Friday, January 13, 2006
Life's a Trial, Time's Been A-Wastin'
This is totally unrelated, but sometimes I like playing Google Images roulette. This was the first one I got with "appearances."
And I'm the one a-wastin' it. I got myself caught up in one of those useless online discussions- not at the fabulously fruitful and always satisfying MetaxuCafe forums (ahem, sorry)- but one of those back-and-forths no one can finally resolve because we're all too equally insignificant to prove whether one has a better grasp of publishing's current realities than another.
All time that I could've AND SHOULD'VE spent revising my chapter for my writing group next week. Besides that, I try to save my unsupported ranting and opining for you. Why here's some now!
Marion Barry used cocaine, and a convicted rapist-murderer actually did the nightmarish deed to his sister-in-law despite claims of innocence that only ended with his snuffing. Flabbergasted? I'm all for using thorough, ethical investigation and bias toward innocence to give people every possible chance before taking their freedom or more seriously, their lives. But, much of the time, the people who circumstantially seem like dirtbags are really dirtbags.
Not to equate the circumstances of Oscar Wilde's "crimes" with Barry's historic abuse of position and the public trust or Roger Coleman's horrifically violent acts, but it was the perspicacious Wilde who wrote in The Picture of Dorian Grey, a work used against him when he was accused of "gross indecency" (read homosexuality) and who falsely, but understandably, denied it over three trials- "It is only the shallow who don't judge by appearances."
There are times, however, I believe in letting a verifiable dirtbag off the legal hook. Like when Professor Deborah Lipstadt, who actively pursues and debunks Holocaust deniers, says that pathetic David Irving should be let go, despite Austria's sensitivity toward such liars based on its unique and terrible history with the Third Reich. Irving's opinions, which have apparently softened as he approaches trial in one of the few countries with stringent law applying to such, are heinous, but I generally don't believe in prosecuting people for their spoken absurdities until material damage can be quantified or it can be proven that it's incited unlawful actions. Demonstrate the idiots are idiotic in a factual, public way, and let the fools go home to suffer the humiliation.