Thursday, June 08, 2006


I don't watch a lot of TV, but on occasion I find myself solo in the evenings and will watch a few hours. I have a small color TV with rabbit ears, and I usually watch TV only for Law & Order, the Simpsons, King of the Hill, or something on PBS. I was flipping around to whittle the time away and I came upon Dateline NBC: To Catch a Predator. Daria, you might remember, watched a TV program called Sick, Sad World. Well, the two programs are not far off. I almost think people who watch sexual predators get busted are just as sociopathic as the ones getting caught. Everything has a twist of voyeurism, doesn't it?

There were 2 slayings here in Maine this past Easter involving a young Canadian man who tracked down 2 offenders on the Maine Sex Offender registry and killed them in their homes. He then boarded a bus to Boston and killed himself when police stormed the bus. I can't imagine how the other passengers felt when he acted. He probably looked like a college student, with his laptop and duffel bag. The police could not recover any information on his laptop to lead to a motive. No one knows why he did it. It was a random act by someone who maybe was suppressing his own feelings, or constructed himself as a hero for doing so.

I go backwards and forwards on the Registry and how people access it and use it. The offenders deserve their privacy, but they also have forgone it by breaching the privacy and safety of their victims. I use the list at work, since we tend to attract sex offenders, and people with mental health issues. I'm mostly concerned with people who hurt children, since I am responsible for the safety of children at the library. I feel voyeuristic and muddled. Yesterday a man came in to borrow a book on tape who I know is on the list for possessing explicit materials. Story Time had just gotten over and there was lots of activity. He said, "my, it's busy here" and I just checked out his item and he left. Then I started to think about the ramifications of his presence there, and what I could do legally about it. Could I ask him to leave? Could we limit his access to our section? Ugh.

I fall back on my Anne Frank mentality and wish that everyone could be good, decent beings and a lot of these problems would be non-existent. But instead we are all just a little messed up, some just more so.

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