"Is America establishing a culture of impunity among its contractors operating in areas of armed conflict?" That's the first line of a Harper's story on the Jamie Leigh Jones case — not to be brainfarted with the Jamie Lynn Spears case — now turning American attention to the problems created by outsourcing war to big companies. But take the last nine words away and you're left with pretty much everything that brings us the big horror hits on this site: culture of impunity. MySpace torture, Jeffrey Marsalis, Jeffrey Epstein, gray rape, the 19-year-old raped at Les Deux, the DrunkenStepfather...not gonna go on. It's probably a culture of impunity that emboldened Paul Janka to try and grope me the whole time I was in his apartment, and maybe I contributed to a culture of impunity when I blithely went about my business swatting him off and not, in the name of womanity, telling him off.
Maybe I should have left right then and there. I've always had a soft spot for impunity, ever since it gave me the uh "courage" to write my first hundred word sentence. On the other hand, the "fixing broken windows" people have a lot of fair points, too. Like the Harper's folks point out:
Human experience also teaches—since the first formation of human communities—that when the state fails to enforce order, to identify crimes as crimes and to punish them swiftly and certainly, crimes proliferate.
However, as they also point out:
We have a community of 180,000 contractors in Iraq...This community consists entirely neither of angels or devils, but of ordinary human beings, most of whom undoubtedly try to act honorably in fulfilling their duties.
Anyway so like, I wrestle with this. Quality vs. quantity, comedy vs. tragedy, pageviews vs. sanity, Victorian England vs. Kardashian US America; do you have any fucking clue what I'm talking about anymore? Yeah, neither do I. I should probably stop reading thought-provoking essays.
What the Jamie Leigh Jones Story Teaches Us [Harper's]
"What, Don't You Always End Up In Need Of Reconstructive Surgery After A Night Of Good Consensual Sex?"
Defense Contractors: If It Wasn't For Diplomatic Immunity-Protected Rape, They'd Never Get Laid