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Black Lamb

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Now in its 14th year of publication, this magazine was created to offer the discerning reader a stimulating selection of excellent original writing. Black Lamb Review is a literate rather than a literary publication. Regular columns by writers in a variety of geographic locations and vocations are supplemented by features, reviews, articles on books and authors, and a selection of “departments,” including an acerbic advice column and a lamb recipe.

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Archive for the 'Prunty' Category

Pedophile heroes of 9/11?

What if... ? Just what if... ?

January 1st, 2016

BY JAMES PRUNTY

The popular pejoratives “pedophile” and “child molester” have never made much sense, given the public’s preoccupation with youthful beauty. Conversely, the public’s nearly religious devotion to certain types of heroes, war heroes in particular, stands in stark contrast to the universal condemnation of pedophiles as pariahs. Why war heroes, or 9/11 heroes in particular, and not other types of heroes? Why pedophile villains, and not sleazy lawyers and accountants? Or better yet, banks and insurance companies? As big sellers of news, pedophiles and heroes confront us with a curious dynamic, because these angels and demons share much common ground.

splitHeroes and pedophiles are largely human creations that reveal far more about us than about the people upon whom the status is conferred. To begin with, the odds are very remote that anyone reading this is either. They are rare. In their own ways, heroes and pedophiles are both attractive and necessary. They sell a lot of advertising for newspaper and television, both of which shamelessly capitalize on the way these subjects stimulate the public imagination. Both frequently make the front-page news. Both evoke strong feelings, even in people who can’t name their elected representatives, can’t balance their checkbooks, or couldn’t care less about the most important issues of the day. Heroes have few detractors, pedophiles few defenders. Public reaction to both crosses all party and demographic lines. The two subjects are at the extremities of conversation: we discuss heroism comfortably in mixed company without reservation, but we can scarcely mention the word “pedophile” for fear of sounding vulgar, and the subject when raised arouses intense discomfort.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: 13th Anniversary Issue, Prunty | Link to this Entry

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