationale is important to the extent that it is, without exception, POOR people in our society who take demeaning jobs or jobs that put them at risk.

Strippers would probably rather not be strippers. Prostitutes (male and female variety) would probably prefer other jobs. But, for whatever reason, those options aren't open to them. Whether because of bad luck, drug addiction, poor choices, etc., these people are driven by circumstances to make money in whatever way they can.

The point isn't whether someone is "forced" to do a particular job. The point is that jobs of this nature are inherently more dangerous -- and the people who do them inherently more vulnerable -- than is the case for the rest of us.

This isn't just a gender issue. Or a race issue. It's also a class issue. If we could understand this, we might, as a society, be able to fix it.

Posted by: pittypat | April 12, 2007 6:27 PM

most efficient use of your work-available hours

Oh! the economic justification. Forget about my dignity and my morals. People on this blog today have been very assertive in stating that the 3 Duke students had a lapse in judgment by hiring a stripper and attending the party. I suppose because she was a single mom, her dignity is not suspect.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 6:30 PM

People on this blog today have been very assertive in stating that the 3 Duke students had a lapse in judgment by hiring a stripper and attending the party. I suppose because she was a single mom, her dignity is not suspect.

Posted by: | April 12, 2007 06:30 PM

Which is it you want to discuss? her judgment or her dignity? different topics, unless you just want to rant without applying any logic or consistency to your comments.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 6:35 PM

I believe I've read that many sex industry workers were physically and/or sexually abused as children, and are merely taking on a familiar role in their choice (if you can call it that) of profession (if you can call it that). I'm sure drug addiction plays a fairly significant role as well.

Pittypat's correct in characterizing this as a complicated issue. From our comfortable middle-class berths, it's very easy for us to say, "Why didn't she just get a job at McDonald's?" That's just snobbery, plain and simple.

Posted by: Vegas Mom | April 12, 2007 6:38 PM

There are certainly jobs open to poor people which do not involve stripping or prostitution. Whether a person is inclined to take such a job is another question. But you trot the tired liberal bromide that society oppresses the individual. The individual is incapable of rising above his/her "station" in life.

I have also been dirt poor without a place to live but found work elsewhere.

Again, many posters have inpuned and analyzed the men involved without a serious comment on the judgment of the female.

Posted by: to Pittypat | April 12, 2007 6:40 PM

Let me restate,

People on this blog today have been very assertive in stating that the 3 Duke students had a lapse in judgment by hiring a stripper and attending the party. I suppose because she was a single mom her judgement is not suspect and not to be discussed.

Posted by: to 6:35 | April 12, 2007 6:45 PM

"There are certainly jobs open to poor people which do not involve stripping or prostitution. Whether a person is inclined to take such a job is another question. But you trot the tired liberal bromide that society oppresses the individual. The individual is incapable of rising above his/her "station" in life."

No, kiddo. You've got it backward.

I didn't say that all poor people have to take demeaning, dangerous jobs. I said that all people who DO take them are poor. (Fins me a case where that's not true.)

I also said that these people have any number of reasons for being in the straits they're in, and Vegas Mom mentioned a couple of additional ones.

This has nothing to do with anyone's "station in life." People who end up in these circumstances don't necessarily come from poor backgrounds. The point is that their current desperation is what brings them to a place in life where they have no options and no resources.

Have a little compassion, and stop acting like a neanderthal.

Posted by: pittypat | April 12, 2007 6:53 PM

"Emily, if you move to Pittsburgh can I change my name to Emily's Neighbor? I think there's a precedent on this blog."

Actually, me and my neighbor live in different states, so I think just the desire to live in the same place is enough!

Pretty crazy blog here - I left to drive home early to beat out the blizzard we are supposed to get so missed all the, um, fun...

Posted by: Megan | April 12, 2007 7:01 PM

People on this blog today have been very assertive in stating that the 3 Duke students had a lapse in judgment by hiring a stripper and attending the party. I suppose because she was a single mom her judgement is not suspect and not to be discussed.

Posted by: to 6:35 | April 12, 2007 06:45 PM

Okay. When the judgment of the men was discussed the point was made that their parents might have suggested that poor judgment sometimes has unintended consequences. So . . . we will all suggest to our daughters that if they give private dance shows, they will be vulnerable to potential crime. Next?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 7:03 PM

When I first moved to Vegas and was combing the classifieds for job opportunities, I was astounded at the number of ads for "dancers" and equally astounded at the money the ads promised.

While not the slightest bit tempted, I can imagine that a girl with less education, support, and resources might consider it.

For the record, I do think the young woman in this case made an error in judgment in her choice of job. But she doesn't deserve to be pilloried for that lapse any more than the Duke boys "deserve" to be found guilty of rape for going to a party and hiring a stripper. And we'd all do well to look at what led to her choice rather than simply condemning it.

Posted by: Vegas Mom | April 12, 2007 7:04 PM

Can you have a little compassion for 3 individuals who were charged with a capital crime but were truly innocent?

In fact, I have read about individuals who are not poor but take jobs as strippers for the thrill (and money) in it. The articles that I have read indicate that the women enjoy the power over men and their emotions.

I certainly understand that some individuals due to their background or economic circumstance or mind set see their only option as one in the sex industry.

What I do not understand is the distaste that women hold for men attending strip parties, gentlemen's clubs and other activities but failing to acknowledge the part that the "entertainer" plays in this.

With this, I will allow you the last word.

Posted by: to Pittypat | April 12, 2007 7:06 PM

Hear, hear, Vegas Mom. You're a comforting voice of reason!

Posted by: pittypat | April 12, 2007 7:07 PM

"She is more to be pitied than censured"
Rev. Ephraim Avery / Sarah Cornell"
Sarah Cornell, an unmarried 30 year old factory worker in Fall River, Massachusetts, was found hanging near a haystack on a local farm. She was identified by a Methodist minister to whose church she belonged. Initially considered a suicide, the case was reopened when a note in Cornell's handwriting was found among her possessions implicating Rev. Avery.

Cornell had been a member of Avery's church in Lowell, Massachusetts, when she worked in a factory there, but had been expelled from the church for "lewdness and lying." Cornell met with Avery at a Methodist camp meeting in Thompson, Connecticut, in an effort to persuade Avery to destroy the letters of confession she had written, which were preventing her joining any other local Methodist churches. According to a later report of Cornell's brother-in-law, Cornell said that Avery had agreed to destroy the letters on the condition that she have sex with him, which she did. Cornell later discovered that she was pregnant.
Based on the existence of the note, Cornell's body was exhumed and an autopsy performed. It was discovered that she was five months pregnant; there were signs of violence on the body indicating that an attempt had been made at abortion. A warrant for Avery's arrest was issued, but after a much-publicized, extensive, and extremely controversial preliminary hearing, it was ruled that there was not enough evidence against Avery, and he was freed.

John Durfee, the farmer who had found Cornell's body, was dissatisfied with the finding, and convened a Committee of Vigilance; an official complaint was sworn out and filed with a magistrate in Newport. Threatened with arrest, Avery fled Rhode Island, but was traced to his hiding place in Rindge, New Hampshire by the Bristol County sheriff and arrested there.

Press coverage of the trial was extensive, making it difficult to empanel a jury. Avery's trial was a long one for the period, 27 days, during which 196 witnesses were examined. The defense strategy was to point to Avery's respectable position in the community and to Cornell's bad character as proof that there could never have been any "connexion" between the two. Cornell's history of shoplifting and venereal disease was exposed. The jury deliberated for 16 hours, after which Avery was acquitted.

Some weeks later, a Methodist church hearing cleared Avery of all blame in Cornell's death, and he returned to the ministry. Despite this, and despite the acquittal, popular opinion was against Avery, and the scandal continued to follow him. Two years later, Avery left the ministry and moved to Ohio.


Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 7:09 PM

OOPS - that was me above about Sarah Cornell.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 12, 2007 7:10 PM

I guess if Mona would just develop and issue her pussy pistol, we would not be having these discussions.

Posted by: another view | April 12, 2007 7:20 PM

"What I do not understand is the distaste that women hold for men attending strip parties, gentlemen's clubs and other activities but failing to acknowledge the part that the "entertainer" plays in this."

All right, this bugged me.

If I remember my economics correctly, supply is dictated by demand. Are you saying that men are just helplessly, magnetically drawn to strip joints? Strip clubs wouldn't be operating all over the place if there was no demand for their product.

Tell me, what "part" does the entertainer play in all this?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 7:21 PM

Sorry, that was me at 7:21

Posted by: Vegas Mom | April 12, 2007 7:23 PM

"I always thought there must be something wrong with men who get their sexual satisfaction form porn and strippers. Eeww."

This is definitely way too much of a generalization. I agree with another poster (pittypat?) who considers going to strip clubs to be different than hiring a private stripper due to the safety factor.

DH and I TOGETHER have watched porn, and it was an awesome experience. Porn watching does not automatically degrade women. Porn in the context of a committed relationship does not mean that the viewers are the scum of the earth.

Many years ago I read something that said that the frequency of sex between married couples declines as the income levels rise. Hmmmmmm.

Posted by: noname | April 12, 2007 7:51 PM

If I remember my economics correctly, supply is dictated by demand
---------------------------------------

This is assuming there is elastic source of supply. If the supply is relatively inelastic, demand outstrips supply and economic rationing results in increase in price.

In this case, there appears to be a very elastic source of supply with very low barriers to entry.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 8:00 PM

another view, I don't think it's necessary. The fine folks at RapeX are doing their jobs quite well.

Posted by: Mona | April 12, 2007 8:03 PM

[BTW -- anybody look at the gender breakdown on servicemen and servicewomen deaths in Iraq -- I'm sure it's pretty close to 50/50, yes?]

Posted by: | April 12, 2007 04:32 PM

Not even close. As of early April, 79 of the 3558 death are women. This is 2.22%

Please note that this is a total casualty count. This includes combat deaths as well as vehicle accidents, natural causes, other causes and suicides. You would not think that the casualty count would include traffic accidents and heart attacks but it always has.

Posted by: Fred | April 12, 2007 8:51 PM

"In this case, there appears to be a very elastic source of supply with very low barriers to entry."

Heh...heh..low barriers to entry...heh..heh

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 8:53 PM

"Not even close. As of early April, 79 of the 3558 death are women. This is 2.22%"

Well, I'm sure the men had it coming given the eons that their ancestors discriminated against women...

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2007 8:54 PM

Well, I'm sure the men had it coming given the eons that their ancestors discriminated against women...

Posted by: | April 12, 2007 08:54 PM

What a Alpha Hotel you are!

Posted by: Fred | April 12, 2007 8:56 PM

Casulty by Race in Iraq

White 74%
Hispanic 11%
Black 10%

General Population of US by Race

White 69%
Hispanic 12%
Black 12%

Posted by: Fred | April 12, 2007 9:34 PM

In other words, Fred, the casualties look pretty much like America.

Posted by: catlady | April 12, 2007 10:30 PM

Catlady,

I think that the higher percentage of casualties for Whites vs. the percentage of Whites in the general population is significant but I am not a statistician.

I can tell you this, this disproves the fiction that people of color have a higher casualty rate than the representation in the general population. A fiction that is still repeated about previous conflicts.

Posted by: Fred | April 12, 2007 11:32 PM

Fred, We need a real statistician (like Foamgnome) to analyze all the factors; it's far above my mathematical skills.

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 6:41 AM

Catlady,

No statistician needed to understand the basic point which you correctly pointed out that the deaths generally resemble the face of America.

Posted by: Fred | April 13, 2007 8:39 AM

All the way from smelling roses to the merits of a p*ssy pistol and watching porn, eh? Only in On Balance.

I once was urged by a boyfriend, a long time ago, to watch porn with him. It was some of the stupidest stuff I ever saw in my life. Snoozefest. Of course, it could have been the cinematic quality of what I viewed, since the guy had spliced together the "highlights" (or climaxes if you will, heh-heh) of several porn films he had viewed previously.

That said, viewing porn with a SO is not my idea of a quality use of time. But whatever floats your boat.

Posted by: theoriginalmomof2 | April 13, 2007 10:44 AM

I can tell you this, this disproves the fiction that people of color have a higher casualty rate than the representation in the general population. A fiction that is still repeated about previous conflicts.

Posted by: Fred | April 12, 2007 11:32 PM

Posting the statistics for the current war does not disprove the fact that people of color have a higher casualty rate than their representation in the general population. You do a great disservice to our fallen African-American comrades, Fred. I am dissapointed in you for taking a gratutious and unneccessary shot at those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

According to the Combat Area Casualties Current File available from the National Archives, 7264 African-American service-men and -women died in the Viet Nam War, or 12.48% of the 58193 died, were MIA or were POWs. At most, African-Americans represented 11.2% of the U.S. population in 1970.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 14, 2007 2:33 PM

To 2:33 pm

You are correct in your figures about Viet Nam deaths. 11.2% vs. 12.48% is different but is this a significant difference? It certainly is significant to the families of the fallen and is to me as they are my brothers in arms. In its self, is this a significant deviation from a statistical viewpoint? I do not know. That is a matter of interpretation. I will make 2 points:

1) Only the totally politically correct would demand that casualty rates equal the exact population distribution. Life just does not happen in total accord with population distribution.

2) The way that some individuals, organizations and some of the press would portray the casualty numbers is that a plurality of causalities were African American and the majority of those were draftees. These individuals leave the impression that something like maybe 50% were black.

I CERTAINLY would never take lightly the sacrifice that anyone makes in service to our country. I CERTAINLY take offence to anyone, any group or some part of the media to take this issue lightly or twist it for their own purposes.

Here is the link to the casualty count for Viet Nam

http://www.archives.gov/research/vietnam-war/casualty-statistics.html

Posted by: Fred | April 15, 2007 11:40 PM

When my son was a toddler he was very much the `bug on a leaf` type. I remember one day taking him to the zoo - a Saturday in spring. An hours drive and then it took forever to find parking - the lots all full etc. Finally we get there and he discovered an ant hill for the first time and Mom and I sit on a bench for an HOUR while son watches the comings and goings from the ant hill. At least the parking was free...

Posted by: Anonymous | April 16, 2007 4:26 PM

Oh, we would have stopped. We stop all the time for street musicians.

My husband plays guitar (and anything else he can get his hands on for more than 15 minutes), sings and writes songs. Older son, age 14, takes piano lessons, has an incredible voice and perfect pitch - and being a high-functioning autistic, music is one of his "enthusiasms" (obsessions). Younger son, age 9, doesn't seem to have quite as much talent - so far - but takes guitar lessons and likes to sing and listen to all kinds of music too.

We couldn't have missed it. Simply wouldn't have been possible.

Posted by: Sue | April 16, 2007 6:35 PM

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