Michael Stuart Kelly

The Smearing of Jim Peron

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Brendan,

Such a judgment is appealable—to the same official who made it in the first place.

I would be very surprised if an appeal of an immigration decision was considered by the same official who made the initial decision. Here's some information about NZ immigration appeals. I'm not sure whether this would have applied to the Peron case, but in the cases in question an independent tribunal hears appeals.

http://www.immigration.govt.nz/opsmanual/9226.htm

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They gave a severaly abused child protection and emotional nurturing. Do you find that evil or a "low moral ground"?

Is that all they gave him, though? Check out the text: “At no time did they force themselves on any of the boys.” You could drive a truck through the loophole provided by the word “force”. You don’t have to force yourself on a child to abuse them.

And: “As a boy I personally experienced both kinds of “abuse” and I can only thank God that I met these boylovers.”

The writer as good as admits some sort of sexual relationship with the “boylovers”.

You are seeing the story as one where the men provide selfless protection and nurturing. In my book that means non-sexual activity. And that’s the issue. The writer is trying to persuade us that “man/boy love” is not abuse. I don’t buy it.

In regard to Rand’s play, I have no problem exploring nuanced moral contrasts between characters. However, I see the boy’s story as primarily a polemic on behalf of “boylovers”, and not a mutual exploration of the issue with the reader. There’s a major difference between the intentions of the two forms.

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Brendan,

You are correct in that we don't see the story in the same light. I personally believe that if Jim wanted to write about sex, he would have written about sex. Lack of clarity in saying what he means has not been a characteristic of his writing, at least not the writing I have read. On the contrary, his general approach and style have been in-your-face confrontational, even when the veracity of what he is saying is in doubt.

So I see this story as an autobiographical account of what happened to a person. You see it as propaganda for pedophilia. (I presume that you use man/boy love" to mean "man/boy sex." Let's keep our meanings clear.)

Admittedly, this is not Jim's finest writing. I only defend it because I don't believe it is preaching the propaganda you claim. Let's not forget that the truck you can drive through a word is your truck. Not the text. So if you are condemning this story as propaganda, you are condemning your interpretation of it, not the explicit message it presents.

In other words, here is an example of our different views. Let's append an unwritten message to one of the lines you cited.

"As a boy I personally experienced both kinds of "abuse" and I can only thank God that I met these boylovers. This proves that man/boy sex is a good thing." (This is how you are presenting it.)

"As a boy I personally experienced both kinds of "abuse" and I can only thank God that I met these boylovers in that terrible situation I found myself in when I was hurting so badly. In other circumstances, my emotional reaction might be different." (This is how I see it, with the word "abuse" not having the present-day exclusively sexual connotation outside of violence.*)

Objectively speaking, I will admit that it does push the envelope, though. People of goodwill do interpret things differently. Jim's story does not deny sex happened. He also did not present any. I think, given his writing style, he would have had his intent been propaganda. You think otherwise. At any rate, it's a horrible theme to write about and explosively sensitive. It was a sensitive issue back when it was written. In today's world, it's akin to intellectual suicide.

One clarification. I don't see it as "selfless" anything. I looked my words over and I don't see them as conveying a message that the military instructors had no personal interest. Don't forget that you are on an Objectivist forum.

Michael

EDIT: *It's difficult to go back in time and try to recapture the nuances of meaning of a term used, say, 22 years ago, like when Jim's article was published. I believe that "child abuse" is one of those terms with reference to sex. Today, it has a heavy-handed explicit meaning of completion of the sex act (or at least getting it underway). It is what predators do and so on.

Back then it had an implication of sex among other connotations. I doubt anyone today would consider a child being hugged warmly, even by a pedophile, as child abuse. Warning bells might go off and they would say that this could lead to child abuse, but it is not child abuse per se. Back then, one could call it child abuse if one were using fuzzy thinking to attack the reputation of another. Sort of like the current claim espoused by many that all Muslims are—or sanction—violent jihadists because that's just the way Islam is. This meaning is easier to rebut, which is what I think Jim was doing and one of the reasons why he put scare quotes around it.

Today abuse = evil fact in public perception. Before abuse = accusation of who knows what horrors in public perception. Thus if an author today says he had been "abused" as a child, scare quotes and all, people would automatically assume that he had been tortured or raped by an adult. Period. No mental image ambiguity at all. Back then, the same statement would need further elaboration for the communication of meaning to get the same image clarity.

I believe it is correct to judge a work, especially an obscure work in sensitive issues like this, using the meanings of the time. Not what the meanings have evolved to become today.

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(This is how I see it, with the word "abuse" not having the present-day exclusively sexual connotation outside of violence.*)

Except that the writer refers to “both kinds” of “abuse”. We know one kind – the fist in the face. The other kind is clearly some sort of activity that is generally frowned on, given that the writer encloses “abuse” in scare quotes.

So what was that other kind of man-boy activity? Manly hugs? Wrestling matches? People don’t generally disapprove of that sort of activity between men and boys. This suggests that the term “abuse” refers to some other sort of generally disapproved activity.

The men in question are described as “boylovers”. What do boylovers do when they get together with boys?

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(This is how I see it, with the word "abuse" not having the present-day exclusively sexual connotation outside of violence.*)

Except that the writer refers to "both kinds" of "abuse". We know one kind – the fist in the face. The other kind is clearly some sort of activity that is generally frowned on, given that the writer encloses "abuse" in scare quotes.

So what was that other kind of man-boy activity? Manly hugs? Wrestling matches? People don't generally disapprove of that sort of activity between men and boys. This suggests that the term "abuse" refers to some other sort of generally disapproved activity.

The men in question are described as "boylovers". What do boylovers do when they get together with boys?

Brendan,

Did you read what I wrote in my last post? Despite quoting a line from it, your post totally ignored the substance.

You are still presenting your interpretation. Other interpretations are valid irrespective of any sarcasm you may load on.

And you are insisting on the present meaning of "abuse" in all its stereotyped glory. It's an effort when a strong bias is involved, I know, but try to go back 20 years in your mind, imagine how people thought and spoke back then, and judge through that filter. That was when the story was written, not now. You might see what I am getting at.

Then again your bias may be too strong for that intellectual effort.

I make the effort because I want to be as correct as possible in my judgments.

As to your last question, what do boylovers do when they get together with boys? Within the confines of Jim's story, some specific boylovers treated a damaged boy nicely. Outside of Jim's story, we all know what they do.

Once again, I refer to Rand's use of gangsters, swindlers, murderers, terrorists, rapists, alcoholics, etc. Within the confines of her stories, we know what they did. Outside of her stories, we all know what they do.

That's as objective as I can get.

Michael

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You are still presenting your interpretation.

Well, I didn’t sign up to present someone else’s interpretation.

If you think the other kind of “abuse” that the writer refers to is nothing more than treating a damaged boy nicely, fine. It’s not what I would refer to as abuse, scare quotes or not, and nor do I think people 20 years ago would have, either.

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Brendan,

We will just have to agree to disagree since this has gone to the level of opinion only.

I do appreciate your civility. You obviously feel strongly about this and stated your opinions clearly, but you have managed to remain civil when the online discussion norm in the history of this specific topic has been hysteria.

As the saying goes, good show.

Michael

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I see indications that some bigoted hate-mongers are trying to insinuate dark things about me because of my insistence on correct identification in Peron's case, so I want to comment on a couple of recent events that are in the mainstream media. This should give an indication of how and what I think about adult-child sex.

As a preface, let me say that I call it as I see it and I don't like bullies, especially bigoted bullies.

1. The Roman Polanski mess. To me, the essential fact is very simple. He had unlawful sex with a minor and pleaded guilty to it. He should be punished. Period.

Surrounding this issue, though, is a level of dirt and nastiness from others that turns my stomach. Like the Peron case, I get the feeling that many of the main actors are not really interested in the welfare of children (does anyone really believe that Perigo, for instance, gives a damn about children in his hate-speech rants?), but interested in using the suffering of children to bludgeon their own enemies or gain the spotlight.

Here is a good example. It has been years since I read a book called "Roman by Polanski," (his autobiography) which gives his side of the story. If I remember correctly, the girl's parents had been pushing their daughter off on him in hopes of fame for her and investment money from Polanski in some kind of magazine venture (the magazine dealt with promoting marijuana). I am going on memory for this since I don't have the time to look it up, but I am pretty sure it can be checked and will be found to be as I say.

I do not excuse Polanski for having sex with a 13 year old girl. He did it and he knew better. He knew he was doing evil at the time. But what about the parents in this case? Didn't they know better? Of course they did. I think they knew exactly what they were doing. According to Polanski's autobiography, the charges were filed only after it became clear that he was not going to invest in the magazine. If this doesn't ring true to anyone, then they should ask themselves what kind of parents would let their 13 year old daughter be alone, unchaperoned, with 43 year old man for hours under the guise of "topless photo shoot."

Twice.

The conduct of the legal people involved in this case is equally stomach-turning as different individuals have sought out their moment in the limelight. One guy, a retired Los Angeles County prosecutor, David Wells, is even flip-flopping on his role, saying he lied about advising the judge in a documentary in order to "look better" to the media. Well, his flip-flopping is getting even more media attention. To me, this means his word, both for and against, is worthless. If anyone reads about this in more depth, they will uncover one jerk after another seeking media attention, even the original trial judge, Judge Laurence J. Rittenband.

One of the things I find interesting is that some people defending Polanski are using the same argument I do regarding the different perception of the time. But here's the difference. In Polanski's case, he pleaded guilty under oath to a sex act with a minor and he has even owned up to it in his autobiography. There is a fact we can judge without risk of error. So judgment is easy.

Still, a sign of the modern times is easily shown by a website known for objectivity, The Smoking Gun. It presents a copy of the recently unsealed LA grand jury minutes giving the testimony of Samantha Gailey—now Samantha Geimer (the teen he had sex with) two weeks after the event. The title of the report is Polanski The Predator. Had this been made public back then, I doubt the title would have the same. Maybe in the gossip rags and publications like National Enquirer, but not in a more respectable publication. Just look at the reports of the time.

The bottom line, however, is that what Polanski did was evil. Actions have consequences. He should return or be returned and face punishment for what he pleaded guilty to. Let the authorities and lawyers unravel the plea-bargain mess.

2. Fox News has been on quite a crusade against Kevin Jennings, President Obama's new "Safe School Czar." This one is a no-brainer for me. We shouldn't have a "Safe School Czar" in the first place, but since we do, the kind of person to occupy that position needs to have a much better record than Jennings.

In a book written by Jennings, One Teacher in Ten, he admitted to giving advice while teaching at Concord Academy to a sophomore he calls "Brewster" regarding sex Brewster had with an older man. He later gave a speech where he admitted Brewster was 15 and had met the older man at a bus stop. His comment to Brewster was that he hoped the youngster had used a condom. Quotes from both the book and a transcript of the talk (including some rather strong commentary) are here: Remembering Brewster.

Jennings did not report the crime. He obviously had no problem with man-boy sex. He should not be in charge of overseeing "safe school" policies on this fact alone (although there is plenty more in this dude's history to object to for such an office). There's really not too much to analyze. Like I said, it's a no-brainer.

These two issues deal with government action regarding sex between an adult and a minor. The sex is a fact in both cases. It was wrong for the adults to do it. The respective people either participating or condoning this should receive the consequences of their actions. In the case of Peron, there is no such sex, but there was government action. Admittedly, there was man-boy sex presented by other authors in the magazine where his story appeared. But he was and is being condemned by the bigoted hate-mongers based on guilt by association.

I don't do that.

It's not rational to do that.

Bigots do guilt by association.

For the record, I do not believe that all the people who are uneasy with Peron or this issue are bigots, and I certainly understand their uneasiness. But the more vocal people presenting bigoted hate-speech in an inflammatory manner are bigots. There is no other word for it, either.

Bigotry is bigotry.

A is A.

Michael

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Surrounding this issue, though, is a level of dirt and nastiness from others that turns my stomach. Like the Peron case, I get the feeling that many of the main actors are not really interested in the welfare of children (does anyone really believe that Perigo, for instance, gives a damn about children in his hate-speech rants?), but interested in using the suffering of children to bludgeon their own enemies or gain the spotlight.

Here is a good example. It has been years since I read a book called "Roman by Polanski," (his autobiography) which gives his side of the story. If I remember correctly, the girl's parents had been pushing their daughter off on him in hopes of fame for her and investment money from Polanski in some kind of magazine venture (the magazine dealt with promoting marijuana). I am going on memory for this since I don't have the time to look it up, but I am pretty sure it can be checked and will be found to be as I say.

Gore Vidal had a very interesting take on this. Go here:

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200910u/gore-vidal

"I really don’t give a fuck. Look, am I going to sit and weep every time a young hooker feels as though she’s been taken advantage of?"

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I gave up on Jim Peron years ago. He has only gotten worse since then. He has been bashing Sweden for not violating the liberties of their citizens as badly as other countries.

permalink.php?story_fbid=313610483311768

 

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On 9/28/2009 at 5:09 AM, Brendan Hutching said:

The story contrasts a violent, abusive father with kindly, gentle “boylovers”.

There were some aspects of that thought in the bio's of Little Richard after his death.

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14 hours ago, algernonsidney said:

I gave up on Jim Peron years ago. He has only gotten worse since then. He has been bashing Sweden for not violating the liberties of their citizens as badly as other countries.

permalink.php?story_fbid=313610483311768

A,

LOL... 🙂 

In the complexity of human relationships, I have discovered that there is no way to boil it all down into The Big One Thing.

Some relationships, including friendships, are contradictory, yet there they are.

There is a huge number of things I disagree with Jim on, starting with President Trump. In fact, he probably loathes some of my positions. Probably, the biggest thing on my end is his emotional tone when writing. Jim likes to stay within an emotional area where negative aggressive emotions--especially pointing the finger at others and calling them stupid, bad people, etc., are predominant. Sometimes it sounds to me like trolling. I am much more upbeat. 

Yet we both wish each other well.

I don't interact much with him, nor he with me. I suppose this is how we can keep the good between us alive.

I once met Jim in person and spent a day with him. This was during a memorial event for Barbara Branden. Before that, I had a telephone call with him that lasted for hours (about six hours or so, if I remember correctly). We haven't had any personal contact since. But I have seen a side of him that doesn't come through in his writing. He is a lot more tolerant of our disagreements when speaking personally than he probably ever would in public writing. He's actually upbeat. 🙂 I suspect there is some parallels contrary-wise on my end.

I only know with certainty that I did the right thing by this thread, that he and I disagree on a lot that gets into some deep shit, and that we have good intentions toward the other.

I doubt this will ever change.

And Sweden's coronavirus policy and outcome? 

When I look at Jim's position, at root I see a road that leads to his hatred of Trump, not to Sweden or COVID-19.

It's like what Kurt Vonnegut said in Cat's Cradle. A cat's cradle is a string and hand thing. I'm sure you've seen someone do this as a kid. A character in the book says the biggest problem with the cat's cradle is there is no damn cat and no damn cradle.

And he probably thinks the same about me, but the contrary.

🙂

Michael

 

EDIT: btw - My opening LOL was not to be meant in the derisive sarcastic sense. It's the joy of a pleasant surprise. 🙂 

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I get the impression he's conflated this virus with AIDS qua deadliness. If you don't wear a mask you're a murdering moron.

I don't know yet why he thinks Trump is by far the worst President ever. I mean Lincoln had a war to preserve the Union instigated by tariffs and killed off 5 percent of the population, 700,000 men half by war wounds and half by disease. He's my worst. I think he likes Lincoln a lot. And Wilson somewhat.

He hates conservatives with a passion and throws early 60s Rand at them.

Jim Peron is a very complicated extremely intelligent man, but dead in the water give and take intellectual. I think he's culturally left. I think that because I recognize some of it in myself.

--Brant

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Anarchist Larken Rose sums up all this bullshit quite beautifully. This is how a rational person uses reason and logic:

Quote

LISTEN TO THE EXPERTS!

You should have listened to the experts when they told you to wear a mask! ..... and when they told you not to.

You should have listened when they said the mortality rate was over 4%! ... and later when they said is was less than a tenth of that.

You should have listened when they said that even asymptomatic people who have Covid-19 can spread it! ... and when they said maybe they can't.

You should have listened when they said that touching surfaces touched by someone with Covid-19 can give you it! ... and when they said it probably can't.

You should have listened when they said the goal was just to flatten the curve! ... and when they kept advocating shutdowns (for no apparent reason) long after the curve was flattened.

You should have listened when they said no one has had this before and no one has immunity to it! ... and when they decided that millions of people have already had it, recovered, and developed immunity.

You should have listened when they said that once you get it, you won't get it again ... and when they changed their minds about that ... and then when they changed their minds back again.

You should have listened when they said that this just showed up in March and we should all have panicked then ... and when they decided that it was already here many weeks before that.

But most of all, you should DEFINITELY believe that, based on the ever-changing, random and arbitrary declarations of these supposed "experts" and their routinely bullshit "models" which are constantly WAY off, we should throw away freedom and our ability to make our own choices, and let "government" control everything!

I mean, what could possibly go wrong if we do that?

 

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23 minutes ago, algernonsidney said:

You should have listened when they said the mortality rate was over 4%! ... and later when they said is was less than a tenth of that.

People started coming on the Ocean City MD boardwalk this weekend. And the same thing seems to be occurring across the country. I will continue to self isolate. The numbers have been steady but growing and in some places the death rate may be increasing.

Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 1,696,874 and fatal cases 99,459. So deaths divided by cases give us 0.0586130732 or rounding up nearly 6 percent of the people in America who get Covid 19 die.

World Wide cases: 5,495,061 and fatal cases 346,232. So deaths divided by cases give us 0.0630078538 or 6.3 percent of the people worldwide who get Covid 19 die.

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