“Let Them Eat Steak” Trump Victory Ends in Blaze of Dyspepsia

Excerpted from Town and Country Bumpkin March 11, 2017

By Oliver D. Berger @oldberger

After another stunning sweep in the Republican primary, front runner Donald Trump has gone on the offensive. In a ploy to bely Mitt Romney’s recent aspersion of his business acumen, Mr. Trump has decided to organize a fete, at which select invitees will have the opportunity to experience his multivariate business enterprises.

“Mitt [Romney] says all my businesses go belly-up?” Trump argued at the post primary press conference. “Well, how about this Mitt: we’re going to have six reporters from the best press in America (no failing New York Times!) onboard my plane at Trump Airlines !”

As the assistant editor of a local ersatz farmers almanac in a deeply Red State, I was fortunate enough to be randomly selected.

Here is my firsthand account of the events that transpired during Donald Trump’s aerial victory lap.

“I got it for a nothing, nothing,” Trump boasted as he stooped to enter the chest-high passenger door of the Soviet-era Tupelov Tu-154. “Best. Deal. Ever. Go ahead, go ahead. Me first, me first. Stand anywhere you like. (Seats are for me.) Now, we’ve got Trump Steak. Brett, you got those old Trump steaks out of deep freeze?”

Brett Boot, Trump’s head of operations, answered in the affirmative, indicating that he had also brought some Trump Wine for the celebration.

“Heheheh, how you like that folks?” Trump asked. “Steak. And. Wine. Does it get better than that? Am I right? Let me tell you something, you’re never going to taste a better Steak. Who needs ketchup? After me.”

While we were choking down the steak and chumming the wine–more vinegar than vin blanc–the provost of Trump University, Historian Eloise Brand, delivered a stirring encomium for Mr. Trump.

In 1884 when the Queen of England looked down on the German settlers of the Cincinnati River Delta and said: “Let Them Eat Steak,” one of the tired, the weary, the bemused, refused to accept the insult in Teutonic silence. 

“Remembers the Alamo!” Grandpa Drumpf declaimed, knowing in his Master Race heart that Steaks and Freedom would one day bestir the hearts of Americans Made Great Again. 

Professor Brand at that point ceased speaking. With a blank eyes and lips twisted in a rigor of discomfort, a terrific ripping sound came from the seat of her pantsuit.

As we would later find out, Trump had kept his steaks on dry ice for the two decades since this particular enterprise went bankrupt. Soon every passenger, myself included, was queueing up for the sole toilet.

To make matters worse, the plane began to roll. The pilot, who had received his piloting license from Trump University, addressed us over the intercom: “Because I’m panicking and shitting my pants, I’m going to try something I saw in a movie.”

As I hung from my seatbelt, I saw Donald Trump wresting the sole golden parachute from Brett Boot’s trembling hands.

“Listen Brett,” Trump said as he strapped the chute on. “You let these sonfabitches on this plane know that if they try to sue: Donald Trump doesn’t settle! I always wiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnn….”

And then our erstwhile host was gone, plummeting towards the earth.
*This article has been updated:

It has been reported that Donald Trump survived the incident, and has gone on to win the presidency.


Robo-Rubio Upgrade Too Late?

Faust Company Issue 203

Lisa Ipswich @lipswich


Robo-Rubio has proven that he is ready for the big leagues.

But is it already too late?

An aide close to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell confirmed that the original design team at Reblican Establishment Enterprises had been fired after the android suffered an apparent breakdown during the crucial February debate.

The writing was on the wall: it was time to call in the big guns.

Olaf Erickson, of Lund, Sweden, remembers that he was watching the National Hurling Championship when he received the call:

“It was Mitch [McConnell]. He’d just pulled the plug on the American programmers and was looking abroad. Somehow he got wind of my team.”

Erickson, the world’s leading expert on simulacrum design, wasn’t surprised to hear that Robo-Rubio had broken down during the debate.

“Trumps nonsequiturs, his logical fallacies and boorish manner would distress the protocols of even the most sophisticated robots,” Erickson explained. “Only my design team can write the proper algorithms to weather the hot air of a gasbag like Donald Trump.”

Anit Chowdhury, of Lahore, Pakistan, the team’s lead algorithm designer chimed in: “Robo-Rubio required a whole new level of sophistication. Gone are the days of the the ‘aw shucks’ congeniality protocols, for example, of the Ronald Reagan model, which, quite frankly, a chimpanzee could have written.”

Lead behavioralist, Yuri Gregorovich, or Kiev, explained that he had inculcated 110 communicative gestures of a male Silverback gorilla into the Robo-Rubio’s motherboard to help the android interpret Trump’s bizarre body language.

Gregorovich was pleased that after extensive coaching Robo-Rubio now behaved: “…like an anal retentive prick with severe Aspergers. You’ll also notice that when Robo-Rubio gets caught in a feedback loop, he repeatedly accuses Donald Trump of repeating himself until he can reboot.”

Though Robo-Rubio’s performance has improved thanks to the hard work of these H1-B visa holders, there is worry at Republican Establishment Enterprises that it may be too late.

“We turned up his vitriol and basically obliterated his common sense protocols,” Gregorovich said. “But the average Republican voter still perceives Robo-Rubio as aloof and over-educated.”

“Mitch wanted me to turn his rhetoric down to Third Grade level,” Erikson said. “But we couldn’t get any lower. Mitch worries that Robo-Rubio is still more articulate than Trump, but there’s nothing we can do about it now.”

The truth is a hard pill to swallow:

Despite Robo-Rubio’s upgrades, after Super Tuesday’s disaster the Republican Establishment android may be destined for the scrap pile.

This post is SATIRE.

Thanks to Bill Draheim for providing the photography. You can find more of his visual art at billdraheim.com

Clinton Team Scraps Telenovela Plugs

Tempo Latino. February 25, 2016

Hugo Cajones @hugecajones

After careful consideration, the Clinton campaign has decided to scrap a series of telenovela spots originally intended for Spanish language television stations throughout the Southwest and California.

The short sketches depict Hillary Clinton in her roles as mother, wife and gravel-gutted politician.

“We wanted to portray her as a regular person, dealing with the same day-to-day problems as any undocumented immigrant in the United States,” said Hetta Goebler, a spokeswoman for the campaign. “But the poor quality of preduction and telescripts give us cause for concern that the project will damage Mrs. Clinton’s reputation among Latinos, not improve it.”

Latino Tempo was able to obtain a copy of one of the telescripts from an unnamed source. A section follows.

Bill Y Hillary


The dining room. 

Hillary prods her food with her fork, deep in thought.

Hillary: How the hell is Sanders still on his feet?

Bill attacks his meat and potatoes with gusto. 

Bill: I don’t know dear.

Hillary: He’s like a thousand years old. He reeks of garlic, Bill. Have you ever stood next to him? I mean it’s like he’s just a giant Jewish bulb of garlic stuck in the 60s. All this ‘I have a dream’, candlelight vigil, burn-your-bra bullshit. Why are the kids falling for it!

Bill, face now rosey from a postprandial scotch, stands. Moves to his wife. Puts his hands on her shoulders. 

Hillary: Well, you can bet your bottom dollar that I wore my bra, so I could go to work and not look like some fucking aboriginal! Some of us had to keep this country running while those burn outs were holding picket signs and spouting poetry and getting high!

Bill: But we didn’t inhale, did we dear?

Hillary sobs with uncontrolled frustration. 

Hillary: I just wish they’d all go away, stop making fun of me, my shrill voice, my hair like a helmet of straw, my inability to connect to the working person.

Bill: I’ve already taken care of that, dear. No one is every going to make fun of you again.

Hillary: Thank you, my darling. I feel that in this last year our marriage has become so much more than just a political expediency.

Bill: So too is my breast burning with a renewed passion for you, my love.

Hillary pauses, looks out the window at rainswept streets. 

Hillary: Do you ever think about her?

Bill’s face turns to stone. 

Bill: Who?

Hillary: Don’t play games with me, you know who I’m talking about!

Bill: No, of course not. Now and forever, I’m yours.

Hillary: Truthfully?

Bill: Well, sometimes when I’m down in Little Havana….

*This Post is DEFINITELY Satire.*

Cruz Predicts Apocalypse If Not Nominated

The New End Times, February 15, 2016 

J.P. Augustine, @augustine

At the evangelical Church of the Seventh Crossroad in Padua, South Carolina, Texas Senator Ted Cruz fired up a group of supporters.

With the promise of Hellfire.

“Obviously, if I lose, everyone loses.” Cruz observed matter-of-factly. “Because the Big Guy Upstairs is not going to be happy. No sir.”

Cheers came from the crowd, many of whom had attended the event in fire retardant suits and gas masks.

“But, by Jesus, if there is a crowd that is ready to face God’s wrath HERE IT IS!”

A clamor ensued as the throng thumped Bibles with gauntleted fists.

When asked by a young girl of twelve if it was really true that the world was going to hell in a hand basket, the Texas Senator replied:

“Oh yes, sweetie. Undeniably. Let me just say, that if I’m not nominated, well…,” he paused to think of a suitable consequence. “Have you seen that movie with that bald old guy and the guy who’s going to play Batman and that rockstar’s daughter, the Elf Princess… What’s the name of that movie again, honey?”

Cruz looked around for his wife, who was nowhere to be found.

“Anyways, that movie about the asteroid that hits the earth and almost kills everybody?”

The girl shook her head, eyes wide with fright.

“That’s what will happen, oh yeah.” Cruz continued, “The Big G.O.D. has promised me a shitstorm of brimstone and ashes if the American people don’t wise up. Are you going to wise-up, sweetie?”

The girl, Trilby McCaulster, had just returned from Jesus Camp where she had been stripped of her self-respect, and thus nodded her head in mute acquiescence.

“Can I get a hallelujah!” The usually lackluster Cruz shouted shrilly.

This Post Is Satire.


Ben Carson Discovers Missing Lobe

from The American Journal of Pseudoscience, January, 2016

In an effort to bolster a flagging presidential campaign, Dr. Ben Carson chose an unusual tack: in front of a crowd of supporters, he attempted to demonstrate his skill with cutting-edge neuroscientific technology.

His subject? None other than the good doctor himself.

“Everyone says that you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to lead America,” Carson announced in his typical dead-pan manner. “But you should have to be a brain surgeon!”

There was desultory laughter. The crowd seemingly unable to discern whether he was joking or not.

The presidential hopeful then attached a pair of diodes to his temples and flipped a switch on a strange looking new-fangled device.

“This device, the Oscillatrix will demonstrate that I, Dr. Ben Carson, am the smartest of the Republican candidates!”

Carson’s desperate gambit did not go as planned, however. Instead, the state-of-the-art Swiss-built contraption unveiled a startling revelation: the doctor was missing his frontal lobe!

When asked what might have become of it, Carson replied: “I don’t know. My past is a mystery to me.”

Dr. Cole Blankenpate, founder of the Neuroscientology Consortium, and a man Carson describes as: “almost as smart as me” conjectured that the missing gray-matter could be attributed to a condition known as cerebral marasmus.

“Basically the brain just starts to waste away,” Dr. Blankenpate said when reached by phone. “The consequences can be terrible.”

When pressed for details, Blankenpate offered a list of potential mental stresses: “Delusions, definitely delusions. Patients often mistake fiction for fact, for example adopting strange theories about ancient edifices that have been debunked by every expert on planet earth. Other things of that nature.”

Back at the rally, Carson seemed undeterred by the hole in his head.

“I’ve gone for who knows how long without my frontal lobe,” Carson said. After a lengthy pause, he continued. “How many of the other Republican hopefuls can claim that?”

*This post is satire.



Palin and Trump Find Common Ground in Pill Penchant

Dissociated Press, January 25, 2016

Following Palin’s endorsement last Tuesday night, Republicn front-runner Donald Trump hosted the former Alaskan governor at a prominent downtown Des Moines country club.

As discussion of geopolitics and international trade ground to a halt, the new “besties” rekindled conversation around their shared interest in prescription medication.

After polishing off a third gin and tonic, Palin began laying out her evening dose on a napkin.

“Enough about OVOMIT,” Trump blusterously ejaculated, “What’s that you’ve got there?”

“You mean these little jobbies?” Palin vocalized breezily. “Well, this little guy is Vicadose: for chronic fatigue. Here’s Benzathoradin: for hyperactivity. And this beauty is Thoradine: for migraines. Denzathoradrine for belly aches. Sinusodrine for chronic sinus failure.”

Not one to remain in ignorance, Trump pointed his gimlet finger at an unmarked green pill: “What’s that?”

“Anchorazine,” Palin offered proudly. “To channel Alaska’s natural glory when I’m abroad.”

Trump conceded no knowledge of this new medication, his usually bullish face showing uncharacteristic wonder.

He then admitted that Toupeezadrine was a favorite of his to help offset syntactical errors while stumping. “Without that stuff, I’m just like a duck out of water,” he lamely acknowledged.

A minute later, Trump pounded his chest, attempting to back peddle from his admission of weakness.

Palin, in an effort to mollify the presumptive Commander-in-Chief, assured him that her Friday pill, Amnesiadrine, would help her forget the events of the week.

Bedazzled by her solicitude, Trump initiated a hearty belly laugh that rang through the garish halls of the prominent Iowa establishment.

After his paroxysm of unfettered joy had abated, Trump leaned toward Palin: “This has got to remain between you and I, Sarah,” he whispered conspiratorially. “ But I’ve got a third-generation Cuban doctor in Florida who can get you some Coughinzodrex. That shit’ll shake the hump off a camels back!”

Upon further probing, the Northern Lights luminary and the midwestern magnate discovered to their astonishment that they patronized the same Floridian cash-and-carry, strip-mall, brick-and-mortar pseudo-pharmacy.

A reverent moment of silence mooned between the two as they reveled in mutual admiration.

Taking advantage of the intimacy of the moment, Trump got down to brass tacks and asked her the million dollar question: “Why’d you choose me, honey?”

“It was simple Donald—may I call you Donald?” The former gubernatorial whirlwind replied sedulously, “One day I was sitting on my porch looking out across the water at that erect ramrod tower of yours with those bold, gold letters T-R-U-M-P running up the side like victorious soldiers and I thought, ‘He’s the one for me!’”

Trump protested that he had no tower in Nome, nor on the opposite Russian shore.

“A girl can dream can’t she?” Palin replied, winkingly. “Especially when she’s in a caffeine-vicadose-cocktail coma.”

*This Post Is SATIRE.

New Editor to Begin Speculating

Greetings, faithful readers.

Entering my second semester at the Pacific University MFA low residency program, has forced me to reassess my participation in this blog. The workload expected of me by Pacific University is simply too intense. I am worried that I will no longer be able to devote the same level of energy to this forum that I have in the past. 

It is with a heavy heart, therefore, that I now turn over the day-to-day operation of The Speculation of William A. Gosline to a new, more energetic voice. 

For reasons too numerous to list here, the identity of the new editor must remain a secret. The little I can tell you of is that he is a refugee, though not from a distant country,  but from another time and dimension altogether! In this era of gross displacement, far be it from me to refuse him asylum.

In return, he has offered to parse the multiverse for stories, which, though germane to our plane, are markedly different due to the vagaries of the holographic universe

I’m not a scientist; I cannot attest to the verisimilitude of dimensions and time streams nor how exactly these differences will manifest in the familiar stories of our world. That will be for you, dear reader, to discover on your own. 

What I can attest to is the new editor’s absolute devotion to revealing the Truth, in all its myriad forms.

I have full confidence that he shall execute the responsibilities required by the job with competence and integrity.  


William A. Gosline


The New Editor of the Speculation of William A. Gosline will be posting weekly stories about familiar people and characters from daily life. They are satirical in nature. Do NOT take them too seriously, please.




Covering the Basics: “The English Novel–An Introduction.”


The English Novel- An Introduction” by Terry Eagleton

By British literary critic Terry Eagleton, The English Novel—an Introduction is much more than simply an introduction, though he does limit its scope to the canonical writers.

Eagleton is an eclectic and prolific scholar. He oeuvre contains works on post-modernism, Marxism, religion, and of course, literature. In The English Novel—An Introduction, he covers roughly two centuries: from the the periods known as Realism to High Modernism, which ended around WWI.

Eagleton does not shy away from psychological, political and social analyses of his subjects nor from noting some of the more opprobrious aspects of these revolutionary artists, not all of whom were liberal humanists. (A hundred years later, you would be hard pressed to find a Western writer that doesn’t subscribe to this particular philosophy, or who hasn’t been written off as a crack pot by his/her academic contemporaries.) 

Eagleton is also not afraid to reassess the works of these literary lions, soberly and somewhat free from the long shadows of their renown.

There is so much touched upon in the book.

In the next few posts, I will discuss some of the things that I learned reading this capacious work. Hopefully the reader will find it likewise enlightening. 

  1. The Novel Was the Voice of the Middle Class.

If it [the novel] is a form particularly associated with the middle class, it is partly because the ideology of that class centres on a dream of total freedom from restraint.


If the epic, the predominant form before the novel, celebrated the exploits of kings, heroes, and warrior-poets, the novel’s primary concern was the burgeoning European middle class, focussing on the individual in an increasingly atomized world.

This may seem self-evident, but we should remember that before the social upheavals that led to the emergence of the middle class, life in Medeival Europe was largely static in terms of class. There was little opportunity for upward mobility. 

The emergence towards the end of the 18th century of the middle class and its unimaginable freedom, (which is probably not all that impressive, by today’s standards) came with an increasing hostility towards the scaffolds of power. The middle class, as Eagleton writes, developed a whole slew of interests: “…its relish for the material world; its impatience with the formal, ceremonial and metaphysical; its insatiable curiosity about the individual self; its robust faith in historical progress.”

Yet, the same sensibilities that freed the middle class individual from the shackles of tradition also set her adrift, anchorless. Or perhaps more accurately, anchored solely in the self. 

The novel’s struggle and mission from the get-go was to articulate the experience of this new free-floating individual. If the epic had been concerned with the archetype and the past, the novel was concerned with the mundane multi-faceted individual and the present. It affirmed the commonplace rather than the supernatural or heroic (though overflow of the supernatural reared up in early Gothic novels, which one could interpret as a sort of bridge between epic literature and realism.)

At the time, the novel was a form that didn’t require a specialized education.

In doing so [depicting the world in its everyday, unregenerate state] art finally returned the world to the common people who had created it through their labour, and who could now contemplate their own faces in it for the first time. A form of fiction had been born in which one could be proficient without specialist erudition or an expensive classical education.


But one doesn’t see many people who are not educated reading these novels, which is proof of just how much the “face” of the middle class has changed in a hundred years.

In fact, could the explosion of genre writing (as wang-dang-doodle as it can often be) be interpreted as a similar disruption to the literary scene as that that occurred upon the emergence of the novel over two hundred years ago? (And is this number longer? Eagleton opens the book with a treatise on Don Quixote.) The response of the authorities would seem to bear this analogy out: then and now, the new literary form was largely dismissed as useless, puerile, mean, base, etc. 

I don’t think that this is an academic question: With a dwindling middle class and the rise of a new breed of 21st century people (cyborgs by the look of it, or Post-Humans, as they are called in the Universities), will the novel, with its focus on realism, humanism, and liberalism finally give up the ghost? 

Of course, Eagleton opens the book with a swift kick in the pants of the reader, reminding the reader that the novel is an extremely slippery beast, and one that by its mercurial nature defies categorization.

As adaptable as humanity itself, this is what has accounted for its longevity.








What Can We Learn from Spotlight Part 3

In previous installments of this post, I asked the question whether or not an mainstream media exposé would have as profound effect on cracking systemic racism within the nation’s law enforcement system as the revelation of child molestation did on the Catholic Church.

The question assumes that there hasn’t already been such an expose.

But, of course, there has.

The now omnipresent Atlantic writer, Te-nahasi Coates, has made his name doing just that. And not just systemic racism within law enforcement, but in American society in general.

An increasingly prominent figure in the leftist intellectual sphere, Coates has written on everything from the African superhero, Black Panther, to the effect Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s infamous report has had on national policy and mass incarceration.

Not surprisingly, he has also commented on the spate of recent shootings of black citizens by white police officers.

Apropos of media coverage in particular, a recent article written by professor of sociology, Tressie McMillan Cottom, entitled Fascism concludes that mainstream media for a number of reasons cannot or will not label events as examples of racism.

From the article: 

Sociologist Bonilla-Silva talks about a U.S. culture where there is miraculously racism but no racists. He interviews people, across race and class, and finds that they can talk about aspects of racism but have a multitude of narratives that makes no one complicit really.

And the media – at least the mainstream media – by and large follows suit.

I’ve asked some of those same people on my media-heavy social media before if their outlets have style guides about when they will or will not use “racism” or “racist” in reporting.

The gist seems to be that the media relies on the “objective” rationality of its reporters to make that call….

As one reporter told me, they rely on other people – their subjects – to call something racist. Given the research that shows that people also rarely call anything racist, even when acknowledging racism, we end up in a divine feedback loop: people see racism but no racists and media will only report on what people say is racist.


Whose Shoes?

One of the things we can take away from her analysis is that mainstream media is not willfully opting out in the task of labeling racism, but rather that it lacks the tools to do so because the people reporting the event are too white and/or too privileged. 

One of the classic conundrums of racism is that its power rests on the fact that, like ghosts, evidence of its existence depends largely on whether you believe in it or not. 

Black people, in experiencing racism, by and large, believe in it.

Many white people, by not experiencing racism don’t believe in it, except in the most egregious cases: church burnings, targeted shootings, or as  an abstraction that is not perpetrated by  directly and/or not really relevant to our daily lives.

There have been experiments done which attempt to simulate the phenomenon of racism to give white people a little taste of what it feels like, notably the Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes experiment of Jane Elliott.

But participants in such experiments often fail to analogize their own discomfort at being discriminated against—albeit within a controlled environment—with the plight of people who experience discrimination based upon physical characteristics every day.

Instead, they just get mad. 

Racism: Just Nebulous Enough

In contrast with the culture of secret complicity and suppression of facts implemented by the Catholic Church hierarchy as protection against imputation, the enduring legacy of racism in the US can only partly be attributed to the suppression of information, though it is undoubtedly a tactic as evidenced by lengthy withholding of an incriminating video by Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago administration. 

Rather, as stated above, much of its power lies in the disagreement over whether or not it really exists, and to what degree. 

When the revelations of Church impropriety and molestation came out, we were all shocked. 

Protecting our children from predators is something we can all get behind, regardless of race. 

But identifying racism is something else entirely, largely because racism is such an abstraction.

Is it an action or a system? Can people of color be racist, or only white people? (This last is a classic question that hinges on the difference between prejudice and racism, articulated within academia, and consequently outside the ken of millions of people who haven’t gone to University.) This is why social science is so important in delineating, historicizing, and contextualizing racism. 

I read a lot of that sort of scholarship in college, and although with age I’ve gotten more conservative, it provided me a good bedrock upon which to couch my beliefs.

But there are a whole lot of people out there haven’t had access to that sort of education or simply don’t want to be bothered with educating themselves. Not when it implodes their worldview. And certainly not when it treads on their privilege.







What Can We Learn from “Spotlight”? Part 2

In my last post, I ended with the statement that United States Law Enforcement is racist. This is a grievous charge, but not, unfortunately, an outrageous one. 

In the movie, Marty Baron, the incoming editor of the Boston Globe (played by Liev Shrieber) insists that the Spotlight team continues its investigation until it has unearthed a system of abuse as opposed to simply rooting out one or two “bad apples”. 

Ah, those perennial “bad apples“. 

The question I have is not whether African Americans are targeted disproportionately by law enforcement. This is a question that can be approached from many different angles and suffers from partisan political outlook. For example, while whites are more likely to be killed by police, we also make up 71% of the population, whereas blacks make up 12%. Depending on how much one chooses to omit the whole story, the story changes. Nor is it the reasons why Law Enforcement might target African Americans unduly. 

Given the history of slavery in the US, I would suggest that the answers to these particular questions are not nearly as elusive as the question of why the Catholic Church has fostered and protected pedophiles among its ranks.

The main question for me is how can the targeting of blacks be quantified to the degree that people will no longer be able to dismiss these cases as anomalous, but rather as symptomatic of a flawed system, in the same way that the system of sexual assault on minors has been exposed within the Catholic Church. 

At the end of Spotlight, the phones begin to ring off the hooks as victims dial in their stories. The proverbial flood washing away a culture of silence.

But what if a similar thing were to happen, if black people were to call in and confide that they had experienced police abuse of power? Would there be the same sort of fallout? 

The question at the heart of the matter is why is racism more acceptable than child molestation to our culture. 

The Catholic Church has recovered and will continue to bring spiritual succor to untold millions. But it will never be the same. It has been tarnished. It is no longer irreproachable. Because in this day and age, the sexual abuse of minors is considered deviant behavior, and punishable by law.

But it wasn’t always that way. And it isn’t always that way. 

A History of Violence

Children have been used and abused throughout history. In countries to this day, girls are still married off to husbands older than they and raped as a matter of course, as part of their marital contract.

In our liberal society, the rights of women and children have increased dramatically. Even hitting your child in public, once a regular part of child rearing, is now punishable by the system. Child abuse is no longer something that can be done in public without serious ramifications. Other adults may intervene or even report a parent to the authorities.

Perhaps we take the designation “minor” as a fait accompli . However children’s rights in the West only began to appear in the mid-19th century, initially as laws to protect children in the workplace. This would have been the height of industrialism, of course, when little hands were important for certain tasks.

What I am driving at is that the enormity of the violation done against these Catholic children is premised on the social division of children from adults. Likewise, their protection against it is contingent on this social division.

It is possible, given that the Catholic Church’s long title is the Holy Roman Catholic Church and given that the Roman Empire is well-documented as one in which authority and profligacy went hand in hand, that sexual abuse of minors inside the Church predates the designation of children as a discreet social entity. 

In other words: in certain systems historically, children were abused as a matter-of-course. Particularly if they were poor. 

In A Tale of Two Cities in Book the Second, Dickens writes of the Parisian upper classes, of their disdain for everyone, including their own children. One Marquis upon leaving an opera hurtles through the streets in his coach, heedless of the “scarecrows” as Dickens calls them. This deplorable man, made inhuman by his absolute privilege, thinks nothing of it when his coach runs over a baby, killing it. 

It is a marvel of liberal humanism that we have accomplished so much for our little people in the last hundred years, making abuse of children, which once was commonplace, an abhorrent abomination of character and behavior. 

But can the same paradigm shift be effected to combat institutionalized racism? 

I will try to tackle this question in my next post. Wish me luck!