Steubenville’s Many Tragedies

(Partially in response to: On Rape, Cages, and the Steubenville Verdict)

I think, in a way, Mia McKenzie, is saying similar things as to what the CNN reporters were saying. She is, without a doubt, saying it much more eloquently, though that may be in part the luxury of a well thought out and executed blog post vs. a quickly produced breaking news video segment.

Trent Mays, 17, and Ma'lik Richmond, 16, both football players, were convicted of digitally penetrating the West Virginia girl, and Mays was also found guilty of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material. The boys will serve their sentence at a juvenile detention facility until they turn 21.
Trent Mays, 17, and Ma’lik Richmond, 16, both football players, were convicted of digitally penetrating the West Virginia girl, and Mays was also found guilty of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material. The boys will serve their sentence at a juvenile detention facility until they turn 21.

What happened to that girl is disgusting and despicable and those responsible should pay. However, it is a disgrace that there was a moment in their lives when they thought violating an incapacitated girl was okay and it’s a shame that they were raised in a society that taught them that. I think what people, though misguided, were trying to say was that Trent Mays and ​Ma’Lik Richmond were not Dylan Harris and Eric Klebold. They were not loners or weirdos, ostracized by their peers. By all accounts they were not ticking time bombs waiting to explode.  They were smart, popular, seemingly well adjusted athletes. Not “bad kids.” And now, kids, whose lives were presumably on the right track, have been derailed.

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The Democratization of Media

A lot of people (read: various mentors, professors, bosses and older colleagues I’ve had) rejoice in what web 2.0 means for creatives. 

“You can make a movie on your phone and upload it to YouTube and have it seen by millions of people!”

 

“You can record your bands entire album from your living room and put it out immediately!”

 

“Your words are on blogs and every genius thought you have is on Twitter!”

 

etc, etc.

 

While I agree it should be considered an advancement in our cultural evolution that we are no longer bound by the standards of (let’s face it mostly white) men in suits to determine what art is and what popular culture will be. It is a good thing that we can have access to great pieces of art and music and film and writing without it being sanitized and monetized. 

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