Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Go Listen to our Podcast: "Profiling Criminal Minds" (the TV Show, of course)

Needless to say - if you are a fan of the the show!

Come for the reviews of Criminal Minds, stay for the rambling digressions about child abuse and celebrity culture!


Sunday, 26 May 2019

The Inside

I have just finished watching a wonderful TV show called "The Inside" from 2005. There are only 13 episodes, and it was cancelled. We have a podcast called "Profiling Criminal Minds"  - a meta discussion of the TV show, Criminal Minds. Between  our analysis of Season 5 & 6, we discuss "The Inside" to put Season 6 into perspective. Yesterday, we finished creating the bonus 7-part mini-series that discusses "The Inside". It will begin to air in September alongside our weekly podcasts.

To get it out of my head, I decided to write this blog post - I do have to do other work completely divorced from this topic!

Everyone who is interested in issues of the long-term impact of child abuse should watch this series. It contains a  brilliant character study of the main character - a woman who is working in the FBI as a profiler in the Violent Crimes Unit in Las Angeles. She was kidnapped at age 10, and escaped her kidnapper 18 months later. Created by Tim Minear and Howard Gordon, I was stunned by its focus and its character creations. Not that I should have been surprised given the creators. My podcast co-host had been raving about this show for ages, and he was right.

I won't go into details, but it rang true to me. There were many difficult moments in the episodes as Rebecca's story and life unfolds. As a survivor I recognized, empathized with and had some difficult moments with the content. You can hear my reactions if you wish to listen to the podcast later this year. It certainly made me have more than a few mini-reflections on my past - even though the situations (with which readers of the blog are familiar) were different. Even my co-host had moments of reflection on his past - and that almost never happens.

Kudos to Minear and Gordon and all the writers, directors, actors etc. on the show.

And many thanks to Chris from England for putting this playlist together, I assume that he taped them from ITV4 mainly. It is the only way to get them - they aren't available on DVD. Just a note: Episodes 4 and 5 are out of order on the Youtube playlist - you should watch Pre-filer before you watch Loneliest Number.

And here is the link for the playlist:


I should note that this is a very dark television show, as I say in the first podcast. I am not surprised that it was cancelled. It is harder to watch than anything else on the subject. It handles difficult issues with a tightness of control that is seldom seen in television. I have no idea how we are going to go back to Criminal Minds after watching this - but we will - we committed ourselves to talk about the entire show, and we will.

Monday, 3 December 2018

I Told You So! - #2

Be celibate or leave the priesthood, pope tells gay priests

Because homosexual acts are sinful.

I have to admit that I do feel sorry for all my friends who had such high hopes, but I would say "What did they expect?"

This is a doctrinal issue at the core of Roman Catholic theology.

Furthermore, do not expect "married priests" or "female priests" any time soon. Because you must remember that outside of the holy sacrament of marriage, sexual acts are all sinful. And, of course, since "God" chose to incarnate as male............................. need I go on??

Read my dissertation. It is a problem within Christian sexual morality that is not Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Reformed, Baptist, etc., etc., etc. (For a Protestant discussion of this issue see Fred Clark's blog The Slacktivist: Here’s that ‘Anything Goes’ rant about evangelical sexual ethics

Oh well, it's not that I like being right about these issues - but at least, I don't get surprised or disappointed.

Monday, 12 November 2018

I Told You So!! And the schism continues to grow

And if you hadn't read my blog, well, you can always start to read it now.

Everyone was so sure that Pope Francis was just the best thing in the world. 
The best that I could do was tell my friends that I will give him the benefit of the doubt - but I didn't believe for a second that things would be different. Like John Paul 2, Pope Francis' change is paper thin.
I'll bet between his bouts of tears (which I do think he sheds), Ratzinger (Benedict 16) thinks about how glad he is that he retired. 

The one thing that I can say is that the Vatican has just the "Best-ever" window dressers. 

Saturday, 15 September 2018

The forgotten real-life story behind Lolita

In 1948, an 11-year-old girl named Sally Horner was kidnapped by a convicted rapist who made her pretend to be his daughter. Her ordeal inspired Vladimir Nabokov's controversial novel Lolita - but Sally's story has been forgotten, and she died before she had a chance to tell it herself. Michael speaks with Sarah Weinman, the author of 'The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World'.


Thursday, 16 August 2018

Monday, 16 October 2017

I Would Never Want To Go Back There

Just a longer response to a former student's "nothing will change", in her response to the Harvey Weinstein mess - the #MeToo hashtag and the MeToo Facebook postings. Need I say that she also was part of "MeToo".
If history and personal stories tell us one thing, it is that things do change. Sometimes it seems like it is for the worse, but in the case of sexual abuse and harassment of women, things are getting better - if only by millimetres.
The stories that I and my peers could tell about the "good old days" would remind everyone that they weren't that good - in fact, they were horrible, but even then there were always men who did the right thing.
Just one example. In the early 70s, I was working as a teller at National Trust in Montreal (St. Catherine's branch near Concordia (Sir George Williams at the time). I had one customer (dirty old man) who constantly harassed me - came to my till and made remarks, asked me out & wouldn't take no for an answer. I finally told the branch manager about him. The branch manager called the man into his office and told him in no uncertain terms to leave me alone (there was an or else in there as I was told). I was forever grateful to that manager - the man never came to my till again, nor did he harass anyone else in the bank - a small victory, but a victory nevertheless. Don't remember the manager's name, but I do remember his face. 
I only wish that all harassment outcomes went as well - I and every woman I know could certainly write more than one book!
History teaches us that for women, there is no such thing as the "good old days". Things were just hidden behind closed doors and we had little recourse. 
And I would never want to go back there.