Saturday, August 06, 2005

I Thought He'd Never Leave

Today's post is inspired (or do I mean triggered?) by a little item in one of the local news station's websites. Local news, you say? Could that be a story about a man who bakes a puppy in a pie and then claims the crust looks like the Virgin Mary? Could be. But don't let me digress about the sensationalist nature of the so-called local, so-called news. (If it happens in Petaluma and has no local significance, why report it? If it has no significance, why report it?)

It seems that a man pled no contest to a count of sexual assault of a child, and was sentenced to ... be boiled in oil? Nope. Go to jail? Nuh-uh. Attend an inpatient extended treatment program for sexual predators? Oh, country mouse.

No, this individual was sentenced to crochet.

[Insert Church Lady voice:] Isn't that special?

I find pedophilia to be one of the most excruciatingly complex social issues to deal with. A significant percentage of pedophiles were themselves abused as children, which makes me furious that nobody is protecting our children and that we're creating cycles of violence and pain. We don't have enough resources, or enough effective treatments, for offenders who are caught or for the children they abuse. We know that pedophiles have a staggeringly high recidivism rate. Civil libertarians (and our lovely friends at NAMBLA) often argue that we can't punish people for things they might do in the future; yet it seems foolish to refrain from closely monitoring a population that has been convicted of a particular crime that has as its hallmark the compulsion to do it again and again. (Even if they are Catholic priests.) I have children, and once those kids slip the surly bonds of pregnancy and pop out into the world, you become almost physically nauseous when you hear stories of child abuse of any kind, and frustrated that the world cares more about how many bimbos Jude Law slept with than grappling with an issue like this one.

I don't know what the answers are. Many there aren't any. But I can't believe the answer is to let someone who is willing to accept the punishment for sexual abuse of a child be sentenced to ... crochet.

I'm sure Mr. Pervy Sexual Abuser will visit one of the many earnest crochet for charity sites, perhaps one like this, and he will make, erm, cute little stuffed animals that he can give to, erm, needy children.

New Vogue Knitting

On a lighter note, I received my fall copy of Vogue Knitting yesterday. Bestill your hearts – there is no way I’m gonna do a Joe design-by-design eviscerati—I mean critique. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that it’s the best VK I’ve seen in some time (which, admittedly, is damning them with faint praise). I am a big fan of the “By Invitation Only” section on shawls, one or two of which I might actually make. There’s a scalloped neon pair of gauntlets which are fun; an exquisite long skirt by Maie Landra that I will never make but love looking at; and several other decent sweaters. It’s about fucking time. Of course, there are still a few garments that look like they were sewn together by a color-blind tailor in a schmatteh factory, but still, this issue’s definitely a step in the right direction. Keep it up, Trish.

-- Carol S.

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