Thursday, July 02, 2009

Um, hurray?

Say what you will about the economy, the weather, the Iran elections, the war in Iraq, the North Korean situation or the recent spate of celebrity deaths, if you're someone who subscribes to the whole "spare the rod..." philosophy of raising children, this has been a good couple of weeks for you. First, after some years out of the limelight, the legendarily twisted Papa Joe Jackson is back, once again peddling his own home-brewed brand of parental scumbaggery. And just today, former Hillsborough County Commissioner and former professional wrestler (I don't care what you go on to do with your life later, if you have ever been a professional wrestler, you will be identified as such for eternity) Brian Blair had charges of domestic abuse dropped against him.
As you may remember, Blair was arrested after an altercation with his two teenage sons early Father's Day morning. However, today Assistant State Attorney Rita Peters characterized what happened between Blair, 52, and his 17-year-old son, Brett, as "discipline" and dismissed all charges.

Corporal punishment is legal in Florida. In case you're wondering, here's basically how that works:
  • You are a supervisor on a job. You reprimand an adult subordinate for being late. He responds angrily, telling you not to disrespect him in front of his co-workers. You punch him in the face. You have committed assault.
  • You are the head of a household. You reprimand one of your minor kids for being late. He responds angrily, telling you not to disrespect him in front of his friends. You punch him in the face. You are a mentor (you might want to consider being a Caucasian, just to play it safe).

One of the saddest things about this situation is now that charges have been dropped, people of a certain political orientation will point to it as a victory for the conservative Blair over a biased left-wing media, as though this is some kind of happy ending. Which I guess you can say it is, if you're willing to ignore the fact that this family obviously has some very serious problems. The next time there's a disagreement over curfew times that elevates to a fistfight, are the cops supposed to ignore that call? Considering Blair's fondness for lawsuits, they might. I mean, they haven't been sued for this yet, but it's still early.

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