I’ve been watching the events in Cleveland, referring to the kidnapping and forced imprisonment and rape of three young women, who were held captive for ten years. I look at those pictures and can see the faces of my daughter, my granddaughters, my beloved students, kids in the neighborhood. As I write this, the thug who imprisoned them and raped them and impregnated them is going to the hoosegow for the rest of his life stating that he is not a monster.
Of course he is. Shooting is too good for him. I’m thinking the execution of William Wallace in Braveheart, except it would last long enough. Don’t just kill him. Drive a stake through his heart.
But I’m writing this tonight because of what came to me in a dream last night. I suddenly remembered a book by my colleague James Patterson called Kiss The Girls, an unfortunate title that minimizes the societal nightmare that the book portrays. I’m not advocating buying, borrowing, or stealing, much less reading this printed nightmare. Don’t get me wrong.
I would like to ask the kidnapper, whose name I will not waste electrons on, if he was influenced by Patterson’s book. He’d probably deny it, and probably he wouldn’t be lying. I doubt if reading is something he spent much time on. Maybe he can cultivate a taste over the next 40 or so years.
I think, folks, that I have a responsibility in my writing to not pander to the most prurient of human emotions, much less give ideas. Patterson’s book is terrifying in so many ways, but not the least of them is that his villains are credible, possible, and perhaps among us.
Or am I being too paranoid? Of course I am. But would things have been different in Cleveland if someone had been more paranoid? Dangerous grounds of thinking this morning, Beloved.