“His response was to fight it with the only weapons at hand—passive resistance and open displays of contempt.” ― Kurt Vonnegut, The Sirens of Titan
STALKING THE BOGEYMAN by David Holthouse, began as an essay, then became a play. It is a sad, horrifying specter of one mans attempt to heal himself, and forgive after being raped during childhood by a family acquaintance.
And, it is a powerful piece of propaganda that perpetuates a peculiar American myth. While in and of itself it is a powerful tragic narrative, it is a case of the story of one persons anecdote being told as an entire nations story.
In an interview, the victim, now a reporter in Alaska, said “It wasn’t Michael Jackson gently introducing my hand to his magical giraffe, and it wasn’t anything like a Catholic priest masturbating an altar boy. I was seven, and it was violent, sick, pedophiliac rape. … I no longer believed in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy, but from that night on, I had no such doubts about the Bogeyman.”
Here is the intro to his 2004 essay:
“This time last year I was plotting to kill a man. I was going to walk up to him, reintroduce myself and then blow his balls off. I was going to watch him writhe like a poisoned cockroach for a few seconds, then kick him onto his stomach and put three bullets in the back of his head. This time last year I had a gun, and a silencer, and a plan. I had staked out the man’s tract home in Broomfield — the gray, two-story one with the maroon trim and the American flag hanging above the doorstep. I had followed him to and from his job as an electrical engineer. I was confident I would get away with murder, because there was nothing in recent history to connect me to him. Homicide investigators look for motive, and mine was buried 25 years in the past.”
The Stranger is seldom a stranger. That is a fact of child abuse narratives. But the myth of the boogieman is the driving force behind a society based in pre-emptive war and wholesale slaughter of innocence around the world.
The acquaintance is the most common ‘rapist’ that girls face in college, according to the statistics that are widely used in American schools. But these narratives, like the mythologies that preceded them, are incredibly flawed and partial dogmas, extrapolated from nearly whole clothe bu a society that leads the world in harsh sentencing and incarceration of petty criminals; a nation that leads the world in victims of pre-emptive wars that murder children wholesale.
In pure propaganda terms, stories that involve the harm of children are very powerful narratives. And stories that involve the sexual harm of children even more repugnant to the senses. In the case of Holthouse, his attacker was the son a family friends- a boy 17 years older than he was at the time of his rape.
There is no right or decent way to dismiss or minimize the real and horrifying pain that a child encounters in such a situation. There is no rationalizing away a horror such as that endured by Holthouse, nor a clear path to forgiving a rapist.
But there is a way to ask : ‘why is this one narrative the guiding narrative of AMERICAN culture?”
After 15 years of endless war, and hundreds of millions of children murdered in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc, I for one must ask- is the narrative of one American childs heinous, brutal rape at the hands of an older boy during their adolescence more important than the hundreds of thousands of stories of dead Middle Eastern children?
Is the fact that toxic depleted uranium was used on children in the ME not worth discussing? Or the fact that over a half million veterans are currently on disability because of DU? Is there ever a correct and rational, reasonable time to ask- how did this narratve come to be more powerful than the narratives of hundreds of thousands of dead and deformed, and parentless, and murdered kids around the world because of AMERICAN policies?
Without minimizing the pain of this one main stream reporters very real and very horrible, life shattering experience- I think it is a valid question to ask- why this story- and why now.
The answer, I would suggest, is that this one story, like others- is a building block to something far more terrible and something far more insidiously harmful to our society. And, there is no shortage of evidence that suggests that the military is itself the best cover ever for rapists, and child abusers.
Related Story: Occasionally, the boogieman is real, and often, it is not a boogie “man” but in fact a woman http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2479093/Mother-sentenced-54-years-horrific-sex-abuse-children.html
Mothers abuse 91% of children!!?
In terms of parents in general abusing children 54% of children abused in the US are abused by their mothers.
And occasionally- very rarely- real genuine boogeyman is caught, here, and he is a “friend” of a single mother—-> http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/man-arrested-rape-3-year-old-bystander-intervenes-article-1.2744801