Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The part of the violence conversation you probably won't hear about

This is an assault that probably flew under the radar. I'll be honest and say that I did not know about it until 3-4 days ago.

Around August 30 Justin Lindsey of Aliquippa, Pennsylvania was attacked by ex-girlfriend Rhameicka Clark on the porch of his own home. Now normally you'd think he could just call the police and get her arrested right?


What actually happened is that Clark immediately went to the police, claimed that Lindsey attacked her, and got an Emergency Protection from Abuse order put out on him. What did the cops do? They arrested him.

And yes his mother tried to give police the same video that you see above of Clark attacking him with a metal pipe but the police still chose to keep him in custody for 10 days before he was finally released and the charges were dropped.

Thankfully Lindsey is free. Now let's hope that the Clark actually ends up behind bars herself.

If nothing else this shows us a very serious and damaging flaw in the cultural attitudes around violence.

A woman attacks a man on video, goes to the police station and gets a protection order against him, and when he is taken into custody, the police somehow believe the word of the attacker over video of the attack showing her guilt.

Now I'm sure someone is thinking, "But the police had to make sure he wasn't a threat to her." Then why not arrest them both? Surely video evidence of her attacking him would be enough to get her arrested on the spot while the police sort it all out isn't it?

And that's what worries me.

We (that's an overall we) have gotten so caught up in the narrative that abuse and violence is something that men do to women that even when contrary evidence is staring us in the face we still choose to believe the woman over the man. Yes it's done under the guise of "erring on the side of caution" but where was the caution in letting a woman that assaulted a man on video walk free?

Is this really the narrative that is going to lead to long lasting change and awareness of violence and abuse?

Ridding of the Rice

Earlier this week Ray Rice's contract with the Baltimore Ravens was terminated and the commissioner of the NFL, Rodger Goodell, suspended him indefinitely. Today EA has taken action of their own and will be removing the running back from the video game Madden 15 during this coming week's updates to the game.

At first I was wondering why go so far to get rid of him. But then I realized that there could be legal repercussions. To keep him in the game would mean that the NFL would be profiting off of the image of a man who most likely would not be getting a share of said profits.

Maybe EA decided to remove him to prevent future lawsuits?

Maybe EA did in accordance with a seeming move to scrub Rice away from the NFL's memory forever (apparently store have taken to getting rid of all gear associated with him).

Who knows what EA's exact motives were but its clear that with what Ray Rice has done people are scrambling to disassociate themselves from him.

Edit: Just wanted to explicitly say that I'm glad to see that he was held responsible for his part in this and that he was punished. Before someone comes in and tells me I support violence against women.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Heart and the Changes it can go through

Okay so in the last few days it's been pretty much impossible to look online without hearing about, reading about, or talking the nude celebrity leaks. Long story short someone managed to get their hands on nude images of several celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence, Avril Lavigne, Kate Upton, and many many many more. These images were then shared on the internet for public viewing 

I'm not here to make some moral grand stand about how you should look up those images.

I'm not here to try to liken those who do go looking for those images with rapists and abusers.

I'm not here to tell you where to find those images.

I'm just here to share with you how I changed my mind on wanting to see them myself.

I heard about the leak on Sunday evening and I'll admit that for a short while I went looking for some of the pics. But while I was looking something came over me. It went something like this.

(Internal monologue time. Queue music.)

Danny: Should we really be doing this Danny?

Danny: Doing what?

Danny: Looking for those images.

Danny: Why do you ask?

Danny: Well think about it. Its not like these folks intended for these photos to be shared out in public like this. I mean someone had to break into an online account in order to get to them in the first place.

Danny: True. If they wanted them to be shared they would be out on a million different sites by now.

Danny: And think about this. Let's say those were pics of us.

Danny: Yeah. Even if we had a body that could be considered attractive we wouldn't want to have our photos paraded around the net like that.

Danny: Very true.

Danny: Let's just let them be.

Danny: Fair enough.

Yeah it really was that simple.

I know I wouldn't want to have pics of myself out there like that so why would I take pleasure in such a horrible violation of the privacy of another person?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Goodbye Robin Williams

Man goes to doctor. Says he's depressed. Says life seems harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world where what lies ahead is vague and uncertain. Doctor says "Treatment is simple. Great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. Go and see him. That should pick you up." Man bursts into tears. Says "But Doctor... I am Pagliacci."

I'm not sure about the source of that joke but I think its quite relevant with the recent passing of comedian Robin Williams.

As I'm sure you have already read elsewhere Williams apparently committed suicide yesterday.


At first glance it feels to sudden and tragic. Some people may even think, "How or why would one of the funniest men to ever walk the face of the planet kill himself?"

Its probably because for a lot of people who are depressed, they choose something and put their all into it to the point that they are able to achieve levels of greatness and become legends in their art. Robin's art just happen to be comedy.

Throughout his life Williams battled addictions to alcohol and drugs and was in rehab several times. To me that sounds like he was reaching a point where the his art was no longer enough on its own. But it seems something, I'm not sure what, but something brought him back from that edge. And this time there was nothing there to bring him back.

I just hope that whatever he was looking for he found it.

He gave us so much drama, comedy, and good acting that it would take too long to list everything he did (although my favorites are Aladdin and Dead Poets Society) so I'll just say goodbye.

(I hope there is no need to say this but I won't take kindly to saying that he was a coward or selfish for killing himself in the comments.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Whoopi Goldberg: Women don't deserve a free pass to hit men

I know I've been quiet for a while but I had to chime in on this a bit.

Frankly I agree with her.

When this all went down a few weeks ago the usual tanks were circled and this was turned into another case of "man abuses woman" when it looks like it was a case of "woman abuses man, man went too far in response".

And yes folks those are two different things.

If you think they are different then let me ask this.

Why is hardly anyone besides Whoopi even talking about the fact that she said she hit him first?

Sure you can try to pull that "it doesn't matter who hit who" but if you do then be ready to explain who if it doesn't matter who hit who why the overwhelming response has been on Rice and how small of a league punishment he got?

Where are the calls for that COUPLE to go to counseling and work on why the tension got to the point where physical violence even came up.

Where are the well wishings that Ray Rice learn that violence is not the answer (instead of "Ray Rice shouldn't hit women")?

Yes Rice was wrong and I think he should have been benched for the whole season for his part in it. But don't go acting like this is all on him.