Imagine -- this woman was kept in a locked wooden box under their water bed, twenty-three hours a day most days, brought out only to be raped and fed. That went on for several years.
Perhaps most inexplicably, Colleen Stan was "allowed" to go visit her family in 1981, after four years of captivity. Stan was so brainwashed by her captor's empty threats that she returned to him after the family visit.
The old cliché is that we humans only use ten to fifteen percent of our brains' capacity. Obviously they are very powerful, our brains. But that power is a double-edged weapon, in that it can be turned against its owner by someone craftier, wilier, crueler. Other elements such as passivity, inertia, fear, careerism, or just lack of will, can also factor into an individual being persuaded not to use their wonderful brains, to not see what is right there in front of them.
Things keep happening in and around the White House, the administration, its minions and dogsbodies and agents of misfortune, and I find them baffling.
If you are a World War 2 veteran being "honored" at the White House with some meaningless jabber and a borderline slur right in front of a portrait of a literal force for Native American genocide, you can leave. You do not have to stay; no one can force or intimidate you. You have agency.
Similarly, and more ongoing, is the ugly dynamic of the utterly useless and completely demeaning pro forma ritual of the White House press conference. It is rare that anything genuinely informative has ever transpired at one of these things, no matter who's in charge, but under the current crew of sadists and morons, it is merely a tedious routine in cheap propaganda. Its perpetrators no longer even bother to pretend to try or care. Eat shit and go fuck yourselves is the prevailing tone, day after soul-crushing day.
So why do the career journamalists persist in this meaningless exercise? They know before they head into the room that nothing useful or informational will be uttered, that every word will be a lie, including and and the, that Huckabee Junior comports herself as a crude blend of Annie Wilkes and Nurse Ratched, a joyless sort who gets an endorphin rush every time she washes her kid's mouth out with soap for saying darn or gosh. What a job that must be, to stenograph lies and hope futilely that someone out there will give enough of a shit to do anything about it.
It's only a mater of time before Huckabee Junior makes it a standing rule that they have to wear dog collars and zippered gimp masks, and preface each question with Thank you sir, may I have another?
In the meantime, these Serious Journos really need to ask themselves: Is this what I mean when I tell my parents that my job is interesting and important, that my role is vital to a free and open society?
One thing about these soulless fuckers running this shitshow is that they have given writers countless more things to write about than any previous administration. And the real fun isn't even starting yet. So why on earth would anyone want to sit there and be lied to and treated like shit by a truly nasty piece of work, to stenograph the lies she spews without batting a fake eyelash? That's not work, that's merely a routine.
You do not have to sit there and take shit from these horrible people. There is no value in being in the same room as they are; the atrocities can be recorded and analyzed from many other angles, any of them by definition more true and accurate than the one being spoon-fed to the crowd in the press room. They're afraid of losing access, but what value is access to these fucking reprobates? You would not want to be caught in the same room with Fuckface Von Clownstick or Huckabee Junior in a social engagement, and they are never going to share any useful -- or even true -- info with you. So what, again, is the point in playing their reindeer games?
Noted fake news org CNN has the right idea with declining the invite to the WH Christmas party. So far, the rest of the major news outlets are too cowed by their need to maintain "decorum" to grow a pair, but they should understand something by now -- the line has already been drawn. It is up to them which side of that line they prefer to be on.
They are not being forced to do their job under their self-imposed constraints. They are not being kept in locked boxes under waterbeds; their families are not being threatened. There is no outside coercion, physical or mental. Their limitations in this ugly instance are entirely of their own choosing. They have opted for the false hope of maintaining a sense of normalcy.
But none of this is normal, not at all, and journalists more than other occupations do a disservice to themselves and to their customers by continuing the pretense that any of it is normal. No one is making them sit there for their useless ritual of lies and abuse. No one is making them go on their stupid Cletus safaris -- again, an already useless pro forma exercise in reiterating ad nauseam the magical thinking and ignorant self-defeatism of your average slot jockey or meth addict. No one needs or wants a useless write-up of how "normal" and "average" the neo-nazi dipshit down the street turns out to be. Guess what guys: he eats his cereal with a spoon, just like everyone else! Yeah, thanks for the heads-up there, Ed Murrow, I feel more informed by the nanosecond.
Meanwhile, there are millions of Hillary voters who would be more than happy to remind these wretched scriveners that every day is a reminder that we were right, that we are constantly vindicated in our blanket assumptions about this serial grifter, this borderline-retarded reality-teevee clown. Where's my article, where's my focus group, you bozo motherfuckers?
How many identical profiles of the stupid and the stubborn do we need to see in one lifetime? We get it -- there's no talking these assholes out of their trees. I lost count of these moronic articles months ago, but have yet to see even a single one profiling a few folks who voted against stupidity, against the evil clown.
This is when it's helpful to remember that despite their pious plaints, journos work for media conglomerates, and those companies are in the business of selling us giant pick-'em-up trucks and cheeseburgers and tampons and pills we don't really need. And the pitch they use to get us into the tent and keep us there is conflict. It's a surefire gimmick -- a ridiculous spray-painted man with ridiculous hair who says ridiculous things, defying people to correct or oppose him. Panel shows and common-taters have infinite job security in clucking daily at the malfeasance, while the ridiculous man knows that none of them have the balls to take him on.
The secret weapon of the bully is not the threat of force, or even the use of force. Bullies know instinctively that most people are passive, and wish to avoid confrontation. Normal people want things to go back to how they were, or at least to go easy. Things will eventually blow over, that sort of thing.
And that's what the bully counts on, that the victim would rather curl up and wish for someone to make it stop, than to stand up and fight back, or at least walk away. Now, most of us are never going to be in the same room as this pustulent pile of bile, and for that we should be grateful.
But the ones who are in proximity, they need to be reminded -- you don't have to accept it, you don't have to put up with it. Stop convincing yourself with nonsense about "respecting the office" -- he has no respect for the office or the country or for you, and unless enough people make it clear that they are not taking his shit anymore, it is his aim to change and twist the nature of the office to his liking.
When they talk about norms and rules and precedents and customs of the office and how the executive is supposed to do things, they are talking merely about expectations. None of the norms are legally binding, you see, so agreeing to abide by them is purely voluntary. This is bad enough when you have a ricockulous buffoon like Emperor Snowflake contorting those norms, but when you allow those precedents to be trampled without consequence, you allow the way to be paved for someone, smoother, slicker, smarter.
The healthiest thing for this country right now would be for its major media organizations, while they still can, to seize the remaining vestiges of their collective self-respect, and stop participating in these rituals and exercises that ad no value and only perpetuate the abuse and this overweening sense of unearned privilege this clown and his insane posse have cultivated for themselves. Nothing is stopping you from standing up and walking out, and investigating and reporting instead of merely transcribing.
Do it, for yourselves, for your readers and viewers, for the country you claim you love. Stand up. Walk out. Find the truth and write it and shout it, and do it again and again. Reclaim the self-respect you probably had before you set foot in that vile room with those vile fucking people. A "career" that consists of ritualized daily self-abasement is not much of a career, and is certainly not honest work.