This page is part of the Background Information portion of Section Five:|
which is the Activist section of barkingdogs.net
The Power of Shaming
Nobody cares much for child molesters these days. They are hunted relentlessly and vilified at every turn. As we see from the Perverted Justice television series on cable television, some people even hunt them down in order to facilitate their incarceration as a sort of leisure-time activity they pursue after work and on weekends.
Thieves don't fare much better. Nobody likes them either. How about people who enjoy beating the elderly or torturing animals? Who doesn't think such people are loathesome?
Most people who are known to either thoughtlessly or maliciously inflict harm on the helpless and the innocent are relentlessly stigmatized. Yet there is no public shaming or any vilification whatsoever of those who inflict injury on the community by force-feeding noise into the homes of those who are helpless to prevent it.
The injury wrought on the innocent when noise is involuntarily pumped into their homes is horrendous. To be sure, if you think that a steady diet of noise force-fed into his home is any less harmful to a child than being sexually molested, then you need to think again.
Clearly, people who inflict injury on their neighbors through the generation of gratuitous noise deserve no higher station in society than the child molester, the thief, or those who beat the elderly. Think of the person who would choose to devastate the health of the family next door just to save himself the few minutes it would have taken him to bark train his dog. How about the vainglorious brute who decides to ride his louder-than-Krakatoa motorcycle through a residential neighborhood, disturbing and degrading the health of the hundreds of innocents whose homes line his route? Are such transgressors not equally deserving of public scorn?
But curiously, look at the difference in the police reaction between when you call about a child who is being sexually molested and when you call to report that a child is unable to sleep, study, or relax in his own home because someone is keeping a barking dog next door. The fact is that one is just as dangerous as the other, but in the one case they rush out and take away the perpetrator, while in the other, they come out and try to intimidate the child's parents into passively accepting the injury and abuse.
Think how many times you have heard someone say on television that it is wrong to drive drunk and that it is wrong for you to do it. Yet, when did you ever hear anyone announce over the television set that roaring through an area where people live with a dangerously loud engine is also wrong?
If you look at the injury inflicted on a child by a child molester, and you compare that to the injury inflicted by those who fill the child's home with noise, you will see that both are equally destructive. Yet somehow the person who does the one is afforded a societal position of respect and dignity, while the other is, quite rightfully, vilified at every turn.
Even if it was true, you would never dream of driving around town with a big sign on your car that said, I'm a child molester. Yet people roar through the streets in vehicles that are unconscienably loud, and allow their dogs to bark endlessly, seemingly, with no sense of shame whatsoever.
Our consensually validated reality, that is, our sort of societal group-think sense of what is right and wrong, is seriously askew.
Let us begin to call a spade a spade in the hope of attaching a well deserved stigma to those who engage in such shameful behavior.
Written by Craig
Spanish translation - Traducción al español
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