My Way Or The High Way
The scandal surrounding the 4 St. Kilda players and the teenage girl Miss D who is releasing compromising nude pictures of these players has been the buzz of the week for news services in Australia. I’ve stayed clear of reading too much of it but I’ve finally succumbed today and had a read about what all the fuss is about. It’s fascinating, so much so that I am not surprised the media is all over this story like a rash.
I took notice of it mostly because I recognised a name – Nick Dal Santo – from the 2 years I played fantasy AFL with Lola Hoar. Otherwise I might have just shrugged.
Without recapping the details I just want to point out 4 questions of my own:
- What kind of friends get naked with each other doing sexual things?
- What kind of idiots take photos when they do the above?
- What exactly was the girl thinking when the girl posted the pictures, and what did she think would happen?
- What do sports administrators around the country think is going to happen in the future when somebody seriously launches ‘Dikileaks’ where sports star peccadilloes and escapades are exposed?
It’s a wonderful parallel to the whole Wikileaks thing where you always suspected there was certain kind of craziness going on behind the facade of institutions but the leak puts you face to face with just how crazy things really happen to be.
The quick answer to my own question 4 is that there isn’t much sports administrators are going to be able to do when in the future, their prized sports stars are going to be exposed as homo-erotically inclined nudists with an obsession with their own genitals. This stuff really writes itself.
One of the more sober aspects of this sport scandal – and the good thing about sport scandal is that they don’t really affect the affairs of the world – has been how this under-aged girl got the photos in the first place. She was either hanging around these men in close proximity for reasons unexplained, or she was in some kind of relationship with one of the men and stole the pictures depending on whose version you trust. The AFL is busily trying to turn this into a case where the girl grossly violated the privacy of these four men, but if this girl is sill in need of a guardian then they’re trying to deflect the media away from the serious question of what the hell she was doing in such close proximity to these stars.
Forget the embarrassment, these four players might have a case to answer. but that’s for some real world journalist out there to get off his butt and chase down. Not me.
Anyway, I was in conversation with pharmakeus last night because he’s in town and the topic of ‘The Beach’ came up. I pointed out I hated the film because the main character makes all the wrong decisions in the first 10minutes which precipitates the events in the film. A smarter person would have at least not made some of the decisions, and events would not unfold in such a way as they do in the film. It is a difficult business trying to untangle events through motivations when you don’t get first hand accounts and even then it’s a dicey proposition, but it seems to me the girl, Miss D, made at least 4 or 5 decisions that no right thinking person would make to get to this point at the tender age of 17. A lot of it could be put down to headstrong-ness or willfullness, and some of it could be put down to a fractious or combative streak (who knows?) but she’s really put herself in a pickle because she is who she is.
I’m not deriding her or belittling her or applauding her or disapproving of her. If anything I am amused by her actions greatly – as I imagine most people are – in a way that I might consume characters in fiction. I’ve been reading ‘The Rocket That Fell To Earth’ this week, thanks to Pleiades who gave it to me for Christmas, and I am struck at how single-minded athletes have to be if they want to succeed. We are a sport nut nation which means we’re used to single-minded people going for number one. Should we be surprised that there is no restraint when it comes to the kind of salaciousness in these sports scandals? It’s who we are as a collective people, right down to the bone.
I’m not Catholic nor a lapsed Catholic, and I’m not a victim of child-molestation, but this one got my goat.
The Pope used his annual speech to Rome’s cardinals and bishops to urge the church to reflect on how it let the abuse happen. But he also blamed the influence of the secular morality of child pornography and sex tourism, and a form of moral relativism that influenced Catholic theology in the 1970s.
”We must ask ourselves what we can do to repair as much as possible the injustice that has occurred,” he said. ”We must ask ourselves what was wrong in our proclamation, in our whole way of living the Christian life, to allow such a thing to happen.”
Advertisement: Story continues below
The Pope said the church was well aware of the gravity of this sin committed by priests, and of the church’s responsibility. But nor could he be silent about ”the context of these times”.
”There is a market in child pornography that seems in some way to be considered more and more normal by society,” he said on Monday. ”The psychological destruction of children, in which human persons are reduced to articles of merchandise, is a terrifying sign of the times.”
He also said he heard from bishop after bishop in developing countries how sex tourism threatened an entire generation, while the problem of drugs was extending ”its octopus tentacles around the entire world”.
He criticised moral relativism from the 1970s that discarded absolutes, leaving only a ”better than” and ”worse than”. ”Morality is replaced by a calculus of consequences, and in the process it ceases to exist.”
The Pope is trying to blame the secular world for providing a market for child pornography through its moral relativism, and this is the context? He is either arguing that it’s not the priests fault because it’s (secular) society’s fault, or that it is capitalism’s fault that his priests succumbed to the temptations of kiddie-fiddling, so the Vatican is not culpable.
Frankly I can’t believe the Pope whose office can always be counted on to bang on and on about morality and moral absolutes can mount a relativist argument through the phrase “the context of these times” at the same time trying to round in on relativism as the real culprit behind his priests doing the kiddie-fiddling. If neither the Pope nor his priests are willing to shoulder moral responsibility for their actions, why on earth should anybody listen to them at all when they go on about morality and moral absolutes?
It’s a bit like a some self-righteous dude fucking his dog and when you catch him doing it he says, it’s society’s fault he’s doing it, and that people shouldn’t do it, and that everybody should do as he says (and not as he does). What kind of moral authority is that?
From the distance I’m at, it seems it is the Pope himself busily working on the project where ”Morality is replaced by a calculus of consequences, and in the process it ceases to exist.” The simpler thing to do for the Pope would be to cop the blame as it stands and you know, atone for the sins of his flock and live up to his job description. I mean, what would Jesus do?
The Melbourne historian Dr Bernard Barrett, who has researched clerical sexual abuse, said it did not begin in the 1970s but spanned the church’s 2000-year history and remained a deep-seated problem.
The witch-hunt for pedophiles is one of the most hysterically pursued causes in our world at the moment. You are more likely to get punched for calling somebody a pedophile than you might for calling the Pope an un-reconstructed Nazi (whether it’s true or not being beside the point). Still, it’s a funny day when the moral standards of the secular society are clearly superior to that of the organisation peddling morality – and that deserves a note.