Re: Child cruelty

1

Reminiscent of Cool Hand Luke.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 10:09 AM
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Also, his 16 year old son is 4'2"? That (a) makes me wonder if the kid is nutritionally neglected and (b) makes punishment involving lugging heavy weights around even more suspect.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 10:12 AM
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4'2" at age 16 is small enough that it would make me wonder about what that kid is eating, as well.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 10:14 AM
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I think that's the detail that made me back away from the trolling-angle, which went something like "I bet the kid is in fantastic shape now!"


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 10:15 AM
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I'm not sure what the putative difference between abuse and cruelty is supposed to be here or why this shouldn't count as abuse.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 10:21 AM
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It's not that hard to carry 23 pounds for a few miles if you're 16, but maybe if you're 4'2'' it is.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 10:25 AM
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The difficulty also depends on the shape of the object and how you're carrying it, and whether or not you've been woken up at 3 in the morning, I imagine.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 10:28 AM
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And the slope along which you carry it. Let's name these variables and then try an equation.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 10:30 AM
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Assuming a healthy 16-year-old, the three mile walk carrying a heavy thing doesn't seem particularly cruel in itself (like, people do things like that as an enjoyable summer afternoon), but it does make me think the father is crazy: elaborately unusual punishments for your kids seem diagnostic of being a scary person even if the particular punishment is no big thing. (The 3am thing, admittedly, makes it worse.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 10:30 AM
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Georgia child cruelty: "First degree cruelty to children occurs when any person maliciously causes a child cruel or excessive physical or mental pain or deprives the child of necessary sustenance to the extent that the child's health or well-being is jeopardized." "Cruelty to children in the first degree is punished as a felony with a minimum of five years imprisonment"


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 10:33 AM
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My 8 year old son is 4'2" tall, and he's short for his age.

Perhaps the boy in this story has some specific medical condition that's not malnutrition? Like Multiple epiphyseal dysplasia?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 10:34 AM
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It looks like child abuse would have required an injury to him. (And there's an exemption for just praying for a child rather than seeking treatment, because of course there is. Not relevant to this case, but to ogged's recent ruminations on the South.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 10:35 AM
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It certainly sounds cruel to me, even if it doesn't constitute 'abuse'.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 10:39 AM
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Dad was probably an cruel asshole and should be charged, carrying a 23 pound weight a few miles isn't per se evidence of cruelty but may demonstrate cruelty in context. Done and done, let's move back to can superintelligent birds on other planets build radios.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 10:41 AM
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Note that Chu seemingly dissents from the view that the UCSB killer and regular nerds are entirely different critters:

I've heard Elliot Rodger's voice before. I was expecting his manifesto to be incomprehensible madness--hoping for it to be--but it wasn't. It's a standard frustrated angry geeky guy manifesto, except for the part about mass murder.
I've heard it from acquaintances, I've heard it from friends. I've heard it come out of my own mouth, in moments of anger and weakness.

Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 10:46 AM
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16

Wrong thread!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 10:47 AM
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17

Remove the Stone of Shame!


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 10:48 AM
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Assuming a healthy 16-year-old, the three mile walk carrying a heavy thing doesn't seem particularly cruel in itself (like, people do things like that as an enjoyable summer afternoon)

Carrying a 23-pound stone for three miles shouldn't be that big a deal? Seriously, if you were going out for a day hike, would you carry a 23-pound backpack? I don't. A picnic lunch, emergency medical supplies and a bottle of water are about it, and that's not 23 pounds. Never mind, of course, that I assume the kid wasn't carrying the stone in a backpack but rather was clutching it in his arms. I wouldn't care to walk three miles carrying something like that - would you want to carry a 23-pound child in your arms for 3 miles? And a child would be...well, much wrigglier than a stone, but it would be possible to prop the kid on your shoulder, which makes things easier. Frankly, when I have to haul a 25 pound box 1/4 mile to the campus post office, I am glad to put that damn thing down, and I'm not 4'2".

Dad sounds scary.

I do end up wondering, though, because I have had a conversation with an African-American acquaintance about worrying that not disciplining your kid aggressively will be seen as neglectful because of racism. And god knows I've heard enough white people complaining about perfectly ordinary child behavior because it's behaved by children of color.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 10:48 AM
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Dad was probably an cruel asshole and should be charged, carrying a 23 pound weight a few miles isn't per se evidence of cruelty but may demonstrate cruelty in context.

Right. Standing up for 10 hours a day is fine, as Donald Rumsfeld argues based on his own experience, but he is not correct that it's fine to force people to stand up for no reason.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 10:48 AM
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Repeatedly waking a kid st 3 am, making him engage in physical activity rather than go back to sleep, is going to have actual (negative!) physical effects, isn't this part of our SOP down in Cuba? Sadly apparently without bruises or broken bones it's "just" cruelty not abuse. Lovely distinction.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 10:49 AM
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And god knows I've heard enough white people complaining about perfectly ordinary child behavior because it's behaved by children of color.

Heh. I had the weirdest racially motivated reaction on the subway yesterday. Normally, kids in public don't bother me: (a) I don't actually see kids in public doing things that I think of as bad behavior that often, and (b) even when they're identifiably misbehaving, they don't usually actually annoy me. But there was a woman on the A train with three kids last night, from maybe 4 to 7, and they were flailing around and shoving each other and clambering on stuff in a way that was really inappropriate in terms of how crowded the subway was. Not quite slamming into the people around them, but really close. And I found myself actively loathing the mother for not getting the kids under control because she was making white people look bad, which is not a reaction I think I've ever had on that kind of visceral level before. (Actually, I first did a close analysis of what they were wearing to see if I could blame the bad behavior on their being out-of-towners, and decided I couldn't. They might have been, but there weren't any particular tells.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 10:56 AM
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22

I can't read child abuse stories any more, they make me squirm and give me that visceral pained feeling like fingernails on a chalkboard.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 11:08 AM
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22: Now that you're a parent, you mean? I've certainly heard that from other people.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 11:13 AM
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re: 22/23

Yeah, there was one particular unpleasant one here in the UK recently that hit me like a ton of bricks and I just couldn't think about it. And I'm not normally prone to that, and haven't (generally) been particularly more so since we had xelA, but something about it just made it unbearable to even contemplate.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 11:42 AM
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That's interesting! I don't really get to hold onto that distancing.

In this child cruelty case, it certainly sounds like there's more going on than just carrying the stones ("other punishments in between" or something like that) but the child hasn't been removed and it sounds like the dad is back in the home, which is interesting. I'm sure there's a safety plan and so forth, but that sounds like an awkward situation and I hope they really are getting help.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 1:00 PM
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Now that I have kids, I find fiction where bad things happen to children hard to take.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 1:01 PM
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Yes, since I became a parent. Not that I loved reading about child abuse before, but it didn't hit me viscerally.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 1:01 PM
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28

I can't deal with any kind of child-in-peril stories at all.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 1:41 PM
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Seriously, if you were going out for a day hike, would you carry a 23-pound backpack?

I've carried a 23lb child around on my back all day. But in one's arms is a different matter.

Weird story all round. The short boy probably shouldn't be the weirdest bit, but it's the bit I'm left wondering about.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 1:48 PM
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At age nine my parents were making me carry about twenty pounds for a dozen miles after waking me up at dawn. Not as a punishment though.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 1:52 PM
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At age nine my parents were making me carry about twenty pounds for a dozen miles after waking me up at dawn. Not as a punishment though.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 1:52 PM
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32

Nia and Mara are about that height and would love to be allowed to carry 30-lb. Selah, but I don't trust them enough.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 2:38 PM
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33

24 et seq.: With you there. Scomber Mix advanced a probably not entirely unreasonable claim about carseat safety this weekend (we'd passed a carseat on the curb with a sign saying "FREE", I'd said hoo boy that's sketchy, he said eh, the know-your-carseat's-history business is probably overblown and any old carseat gets you most of the protection of a proper one) and I was totally unable to engage on a rational level because MY BABY. In fairness I'd spent an unusual portion of the weekend thinking about parents who had just lost children, but yeah, can't cope.


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 3:06 PM
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I can't deal with any kind of child-in-peril stories at all.

If there's an implicit "now" in between the "I" and "can" there, I had this happen to me as well, unexpectedly and with a vengeance. Amongst other things, it made me understand how easily it must be to get to people through their children.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 4:57 PM
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35

This has also happened to me. It has succeeded in giving a couple of Game of Thrones episodes quite undeserved import.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 5:00 PM
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36

Yeah, [sigh], me too.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 5:07 PM
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37

Actually, 35 is why I got too busy for OrangeITNBlack - I knew there was an upcoming episode where a woman has a baby in prison and presumably it's handled awfully, and the premise was gut-wrenching enough that I trailed off. Otherwise I was enjoying the series.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 5:10 PM
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37: No no no, that's the best and saddest part of the whole series. I realize that's a not glowing endorsement or anything, but there's no baby peril.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 5:41 PM
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Seriously, if you were going out for a day hike, would you carry a 23-pound backpack?

The particular weight caught my eye because that's what Zardoz weighs right now.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 6:04 PM
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20 This may be what you were thinking of: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/07/AR2008080703004.html

The affidavit we filed for Maher is more descriptive of the consequences, as you'd expect.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 6:31 PM
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Assuming a healthy 16-year-old, the three mile walk carrying a heavy thing doesn't seem particularly cruel in itself (like, people do things like that as an enjoyable summer afternoon), but it does make me think the father is crazy:

I'm not sure why we should assume a healthy 16-year old? and I don't believe this exercise can be seen as inherently this or that in itself . In context, this is an act of malicious cruelty. It shocks the conscience; and it turns the stomach.

There's this thing now where we mock: "Won't someone think of the children?" because of the reactionary uses to which that formulation is too often put. Fair enough. But I do believe that the way you treat a child who is under your care, who is under your control, is the true measure of your moral worth.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 8:26 PM
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I also had the experience of watching movies and going, "weaksauce child in peril gambit, fuck you, lazy writer" to "OMG what if they kill mel gibson's kid!?!?" I thought I was sufficiently immunized by being freaked out with worry about what was happening to my baby sister all the time and not being able to protect her, but it turned out there was another level of primal freaked out below that.

although when I have nightmares and I'm standing chest-high in the surf and I have to protect the babies but they're shrinking down so small I will lose them in my hand: they are still my brother and sister, almost always. still not even yet my own children. not never--of course sometimes I have nightmares I've crushed my babies my sleep, or they're next to me burning up with fever and I wake up and it's only the pillow and my own body heat. but, like, I always have a companion in the dream, and it's my brother. I thought sometime, someday it would be my husband, in the dreamspace, right? helping me? eventually? we've been together for 18 years. but it's just me and my brother and sister. it's like we're never fucking going to get out of that fucking house.

but, it is way, way better than it used to be, nightmare-wise. paying my freudian analyst all that money was entirely worth it. for me. for my dad to pay. (he has his faults, and my husband sometimes has trouble getting past them, even just basic 'hey he tried to kill you, remember?' shit. but my dad's been remarkably generous and forbearing in so many ways. and look, his dad tried to kill him, right? so it's even-steven now?) my poor sister never had that chance and is still fighting zombies and serial killers every fucking night. that shit gets exhausting. I would get her freudian analysis for christmas but I think it's so analyst-dependent as to be of dubious utility in this sphere.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 8:36 PM
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JPJ: agreed I assume an unhealthy 16-year-old, and in any case the punishment has the hallmark of a devious sadist. it's too well-thought-out. waking you up at 3, you never being sure what you have to do next, the prospect of your sleep being crucial making sleep impossible every night even when you aren't woken up, the violence that has to be used--even if only as a very present, very potent threat--to keep this gambit running. fuck no. and seriously, unless his child has a developmental disorder they do not mention in the article, he has been starved for his whole life. he is suffering from serious malnutrition. I can't understand how he didn't get taken out of the house just based on this. my 12-year-old daughter is that tall, and she's not tall. because she suffers from chronic insomnia. because she's worried that serial killers will get into her room and kill her and her sister, by scaling the sheer side of our building and getting into our 24th story flat. FUCK ME. ahem, no, but the thing is, doesn't CPS realize how bad this can suck even without the rock-moving? are there other kids in the house? what about the whole "you should feed children from time to time thing"? I hope he has some glandular problem. not because I want him to! or else I hope he starts getting fed all the protein in the world and grows a foot and a half in the next 2 years. oh argh and then I think of CPS taking him out of the house and I think of GA foster care and if his mom is there and he has siblings he wants to be all together with. I was super-afraid of CPS as a kid and I think I was right, even though I didn't understand that we actually would have been sent to live with my aunt or one of my uncles.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 8:47 PM
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44

No question cruelty


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 8:54 PM
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45

We're all Republican congressmen, suddenly awaked to this one thing we've experienced.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 9:26 PM
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OT: The Whole Foods opening down the street claims to be the only one in the country with an in house creamery. No hard liquor, but in house ice cream, bitches. Welcome to suburban Salt Lake.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 9:31 PM
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This is a weird case. It seems so clearly abusive. Not so much for carrying a stone, but the 3am wake-up and the emotional sadism of dropping him off away from home and making him walk back. But the mom was ok with it, and the judge only recommended counseling. Maybe the mom is also abuse, and I realize judges can be just as crazy as defendants, but I wonder if there's something we're missing here that makes this seem ok to people who are closer to it? I can't bring myself to believe that. The CDC (pdf) doesn't even contemplate kids that small.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 9:40 PM
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in house creamery

I'm lactose intolerant. SCRATCHED OFF MY LIST.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 9:41 PM
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49

You've got the doc money coming in from that sugar momma of yours and could live downtown away from the plebs like the cops and schoolteachers.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 9:46 PM
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Here's my advice to any youngsters reading the blog: if you think you're going to be smart and marry a doctor, don't marry a do-gooder who complains that doctors make too much money, or you might find yourself, like me, with a wife who is right this instant considering a substantial pay cut so she can see even poorer patients. (I think they offered something in can't-pay-the-bills territory, so I might be safe. This time.)


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 9:51 PM
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51

That's pretty funny.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 9:53 PM
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And to be honest, it's not like I can really complain. We'll probably hit six figures combined this year with defined pension plans in a low housing cost state so while we won't be buying any private islands it's not like we're scraping by.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 9:58 PM
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ogged: I think you had to see that coming. can't you now sell out to the man somehow? also re 47: the mom is obviously either 1. also abusive or 2. pissing her pants in terror all the time, or 3. shitfaced, high, low, and checked out. what are the odds the judge is a turd with a mile-wide sadism streak, helpfully painted white by inmates on a for serious chain gang? high, on account of georgia. I love you, state of my actual birth, but let's be real. wait, I guess it's only in south carolina that I've seen white asshole prison authorities in mirrored shades inside the air-conditioned extended cabs of their state-owned pick-ups, drinking super big-gulps of sweet tea, while black officers with guns stand outside in the 95-degree-heat, monitoring gangs of black dudes who've been set to trim the marsh grass back from the edges of the canals in the wildlife sanctuary, which is home to about one billion cottonmouth snakes and a thousand huge gators. really, so big. the biggest I've seen in america. nobody needs to trim that marsh grass, they're just fucking with those poor motherfuckers. yeah but still, the judge is likelier than not an adherent to some 'spare the rod, spoil the child' churchery. and how is there not some explanation of the malnutrition part? assholes. I deem them all assholes. halfordismo will sweep away such detritus when it cleanses the world with fire.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 05-29-14 12:26 AM
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Speaking of asshole Southern judges...


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-29-14 12:30 AM
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I was wondering when more details would come out beyond that 11 Alive story, and a few are starting to. The child is 4 foot 2 and 135 pounds, which is about double the normal weight for that height. And the pizza guy who called it in was guessing from his height that the kid was 8 or 9. The dad and son showed up in the background of the police videos at 2 am or something like that. Oh, and the assignments the son wasn't completing where homework his dad had made up for him! I'm sure there will be a lot more available eventually, but also a lot we'll never know.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-29-14 3:00 AM
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well, we'll always have mississippi.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 05-29-14 6:04 PM
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