Monday, August 4, 2014

Come Monday...Burning Rice

“Come Monday…” is a weekly series that will involve a review of (or commentary about) websites, movies, documentaries, television shows, sports, music, and whatever else may tickle my fancy at the time.  Be assured that these reviews will be generally positive, as in accordance to the Jimmy Buffett song “Come Monday.”  This is subject to change, however.  In fact, I would be most derelict in my duties to neglect going on a rant every once in a while.  For rants promote change, and change can be good—right?  Therefore, since good is generally considered as being a positive force in 99.3% of the parallel universes that I am aware of, even a rant could be considered as being something positive, and a genuine hissy-fit would be even better (so I’m told).

The man dragging the unconscious woman out of that elevator is the same one pictured in his Baltimore Ravens uniform to the left.  His name is [Ray Rice], and the unconscious woman was his fiancé Janay Palmer.

Ray and Janay reportedly became husband and wife 41 days after the incident, but that does not seem to matter to those who want Ray burned at the stake (some, quite literally).  Furthermore, “they” want anyone trying to put the unfortunate incident in a better context to also burn at the stake, which is what happened to [Stephen A. Smith] for having the gall to mention that Janay had a part to play.

No, it is not that Ray has been let off Scot-free.  For he now has a domestic abuse charge on his record, and the NFL suspended him for the first two games of the upcoming season.

It is what “they” consider to be the meager two-game suspension that has so many gnashing their teeth.  Some want at least a full-season suspension while others are calling for him to be permanently banned from the league.

It is now my turn to risk their ire.  For I whole-heartedly agree with Stephen A. Smith’s original sentiments.  For Janay really did have a part to play in the unfortunate incident, which she freely admitted in a press conference after the “stuff” hit the proverbial fan.

No, I am not at all contending that it is ever okay for a man to hit a woman.  In fact, I still feel great shame over knocking out my second wife almost exactly 29 years ago.

My own unfortunate incident happened while we were hosting a kegger at our place, with over a hundred people, who had driven way out in the sticks to get there, milling around.  Robin had become way too drunk to function, and I felt like I could not play the part of being a good host with her no longer being able to take two steps without falling down.  So, I attempted (along with the help of several others) to GENTLY get her to lie down on our bed to sleep it off some.  Because of thinking that what I really wanted to do was to go out to the barn and have some fun with a few of ladies in attendance, which was the farthest thing from the truth, she reached out and raked the side of my face with her fingernails.  I instinctively lashed out with a short right jab that caught her on the side of her chin, and down she went.  Be assured that I was horrified by my actions—despite the insistence of all eye-witnesses (including both men and women) insisting that she got what she had coming to her.  A couple of days later, I left her behind to move to Amarillo, which is another thing I deeply regret (the part about leaving her behind—not moving to Amarillo).

Now, I was not an eye-witness to what really happened in that elevator between Ray and Janay, but it sure looks like he was trying to be gentle with her afterward.  I also believe that he is genuinely horrified by his actions, which I am quite sure was a major reason why he was not required to serve any jail-time.

Several sports pundits are using Ray’s two-game suspension as an indictment of the NFL’s justice system.  For they are insisting that there should be zero tolerance of domestic abuse, with even the first incident requiring a severe penalty to serve as a deterrent.

Alas, deterrents sound all well and good, but the absolute truth of the matter truly is that no-one ever does what they truly believe to be bad at the time.  For what they consider to be good in it always outweighs what is considered to be bad in the eyes of society.

In other words, no-one in their right-mind will do something egregious, and in my own case, I was most certainly not in my right-mind when I knocked out my second wife.  This is what I believe to be the case with Ray Rice, as well.

So, what would burning Ray at the stake really accomplish?  Oh, and for the benefit of those who believe that our justice system should be completely blind, with all mitigating circumstances being notwithstanding (including the true character of the accused) they should take into account that Janay was also arrested at the scene.  Yes, her charges were later dropped, but the arrest still goes on her record—simply on account of the current general policy being that all participants at the scene of a potential crime are charged, with the rest of the story to come later.  Is this what you call justice?

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  1. It's kind of a shame that anyone that's in the "public eye" has their cases tried through the media rather than the justice system.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, my dear Ann!!! Yes, celebrity seems to be coming with a much higher price these days.

  2. Justice is such a multi-edged blade these days. I cannot tolerate abuse, my sister was one such. But the responsibility also lies with the 'victim' to stop it, to get out of the relationship. So, if Janay got married to him AFTER the incident, she is effectively absolving him, right? Every story has 3 sides, his side, her side and the truth. I am glad I'm not in the justice system to try and decide on what punishment is right for what crime, under what circumstances. Nor to try and figure out what the truth may be in such highly emotionally charged situations. Tough question for a Monday, Jerry.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, my dear Shadow!!! The thing that I find so shocking, which I did not do a very good job of expressing in the text to this piece, is that so many are totally discounting the possibility of this just being a case of a really nice guy doing something bad in an intensely heated moment. Now, if he was acting like it was not a big deal or trying to place the blame on his (now) wife, it would be different, but one can easily see the shame on his face when he talks about it and he keeps insisting that his wife did nothing wrong. Yes, it is well-documented that abused women will often stay in a relationship long after they should--even going so far as to blame themselves for the abuse and lie about what is happening to them in order to protect their abusers, but I truly believe that what happened in that elevator was and will remain an isolated incident when it comes to Ray and Janay.

  3. It's unfortunate that famous people who come into conflict with the law are tried twice, once in the courts and also in the court of public opinion. I haven't followed this latest incident so I really don't have an opinion, except to say that there are circumstances when a man can hit a woman, but only as a last resort. When I was first married my wife would hit me when she got upset--hard. After a couple of weeks of this I informed her that the next time she hit me I'd be hitting back. She had no idea she was hitting me and stopped immediately.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, my dear Stephen!!! Whoa, she had no idea she was hitting you?


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