Non sequester

In the story from Cleveland this week it was amazing how a single man’s odious crime led to a spate of further accusations, as if by contagion: against the family of the accused, who knew volumes about his wicked character; the neighbors, who failed to piece together many years of disturbing clues; the police, who made several visits to the house of horrors but never entered; and the emergency dispatcher, who hung up on one of the victims, Amanda Berry, before officers arrived on the scene. And in a perverse twist of amorality on the part of commentariat and viewing public alike, even the girls’ rescuer, Charles Ramsey, who gave what the the AP called “a colorful series of television interviews,” came in for mockery on social media sites, then a “backlash” in the news when his criminal past was exposed, prompting a number of editorials on the racist nature of the media’s coverage and the Ramsey internet meme.

Flannery O'Connor childhood home

Flannery O’Connor childhood home

As in a Flannery O’Connor gothic tale, there’s no shortage of faults to go around. But where to place the blame for the lexical infelicity that had Berry kidnapped “as she was walking home from work at Burger King,” and finding her first chance for escape from the house ten years later when the abductor “went out for McDonald’s“?





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