Saturday, May 20, 2017

Discussion thread: 'The Keepers'; and the Duggars file a really stupid lawsuit

Sister Cathy, who was murdered for trying to protect children from abuse.
We've been riveted to The Keepers since it first appeared on Netflix this week. Equally heartbreaking and painstakingly detailed, The Keepers tells the story of Jean Wehner, who was molested by a priest at her high school in the 60's. But this is not just another all too common tale of betrayal and sexual abuse towards children at the hands of the Catholic church. This one is also about Jean's beloved young teacher, a nun named Sister Cathy, who ended up murdered around about the same time she discovered some of her students were being abused. When Cathy set about to stand up for her students, one of the most shocking cover-ups to come out of organized religion ensued.

The internet has been ablaze with amateur sleuths on this story for years, and now it comes to our screens. One review calls The Keepers, which has been compared to Making a Murderer, similar fare yet much more haunting, and that Sister Cathy's murder is a corner piece of a jigsaw puzzle. We agree. Discuss here.

In somewhat ironic timing, the Duggars this week filed a lawsuit against various government officials, protesting the release of police reports and other documents in connection with Josh Duggar's molestation of several of his younger sisters many years ago. The City of Springdale quickly responded with a press release, denying any wrong-doing and pointing out that the documents were heavily redacted, and protesting the use of tax dollars for this scheme.

If there's one thing that comes through in The Keepers, it's that keeping the story quiet about sexual abuse makes it worse, not better. In fact, because Jean and others kept quiet until the early 90's, one perpetrator continued to sit on the pulpit for decades. He was finally removed when Jean decided she must come forward no matter how painful. Because people thought sexual abuse must be kept quiet, Sister Cathy, who did not think so, was murdered. Disclosure and public acknowledgement of abuse is how we solve this problem, Jim Bob, not more covering up. Perhaps if Jean lived in a society in which sexual abuse was not regarded as something so shameful and private, she wouldn't have been so reluctant to come forward, and Sister Cathy would still be alive. Shame on you.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

'Little People, Big World''s Jacob Roloff: 'Money, things, and trips cannot ultimately compensate for the immaterial experiences of a childhood innocently experienced'

Jacob Roloff is sounding off against about the dangers of growing up on TV, and how he feels about all the "trips" he received in exchange.


I remember once seeing my parents go into a room in a restaurant to do a scene, and in the show's storyline it was about the beginning of my parents' separation, although I'm bad at gauging time. In the scene they were supposed to be discussing some serious matter, I don't know, I was just outside the room. I remember though that the scene they were doing was inherently staged and fake. Whatever discussion they were acting out had already happened in real life, so this was at best a rehashing. When they came out though, I saw tears in my mom's eyes and I suddenly realized that this staged 'joke', 'fake' thing was effecting real life in a profound way.
I see the money I have earned and the vacations I was lucky enough to go on as 'compensatory', for lack of  a better word, for a tainted childhood. I feel disappointed in language here because saying that makes it seem like my childhood as a whole was not enjoyed and just a waste. Not true. I had tons of fun and so many opportunities and friendships, and also anger, frustration... the myriad of emotions. However; money, things, and trips — all material — cannot ultimately compensate for the immaterial experiences of a childhood innocently experienced. 
One of my least favorite things to do while filming was formal interviews. We sat down on a tiny uncomfortable chair, small enough to be hidden so as to not break the fourth wall; "Who set up that chair anyhow?" — this was Reality TV after all. Then the producers asked us silly repetitive questions that no right headed 6-10 year old would have a solid answer to; rather I should have been asking the questions to the adults! But I suppose they probably knew that, further creating a certain shy, relatable character in contrast to the brat that ordinarily wreaked havoc —— cunningly dynamic. 
The post actually dates back a few months, but seems to have been recently discovered by the media. The only thing the adults who exploit children on reality TV can't stop is that someday they will grow up, turn 18, and can finally say whatever they like about the experience. Thank you, Jacob, for being the voice of the first generation of children who have grown up on reality TV.