This is a curious piece. It is truly chilling to see how much the profile of the Lost Boys described here matches that of privileged grown men in position of power — be they domestic, civic, commercial or educational:
“Yes, these are little boys playing games with the lives of others. That doesn’t excuse the horror of the game for one second. It makes it worse. Much worse, in fact. They are children who have the privilege of that particular innocence that involves never learning from their mistakes, never taking responsibility, never worrying that their sins will be unforgiven.”
Substitute “children” and “little boys” for *men*, and “innocence” for “callousness” and there is no longer a need for apologist paradoxes like, “they are fundamentally decent kids who have done fundamentally despicable things.” If there is one thing that blights the piece, it is in allowing the kind of concessions that always give these privileged monsters the benefits of the doubt no matter how heinous and horrifying their actions, no matter how devastating the consequences for those they target.
I hear and see it all the time whenever someone gives them a pass saying “boys will be boys.” How and why exactly are these young men “fundamentally decent kids” if they do and say “fundamentally despicable things”? By what criteria are we to assess their decency if not by their words and actions? Simply saying they are “fundamentally decent” rings hollow when all examples of their words and actions offer only evidence of callous hollowness and blatant hypocrisy — (see especially the difference between the way they treat the “female” when she is in front of them and then when she is out of sight). Any meaningful decency should be evident in words and actions that were consistent with decent character. Please stop give these types credit for putting on a show of piety when it suits then and keep calling them on their sanctimonious falsehood.
I look forward to following this writer’s work.