Scared Gay

« September 2008 »


Get used to this, because it's going to keep happening until the election. Assholes who would normally get reamed out within days of transgressing my rules of how the world should work? They fall through the cracks, get set aside on the shelf, and brought out weeks later, long past their sell-by date. Nothing to be done about it except to surge forward as best we can against the tide.

Case in point. Way back on August 21, in the mists of antiquity, Windsor High School in Colorado held an assembly to teach their students about safety on the Internet. As the expert, they turned to John F. Gay of the nearby Cheyenne, WY Police Department. Now, John F. Gay, known to American Family Association website readers as John F. Homosexual, could have done what most police officers do in this situation. Make up some PowerPoint slides, caution the kids about putting personal information on public websites, and advise them that when they chat with someone they've never met before, two times out of ten it's a pervert, and eight times out of ten it's a cop trying to catch predators.

But John F. Gay doesn't fuck around with half measures. He was gonna put the fear into those kids. Those kids were going to leave that auditorium knowing deep in their hearts that danger lurked around every bend of the Intertubes. So he got some students' names, found their MySpace pages, showed them to the entire student body, and proceeded to convince them, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Cheyenne PD internet safety experts were fucking creepy.

All we have are the reports and complaints from students and parents, but those reports are pretty damning. According to the Fort Collins Coloradoan: "'He told the entire student body that he had shared her info with a sexual predator in prison,' said Ty Nordic, whose daughter Shaylah Nordic’s MySpace page was put on display. Nordic said Gay then told the student body that the predator said he would masturbate to her picture. Shaylah Nordic then left the room as Gay pulled up her phone number and called her on stage to demonstrate how easy it was to get a hold of contact information via the Internet."

Now, I can understand where Gay was coming from. He wanted his presentation to have a little punch, to get through to a bunch of jaded teenagers. That's why he used an example of Internet danger that would otherwise be PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE without the intervention of an insane cop. I will admit that I'm not an expert on our nation's corrections facilities, but even so, I'm pretty confident in saying that convicted, imprisoned sex offenders cannot surf MySpace while masturbating. Or even while not masturbating.

So the only way for pictures of students to get into the hands of convicted, imprisoned sex offenders for the purposes of aiding autoerotic stimulation is if, as he claimed, a cop brought them to him. Which isn't something the kids can really be blamed for not worrying about. In the same way I don't expect, say, members of Homeland Security to print out copies of this column and hand them over to Operation Rescue bombers. Sure, it would prove a point, but it's not actually a point that needs proving, is it?

The principal has apologized. The police have not, choosing instead to stand just at the edge of minimum safe distance. "That was something he did on his own, and he wasn't representing the agency. But he does it locally on a regular basis." - Thanks, Sergeant Glen Newberry! That's incredibly reassuring! Doesn't sound creepy and wrong at all.

Yes, children need to be more aware of their privacy on the Internet. But epic, draconian scare-fests like this are like the D.A.R.E. program, only for social networking instead of drugs. Inaccurate, out of touch, and designed to make even reasonably safe recreational activity look like leaping off a cliff into a pit of naked horny pedophiles. And we all know how well D.A.R.E. has worked to scare kids away from drugs.