The anthology progresses. Six stories from six authors so far and there’s time for more. It’s keeping me busy.
Anyway, even though it’s a Halloween anthology, it’s not what this post is about. This is about the witchfinder mentality.
In the mid 1600s, in the UK, most of Europe and even in rebel colonist land in the USA, if you were accused of witchcraft you were guilty.
The hysteria about witches meant that once accused, you were, basically, fucked. Trials were based on the presumption of guilt. Torture was used to obtain confessions and if you think waterboarding was bad, believe me, what these accused went through makes waterboarding look like a relaxation method.
You would be accused of sailing in sieves and flying on brooms and you had to prove you didn’t do it. How the hell do you prove you didn’t do something? How do you prove that the sudden death of your neighbour’s cows or sheep was nothing to do with you? It’s the ‘teapot orbiting Betelgeuse’ fallacy. I’m pretty damn sure it’s not there but I can’t definitively prove it. I’ve never tried, in fact, because I don’t actually care what’s orbiting Betelgeuse as long as it’s not me.
Modern science can’t prove a negative. What the hell chance did a 1600s peasant have?
They didn’t have to prove you did it. You had to prove you didn’t. In those days, roughly a century before Van Leeuwenhoek’s invention of the microscope, how do you prove it was a disease that killed the animals, and not your evil magical jiggery-pokery? It was simply not possible. Once accused, you had no way out.
Then you had the mob. The masses were primed to hate witches by the King James version of the Bible which included the new line ‘Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live’. It’s not in earlier versions. Mid 1600s, if you didn’t go to Church you were a reviled heathen. So you’d go whether you believed or not. And there really wasn’t much else in the way of education going on for most people at that time. Other than how to milk cows or plough a straight line of course.
Lucky for me, in the event the silly buggers out there ever vote the Greens into power, I can do both those things and also use a scythe and set a snare.
Hey, it’s [the current year] so we’ve outgrown childish tantrum-hate and automatically believing accusations against people we don’t like, haven’t we? Or have we?
I have very limited understanding of American politics. It confuses me that their right side is red and the left is blue because it used to be the other way around in the UK before we switched to communist and ultra-communist options. Now we have red and very-red options here.
I don’t know how Donnie Trumpton became president when most of his own party and all of the other party seem to hate his guts. But he did, against massive odds, and I have to give him kudos for that.
I live near Balmedie in Scotland where there is a Trump golf course and the locals are not happy about it. It’s been an object lesson in the arrogant fuckwittery of the very rich and he is not well liked in this part of Scotland because of it. We don’t actually care about American politics. He might be the best or worst president the USA ever had but here, his people have been behaving like utter bastards for decades and we blame him.
Anyway. Maybe he’s actually a nice guy. I’ve never met him and most likely never will so it’s benefit of the doubt time.
He has been nominating judges for the US version of the High Court in the UK. It’s his right as president as far as I understand it.
He nominated a guy called Kavanaugh. The left don’t like him. Well, they wouldn’t, naturally. So they sent in an accusation that he did some kind of sexual assault at a party when he was in high school. The accuser can’t remember the date or even the city it happened in and both the ‘witnesses’ she named deny seeing anything. One has no memory of the event and the other denies being at a party with her.
Yet all over the Internet, people are believing her unconditionally.
I have known, online and in real life, people who were abused sexually. So many that I have wondered if I was the only butt-ugly child it didn’t happen to. A co-worker in Local Shop had to take time off to testify at a trial of his abuser.
They all had one thing in common. An absolutely precise memory of what happened and when, and who was there. Some things you do not forget.
There are things that happened in my life that I will never forget. None of them, fortunately, involved a trauma such as sexual assault but if it had happened I am sure I’d recall every detail.
I cannot accept this accusation at face value. It goes against everything I have ever heard from genuine victims of such assaults and there have been many. So very many. And it’s too convenient, an anti-Trump accuser of a Trump nominee. Who can’t remember where or when it happened.
Now there’s another one. Her best friend has no recollection of the event and states she had heard nothing about it before. None of their ‘witnesses’ remember anything at all. The claim is that Kavanaugh waved his dick in front of this woman’s face in college.
If I had been at a party where that happened, no matter how smashed I was, I’d remember it. And I was pretty smashed but I remember the time someone set fire to an empty toilet roll tube in the toilet and filled the place with smoke and caused quite a panic (possibly because it was me) and also the time a girl hid in my room with me because her abusive boyfriend was outside (that one wasn’t my fault).
Some things burn into your memory even when drunk. Those I just mentioned were pretty damn trivial compared to being sexually assaulted. If that had happened to me I am sure I could relate the place precisely and the time down to the second and who was there down to their goddamn blood group. Most of the real victims I have met could do most of this.
Yet the mob accept the accusation with no trial and no word from the accused, no more ‘innocent until proven guilty’. We are back to Witchfinder mentality. Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. Let’s have a trial. Oh, too late for that, he’s guilty because the mob says so.
At the same time, paedos and actual convicted rapists are getting a free pass.
Is anyone else wondering about this discrepancy?