Sometimes you’re just glad the season is over, but this year was a real coup de poing for me. First, we start with an untimely death in the family, then not long after that my stepdad, up in town to do a little post-retirement assistance at his old job, caught a guy he’d worked with for years secretly video recording some schoolgirls on a ski trip. This devolved into an international child porn investigation with US attorneys, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, DHS and lord knows who else involved.
Next thing I knew my mom was in town, the whole family in turmoil and general agitation, all with me recently finding out I’m going to have another kid as I’m trying to cut a deal with my ex. I decided to take the month off and wait until everybody calmed down and left, which happened the day before yesterday.
Sometimes, I really envy bachelors
I’d considered writing about the sex offense incident when it happened, but decided against it as it was still in the news and my stepdad was fairly upset about it. It’s actually a pretty unbelievable story — one of those “what the hell was he thinking?” kind of things. The guy who got busted was a fairly successful bachelor who worked as a coach and an aviation writer for Wired Magazine. He’s in his early 40s, and as far as I could tell had a perfectly good life. My stepdad has known him and worked with him since the 90s, and continued to help out from time to time after retirement.
Today, he’s sitting in jail in British Columbia, awaiting trial on Canadian charges. However, his trouble doesn’t end there. Because of the Child Exploitation Act, which he probably violated, he’s looking at a fifteen-year mandatory minimum sentence back in the US after serving whatever time he gets in Canada. The local US attorney has made it clear that she intends to pursue the case, and given that the Department of Homeland Security got involved, I assume she means it. What’s remarkable to me, however, is that this guy might as well have died that night he got caught. He made the news for a few days, there was an investigation, and now he’s gone — just like that. He may not see the free world again until he’s past retirement age. A long prison sentence really is an approximation of death.
If you’re interested, you can read about it here.
After the dust settled from that incident, we all drove each other crazy for a few weeks, during which time I realized that I was not going to get anything done, and probably shouldn’t try, because to do so would risk a major psychic malfunction, or possibly losing it at Christmas dinner, or perhaps both. Fortunately, we all survived, and the New Year is so pleasantly quiet that I have rediscovered that I actually have thoughts, and can hear them.
However, during my time offline, I was forced to confront a few realities that may have some implications for the future of this site. Quite frankly, the ROI isn’t adequate given the time I put into it. Of course, that wasn’t the point initially. If I’d started the site for money, I would have taken an entirely different approach (in fact, I would have avoided men’s issues altogether). Instead, I was trying to make a social statement, and to challenge the dominant narrative concerning family law, sexual politics and human nature. I wasn’t the only one, but my approach was unorthodox in that it wasn’t particularly partisan by American standards. I think this made a difference, and I have noticed the narrative has shifted somewhat over the last few years. How much remains to be seen, as one still runs across feminist tripe with some regularity in trendy magazines and the like, but this isn’t the 90s anymore; people don’t take it as gospel.
For now, I’ll keep The Spearhead going, but I have to start selling something, and fast. Getting by on donations requires a different style from mine — you have to have a movement and be an activist, which is a lot like being a preacher. As a natural skeptic, I can’t help but feel that it’s dishonest to make declarations of faith when I’m not certain about them myself. And I think that this skepticism is why a lot of people like to read what I write, so it would be unnatural to do an about face and start crusading as an MRA culture warrior. I’d have to fake it, and as we know a good fake is something of a contradiction in terms.
So from here on out, given what’s headed my way this summer, I’m going to have to put more effort into paid work, including on the site. There comes a point where one can’t afford to give one’s time and effort away for free.