Aliens in This World

An ordinary Catholic and a science fiction and fantasy fan.

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Mailbag: More Madelyne Toogood

I've gotten a decent amount of email (maybe eight pieces of it) about my thoughts on the Toogood case. Unfortunately, my mailbox proceeded to eat most of it. So I'll give you a rough precis instead of actual quotes. If I remember anybody's comments wrong, I apologize in advance. (I'm still shocked that anybody's stopping by.)

First off, the Indiana guy who wrote a book and was quoted on TV and in
every article wants you to know that a) his book was on Travelers, not scams;
b) he doesn't want the Toogoods' kids taken away; c) he feels he was misrepresented
by the media; and d) he's never met a Traveler who wasn't into petty crime.


I got a letter or two expressing support for my comment about taking away Enron
executives' kids. Over the weekend, I suddenly got more, including a copy of a
protest letter to NBC and another wondering whether the network could be sued for
discriminating against minorities, as in Ireland. I had no idea what this
was about, since I hadn't been home watching TV on Friday. But since I'd mistakenly
taped NBC instead of my Friday shows, I soon found out that Dateline had re-run some
of their report on Travelers living in Murphy's Village, NC.

The sad thing is that NBC does employ decent reporters, and is fully capable of
doing good research and running balanced stories. There's a lot to be said and
shown about the Travelers, and a lot of things I was curious to learn the first time
they ran their piece. Unfortunately, NBC was interested in raising ratings by
raising up a boogeyman. To do so, they used the kind of language you'd expect from
a Know-Nothing Party pamphlet. I haven't watched the tape to find out if this aspect
was toned down for the story's encore appearance, but I suspect not.

Mailbag: the number of Jewish people in Dayton

I said something in another blog's comment section about never knowing any Jewish
people until a few years back. Somebody emailed me to say how different this was
to his experience; he'd always had tons of Jewish neighbors.

In Cincinnati, there's tons of Jewish people. In Dayton, there's not so many. In
Beavercreek (which was pretty much 80% Air Force families in my childhood), Jewish
people were few and far between. I don't think I had a single Jewish classmate, though
I knew at least ten Hindus and my bus went past the Hindu temple (after it was built
in the late eighties, that is). I don't think there used to be more than two synagogues,
both of which were way over on the other side of town. I just checked the Yellow Pages
for 'Synagogues' and found six listings. (Well, seven if you count that bad placement of
a Cingular Interactive listing. Tsk, tsk, tsk....) But I still know a lot more local

Back to the Blog

Sorry about abandoning the blog so long. I have no excuse. It wasn't Real Life; it was just me being lazy. (And a lot of really good discussions over on the House of Ill Faith list for the HoIF universe of Harry Potter fanfic. One of my more interesting friends is writing a very large series of fanfic covering a lot of backstory for the Slytherin characters. It's good stuff, but realize that she's doing a lot of writing about the
sixties and seventies, and the subject matter is accordingly both for the mature and rather esoteric.)


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