Saturday, March 23, 2013

Judge not, eh?

So, back to the baby-shooting in Georgia.  It's starting, it's spreading like wildfire.  You know, the "it was the MOM who did it!" shouting.  Why?  Because she isn't crying enough, she isn't convincing enough, she's talking too much, etc.  And here's what I have to say about that:

I was convinced that Ed Smart had killed his daughter.  No kidding, I was certain that his demeanor was inappropriate, that his crying seemed tearless and disingenuous.  I spent years working with rape and domestic abuse victims, felt confident I had a "handle" on the way people react to violent tragedies.

And I was TOTALLY wrong.  UTTERLY mistaken.  Elizabeth Smart, that beautiful, heroic young woman, that SURVIVOR, wasn't dead, and her Dad's grief had been absolutely genuine.

It was then I stopped "going with my gut."  Because guess what?  "Gut feelings," "instincts," and "hunches" are crap gauges by which to measure someone's guilt or innocence.  So I'm not going to run with any "the parents did it!" ideas unless solid, reliable evidence to that effect surfaces.  Right now, I'm going to stick with the Principle of Parsimony, aka "Occam's Razor."  You know--all things being equal, the most obvious, reasonable, easy-looking answer tends to be the correct one.

In that same vein, have you ever wondered what it would be like to have people assume you've done something horrible because they don't think your outward emotional response is in keeping with their idea of what it should have been?  You know, like I did with Ed Smart?  Can you imagine living with the knowledge that people think you murdered your child when, in fact, you didn't?  That's what comes into my head now.  Doesn't mean I don't sometimes think, "Oh, gosh, please don't let it have been the parents," but I'm very careful to keep my thoughts to myself.  


Now, real quick, while I've got you here?  Do your kid a favor, don't give him some dippy name from some religious text, huh?  Like "Coriantumr?"  You'll save him all sorts of ironic embarrassment when he gets arrested and splattered over the web for serious Mormon no-nos like intoxication.  Seriously, "Coriantumr?"  What were you thinking?


So, this came across my Facebook feed the other day.  I've seen mention before, but this is the first meme I've seen.  I have to say, it seems a good idea, and part of my likes it, but I have some serious reservations.  Why?

Because it's not MY job to watch out for YOUR dog.  My eyes are crap when it comes to spotting little ribbons tied on dog leashes, especially in evening/at night.  And the last thing I'm going to tolerate is someone yelling at me because I didn't see the ribbon.  It's not that I'm not sympathetic--I have a "dog-reactive" dog myself.  And it is MY responsibility to keep space between him and other dogs.  Putting a ribbon on my dog's leash doesn't in any way make it anyone else's problem.  Nice if someone notices and knows what it means, but if they don't?

That's on ME.  Nobody else. And I know, most folks pushing for this won't blame folks who miss the ribbon or its meaning.  But you just KNOW there are a few who absolutely will.  

And that's all.  Still no red paneling.  I am SUCH a loser.

Do not reprint without permission. © KAQ


  1. I'm with you on the Ed Smart thing. I was pretty creeped out by his demeanor, too. I did give him the benefit of the doubt, though, just because we only saw him on TV, and I don't know him in real life. But even if I did, you can't hang someone out to dry just because of a "gut feeling.' I was VERY shocked to find out he was completely innocent.
    The yellow ribbon is a good idea, just to give people a chance to keep their distance, so that they don't approach you. Even if you try to keep your dog away from them, some people will insist on coming up to you and not hold their own dogs back. Of course, not everyone is going to notice it or even know what it means.

    1. My problem with the yellow ribbon is that I can see a whole bunch of people using that INSTEAD of training their dog not to be an ass. Plus, I can easily imagine a number of people deciding that the ribbon shifts responsibility to passersby--you know, "Hey, why'd you come so close, are you stupid? RIBBON! HELLO!" Like I said, my eyes aren't so good with things like that, I'm likely to miss it, so it's the owner's job to keep that distance. It's a cute idea, but I can easily see it being abused and causing grief.