Sunday, January 13, 2013

La Nostalgie de la boue

[A nos lecteurs francophones -- bievenues sur le site.  On traite du journalisme deux-poids/deux-mesures, en partant d’une banale affaire de gosses dans l’état d’Ohio, en Amérique profonde; et passe au fétichisme tiers-mondialiste.
Mise à jour concernant les viols collectifs en Inde  en bas de la page.]

[Prefatory note:  The present essay is principally concerned with the way the media mold our perceptions, and the disconnect between actual (messy, hard-to-characterize) events, and the way they are packaged and spun.   Only accidentally does it concern cases of gang-rape (again, most recently a story that hit the world press just today, discussed at the end of this post).  If, therefore, it is principally the politics and theory of sex that interests you, rather than the mind-games of journalism, the following is recommended as an alternative:
If, on the other hands, the journalistic interest is foremost, then some of the essays in this series might repay attention: ]

[One of the themes here -- headlines & subheads (written by the drones with an agenda to push) versus the actual contentful text of the article (written by someone who actually did some legwork, or anyhow brainwork) -- is much more general than mere media criticism.  For consideration in a mathematico-philosophical context, consult this: ]

It is generally  not worthwhile to bother with blather, whether of the P.C. or Tea Party stripe.  But the New York Times is the nation’s flagship newspaper; the Sunday edition stands at the head of the week; the Sunday Review is, in principle, its most serious section, since it allows essays not restricted to police-court reporting of whatever happens to have happened the day before;  and the front page is the blazon of that.   So when a well-known longtime columnist (Nicholas Kristof) publishes an article that is packaged  as a moral equation of sexual violence in America and in the Third World, a response is in order.

Note that I say: packaged;   spun, by the editors and publishers.  For the actual contents of the article largely refute its own headline.   The headline reads:

Umm…. Yes.  To begin with, the showcase crimes-of-the-moment (which being each an individual event, are hardly probatory, but they are, after all, the police-blotter ‘hook’ on which he hangs his bigthink essay) are different.  One involves sexual activity of which the victim has no memory;  the other was gang-rape plus murder : one of the attackers shoved an iron bar inside her and ripped her guts out, then threw her out onto the street to die.   One of the Steubenville louts was video’d guffawing, over and over, “She’s so dead!”  but he was being metaphorical -- dead drunk, maybe.  In the New Delhi case, the victim was unmetaphorically, really most sincerely dead.

[Update 17 March 2013, 11 a.m.   Breaking news -- for the Ohio footballers case, the verdict is in.  The feminists get their revenge:
            Rape Inflation  ]

And indeed, the actual facts presented in the article, the statistics that go beyond this case or that, resoundingly refute the implication of the headline.  “In South Africa, a survey found that 37 percent of men reported that they had raped a woman.”  Reported, that is; the actual percentage of perpetrators may well be higher.  Nor does the writer mention the motive for some of these rapes, a motive peculiar to South Africa:  apart from mere lust, there has been the folk-belief that you can get rid of your AIDS by passing it on to someone else.  -- As for America, “Few people realize it, but Justice Department statistics suggest that the incidence of rape has fallen by three-quarters over the last four decades.”   So where is your story?

Indeed, if we leave the protected playground of the Sunday Review goodthink, and delve inside the news section, we find (p. 11) that India is especially known for crimes almost unheard of here, such as splashing acid into the face of your daughter-in-law.  And this is not the rare, Steubenville-style case:  In India, “Anywhere from 25,000 to 100,000 women a year are killed over dowry disputes.  Many are burned alive…”

Nevertheless, the headline-writer for Kristof’s essays adds these subheads:

Rapists keep raping, and Congress keeps ignoring it.

Wh-Wha-?   What is needed is good police work.  Do you really want even more pointless grandstanding by this Congress?

And best of all:

Americans should look in their mirror before denouncing barbarity elsewhere

Oh, please.   When I look in the mirror, I see a man who has been thirty-six years in a faithful Christian marriage, and who has neither thrown, nor knows anyone who has thrown, nor (to my knowledge) knows anyone who knows anyone who has thrown, acid into the face of their daughter-in-law, over greed for an even bigger dowry.

[Note:  The point of this post is not to beat up on Indians;  they have a hard row to hoe, and I wish them well.  The point is rather to counter the false equations of corrupt journalism motivated by PC/post-modernist self-laceration.]

[Update 20 June 2014]  It turns out Kristof got the headline-writer he deserved, since he is actually a repeat offender in this area, having been one of the chief shills for the Cambodian P.C. con-artist Somaly Mam:

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[Update -- Sunday afternoon -- this just in]  There has just been yet another horrific nightlong mass rape involving a bus passenger in India:

A French reader offers the following interesting comment:

La France est 25 fois moins peuplée que l'Inde et pourtant nous avons chaque années nos affaires de tournante dans les caves de cités, ici c'est encore pire car ces tournantes sont racistes ce qui n'est pas le cas en Inde. Pourquoi se focaliser sur 'Inde et étouffée les centaines de faits similaires en France, il y a un tabou bien plus grand en France, les médias ne veulent pas stigmatiser donc ça passe sous silence.

Now -- superficially, this reader might seem to be making the same point as our headline-writer:  Watch not the straw in thy neighbor’s eye, but the beam in thine own.   But a décryptage of the euphemisms here  makes rather the reverse case, and is anything but a comfort to the hawkers of political correctness.
First, "les caves de cités" refers to the cellars of the massive taxpayer-subsidized housing-projects that encircle Paris, given over  almost exclusively to African immigrants.
Next:  Tournante means basically ‘gang-bang’:  but of a sort peculiar to France.  Thus:

Au début des années 2000, la société française a découvert avec consternation que la montée constante de la délinquance ne se limitait pas aux seuls feux de voitures. Elle s'accompagnait de la banalisation de crimes particulièrement abjects que les médias allaient baptiser des "tournantes", reprenant le terme d'argot utilisés par les jeunes des cités pour désigner des viols collectifs. Le viol collectif, certes, n'est pas en soi une nouveauté et aucun peuple n'en a le monopole, mais ce qui allait particulièrement choquer les Français, c'est à la fois sa banalisation, la jeunesse des criminels mais aussi leur parfaite indifférence et leur absence de remord vis-à-vis de leurs victimes, souvent des adolescentes ou des pré-adolescentes. Si la majorité des victimes de tournantes sont des françaises de souche, on en trouve dans tous les groupes ethniques et elles sont de toutes les couleurs de peau. Il convient de donc de préciser que dans les exemples cités ci-dessous, les victimes ne sont pas nécessairement de souche européenne.
Néanmoins, les liens entre l'immigration afro-maghrébine, la haine envers les Blancs - ou l'occident - et la recrudescence de ce type d'agressions est indéniable : des chiffres, des faits et des témoignages le confirme.

Now we can understand what the commentor meant when she said that the French media suppress reportage of such events, for fear of “stigmatising” (a lexicographically transitive verb, here used de-transitively out of euphemism).  The commentor herself suppressed the implied direct-object of the verb, because no-one who follows French events -- in samizdat, s’entend, since the MSM shy away -- needs to be told whom we are talking about here.

Travaillant au noir,
le détective  se trouve aux prises
avec le Saint-Esprit

~     ~      ~

Let us emphasize the importance of the fact of this packaging.    Major events go on in the world, and in this age of readily-shared information, cannot be passed over in silence forever;  but the way the medium spins things, reveals their agenda.   And at the New York Times, the folks who provide the fluff -- headlines and captions and artwork -- frequently push the atavistic post-Modernist agenda.

Thus, to take an equally prominent example from the very same morning’s newspaper:  the front-page review by the well-known columnist David Brooks, of Jared Diamond’s new book:  The World Until Yesterday:  What Can We Learn From Traditional Societies?

Now, already in the title, there is a P.C. sleight of hand.  After all, Victorian England and Troubadour France were traditional societies, though they allowed for effervescence and creativity within them.  What Diamond means here is not that:  he means primitive societies, savage societies.  Brooks picks a more neutral term, but does report the facts:  “The most obvious difference between us  is that pre-state tribal societies are just a lot more violent.”

Nevertheless, the large headline over the review reads:

Tribal Lessons

clearly implying that there are some;  and the sub-head (page 20):

Traditional societies have much to teach us about child-rearing, the treatment of the elderly, and dispute resolution.

So-o, what might these useful lessons be?  Well, the very first paragraph of the review  offers this heart-warming anecdote:

The custom among the Pirahã Indians of Brazil is that women give birth alone. The linguist Steve Sheldon once saw a Pirahã woman giving birth on a beach, while members of her tribe waited nearby. It was a breech birth, however, and the woman started crying in agony. “Help me, please! The baby will not come.” Sheldon went to help her, but the other Pirahã stopped him, saying that she didn’t want his help. The woman kept up her screams. The next morning both mother and baby were found dead.

Nice!  Keeps those male-chauvinist ob-gyns out of the delivery-room.  Empower yourself, practice self-midwifery.

And what of the elderly?

The anthropologist Allan Holmberg was with a group of Siriono Indians of Bolivia when a middle-aged woman grew gravely ill. She lay in her hammock, too unwell to walk or speak. Her husband told Holmberg that the tribe had to move on and would leave her there to die. They left her a fire and some water and walked away without saying goodbye. Even her husband had no parting words for her.

Oh-kayyy… lesson learned!  Throw grannie under the bus!

Ah, and widows:  we learn of one tribe in which “widows insisted on being strangled just after their husbands passed away”.   A sort of quick-and-easy variation on the more elaborate practice in traditional India (look up suttee).

And how about dispute-resolution?

The problem is that the warfare was constant, and over time the casualties added up. Between April and September 1961, 0.14 percent of the alliances’ total populations was killed in this war. As a share of total population, that’s a higher casualty rate than Europe, Japan, China or America suffered during the world wars.

The signature method of dispute-resolution in the Third World  is nothing so patriarchal and unfeeling as a decision in a court of law, but vendettas that can last for decades.

[Nota bene:  I am not here traipsing about picking-&-choosing faits-divers from police blotters around the world, which indeed would be pointless, but simply quoting paragraphs from the very article that, according to the editors and headline writers at the New York Times, is supposed to make out the case for the exemplary nature of tribalism.   The point of this essay is not to wring our hands over conditions in partibus infidelium;  if that is all you are getting out of it, you are reading it wrong.]

As for child-rearing, the author marvels that primitive mothers actually breast-feed.  Bravo:  so does any mother in our own society, with an ounce of sense.   But the Third World offers some curious child-rearing techniques that are sadly absent from our shores:  look up infibulation and clitoridectomy in the encylopedia.

The magazine then holds up for our admiration, for such lessons as we may glean, a photograph of the aptly-named New Guinea mudmen, no less.

Nostalgie de la boue …

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Relief for beleaguered Nook lovers!
We now return you to your regularly scheduled essay.

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Thus, in both cases, a prominent writer has published a not-very-good but not-terrible-either essay, which the headline-writers spin into an absurdity, into a celebration of primitivism and a slur against the West.   This matters, since most newspaper-skimmers will only take in the headlines, subheads, pictures and captions:  that is the takeaway for them.

We have here to deal with two different types of journalists;  and the man who writes the headlines  I will not dare to describe;  for I have not seen him  except in dreams.
-- G.K. Chesterton, What I Saw in America (1922)

Now, there are whole sections of the Sunday Times devoted almost exclusively to what we shall delphically allude to as la mouvance paraphile, notably the Style section, and to some extent even the Magazine (today’s cover is a pink monstrosity devoted to Lindsay Lohan.)   Fine, let that be their sandbox.  But when the sullage spills over into the News sections, it is time to sound the alarm.

[For further linguistically-alert observations on media spin, click here.]

Thus, consider the article that is featured, not simply on the front page of the Week in Review, but above the fold, titled

The headline falls into the genre of Freud-bashing and “What Einstein Got Wrong”, pandering to the self-satisfactions of those who never actually bothered to read deeply in the literature of Natural Selection, or Psychoanalysis, or Relativity.   And the article itself takes a cheap shot at Darwin, to tickle the fancies of those who like to take at swat at traditional English society:

In “The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex,” Charles Darwin gathered evidence for the notion that, through competition for mates and sustenance, natural selection had encouraged man’s “more inventive genius” while nurturing woman’s “greater tenderness.” In this way, he suggested that the gender differences he saw around him — men sought power and made money; women stayed at home — weren’t simply the way things were in Victorian England. They were the way things had always been.

Cheap, because it suggests that the man led a blinkered existence in an overstuffed armchair;  whereas in fact, he cut his teeth in Patagonia, and (as anyone who dips into The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex or The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals can swiftly verify) was well-read in the ethnology and ethology of his day.

Now:  I have more than once broken a lance against the occasional excesses of the ultra-Darwinists;  but Darwin himself is sound.

The writer focusses on two topics that are of sociological interest to be sure, but extraordinarily unlikely to overturn Darwin.

First:  the relative tendency to promiscuity among men vs. women.   He goes into the weeds, as such articles tend to do, without noticing one elementary arithmetical fact:  Each time a man has slept with a woman, a woman has slept with a man.  It’s like the north and south poles of magnets:  count them however you like, they will of necessity be equinumerous.  It is astonishing that columnists never seem to realize this, though one reader-commentor on this article did point it out.
Second:  Various amusing experiments are described, in which, if you load the dice right, people will (temporarily, during the artificial conditions of the experiment) act differently from the way they do in real life.  And you can so pre-set things that your results will flatter those who imagine that sex differences are not part of nature, but result from (scheming, white, patriarchal, Western) cultural conditioning.   Whereas if you acquaint yourself with history and ethnology, you soon see that it is precisely Western civilization which has freed the species from some of the age-old distinction of roles;  in any savage society whatever, the roles of men and women are starkly distinct. 
Thus, in the speed-dating improv (as we shall call it, so as not to dignify it with the title of “experiment”), it is unsurprising (especially to a Freudian) that, placed into a normally masculine role and given license by the experimental milieu, women might act out their fantasies, and the men might play along:  even outside of the ‘experimental’ situation, such techniques are sometimes used in flirting (witness "Sadie Hawkins day").  But it is no more telling for Darwinian theory than is the Woody-Allen/Diane-Keaton shtick in “Sleeper”, in which they respectively channel (with convincing authenticity) respectively Blanche du Bois and Stanley Kowalski.
[Click here for convincing proof that the genders are freely interchangeable:

So -- All in all, a thin and throwaway essay.  And to his credit, the author does quote Steven Pinker in rebuttal.  But our quarry lies elsewhere:  in the meta-message, in the packaging.   And here, long after recollection of that forgettable article has faded (if indeed the audience even read it past the first paragraph), the gigantic artwork that surmounts it -- taking up more than half a page, right at the top of the front page -- may leave its sticky subliminal traces.

The Mask of the Beast

In ugly colors, and against a jungle background, it depicts what at a first hasty glance may appear a heterosexual couple engaged in a kiss.  But wait -- no -- the figure of the man is wearing a skirt and high heels, while the woman is wearing trousers.   The top half of the man has been sliced off and placed upon the lower trunk of a woman;  the upper half of the woman has been perched atop the legs of a man:  as much as to say, that the sexes are literally interchangeable.   (More darkly still, it hints at the fantasy of the invert dépeceur.)

More chillingly still, what from a distance resembles a kiss, is something truly repugnant: for these creatures are more than mere centaurs:  the heads have blended into each other -- the faces have entirely disappeared.   The resulting monstrosity  -- neither woman, nor man, nor good red herring -- appears the product of an imperfectly divided zygote; and the triangular area where the faces should have been  suggests the visage of a bat or a goat, crowned by outsize feral ears:   the Mask of the Beast.

This is not an isolated case.  For another example of the New York Times celebrating the Pornography of Deformity, click here:

We examine that atrocious image in detail here:

~     ~     ~

Ever since the earliest preserved literature -- from a time which to us, would itself appear as Classical Antiquity or a Golden Age -- there has been a myth of things having been once much better. (Start with Eden and Genesis, in fact.)   The idea has had many forms, and may even be spiritually akin to that mathematical Platonism which I myself espouse;  the instantiation characteristic of our own present Western civilization is the Myth of the Noble Savage, which developed during the Romantic period.   It is lurking behind the spin put on the facts reported above.

Thus, take our same author Jared Diamond.  He won fame by his earlier book, Guns, Germs, and Steel (1997).  It is a wide-ranging, deep-delving book, chocked with fact and curiosa, engagingly written, and well-argued.   Yet in the very prologue to the book -- the initial spin-setter, the “Please don’t hate me for what I have to say” section -- as though to forestall the vituperation that (witness Pinker) must be the lot of anyone who trots out an abundance of facts and cool analysis, since these jar against the ambient bath of popular fantasies, he writes, of himself and his New-Guinea best-bud:

He and I both knew perfectly well that New Guineans are on the average at least as smart as Europeans.

Now, as semanticians, and analysts of rhetoric,  let us lay out what this sentence (call it sentence “A”) literally and plainly implies.

(1)  There is a proposition (call it P, namely “New Guineans are on the average at least as smart as Europeans.”)  whose truth is uncontroversial -- not really open to discussion, even.  (That is what is meant by the phrase “know perfectly well”.  -- And indeed, if you are a competent speaker of English, you know that semantic fact perfectly well yourself, though your brain might resist it in this case, since you can sense where this is going, and you don’t want to go there.)

P in turn implies two propositions:

(2a)   It is possible that the various races  differ in average intelligence.  (The pragmatic implication is actually even stronger -- more like “likely” or “almost certainly”.  Again,  your brain might refuse to process this assertion in the present context;  if so, simply replace “smarter” by “taller”, and “New Guineans” with “Dinka”.)

(2b)  If such is the case in the New-Guinean/European matchup, then it is the New Guineans who come out on top.

These are straightforward logico-pragmatic entailments of Diamond’s original assertion;  yet we may doubt whether he would acknowledge this if pressed.   His sentence was possibly intended as propitiatory, not meant to be examined or taken literally:  lip-service, as in a politician’s speech.

And indeed, but a few pages later comes a startling fact that rather casts doubt upon (2b).    For whereas Europeans, in order to exchange the gifts of tradition and the ferment of new ideas, erected Latin into an international language for such discourse, and used it for centuries (now English fills that role), these brainy New Guineans, all on their little island there, apparently found little to say to one another, for:

Of the modern world’s 6,000 languages, 1,000 are confined to New Guinea.

Thinking their great thoughts silently, no doubt.

Yet it is precisely for such statements as A, rather than for the minutiae of plant domestication and prevailing winds, that Jared Diamond has been grasped to the bosom of the P.C. media -- in particular, in a three-part PBS television extravaganza, in 2005, dutifully following him as he traipses around the world.   Reviewing this for a scientific journal, Machael Balter writes

Diamond’s thesis is one of the most widely discussed big ideas of recent years … For one thing, it is an explicitly anti-racist explanation for social and economic inequalities on a global level.
-- “Is This How the West Won?”, in Science, 8 July 2005, p. 248

Short version:

(B)  It’s not in the genes, it’s the geography, stupid.

The reviewer demurs:

There are scholars who disagree with his thesis.  Nor are any of these dissenters ever interviewed, though a number of other experts and personalities appear in the film  to bolster Diamond’s viewpoint.  This imbalance is a disservice.
-- id.

I have neither the time nor the qualifications to weigh Diamond’s arguments in detail:   but the point here is that, whatever the book’s merits (and they are many, whatever you think of B), neither does the general reader nor the media producer have the least interest in getting to the bottom of things:  they’re just putting on a show, or watching the show.   In a similar fashion, the immense popularity of Albert Einstein among the American public  had little to do with the details of his tensor equations.  These, like Diamond’s detailed examples, are functionally mere window-dressing  on the public square.

[Update 2 September 2013] For more on the cultural wonders of New Guinea, check this out:

«Schwarzer Jesus» gelyncht und geschändet
Er nannte sich Black Jesus und soll Kannibalismus betrieben und mehrere Frauen vergewaltigt haben. Jetzt haben Dorfbewohner den Sektenführer auf Neuguinea ermordet.
Ein als «Schwarzer Jesus» bekannter Sektenguru ist auf Papua-Neuguinea von einem wütenden Mob gelyncht worden. Steven Tari hatte zuvor mehrere junge Mädchen als Opfergabe getötet, wie die Zeitung «The National» am Montag berichtete.

An infamous Papua New Guinea cult leader known as “Black Jesus” was castrated by an angry mob after being hacked to death for killing young girls as sacrifices.
Steven Tari, a convicted rapist who was suspected of cannibalism, was killed in a remote PNG village.

[Update 19 November 2013]  Cf. now this, in the London Review of Books, taking apart Jared Diamond’s recent The World until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?

It’s a good bet a culture is in trouble when its best-known intellectuals start ransacking the cultural inventory of its ancestors and its contemporary inferiors for tips on how to live. The malaise is all the more remarkable when the culture in question is the modern American variant of Enlightenment rationalism and progress, a creed not known for self-doubt or failures of nerve. The deeper the trouble, the more we are seen to have lost our way, the further we must go spatially and temporally to find the cultural models that will help us. In the stronger versions of this quest, there is either a place – a Shangri-la – or a time, a Golden Age, that promises to reset our compass to true north.


[Update 18 January 2013]  A reader sent me this link

under the subject-line “Rape is not just a problem in India. It's also a problem in the UK”.   And indeed, the opening paragraph is truly horrific:

A 12-year-old girl who was repeatedly raped by a group of men was also made to have a back-room abortion after falling pregnant, a court has heard.  She is one of six alleged victims of nine men accused of grooming children and exploiting them for sex in Oxford.
She was also "branded" with the initial of a man who claimed to "own her".

This is as much of what comes out of the Third World.   So -- are the Oxford dons, or whoever it may be, on a moral par with the subcontinental diabolists?
Well, no.  Read on, see the names and pictures of the accused, and you realize, this is the Third World;  these men are in England, but not of it.
The account continues:

The men deny 51 charges including rape, arranging child prostitution and trafficking relating to girls aged between 11 and 15 from 2004 to 2012.
Jurors at the Old Bailey heard the victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was "sold" to Mohammed Karrar when she had just turned 11 to "cure her bad attitude".

The nine men are demons.   But a detail slipped into that last sentence, and never expanded-on nor explained, is actually more chilling.  “Sold” …. by whom?  Her family?  If so, we have to deal, not simply with (as it were) some rabid dogs who strayed into a neighborhood and terrorized the populace … but a populace of curs.

*     *    

Tired of marinating in a rehash of such squalid shenanigans?
Then bail out and read something timeless instead:
Consilience in Mathematics

(For those not opting to do so --
We now return you to the folly of life here below.)

*     *     *
[Update]  Still stunned, I searched for further details of the case, and found this:

A 14-year-old girl who went to the police after allegedly being beaten up and repeatedly raped by a member of a child sex trafficking ring was persuaded to drop her complaint by another girl who was “seeing” her attacker, a court heard today.

So, yes:   We have here to deal, not with a handful of demons on one side, and the innocent on the other, but a whole infected culture in that milieu.

Now -- What milieu are we dealing with here?  Neither the BBC nor The Independent is inclined to breathe word of this.   It is sad when you have to turn to the tabloids to get the real deal, but here it is:

Seven men of Pakistani origin and two from North Africa are accused of 79 offences against six vulnerable white British girls. The charges include child rape, sexual trafficking and child prostitution.
From the age of 12 the girl was sold to groups of Asian men who violently raped her in private homes and guesthouses around Oxford and elsewhere. Sometimes she was injected with heroin or given date drugs to ensure she complied with the gang’s sick demands.


There is a highly curious aspect to this latest case, quite different in its dynamics from the familiar crime and disorder of Third World life, involving rather Cultures in Contact -- but a contact basically at the level of the Unconscious.   To pursue this would take us out of sociopolitical territory, and into the psychoanalytical.   Perhaps, if I come to understand it better, I might blog about it, under the rubric

Bluebeard and the Little Drummer Girl

Readers wishing to have a glimpse of the sort of thing this involves, in a CT context, might profitably dip into an extensively researched and grippingly written thriller (only, it’s not fiction) by John Follain, Jackal (1998), the saga of the charismatic terrorist Carlos, who somehow excited  many a Bartholin's gland.
            In an earlier essay, Pride and the Laws of Motion,  we examined the thesis that Superbia, at least as much as the factors considered by Marx, was essential to understanding the psychodynamics of the subaltern.  This mostly involves the depth-psychology of the male.   This other dynamic, less often explored in a political setting, depends principally on the depth-psychology of the female.  Deep waters, where we fear to wade.

[Update 27 January 2013] Latest reflection of the Bluebeard syndrome:,0,6094929.story
Linda Riss went on to marry Burton Pugach, who in 1959 hired a goon to splash lye on her face. Their baffling but long-lasting union fascinated the media.

[Update 16 Feb 2013]  And now another:

The eligible bachelor ... and the blushing bride

The enigma of a woman’s heart,
finally espied  by a Private Eye,
for less than the price  of a Valentine …
This Rose
[Kindle]  [Nook]

[Aug 2014] And another:


[Update 16 March 2013]  The latest, from central India:  a bike-ride gone bad.

Une touriste suisse a été victime d'un viol collectif hier soir dans le centre de l'Inde, a indiqué aujourd'hui la police. La victime se promenait à vélo avec son mari dans le quartier de Datia, dans l'état du Madhya Pradesh, quand sept à huit hommes les ont attaqués. Ils ont attaché l'homme et violé la femme en sa présence, avant de leur voler leurs biens, a précisé la police. Huit suspects sont actuellement entendus par les enquêteurs.

As always, a cauldron of comment boils behind the bland wire-services account.  In the columns of todays’s Le Figaro, much the same debate plays out (“What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander” vs. “C’est un poids, deux mesures”) as in the New Delhi case treated above.   Representing the first camp, a reader writes (I normally don’t include the poster’s name, even though these are quite public, but in this case it is necessary for comprehension of the second reply below):

Ca suffit le racisme. C'est quoi ces internautes qui ont la langue plus rapide que leur cerveau et qui font des "bug"....
Petit rappel pour un retour à la triste réalité :
1/ Tous les 8 minutes une femme est victime de viol en France.
2/ Tous les 3 jours une femme meurt sous les coups de son mari ou compagnon en France.

Representing the second:

Vous répétez des chiffres erronés et issus de la propagande associative.
Certaines associations féministes ont décidé pour mieux marquer les esprits de considérer en dehors de toute réalité statistique que les viols déclarés ne représentent que 10 % des viols en France. Cela nous donne la statistique choc de 1 viol toutes les 8 minutes rabâchée depuis des années.
et quand on sait que les prisonniers sont aux trois quart vos coreligionaires, il n'est pas difficile de faire le lien avec ces 200 viols

Si cela vous parle,
savourez la série noire
en argot authentique d’Amérique :

And now, an exact parallel in the German press,

where a reader comments

aus irgendeinem Grund greift die Presse solche Fälle nur auf wenn sie sehr weit weg passieren. Vor einigen Wochen gab es beispielsweise eine Massenvergewaltigung in München, ausserhalb der Lokalmedien hat man hiervon allerdings nichts lesen können, und selbst da wurde, wie üblich, die Herkunft der Täter verschleiert.

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weiterblättern möchten,
Bitte hier klicken:


For further essays and stories, check this out:


[Update 30 March 2013]  The latest piece of particularist piffle, from the reliably wool-headed Washington Post, appeared prominently featured on their Website, written by a couple of women.:

White men with guns
Our nation must confront why they perpetrate so many shootings.

To point out the obvious  would be churlish.

[Update 20 April 2013]  More from India’s bulging police-blotter:

NEW DELHI — The case of a 5-year-old girl who was kidnapped, repeatedly raped, starved and tortured has provoked a protest

[Update 4 June 2013]  Ho hum, another one:

An American woman was apparently gang-raped by three men in the tourist area of Manali in India’s mountainous northern state of Himachal Pradesh

Well, you may say, these things happen, you can always pick up some oddity from the police blotters by trolling around.    But what makes this an indictment of India, specifically, rather than of just a handful of rural louts, is this:

Cases entering the legal system can take years, even decades, to resolve.

So, good luck getting any justice.
Once again:  The attempt by the New York Times to smear America and bring it down to the level of India in matters like this, is contemptible.

[Update 13 Aug 2014]  From the world of fashion, a degenerate Western response  to the India outrages:

But what do you expect, from the world of fashion.

[Update 27 Aug 2014] On the mass-rape issue, more re Swedish political-correctness,

now with a new relevance, given this:

[Update 10 November 2015]  Acid attacks on the upswing.  (No, not on U.S. campuses.)

In Indien nehmen Attentate zu, die Täter zielen auf Gesicht und Augen. Die gefährlichen Chemikalien lassen sich problemlos kaufen


  1. Big flaw with your opinions - you choose isolated events instead of statistics.

    BTW Suttee was a practice quite common pre WW II. Its illegal, and it rarely happens now (fortunately). There are plenty of widows in the country, and people don't build a bonfire out of them.

    The delhi rape victim wasn't skewered with the rod. Her intestines were removed due to internal injury during the assault. If her guts had been ripped out, she wouldnt have survived the 2 hour delay before medical treatment.

    Every society has their own baggage. Just as you think Indians are gangraping, widow burning savages, their view of America is of a violent, drug addled country full of single teenage moms.

    Neither view is correct. Both are cherry picked and reflected in self absorbed echo chambers.

    Visit the country once, its a big place. Crime there is related to the economic status of each region. Wealthier regions of the country have less crime and better education, just like the US.

  2. BTW, this is not the first or the last time that people have commented on foreigners safety in India.

    There are places in India safer than most places in US, Spain or Mexico.

    There are also places that are more dangerous than Sudan or Iraq.

    The first thing I noticed about the bike ridin couple, was that they were parked 400 yards from the nearest road in a very rural area (likely no electricity or phone signal).

    In the middle of the night, they would present an extremely lucrative target to the impoverished region they were travelling through. 180 USD might not seem like much to you as an american, but at $2 a day being the average earning of poor people, its a small fortune.

    There would be 0 police presence in such rural areas, no way to communicate and they still decided to stay far away from a road in the middle of nowhere.

    Crime is high in many places in India. But even you should see what an unprepared and easy mark these folk made.

    Would it have been any different in poor suburbs in the US ?

    1. > Would it have been any different in poor suburbs in the US ?

      There are definitely areas in the US where you wouldn’t want to spend the night in a pup-tent, or even to bicycle through during the day! The difference among countries lies in part in the *pattern* of depravity: group-rape seems less characteristic of the US, than, say France (though as you point out, it is difficult to know given both the inherent spottiness of reporting in general, and suppression of such news in particular).
      As I mentioned, though, the target in the crosshairs of this essay is by no means India per se, but media spin (especially in the New York Times) and Western romanticizing of the mysterious East.

  3. Consider also, the de facto head of the Indian govt for the last 6 years is an italian born woman.

    We have plenty of unmarried strong women acting as chief ministers (a governor in terms of US govt).

    These women have pasts as beautiful actresses with extramarital affairs, corruption and all the scandal you would expect from male politicians.

    You are correct. India most definitely has an anti female bias. But that is only a symptom. Its a hierarchy where the rich prey on the poor, the strong on the weak.

    Women and children get the short end of the stick, but the entire society is suffering.

    The divisions are not easy for an american like yourself to see based on online newspapers and comments.

    Indian society is fractured along cultural, religious and economic lines. Its a big country. It used to be several small countries annexed under the british.

    Our federal govt has to struggle just as hard as the US federal govt, if not more, to keep the country together.

    Like I said, each country has its own baggage.