somebody done somebody wrong song


I’ve held off talking about the Duke Lacrosse Scandal for a while, because blogs are always the “zero draft” of history, and you can look pretty foolish if you blather and end up being wrong. Witness the right-wing asshole bloggers who tore apart Jill Carroll for agreeing to film an anti-American screed while being held at gunpoint by Islamic fundamentalists. Man, those people should be kicked in the nuts. Both the fundamentalists and the bloggers, I mean.

Speaking of another group that needs to be kicked in the nuts, Duke U. is having the worst month since the Civil War. That is, if Duke hadn’t been invented in 1974.

My inclination, when first hearing about the alleged lacrosse rape, was “no duh.” Anyone who has been around that sort of culture knows the twin powderkegs hanging between most lacrosse players’ legs are usually four synapses away from something unholy. The particular viciousness of this allegation, however, sticks in the mind like a terrible song.

If it turns out to be a Tawana Brawley situation (as a few are suggesting) then the slow crawl towards racial harmony in Durham will take another lurch backwards. If the lacrosse players are found guilty, the same thing will happen. Nothing good will come of this.

Especially disgusting is the email (now on the Smoking Gun’s site) where a particularly proto-Cambrian knuckle-dragger from New Jersey threatens to kill the next set of strippers, skin them, and then sexually please himself. This email proves nothing about the case at hand, of course, except that this motherfucker needs to be handcuffed to a radiator until his nuts die of old age.

Knowing a tin ear when they hear one, the Duke student newspaper published this, an opinion piece that says, basically, Durham should be on bended knee thanking god that Duke exists, that the University provides shitty jobs that would otherwise not be available, and that Koach K eats sautéed Labrador puppies.

Well, maybe not the last part, but the column shows an unfettered entitlement, a world-view SO COMPLETELY OUT OF WHACK that the author should be forced to clean toilets at the Fayetteville Road Waffle House in order to gain perspective. To publish something like that when you’ve got the sneer of an alleged dead-eyed rapist staring at you from every newspaper in the Triangle? What the hell is going on over there?

I come from a generation that stayed up too late and despised authority. We gave the middle finger to everything we thought was pointless, and drank and smoked and I’m told a few of us had sex very early. Sure, we had the frosting of entitlement the same way every 20-year-old does, and our landlords didn’t always love us.

But this is another thing altogether. I’ve witnessed these Duke students first hand, as have Lee and Suzanne, who live mere seconds away from the worst offenders in Trinity Park. It’s the most fetid case of modern-day carpetbagging left in North Carolina, these northerners coming down, thinking they’re better than the town they live in, patronizing the local indigenous culture, and pissing acid, blood and semen all over the neighborhoods where they live.

As I’ve said before, some of my favorite people in the world went to Duke, and they know who they are. My feelings have always been tempered by the astonishing humor of Scotty, the loyalty and good nature of Lars, and the sweetness of many old friends. If you live in Chapel Hill for 15 years, you’re going to befriend a Duke student and love them despite it. As long as you don’t talk on game day, everything is cool.

But in general, my hatred for Duke was never limited to the basketball team, it was for the whole tiramisu. One night in 1986, we were in a crowded room in one of the J-frosh dorms at Duke, and my lovely friend Kris Richardson was wondering why she couldn’t find any boys she liked. Jon Vaden, my roommate, then said, “that’s because you go to school with ten thousand assholes.” I recall we had to run to the car, but he spoke for many of us that evening, long before it was cool.

The Duke womens’ basketball team lost in overtime to Maryland in the National Championship this week. One of the men’s players, a hugely-heralded recruit, decided to transfer. Then McRoberts, their only glimmer of hope for next year, looks to bolt for the NBA. And every time you turn on the news, you’ve got the Duke “D” logo with “RAPE?” next to it.

It’s their spring of discontent, a horrible downward spiral, and even those who despise the school the most, like me, almost feel pity for them. Almost.

0 thoughts on “somebody done somebody wrong song

  1. Liana

    “Anyone who has been around that sort of culture knows the twin powderkegs hanging between most lacrosse players’ legs are usually four synapses away from something unholy.”
    Ironic that you said powderkegs. Have you gotten Moz’s new album? “There are explosive kegs in between my legs…”
    Sorry this had nothing to do with your post lol.

  2. CP

    I played lacrosse. (or lax, as we called it.)
    and though my sister was better, even getting recruited by johns hopkins, I was pretty good. and it’s a cool game. (invented by the native americans and stolen by white folks. much like manhattan island and the rest of america.)
    (damn white people.)
    (relax, I’m one of them.)
    (and a mildly intoxicated one at that!)
    (there was a party. it was good.)
    (relax, I didn’t drive and am home safely.)
    anyway, most of my teammates were meatheads.
    I would never even think to pull any bullshit like that. and hope they wouldn’t either.
    if this is true, as I’m inclined to believe it is, it is unconscionable and I feel awful for that poor girl. not only for the horrifying act itself, but the racial/class element of it, making it even worse (the fact that a gang-rape can even somehow be made worse also turns my stomach…)
    as for duke, the more time I spend on this website, the more troubling that school/culture seems. that said, it is a culture, a school, and a rivalry I know little about save from ian’s rants, a history of watching NCAA basketball with my dad, and now this scandal. think I need to read that book.
    in conclusion, if again this is true (I was 10 and in NYC when tawana happened. all I have to say is it was a bad time for new york even though al sharpton used to be amazing with his purple velour sweatsuits — he was really fat back then — and serious bling…), it’s a disgusting display and a profound disappointment, not to mention seriously heartbreaking.

  3. dean from Bub's and Troll's

    Oh, Ian, thank you so much for today’s gift!! Is it Easter already?! There is no better gift on a Friday than to relish a day filled with dook-bashing. Glory be to God (and UNC)!
    I began to collect my thoughts so I could offer a rational explanation of all my mixed emotions over dook’s current situation. Yet, the only words that can truly capture the essence of everything . . . . FUCK DOOK!

  4. alan

    I have no problem hoping dook loses every game they play. I hope their basketball players all turn an ankle. I hope every all-american bolts for the NBA or transfers. But, this lacrosse thing is entirely different. I hope it isn’t true.

  5. Laurie from Manly Dorm

    You know, I don’t really focus on the fact that this happened at Duke. The most bothersome aspect of this alleged rape story is the fact that it involves members of a college athletic team. In short, I have a big problem with the Sport Idol/Hero Worship that we have in the US. You know what I am talking about. Our culture holds athletes up on a pedestal — we shower them with scholarships and various perks when we recruit them to college, and then we reward them with obscene amounts of money, etc. if they become professionals. In college, we FALL ALL OVER OURSELVES when we see the team players, as they swagger across the campus as though they own it. Which in fact they do, for where would our beloved schools be without revenue sports? It is not the smart kids on scholarship who bring worth to the school, it is the kids who CAN PLAY BALL.
    In the professional sports world, we don’t care what kind of offenses against humanity they commit (Kobe, Ray Lewis) as long as they can win! These players become arrogant thugs, and we don’t care. Our children worship the star athletes!
    And we all encourage this misguided Hero Worship! Just as you were saying a few days ago, in America, the valedictorian is mocked and ostracized for her nerdiness/intelligence, yet the school sports star is fawned over and showered with praise!
    It does not surprise me that the lax players had a party that led to rape. They were a group of entitled young men who were treated like royalty on campus. . . no accountability, no fear of repercussions. Have any of them ever had anyone (parents, teachers, college recruiters) say “No” to them? I dare say that most student athletes at that level are missing the normal sensitivity chip that the rest of us have because we are not and never were sports superstars. I really believe that this incident could have happened just as easily at our beloved Carolina as Duke, as much as I hate to admit it.

  6. scruggs

    Does anyone remember in the early 90’s a similar event (but on a very very very small scale in comparison) in Chapel Hill. A UNC wrestler (he may have just graduated) went on trial for rape. He was acquitted, so I won’t mention his name. I can’t remember many of the details anymore, but I do remember after he got off, some person(s) put “Carolina Wrestling-Always On Top” bumper stickers on all the cars surrounding the courthouse. The trial brought out the same type of athletic entitilement argument.

  7. Joe

    Right there with you, Ian. Every time I read about this story, it reminds me of the students vs. Cutters scenes of ‘Breaking Away’, although not in a good way.

  8. Betsy

    Ian, I read your pages for their wit and wisdom that helps me understand the mysterious world around me better. (and for news of loved ones, of course) As always, your wisdom on the lacrosse horror helps me to see it more clearly. I think the race issues are being downplayed down here in Chapel Hill and Durham, and are of course the heart of the matter, because they spread beyond the horror of those involved to all of us.
    But I can’t understand why its ok to hate an institution and its people, to have an enemy with so many faces you don’t know. I can’t get at it through sports because, I confess, I could give a rats ass about any team, unless I am playing on it. If that mutes my opinion, well, shit.
    I went to Carolina as an undergrad, with you and so many others here, in that special golden era of the late eighties early nineties, and am inching up on my doctorate from the heavenly blue university, and would never have chosen Duke (though the lit department there is a golden place, gathering some of the more important thinkers of the present era- now less golden at UNC). But I can’t muster up anything like hate or horror for that place and its people, or any other place and its people. I just don’t see how its that different from any other sort of prejudice.Yes, you have been on duke’s campus, and had some bad feelings about it. Yes, the architecture is about as ghastly as any place on the planet, a costly and wasteful facade of the gothic over 70’s crap. (But have you seen the vile muck UNC is making of its architectural gems?)
    Following the lacrosse rape scandal, my first instinct is to slam the rich white fucks, the entire class of lacrosse players, whose sense of entitlement is so grossly inflated that they can abuse and destroy people– which I believe they can whether or not the gang rape happened or not. To believe that lacrosse players, all, are hideous rich racist sexists who can trample on others without even knowing they’ve done wrong.
    I’ve worked at what passes for elite prep schools in NC, and struggled to retrieve lacrosse stars from that abyss of testosterone, and find that my second instinct is probably right. My second instinct blames the pack mentality, particularly grotesque in lacrosse circles (though there are certainly lacrosse players who escape it), which takes mediocre teenagers and inflames their sense of self-importance and lust for drunken debauchery,and suppresses any shred of intelligence and humanity that might have been in them at birth, then releases them onto college campuses to abuse others with their attitudes and their grotesquely fit bodies. It sounds like I am downplaying the evil of the event or of the mindset that makes it possible, which I don’t want to do. I am just saying it might not have happened without the we’re- in- this- cool- group- and- it- makes- us- better- mentality.
    And I don’t see how that pack mentality is so far from one that considers everything Carolina blue already more good and right than everything skinned darker blue.
    I am so naive.I always thought it was just a joke, the hating duke thing. But it seems so serious now… is it serious, or does my sportlessness make me immune to sports humor?

  9. cathie

    despite my promise to myself to no longer comment on this blog, i feel i must agree with betsy.
    whatever one’s feelings are on this issue, to objectify and vilify people one does not know, regarding a situation one was not present at, and to enflame the rhetoric already tearing our community apart, is, to me, to be part of the problem.
    please remember that everyone involved in this situation is a person, beloved by family and friends, dealing with a great deal of pain and all kinds of verbal and sometimes physical attacks. the people of durham are very hurt and bewildered by this whole situation, and most of us are connected in some way to almost everyone involved, because this is a small town. more hate-filled rants do not help.
    did you not call for a return to intelligent conversation just days ago?

  10. LFMD

    Cathie — I wish you commented more on this blog! I always admire your words of wisdom. I am always so quick to anger, and your comments remind me to think with compassion before I launch into a tirade. If only your church were in MD . . . I would be there every week!
    I agree with Betsy, too, about your Carolina = good, Duke = bad philosophy, Ian. It is getting old. Carolina is a great place, but it is not perfect, and you can be sure that a lot of shameful nonsense goes on there. Do you really think that Carolina treats the Chapel Hill locals better than Duke students treat the Durham residents? I don’t. There is plenty of condescending behavior on the part of entitled Tar Heels, you can be sure.
    The student who sent the email is from Mendham, NJ, not far from where I am from, and I think he went to Delbarton, which is a wonderful school in Morristown. I can’t help but think about how that kid’s parents feel. Working hard and spending all of that money at Delbarton to make sure Ryan gets a good education, the excitement that they surely felt when he was admitted to Duke, and the pride that he was playing lax at Duke. And then this. No matter how you may imagine the parents to be (white, rich, elitist), they must have been proud of their boy, and now they are faced with his horrible behavior (which unlike other children’s shameful behavior is spread across the newspapers and tv nationwide). That kind of public embarrassment and disappointment with your child is heart-breaking on every level. As Cathie said, each person involved in this situation is an individual person with his/her own hopes and dreams. Like the lax players who were not in any way involved with the party, and who had their lax season cancelled. Like the coach who had been there for 16 years and forced to resign.

  11. Chris

    The column by Stephen Miller is stupid, but I’m not sure it’s representative of the entire Duke community. I’d refer you to this link from Jill Hopman, a recent Duke graduate.
    Look, I hate Duke men’s basketball to the point I don’t watch them except when they play UNC or Georgetown because I think it’s bad for my psyche, but, living in Chapel Hill and now Durham, I’ve come to know many outstanding folks who went to Duke and/or work at Duke. I’m thinking of people like Selden, Mike, David, Mac, Mark, Trina, Scotty, Lars, Paula, Tom, Viv, Geoff and I’m sure I could name 10 more without thinking very hard.
    Those people don’t deserve this. I also agree with Kois above that the Duke president, Richard Brodhead, has dealt with this crisis very well, looking to excise the dysfunctional culture of Duke men’s lacrosse.
    I guess I’m especially sad because I felt like Nan Keohane and Duke really have made an effort to get more involved in Durham in the last ten years.

  12. Betsy

    I don’t feel sorry for Ryan’s parents, actually. I think that guy’s vile behavior should be spread across the newspapers, his parents should feel responsible, and he should maybe sit in stocks for a few weeks, just for the email, not counting anything else that happened.
    but I do agree that there are as many entitled and vile carolina students as duke, though in different concentration.

  13. dean from Bub's and Troll's

    First, let me make it clear that I wish the incident (whether true or not) had never happened.
    But, one who is familiar with dook can not help but taste the rich irony that exists on so many levels. [D]ookies take such smug pride in being holier than thou on every level. It permeates everything they do. Their architecture is contrived. Their basketball program has plenty of skeletons in the closet — no need to rehash other blogs. They are a student body of carpetbaggers in the poorest, worst-run towns in NC (that ain’t me — that’s the US Census).
    But, in one fell swoop, one incident has burst every one of the BS bubbles and has touched every possible politically incorrect nerve: racism, sexism, violence, haves vs. have-nots, town vs gown, athlete vs non-athlete, dook vs NCCU, rich kids vs working mom, etc.
    dook is now no different than anyone else. Does it matter that many of the incidents that have been reported over the years at Univ of Miami have ended up with verdicts of Not Guilty? Nope. Everyone thinks they are a school of convicts playing football.
    Yes, this all could have happened at UNC, but the difference is that Ian, Greg, me, et al would have admitted this possibility even before the dook incident. There is no way most dookies would have ever thought their beloved dook could be home to such pigs and squalor. Oh, the horror.
    Basically, you take most of the themes of the last 50 pages of The Great Gatsby, throw it in Durham, and you got it.
    The only way dook’s pristine (?) image survives this is if each and every single allegation is shown to be 110% wrong. I am not a lawyer (actually, I am), but that don’t see too likely to me!

  14. LFMD

    I don’t know, Betsy. I don’t think that people should sit in stocks for writing an offensive email. Neither do I think that his email warrants world-wide publication. Haven’t we all said or written or thought something extremely offensive or stupid at some point in our lives that we would not want to garner this kind of attention?
    And, I imagine that Ryan’s parents feel responsible. That is part of what is so heartbreaking. . . you do what you think is best as a parent, and yet your child acts in a criminal or hateful way. At the end of the day, he is still their child and they are still his parents. They have to deal with each other as a family, while the rest of us move on to the next bit of salacious news.

  15. Betsy

    I meant the stocks hyperbolically. But if you act stupid, you should be accountable. offensive and stupid do not account for the email in question.

  16. J.Boogie

    I’m surprised this left-wing NPR stooge Ian is jumping on this story. After the king of race-baiting and resident DNC fool, Rev. Al Sharpton, made a fool out of himself standing up for Tawana Brawley, a black female who claimed to have been raped by many white males, I thought the left-wing crowd would stop associating themselves with stories of similar elements.
    What I find most amusing is that the DNC hack Ian, who usually yells about privacy rights and civil liberties, is now discussing on his blog about personal and private emails sent between college students who have NOT been charged with any crime and who have not granted Ian permission to talk about their private emails. So much for the daily BS Ian gives us about right to privacy and the other BS he feeds us, a bit like the global warming and peak oil scare he gives us once a week, but then spends the other days of the week telling us about all the cross-country driving trips he takes.

  17. lee

    Ok, I tried not to chime in, but here I go…
    First of all, 42 of the 46 players were at this party. So we can feel bad, maybe, for 4 of them. These students have retained their scholarships but are also free to leave their contracts and go play for another school, if they wish.
    1/3 of the team has misdemeanor arrest records for the things that have been driving us all crazy now for years- public drunkeness, public urination (on our houses to be specific and if that’s not a message of how they feel about the town, I’m not sure what is), and vandalism. Another lacrosse player was arrested in DC in November with two of his friends for beating the hell out of a gay guy. All of these things have been going on- with the police being called to the house of the party 4 times in the past few months- and the lacrosse coach, nor anyone in charge at Duke- has done anything to curb their behavior or punish them in any way. Even after the gay bashing, the coach said that the police had handled the situation and that was that. Even after the rape allegations, Duke played two more lacrosse games and the coach was quoted in the paper as saying their biggest concern right now was playing the Hoyas. Until the community began to protest and express the outrage that we’ve all been feeling, Duke was doing NOTHING at all to respond to this. It took two weeks for the community to find out that this had even taken place and that was two weeks that Duke knew and did nothing. So then they cancelled two games and said that it was because of the underage drinking and hiring the strippers. They knew about that the first two games that were played after the event and did not respond until protesters showed up at the Georgetown game with posters. Then they called that game about an hour before they were to play. Georgetown was already here and ready to play.
    Also, during the candlelight vigil the community had for the victim at the lacrosse house, the lacrosse team was at a bar up the street slamming shot after shot and banging their glasses on the counter in unison yelling “Duke Lacrosse!” A reporter for the N&O was at the bar b/c she played for their softball team and wrote about it in the N&O and was summarily barred from the bar and kicked off the softball team. Nothing was said that we know of to the team about the inappropriateness of this, especially given the timing.
    This is literally tearing our community apart.
    Also, I think that the race issue is huge here in Durham. I know it may sound ironic, but this southern town is outraged at the racism that these northern kids have come down here and dumped on our city. The NAACP is very involved now and the community that’s been crying racism from the beginning has been made up of a largely white local population.
    And I do feel bad for the parents involved, but I have to say for me that there’s a lot more people ahead in line for sympathy. Often, with the frat parties we’ve had across the street from us, the parents have been in attendance and were also the ones throwing their crap in the streets and sidewalks and arguing with cops and threatening to sue us all for pooping on their kids’ good times.
    Another thing that is making us furious here is an email that Duke sent out last week to all its students saying that there was a rumor that there would be a drive by shooting during one of the frat/lacrosse parties and that everyone needed to be vigilant. Then, they hired round the clock police officers to patrol the houses in our neighborhood to protect them from the scary black gang members who might want to pop a cap in their asses. All of this was a rumor! Many of us here in the community thought that this was more racism this time on the part of the Duke administration. As far as we know, this was never substantiated by anyone in city government or from the police department, so we have no idea where this rumor came from. But funny how quick they are to believe a rumor about scary black people coming to get them and not a rape victim.
    Lastly, and then I’ll get off my soapbox, Duke has made some good steps in the past couple of days in addressing some of the problems. We’ll see how they turn out since currently, it’s a bunch of committees have been formed to look at different town/gown problems. Some of us are skeptical b/c we’ve had some of these committees before like Blue Sparc which made lots of recommendations based on other similiar cities with good town/gown problems and solutions, and nothing ever came of any of it. Not one proposal. So, we’ll see, but we are trying to be optimistic.
    So although this event could have happened anywhere, even at UNC, many people around here think that Duke could have handled it much better. If we as a community weren’t constantly twisting their arm on this, they’d probably be practicing for a big game tomorrow as we speak.

  18. J.Boogie

    Ian talks about private and personal emails between students who have not been charged, but Ian never talks about certain PUBLIC RECORDS.
    According to a 2002 police report, the woman, currently a 27-year-old student at North Carolina Central University, gave a taxi driver a lap dance at a Durham strip club. Subsequently, according to the report, she stole the man’s car and led deputies on a high-speed chase that ended in Wake County.
    Apparently, the deputy thought the chase was over when the woman turned down a dead-end road near Brier Creek, but instead she tried to run over him, according to the police report.
    Additional information notes that her blood-alcohol level registered at more than twice the legal limit.
    Let’s take the NPR, DailyKos and Ian route and sweep this under the rug, even Sharpton has the brainpower not to get involved in this case.

  19. Anonymous

    Just because the Tawana Brawley case was a mess, doesn’t mean that women aren’t raped every day.
    Ryan’s e-mail about “cumming in my Duke-issue Spandex” shows that at the very least, he was an a-hole. Making jokes about cutting women’s skin off? Real cool.
    How come (cum) I was wait-listed at Duke and this mofo got in???

  20. betsy

    that’s what ian said, j.boogie. regardless of the truth of the allegations, the case signals and creates racial dischord of deafening proportion. and, may I add, embattles gender tensions, which the homosocial climate of sports teams and fraternities is implicated in exacerbating. see mainstream news story:
    I see why I never post. I get sucked in to the drama.

  21. TDSUNC92

    j.boogie, is this “police report” supposed to be evidence that she wasn’t raped? surely you jest!? if that’s the case, then the prosecutors in this case should get old duke lacrosse player #41 for conspiracy to commit murder AND this rape off the bat because that email is clearly, by your logic, prima facie evidence that he was in the bathroom that night doing everything that was alleged. by all means, let’s all just hang that mofo! (and you conservatives always kill me: out of one side of your mouth, you spout off about blacks always want to be judged not as individuals but as members of a group and get special privileges on the basis thereof, yet when something allegedly happens to a black person, you don’t want to judge/view her as an individual with her own story, but instead want to lump her with another black woman who was not truthful about a situation.)
    don’t even GET me started on that @$$ rush limbaugh who called the alleged victim a ‘ho’ on his radio show (i’m sure one poster here is sorry rush beat him to it).
    surprisingly, j.boogie’s wasn’t the comment that offended me the most. what is all this BS about being sorry for the parents of the murdering/skin-peeling/cumming #41?!?! WTF?! wasn’t somebody allegedly raped here? and yet, all this nonsense about good parents, wonderful school, working hard, yadda yadda yadda. you don’t know those people from adam; all you know about them is that their son wrote a heinous email, yet you’re bending over backwards to express sympathy for them, and not the alleged victim?!?! i wonder sometimes what people really mean when they say that they hope the whole incident isn’t true, and i get the slight impression that they don’t mean that they hope that a black woman wasn’t really raped, but that they mean please tell us that rich white elites at a great school wouldn’t do something like that because what would that say about me, my values, and everything that i believe to be true about the world, one of which is white people of means (or not) = civilized and others = barbaric.

  22. chris

    J. Boogie:
    I have to defend Ian here. He did not use private, personal emails. He linked to a public website that included public records that are part of an ongoing investigation. Those public records include an email that was gathered as part of a search warrant.

  23. scruggs

    As an aside and out of curiousity, I have a question for the journalism types like CL, et al. I saw a few days ago on ESPN where John Feinstein, a sports reporter, spoke on how he was embarrassed of his alma mater, Duke. This week, Dan Abrams was on the Today Show giving commentary on this case. Now, I know Abrams is a Duke graduate…as far as the “rules of journalism” go, shouldn’t he have mentioned that in the discussion?

  24. kent

    J Boogie, I sure don’t know why you even read this blog, or comment on it. Your comments are mostly irrelevant. WTF does NPR have to do with anything, and how is Ian a stooge of NPR? No, you’ll never address that question, you’ll just move on to the next insult-by-free-association.
    You’ve never presented a reasoned argument about anything. All you do is snipe.
    Oh, and you don’t know shit about the law, or a woman’s right not to be assaulted under that law. How does anyone’s past behavior justify a brutal assault. Are you saying that women’s bodies and security are forfeit as soon as they exhibit any bad behavior?
    What’s next? Honor killings?

  25. LFMD

    TDSUNC92 — I did not mean to offend. And believe me, I have no problem believing that the rape occurred and of course I feel badly for the victim. What I am saying is this: now that I am a parent, I tend to look at everyone as somebody’s baby. It is easy to have an idealized view of parenthood while your child is a baby and in elementary school. You think that if you parent well, your child will be fine. However, it does not always end up that way. Various factors (peer group, drugs, genetics,mental health issues, whatever) change the course you envision for your kid, and the results are heartbreaking. Think Dylan Keibold, Eric Harris, Jeffrey Dahmer, even the Unibomber.
    Ryan obviously is a jerk, and he has serious emotional/psychological issues. Perhaps his parents are equally as vile. I don’t know.
    Do you blame every criminal’s parents for the sins of their kids? As I said, I always think that the offender was someone’s baby at some point, loved and nurtured, and this kind of thing upsets me in that respect. My comments really don’t add to this discussion. . . I just did not want to give you the wrong impression.
    Lee – I am really sorry about all the troubles you have had in your neighborhood. That sucks.

  26. Lee

    Thanks LFMD. I’m clearly so angry that I can’t deal. That’s why I didn’t want to post on this topic b/c I was afraid of an explosion! I could really go on and on…
    And lord, why does anyone bother responding to JBoogie??
    I thought he got banned from here.?

  27. LFMD

    You know, I just read my earlier comments back, and much of what I said is full of crap. As usual! Except the part about Cathie. I think she rocks, and I would love to worship at her church.
    Promise me that if you read about my beloved daughter Helen holding up a bank or doing something really bad ten years from now, you will remember that I used to comment here, and I had a good heart (sometimes) : )

  28. LFMD

    Hi Lee! I obviously can’t deal either. I hate when I spout off re: stuff about which I know NOTHING. I have to admit that when I first read about Ryan and his email, my first instinct was to call his house in Mendham and say rude things and rant at the first person who answered the phone. Truly! Then, I thought about how I would feel if Helen sent some horrendous email that gained national news like that. . . then I thought about his parents, and well, then I had verbal blogarrhea all over Ian’s blog.
    Honestly, you and Suzanne sound like such an adorable/wonderful couple, and hearing that these students violate your home like that made me curse the f-word out loud here in my work cubicle. Are you guys dog lovers? Perhaps you can get a vicious looking (but sweet) dog to scary anyone off.

  29. Lee

    Thanks Laurie! You are so sweet. We do, in fact, have 2 sweet dogs. And, this is just another thing that pisses me off (sorry!) but one night I called the police on my frat boys and they came and broke up the party and the next day they called animal control on us and told them that we beat our dogs. So unbeknownst to me, we were spied on by animal control for a period of time and then they came to the door one day and told me that they’d been investigating this complaint and that my dogs looked spoiled rotten and that these boys clearly had a grudge against us. I was so shocked that they would stoop that low, but that’s when we were brand new to the hood and I had no idea what they were capable of.

  30. kent

    > why does anyone bother responding to JBoogie??
    In this particular case, he went beyond namecalling and sniping jibes and did something really offensive.
    RE: J Boogie Ban — AFAIK he is banned, but if Ian isn’t sitting at his laptop watching the comments come in, he can’t nuke his comments. And of course, once someone responds to a j boogie post, the response rather demands the original comment remain.

  31. TDSUNC92

    LFMD, i appreciate and understand where you’re coming from, and no, i don’t believe that every parent whose child does a vile thing should be blamed. but i’ve seen enough in my travels to know that even those parents who might have worked hard to send their kids to the best schools are oftentimes guilty of instilling in their kids this sense that the world revolves around them, and that they are entitled to anything they want at the expense of anyone, even another’s bodily integrity. i think that there’s a great deal of incomplete parenting going on these days, and it cuts across all lines, and i also think a lot of people want to ignore this as it pertains to some segments of society. i doubt that helen will ever rob a bank, but if she does, i don’t want to look back on these posts and say only that her mom had a good heart, i want to be able to say that i know her mom taught her that she was a great person, yes, but simply one person among many others and that she as well as all people deserve to be respected and not mistreated in the way this woman was, or in any other similar way.

  32. suzanne

    Well, I think what Lee said hits the nail on the head. Not just because she’s my amazing girlfriend either.
    And the reaction as seen in the comments doesn’t even begin to compare to the range of emotions and experiences that we’ve seen expressed on our Trinity Park listserv in Durham.
    Lee said it best (again) the other day, when we talked about this–right now, it seems we are looking into the dark belly of the beast. Everything that is heinous about our culture is being exposed in our small little town. And every single person seems to have their own take on what happened and what should be done. I have never seen so much anger and grief and hatred bundled up in such a small little space. But at the same time, this thing happened yesterday…
    I was out walking my labs, Ella and Maypo (LFMD, we do have dogs, but they prefer to flop onto their backs and wag their tails until someone scratches their bellies–they’re not really killers, unless, of course, you count that baby oppossum they cornered in the backyard last week) and as I was making my way back home on Watts Street, a young Duke student (young woman with Duke sweatshirt and bookbag)turned onto Watts in front of me. She was walking alone and slowly with her hands in her pockets and appeared to be taking in the gardens on our street that are in full bloom. She stopped in front one house to take in a beautiful purple azalea. She plucked one of the flowers and continued on. She crossed over a street (Trinity) and seemed to realize as she got to the other side that she had dropped her flower in the road. I picked it up as she turned around to look for it and caught up with her to give it back to her. She kindly took it from my hand and turned to continue her walk. Another ten yards or so down the street she turned around again and asked me, “Did I say thank you?”
    I’m not sure what it was..maybe this one Duke student taking the time to absorb something great about our community? Maybe that I took the time to notice her? Maybe that she took the time to be polite to me? Maybe in light of everything that’s happened here in the last few weeks (and decades?) it was some sign that it’s ok to hope because there are good and decent people out there, even some Duke students.

  33. nb

    As a UNC freshman, I was appalled to discover how many of my naive, drunken friends were date raped at the hands of UNC frat boys and/or athletes. Most of these attacks went unreported. Believe me, this is not solely a duke problem. UNC has plenty to be embarrassed about.

  34. xuxE

    duke is not the be-all end-all of durham. they’d like to give you this impression that the only thing that exists there is their friggin school, and the rest of the city are these helpless peasants licking their crumbs off the ground.
    i think the only way things will change is if the city stands up to the school and demands specific actions to make them respect and engage with the community and uphold better ethical standards.
    i mean, what is duke really going to do, move?
    bill bell should be up there tacking the community’s demands on their big ass gothic door.

  35. jje

    LFMD – after scanning quickly, it looks like you’ve changed your stance a bit, but I’ve gotta tell you, I was a little shocked to see you describe the e-mail as something “extremely offensive or stupid.” Wow. I read the e-mail and my reaction was completely different. I thought, “SOCIOPATH.” Skin peeling? Geesh. *shivers*
    I’ve been to Morristown. Picked up a baby while I was there. ;-) Pretty place.
    Scruggs – I thought it was a track star who was accused of rape in CH, circa 1993 or so. I remember I was toiling away at the phonathon and if my memory is correct, he was working there, too. Same guy or two different cases, you think? And yes, I think the reported should have come clean.
    I’m curious – can anyone explain why lacrosse players are different from any other athletes? Is it purely the socio-economic factors at play? I’ve often thought that it might be fun to get my little boy into lacrosse once he’s older – the local youth teams practice on the fields of the park in my neighborhood – but I’m seriously rethinking that idea.
    I’d add that the hatred I feel for dook as a daughter of Carolina exists outside of this incident and I will continuing hating them. I could no more change that than my blood type (why, light blue, thanks for asking). That said, I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy (which is, of course, dook).
    Lee, I’m also shocked that those frat boys would stoop so low. I would have been furious. Absolutely furious.

  36. joe q.

    I believe very strongly that no one should be treated as guilty until they admit it (voluntarily) or are proven guilty by a jury of their peers. Period.
    But that Fayetteville Rd. Waffle House remains one of the best places to satisfy late-night hunger, especially if you find yourself driving down I-40 when you’re not sure you should be. Not sure I’d eat there while the sun’s up.

  37. badbob

    All I’m reading here is a bunch of overstated, ballooning hyperbole stacked on top of a red hot hate for a competing basketball program.
    Which = BUFFOONERY.
    What if this had happened at UNC or even Yale? (it could have you know)..would you be using up your electrons at this rate? Probably not for UNC but for Yale you would.
    Duke is a liberal bastion just as Taliban U, oops I mean Yale and even youe beloved UNC…. You are eating your own young here, you GenX and beyonders…
    Facts. Let’s use facts and logic folks. Let the stupid and guilty be punished.

  38. Ian

    Sometimes I write a blog that is fueled by emotion, and there’s things I leave out that would make it less hotheaded when read in the squinting light of the next day. Of course, I was being utterly emotional and hyperbolic when lumping all of Duke’s students together in today’s post, and will state again, right now, that a sizable percentage of their campus is horrified about the whole episode, and in all respects are no different than the people I’ve loved who went to Carolina. That was just the rage+rivalry talking.
    Like Cathie and Chip, I know so many wonderful souls who went to Duke U. and my feelings for the student body have risen to amicability over the last 15 years (even as my hatred of their basektball team has risen exponentially). I apologize for the sweeping generalization of today’s blog, esp. if it bummed out Scotty and Lars.
    But hey, it’s the “zero draft” of history, right? If I can’t be an overgeneralizing asshole, then the blog would have nothing in it.
    As for JBoogie, Kent’s right, I can’t sit by my keyboard all day and find his IP address. And when people reply to him, I also feel like I need to keep the original, so he can look stupider. But his comments today were specific and not totally name-calling, and if he starts doing that, I’ll let him say what he wants. If he drops the obsession with dailykos and NPR, I might even welcome him back. If not, I’ll keep deleting his posts and replace them with Hall&Oates lyrics.

  39. Paul G

    Duke is getting hit with it pretty hard right now considering all the LAX team stuff.
    What you don’t need is Stephen Miller knowingly or unknowingly(I can’t tell this guy is so stupid) putting fuel on the fire with his “Petting Zoo” article.
    That was the most sickening article to read and cememted in many minds why we all hate Duke. Or want to hate Duke.
    Could you pass on a little note to Stephen from one LA citizen to another:
    Dear Stephen,
    Go to the library and withdraw a book about Durham’s history. You will find that Durham was there long before Duke, and will be there long after. And please quit the paper until you have something intelligent to say. You give Californians a BAD name. And I’m not going to say you give white people a bad name because I’m too busy praying you’re not white.
    Paul Glaser

  40. CP

    bob — I don’t get where you’re coming from. I know that you’re very right-wing and that’s fine but what are you talking about? please explain. (and if you can, try not to be cryptic.) I have no affiliation with duke, UNC or yale and I’m disgusted. same way I would be had this (allegedly) happened at oxford, bob jones, city college of new york, NYU or apex tech. this has nothing to do with school spirit nor liberal or conservative. it has to do with the act of rape, in conjunction with privilege and entitlement in a southern college town. I accept that how one views those concepts is often shaped by one’s political bent and socioeconomic background/standing. however, let us get beyond that for now and show some compassion, understanding, and hope that the situation gets resolved honestly and justly.
    I also can’t help but think that a person either has the capacity for rape or not, no matter where they go to school or what sport they play. obviously culture and circumstance can either encourage or discourage certain acts, and the mere fact of being alive means anyone is capable of anything, but fundamentally: I still have to believe you’re either someone who can be party to a rape or not.
    and to all the lacrosse bashers: it is a great sport. your kids should play it. yes, the culture surrounding it sucks, is sort of annoyingly northeastern and preppy and ivy league, but it’s really no worse than any other sport.
    like soccer it’s great exercise. far better than baseball or football. I cannot say enough good about this particular sport.

  41. CL

    Scruggs, regarding your question –
    Reporters should state their conflicts of interest (or relationship to the story) if they have one. If he was giving commentary, then he should have said he was a Duke grad. If it had been straight reporting, I don’t know; a lot of people graduate from big universities, and they shouldn’t necessarily always have to state their school ties if reporting on something related to the university…but if he was giving his opinion, it surprises me that he wouldn’t have said he was a Duke grad. Are you sure it wasn’t mentioned somewhere? That is very strange. It would seem to be an integral part of where he’s coming from, or at least, it would give him special knowledge on what he’s commenting about. And if he felt his opinion was uninfluenced by having gone to Duke, he still should have mentioned it. Strange.

  42. xuxE

    it’s the hypocrisy that is infuriating.
    i mean, definitely the criticism applies to other supposed institutions of higher learning, no question, but all the more so to a place like duke with it’s collective nose up in the air.
    goes back to the discussion about big words and booksmart.
    this is always the worst part of liberal intellectual attitudes and education, seems like we’re all go around and pat each other on the back because we took womens studies and afam classes, and such, but the unwritten reality is that these things stay in the realm of *theory*. and that’s why at unc you’d see dorm halls full of people pondering and debating the inequality of south african apartheid while at the same time avoiding south campus like the plague.
    i mean, think about flipping the script for a second.
    if you just contrast the social/economic/racial profile of the kids attending duke vs, the profile of the community they live in, AND you actually cared about producing kids who were educated about the diverse world they live in, you would realize it is a great opportunity. you could have kids come out with a tremendous appreciation of people who are different if you gave a damn.
    i bet almost all the duke parents would love to send their kids abroad to “broaden” their world view, but how about sending them to NCCU?
    i think that should be totally mandatory.

  43. scruggs

    I’m going to have to post this in pieces, because I keep getting a “Your comment was denied for questionable content.” error.
    JJE, different case. The wrestler also dated a few of our sisters around that time (which resulted in Sister A threatening Sister B and causing causing damage to Sister B’s car, phone hangups, etc).

  44. scruggs

    CL, I tried looking for a transcript on the nbc website, but no luck. However, when Abrams first came on, I told my husband “Hey, he’s a dookie” and we waited for him to provide a “dislaimer.” He never mentioned it. Lauer was interviewing him for legal commentary (where he mentioned the president has handled everything well and the DA has been too aggressive), so he wasn’t strictly reporting. I didn’t think less of his opinion but thought the tie was somewhat relevant. Very strange indeed.

  45. badbob

    Ever read/see the “Ox-Bow Incident”? In a nutshell, that’s where I’m comin from. Figuratively, of course.
    A crime has been reported and then reported on ad naseum, the demographics of the Durham-Duke relationship are well known and the socioeconomics at play are on display for all with/without agendas. A little of the “Bonfire of the Vanities” syndrome at work is all.
    I despise a mob.

  46. anti-badvocate

    I’m quite sure that the accuser despised the not so lax mob at the now much-publicized party in question. To boot, the Durham-Duke relationship issues are not well-known enough. Having lived, studied, and worked in Durham and Chapel Hill like many of the commenters here, I can attest to the shitload of problems at hand. Ian may know how to rub it in good (he has much practice applying sunscreen to his pasty, freckled bod), but he’s hardly understating the scenario. In a NUT’s hell, it might be okay for lotsa uppity college students to piss, dook, and puke all over their civil local neighbor’s yards and hoods, but in reality, it’s just so very, very, ….um, wrong.
    New Trinity Park Neighborhood Association Credo: my grass is for my own not-so-public consumption and/or personal pubic urination, yours is for urine, but ne’er the two shall meet. Boo and Boo-Hoo you Devils!

  47. CP

    B2 — thanks very much for responding. I hear what you’re saying, but don’t think the message board either constitutes much of a posse or the broad spectrum of public opinion.
    if anything, I’m actually reminded more of to kill a mockingbird, though I am inclined to think these guys did it, and would be very surprised to find even one member of the duke lacrosse team bearing any resemblance at all to tom robinson, boo radley, jem and/or scout.
    (I don’t mean to joke.)


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