Jan 032013

All over the news tonight are reports of the Steubenville case: in short, some high school football players apparently drugged a girl into unconsciousness and then raped her, and then a bunch of their buddies laughed about it. But like many modern mechanized morons, they thought it would be a good idea to photograph and video themselves doing this, then posted that stuff online, and then yapped about it on Facebook.

As I said, morons.

Much of this information, though, would not have come to light had it not been for the hacker group “Anonymous.” They took it upon themselves to hack email and Facebook accounts, gathered this incriminating evidence, then presented it to the world. What Anonymous did was probably illegal. And I say, good on ’em.

I think what we’re seeing here is a part of a gradual cultural evolution. When I was high school age (long, loooong ago), there were, as there are now, the jocks and the nerds. Feel free to speculate which camp I was in. If you said “jock,” well, no, not so much. Back then, there was no internet that we were aware of; no social media. Hackers existed but were a very specialized rarity. It was very much the jocks world… a world of physicality and no recorded evidence. Jocks, of course, ruled. If you were a nerd (or, let’s face it, a girl), watch out. Unpleasant as those days were, they did nevertheless teach important lessons. If a jock liked to punch you in the hallway during the rush hour between classes, a thin wood plate under your shirt served as a deterrent… especially if it was covered in thumbtacks. Fighting back *physically* was often the fast road to a  serious beatdown… but if you learned to talk right, you could come out ahead. If you learned to speak the right words in the right tone so as to inspire utter terror, you could utterly upend the thug/victim relationship.

But of course, that all came with great risk. An important lesson that many a nerd-who-fought-back learned, you either won and won decisively, or you simply pissed off your tormenter. And so for many on the non-thug end of the social scale, hiding or otherwise keeping ones head down was the tactic most often employed.

Kids today, however…

Now as then, the body-proud thugs are *generally* really quite stupid. Even if their brains are actually wired for smarts, for those to whom success comes not from thinking but from nearly pure physicality – or even just from winning the genetic jackpot and being physically very attractive – there is no *need* to develop their minds. And so… stupid. And so they record their crimes. And so they joke about their crimes publicly. When they are constantly touted by their peers and their community as being heroes, even though all they do is play childish games, that evolved stupidity gets married to a sense of entitlement. Put that all together and you’ve produced a monster.

But now the monsters live in the world the nerds built. More, while the monsters know how to *use* the various technologies that are available, the nerds *understand* the technologies. Nerds are gaining the upper hand. And the beauty of it, the beauty that Anonymous demonstrates, is that now the nerds can fight back… and the monsters don’t know who’s doing it. Hell, it could be a nerd on the other side of the planet. So even if the monster lashes out and threatens or even hurts people… he’s not only not going to shut down his opponent, he’s actually just adding to the pile of evidence that will be used against him.

And so now we have some jocks-turned-monsters who thought it’d be fun to rape a girl. This is one of those things virtually *designed* to piss off nerds. Jocks can easily Get Some. Nerds… can’t. Humans are what a million years of evolution have made us, and the big caveman necessarily is more appealing to the female than the scrawny (or fat) weakling. Fair enough. But when those who could easily Get Some because there are girls willing and eager to Give It Away decide, instead, to Steal It… for those from whom “Getting Some” is a distant and forlorn hope that’s just too damned much to bear. And so, the nerd dreams of being the hero riding in on his white horse to slay the monster and rescue the damsel in distress. Hell, the subset of Anonymous that focuses on going after rapists even calls themselves “Knight Sec“.

Wanting to be a hero to me sounds good and proper (as opposed to… what? Wanting to be a monster? A victim? A bystander?), but it is an attitude that is often sneered at. Look at the sarcastic nastiness tossed towards people who carry concealed, for example. But actually riding to the rescue of a damsel in distress is of course often impossible. Often, the distress is already over; there’s no rescue possible. But the monster remains at large. The monsters chuckling buddies remain at large. Bringing them to justice is a worthy goal… not only to bring them punishment, but to bring a small measure of closure to the victim… and to keep there from being more victims in the future. And dredging up information is something nerds *can* do. Dig through the muck, find the evidence and plaster it all over CNN.

With luck, this sort of thing will only grow. With luck, the nerds will take down many a rapist and their cohorts. Lock them into prison at the age of 18 and keep them there till they’re 50, and you will do the gene pool a *world* of good. Keep taking down monster jocks, and perhaps people will finally come to realize that watching a few kids run around on a field or a court is just not all that important. If *half* the money and effort that goes into football and basketball went into readin’, writin’, ‘rithmetic, science and industrial arts, the United States could end the energy crisis in a single Presidential term, and could colonize Mars by the end of the decade. Glorifying athletes produces… what? Kids that want to be athletes. OK, fine… but that doesn’t bolster society in any meaningful way. If those kids were instead to grow up to want to be metallurgists or electricians, physicists or scientists, entrepreneurs or technicians… wow. What a world this could be.

Rant over.

 Posted by at 8:16 pm
  • Plus 1,000,000 baby.

    • publiusr

      This is the best thing the Anonymous group has done yet.

      The sea state really has changed.In that sense Then too cyberbullying actually rewards those with an acid tongue–and those are sadly girls. And unlike Don Rickles, they don’t know when to stop. Remember, it wasn’t only jocks who made nerds lives miserable.

      Jocks may not always have grudges. Often times guys will fight, then become the best of friends. There is a code there if you can find it.

      But inject the 24/7 news cycle (paparazzi element) into the school what with camera phones–which is what the internet did–and peer pressure just had high test poured all over it. The result, suicides.

      Now kids are being more socially progressive. I have seen this even in the south. That’s a good thing. Then too, if you have young Mr. Hoop-dreams date an icy entitled suburban princess–little miss Casey Anthony will make him miserable. The opposite dynamic where nerds who get dumped by any girlfriends they have now dating strong African American women who won’t put up with being called names makes for a healthier relationship. They have often been dumped by boyfriends who have bought into what beauty magazines have told them is beautiful, as per Spike Lee’s Jungle Fever–. But I digress.

      Women are far better than men at vocabulary. Only the most astute gay men have a more acid wit (John Waters would leave most girl cyber bullies crying). But many young men don’t have those skills and hide behind their larger frames, and can actually feel quite small. Many of them come from violent homes, so there is that too. Bullies come in all forms. A 16 year old girl can curse like a sailor, then use her charms to seduce, say, a neardy teacher who might be a 40 year old virgin. So who is the oppressor there? It reminds me of the ENTERPRISE episode about the green orion slave women. They turned out to be the ones running the joint.

      You see that in schools. Danger finds danger, and wry, suicide girls match up well with the gangstas. So there may yet come another challenge.

      I guess I’m an old fogey, but the rise of youth culture–especially in the 1980s–our generation may have some blame placed on it. The 12 graders tell jokes to 11 graders, and on down the line. With pageant moms and all, toddlers are talking smack.

      The complex social dynamics in schools today makes Carcosa on the Lake a cheerful place to live by comparison.

  • Anonymous

    Not many jocks will find their way here.

    • Anonymous

      Well, it’s not a sports blog. And there are few pictures of nekkid chicks (though I’m pretty sure readership would go up substantially if there were). And I don’t provide advise on how to sneak around drug tests, or where to score the latest steroids.

  • Donut Argh

    Damn, it wasn’t like that in Lane in the 80s. The only terrorizing in the hallways was done by whoever scored highest in the most recent weekly JETS math competition.

  • Peter Hanely

    How does “Knight Sec” know what accounts to target? Do they get anything that a search warrant based on the same knowledge couldn’t get (assuming the police have their act together)? Given the broken chain of custody, is the evidence obtained by breaking security admissible in court?

    On the other side, raping a girl who might be able to identify you, let along with a group who can certainly identify you, is stupid. Documenting the crime just adds to the stupidity.

    • Anonymous

      > is the evidence obtained by breaking security admissible in court?

      I *think* it is. It’s when the *cops* obtain evidence illegally that it’s inadmissible.

      EDIT: a few years ago a burglar stole a small safe and found it full of kiddie porn. Turned it in to the cops, and the owner of the illegal porn got arrested and, IIRC, successfully tried.

      > Documenting the crime just adds to the stupidity.

      Comes from the sense of entitlement. If you’ve been raised to believe that you can do no wrong, then whatever you do is by definition right.

  • Norman N. House

    I played sports in school. I was also popular. Yet somehow I managed to graduate in the top ten percent and obtain a full academic scholarship as well.

    In my experience, most “nerds” were victims of their own self-pity, bad hygiene, and/or poorly-intergrated personalities. My Rx for them was always “less time around the D&D table, more time doing interesting things outside the home.”

    • Anonymous

      So, let me see if I got this right: you seem to be pleased and proud of the fact that when you were in school you played games. Yet you seem to look down on nerds… because they played games. Is that about right?

      • Anonymous

        Scott, the conformists will always be the conformists. Ignore them and pick up that d20 you dropped before I step on it. 😉

        • Anonymous

          > pick up that d20 you dropped

          I played D&D precisely *once.* Didn’t get it, wasn’t my schtick. But I have more respect for D&D than, say, football. D&D requires imagination.

      • Norman N. House

        I’m saying that “nerd” was a self-imposed title, i.e. that those people in my school who were social outcasts were so because they themselves chose to be. Nobody forced them to be narrow, obsessive losers. They wanted to be, I guess because it made them feel superior somehow.

        I had a lot of friends like that. I remember once a friend of mine saying that “we” were outcasts because “we” were nonconformists and geniuses whom the “normals” hated and feared. My response: “What you mean ‘we’ Kimosabe?”

        Sure, I played sports, but I was also a medal-winning debater, too. It’s called being a well-rounded person instead of a narcissistic, obsessive geek. I certainly never looked down on anyone because they were smart (I had the second-highest SAT score in my high school), nor did I shun ugly people. I’m not particularly good looking myself! Being smart and/or fat and ugly was never a social stigma. There were lots of smart, ugly, fat people in my school who were as popular or more popular than I. The difference between them and the “nerds” was that they smelled good, dressed like human beings, had a wide variety of interests, thought about others instead of themselves, and were in general fun people to be around.

        I keep up with the old school gang, and I can say that only two of our school’s “nerds” went on to be successful in life (i.e. they ended up doing what they loved to do for a living). All the rest of my old nerdy friends, so far as I know, have settled for lives of unfulfilled dreams, bitterness, and mediocrity. (Most of the jocks burned out early.) The all-rounders, however, have all done pretty well for themselves, and I think there’s a lesson in that. Mens sana in corpore sano.

        Thanks for allowing me to comment.

        • Anonymous

          > I remember once a friend of mine saying that “we” were outcasts because
          “we” were nonconformists and geniuses whom the “normals” hated and

          Sounds more like “goth” than “nerd.”

          > It’s called being a well-rounded person instead of a narcissistic, obsessive geek.

          You mean like the dedicated sports geek?

          > Being smart and/or fat and ugly was never a social stigma.

          You seem to have gone to an unusual school.

          > All the rest of my old nerdy friends, so far as I know, have settled for
          lives of unfulfilled dreams, bitterness, and mediocrity. (Most of the
          jocks burned out early.)

          *MOST* people are merely filler. True across all groups.

  • David Winfrey

    Brilliant post. *I* was picked on for (among other reasons) being “so queer.” I tended to say things like “You mean ‘effeminate,” Jack. And as for what you thought you were saying, IF I were, it wouldn’t be YOU.”

    publiusr, quit bullying Scott. He’s being good today.

    • Anonymous

      > picked on for … being … ‘effeminate,

      Apart from maybe being horribly disfigured, I think that might be the fastest route to abuse in school. Hell, I remember the Chuckling Jackass Brigade in my “Advanced Placement” classes in high school (and, yes, these were the jocks and/or muscled thugs in the class) picking on one of the *girls* for being too effeminate. Laughed at her till she cried because of the way she *stood* (hard to explain). Gah.

      So for an effeminate *guy,* yeah, those years had to be a hoot and a half.

      As for publiusr, he’s right that girls can be damned *mean.* Awesome critters though they might be, they have a tendency towards psychological evil that must be respected.

      • David Winfrey

        Oh HELL yes, girls/women can be mean. We (in general) are readily capable of killing them; they (like us in re: them) possess the power to rend our souls. As you’ve already noted, they tend to be more skilled at that, and earlier, being as how men tend to avoid/minimize talkin’ ’bout our feelings (not all men, of course). What one doesn’t talk (think) about, one cannot comprehend, let alone “control.” Thus, our life-choices (like theirs, in many cases) puts us on the path to victimhood….ALL of which behaviors we tend to pass on, as parents, unexamined and indeed often unacknowledged, to our chillun. We don’t learn nothin’ — we don’t share nothin- — we can do nothin’ — and fall prey, every one, to the ‘school of life’ from which we generally learn…damn near nothin’.

        THE thing most vital to learn isn’t facts (memorization/acquisition of data, that is to say), but the most efficacious means OF acquiring/manipulating them. Heinlein: “Get the FACTS.” Alas, most of us shy away, lifelong, from at least CERTAIN facts, relying instead on presumptions. “Liberals” think guns’re bad. “Conservatives” find treehuggers crazy. Etc., ad infinitum. We mostly fail, by deliberate choice, to even TRY to walk in the shoes of others…which save we (figuratively) do so leaves our comprehension of the universe dependent upon our particular (in particular childhood) anecdotal experience of (a part of) it.