Center Parcs death: Woman 'asked for refund' as hero tried to save boy

A prison guard who was trying to save the life of a boy at Centar Parcs in Longleat has criticised the behaviour of his fellow guests
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10 delicious food movies
Cakes, from Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles. | IFC A feast of comedies, dramas, documentaries, and more to stream at home. With the arrival of autumn comes a turn toward new culinary adventures — fall produce, warm foods, the inescapability of pumpkin spice, roasty pans of vegetables and meat that remind us of the colder weather coming up. Fall is for feasting, however you can. Of course, cinema has set feasts on screen for a long, long time, using food to evoke desire, love, loneliness, bounty, joy, and a lot more. One such movie coming out this week is Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles, a simple documentary about celebrity chef Yotam Ottolenghi who, in 2018, was tasked by New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art to create fantastical cakes for the opening reception of its special exhibition on Versailles. Ottolenghi elected to tap chefs from around the world to help, and the results were, indeed, fantastical; the film shows the great variety of creative pastry-making methods around the globe, and it reflects on the excess that an event like the Met’s reception entails.It’s worth a watch if you like seeing people make outlandishly luxurious cakes, and it will be playing in select theaters and various on-demand services like iTunes and Amazon (more details at the film’s website). And there are many more movies to take in if you’re craving a little cinematic confectionery or a grand banquet. Here are 10 great films you can stream about feasts, food, family, and what cooking and eating teach us about being human. For a tale of feasts overcoming ascetic grimness ... Try Babette’s Feast (1987) Based on a story by Isak Dinesen, Babette’s Feast is about a sect of austere, severe religious people living on a remote Denmark coast in the 19th century. They are led by the elderly daughters of the sect’s founder, they view pleasures as a distraction from God, and they eat only bland food. But their lives are upended when Babette (Stéphane Audran) shows up at the women’s home, seeking refuge from violence in her native Paris. They’re suspicious of her. But she offers to work for free, and stays with them for 14 years, gaining their trust. One day, she wins the lottery, and instead of using the money to finally go back home, she uses it to prepare a lavish feast in honor of the sect’s founder. And that feast — both in the story and as an on-screen repast — becomes legendary. How to watch it: Babette’s Feast is streaming for subscribers on HBO Max. It’s also available to digitally rent or purchase on iTunes and Amazon. If you want a comedy with heart and a pitch-perfect ending ... Watch Big Night (1996) Stanley Tucci and Tony Shalhoub (need I say more?) play brothers, Italian immigrants to the US, who open a restaurant that is suffering for business because their customers’ tastes lean more toward Italian-American food. Vexed and facing a shutdown, they reach out to a friend who arranges for a famous jazz singer to attend a fancy dinner at the restaurant and thereby drum up business. They prepare a sumptuous meal and invite their friends but, of course, nothing goes as planned. Tucci co-wrote and co-directed Big Night with Campbell Scott, and it’s wonderful: A bittersweet movie about a feast that is, itself, a feast. How to watch it: Big Night is available to stream for Amazon Prime subscribers and for free (with ads) on Pluto. It’s also available to digitally rent or purchase on iTunes, YouTube, Vudu, and Google Play. For a satisfying portrait of one of the greatest food critics of all time ... See City of Gold (2016) City of Gold, about the late and beloved Los Angeles food critic Jonathan Gold, is among the best food documentaries ever made, largely because it isn’t just about food; it’s about loving a place through being a critic. Directed by Laura Gabbert (who also directed Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles), the film follows Gold as he drives his green pickup truck through LA, eating at a handful of hole-in-the-wall strip mall restaurants that most people just blithely sail past, talking about his career and his approach to his work. It’s an illuminating portrait not just of a writer but of a city, and it’s a kind of master class in how good critics think, work, and live. How to watch it: City of Gold is available to stream on Amazon Prime for subscribers with the IFC add-on subscription. It’s also available to digitally rent or purchase from iTunes, Amazon, YouTube, Google Play, or Vudu. For an experimental doc-fiction hybrid with a philosophical edge ... Watch Feast of the Epiphany (2018) Feast of the Epiphany is the most experimental and daring of the films on this list, and one that will haunt you after it’s over. The first half is a scripted, fictional drama set in a New York apartment at an Epiphany dinner (celebrated by some Christians on January 6, traditionally the day the Magi arrived at the stable where the infant Jesus lay in a manger). The second half is a documentary centering on Roxbury Farms in upstate New York, where a team of farmers raise food and live off the land. Directed by Michael Koresky, Jeff Reichert, and Farihah Zaman, it’s a diptych in which the two halves echo and mirror one another implicitly, and make us think about the role that food plays in our lives — both as social beings and creatures of the earth. How to watch it: Feast of the Epiphany is available to digitally rent on Vimeo. For a modest drama about capitalism, male friendship, and baking ...Watch First Cow (2020) Kelly Reichardt’s First Cow is set in a 19th-century frontier settlement somewhere in Oregon, near the Columbia River, populated by people who are living in tiny houses and trying to scratch out a living in the New World, as well as the First Nations people who’ve been there for generations. Into that settlement, a cow arrives, setting off a chain of events that are both momentous and small. But the film is about much more than just that. First Cow is also a gentle (and gently devastating) tale about male friendship, about finding someone to share your aspirations and dreams with, and, most deliciously, about cooking. (Don’t be surprised if you have a craving for blueberry clafoutis when it’s done.) And it’s also about the kinds of constructed hierarchies — based on factors like race, class, money, and firepower — that seem to be imposed on the world wherever new civilizations pop up. How to watch it: First Cow is available to digitally rent or purchase on iTunes, Amazon, YouTube, or Google Play. For a side of family drama along with a portrait of an artist whose medium is raw fish ...Watch Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011) An entire documentary about sushi? Well, not exactly. Jiro Dreams of Sushi (made by the same team behind Netflix’s Chef’s Table series) is a gentle, meditative, and entrancing portrait of Jiro Ono, considered possibly the greatest sushi chef in the world. He’s been making sushi for a long time in his small, exquisite restaurant, which is inside a subway station in Tokyo. It’s a story of true dedication to art, as well as the pressure his sons feel to follow in their father’s footsteps. Order some tuna rolls beforehand and make an evening of it. How to watch it: Jiro Dreams of Sushi is available to stream (with ads) on Tubi. It’s also available to digitally rent or purchase on iTunes, Amazon, YouTube, Google Play, or Vudu. A time-spanning tale of learning to cook and trying to love ...Try Julie & Julia (2009) Meryl Streep as Julia Child may go down as one of the best casting choices of the century, but the entirety of Julie & Julia — written and directed by Nora Ephron — is just as delightful. Amy Adams plays Julie Powell (on whose memoir the movie is based), who in 2002 has a stressful job answering phone calls about plans to rebuild the World Trade Center following the 9/11 terror attacks. She begins cooking (and blogging) through Julia Child’s classic cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking, much to the amusement of her supportive husband (Chris Messina). The film cuts between 2002 and the 1950s, when Child and her husband Paul (Stanley Tucci) are in France, and Child is just learning to cook. The result is a movie about marriage, love, and the healing power of food, and its feeling runs deeper than its chipper exterior initially suggests. How to watch it: Julie & Julia is streaming for free (with ads) on Amazon and for subscribers on Hulu with the Showtime add-on subscription. It’s also available to digitally rent or purchase on iTunes, Amazon, YouTube, Google Play, and Vudu. If you’re looking for an unpretentious, outside-the-box romance, try ... The Lunchbox (2013) The Lunchbox is a gentle romance between two people who communicate through food. Ila (Nimrat Kaur) is trying to rekindle her husband’s love for her by sending him sumptuous lunches at work. When the courier screws up, Saajan Fernandes (Irrfan Khan) becomes the accidental recipient of one of these meals and starts to wonder about the cook behind it. When they both realize the mistake, they start sending small notes to one another, and a friendship that fills both their lonely hearts begins to blossom. Not only is The Lunchbox a sweet film, but it’s a delicious one; be sure to have your favorite biryani or saag paneer on hand, or your stomach will be growling. How to watch it: The Lunchbox is available to digitally rent or purchase on iTunes, Amazon, YouTube, Google Play, and Vudu. For a kinky, brilliant reminder of food’s place in our domestic lives ... Watch Phantom Thread (2017) Phantom Thread masquerades as a film about fashion, but everybody who’s seen it knows it’s really about food. That’s clear from the start: The central romance’s meet-cute occurs in a hotel restaurant, in which Daniel Day-Lewis (playing finicky couture designer Reynolds Woodcock) orders a legendary meal of “Welsh rabbit with a poached egg, bacon, scones, butter, cream, jam, a pot of lapsang souchong tea. And some sausages.” And once you’ve seen the movie, you’ll never look at a mushroom omelet the same way again. How to watch it: Phantom Thread is available to digitally rent or purchase on iTunes, Amazon, YouTube, Google Play, and Vudu. For a family-friendly reminder that cooking is an art ... Watch Ratatouille (2007) Ratatouille is the tale of Remy the Rat, who wants to be a chef but is, well, a rat. Yet through a series of unlikely events, he becomes a chef in the kitchen of an upscale Paris restaurant. As much a reminder of the power of criticism as the power of art, Ratatouille boasts some memorable meals, and an indelible scene in which Remy — trying to coax his fellow rats into actually tasting their food — experiences a true fantasia of flavor, rendered in visual form. It’s a delight to return to again and again. How to watch it: Ratatouille is available for subscribers to stream on Disney+. It’s also available to digitally rent or purchase on iTunes, Amazon, YouTube, Google Play, or Vudu. 5 more movies to please your palate and whet your appetite ... Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (2009), available to digitally rent or purchase on iTunes, Amazon, YouTube, Google Play, or Vudu. Read Roger Ebert’s review. Eat Drink Man Woman (1994), available to stream (with ads) on Pluto, or digitally rent or purchase on iTunes, Amazon, or Vudu. Listen to the episode of the Blank Check podcast on the movie. Goodfellas (1990), available to digitally rent or purchase on iTunes, Amazon, YouTube, Google Play, and Vudu. Here’s how to cook the pasta sauce from the movie. Tampopo (1987), available for subscribers to stream on HBO Max, or to digitally rent or purchase on iTunes, YouTube, Google Play, and Vudu. Read why it’s one writer’s favorite film. The Trip series — including The Trip (2010), The Trip to Italy (2014), The Trip to Spain (2017), and The Trip to Greece (2020) — are streaming for subscribers on Hulu. They’re also available to digitally rent or purchase on various platforms; The Trip, for instance, is on iTunes, Amazon, YouTube, and Google Play. Here’s an introduction to the series following the final installment’s release. Help keep Vox free for all Millions turn to Vox each month to understand what’s happening in the news, from the coronavirus crisis to a racial reckoning to what is, quite possibly, the most consequential presidential election of our lifetimes. Our mission has never been more vital than it is in this moment: to empower you through understanding. But our distinctive brand of explanatory journalism takes resources. Even when the economy and the news advertising market recovers, your support will be a critical part of sustaining our resource-intensive work. If you have already contributed, thank you. If you haven’t, please consider helping everyone make sense of an increasingly chaotic world: Contribute today from as little as $3.
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RBG Inspired Me to Be a Better Lawyer and Father
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an intimidating boss. Though small in stature and quiet in demeanor, she was a legendary lawyer and jurist who was fiercely devoted to her work. And she never lost sight of the principles—and the people—that made that work worth doing.I served as a law clerk for Justice Ginsburg during the Supreme Court’s 2013 term. It was the privilege of a lifetime, yet something I will never feel that I quite deserved. In the days since she died, I’ve felt my mind drifting back to that time, the glimpses it gave me into her life, and how it shaped my own.[Read: What Ruth Bader Ginsburg taught me about being a stay-at-home dad]The justice was 50 years my senior. Even into her ninth decade, she demanded the world of herself, and expected no less from us. When the boss is willing to work from dusk until dawn, there are no excuses. You do whatever it takes to get the job done, and to not let her down.I’ll never forget when I felt my pocket buzz on Thanksgiving night at my sister’s house. I pulled out my phone and read the screen with alarm: “RBG cell.” I bolted to the bathroom and spent the next half hour being grilled by the justice with my heart racing, desperately longing for my notes, scrambling to recall the technical details of a case to be argued the following week. She was an elegant woman of iron will. And she used that inner strength to move mountains.But no matter how seriously she took the work, she was always joyful in her play. Dull afternoons were livened with heaping bowls of frozen yogurt from the Court cafeteria, consumed beside a crackling fire in her chambers. She once invited us to watch 42, the movie about Jackie Robinson’s life, and nearly glowed as she told us of watching Robinson play baseball while growing up in Brooklyn. Birthdays at work were celebrated with cupcakes and prosecco, with the clerks probing for more tales from her past. Especially for those of us who clerked for the justice in her advanced years, these stories took on an almost mystical quality, a connection to a strange and ancient world where rights we take for granted today still had to be fought for.Before I was even born, she was a trailblazing advocate for gender equality who had begun to weave her vision into the Constitution: that you can’t be fired for becoming pregnant. That women as well as men are entitled to serve on juries. That a widowed father has the same right to government benefits to care for a child as a widowed mother. That the law can’t assume that a woman’s place is in the home, and that a man’s is not.Outside the courtroom, the justice never lost sight of the personal relationships that give life meaning. One Saturday during my clerkship, she took us to a performance of Scalia/Ginsburg, an opera centered on her surprising friendship with Antonin Scalia, her dueling conservative counterpart on the Court. (I surely absorbed more opera that year than I will in the rest of my years combined.) My co-clerks and I sat behind the odd couple, watching her and Nino whisper and guffaw as their operatic selves engaged in spirited debate through song. One evening, Justice Ginsburg invited a renowned Maltese tenor to perform at the Court. From my office, near the justices’ ornate dining room, I labored over a memo late into the night as the wine flowed next door and the tenor’s voice, sometimes accompanied by Nino’s, echoed through the marble hallways.The author’s daughter with her Lego RBG figure (Courtesy of Ryan Park)Another late night in her office, we worked to wrap up edits to a draft opinion set for release the following day. When the opinion finally rang pitch-perfect, she put her pencil down, beckoned me to her computer, and nudged the mouse in my direction. Like any doting grandmother, she wanted help viewing the photos from a recent trip to France that her granddaughter had posted online.She also cared deeply for her clerks, and our children as well. The surest way to melt the justice’s heart was to bring a grandclerk in for a visit. My daughter was barely three months old when I started the job. They first met on Halloween, with Caitlyn dressed as a pig, crawling around the chambers floor. They hit it off from the start, and Caitlyn grew up before her adoring eyes. I will always remember watching the justice kneel on the floor to play with a Lego figurine of RBG that Caitlyn had plucked from her office mantle—and later wrapping Caitlyn’s hand around the toy as a parting gift.For as seriously as she took the work, the justice knew that family always came first. Immediately following my clerkship, I spent a period at home with my daughter, trying to make up for all those late nights at the Court. The justice was thrilled when she learned that I was planning to be a stay-at-home dad for a while. She believed fervently that her life’s work of furthering equality in the law could never be realized without equality at home as well.[Read: RBG’s fingerprints are all over your everyday life]When I contemplated writing publicly about my experiences, which I ended up doing for The Atlantic, she was my biggest supporter. The justice knew the power of example—that if you live your own life according to your principles, others will follow. Her example has given permission to millions of women and men—including myself—to break free from artificial barriers that hold them back from fully pursuing all their identities, as mothers and fathers, breadwinners and caretakers. She wanted me to join her in carrying that mission forward.I will be eternally grateful that my daughters—Caitlyn and her little sister, Cora— had the chance to know the justice and be inspired by her life and career. Yet her inspiration extends much further than those whom fate blessed with her personal presence in our lives. During my time at the Court, the Notorious RBG as a pop-culture phenomenon began to reach its crescendo. My co-clerks and I would race to be the first to show her the latest viral video or meme featuring her. She was tickled by these diversions, but seemed silently aware of the deeply serious undercurrent that lay behind her newfound fame.Maybe in a truly equal world, we wouldn’t need heroes like Justice Ginsburg. But we still do. To so many little girls and boys, she has served, and will forever continue to serve, as a shining example of the pragmatic idealism that has shaped this nation since its founding. A force that propels us to reach beyond ourselves to envision a better future, and to work tirelessly to make that vision a reality.For my part, she will always be standing over my shoulder, encouraging me to be a better father and an equal partner. And she will always be the exacting yet supportive boss, inspiring me to work harder until the job is done right.The last time I spoke with the justice in person was in the courtroom last fall, during my first oral argument at the Supreme Court. As I waited for my turn to speak, I was more nervous than I had ever been, uncertain whether I had what it took to meet the moment. But when I looked up at the bench, I saw the justice gazing down at me with a warm, reassuring smile that told me everything was going to be all right.In recent days, I’ve received many heartfelt messages of condolence. For so many of us who loved her dearly, the feeling of personal loss is incalculable. But at the same time, it heartens me to know that the loss is one we all bear together. Justice Ginsburg’s legacy belongs to all of us. It buoys me to see people inspired to carry forward her vision of a more equal and just society. She would have expected no less. And if she were still here, she’d reassure us with a smile and a hug, and tell us to get to work.
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What we can learn about QAnon from the Satanic Panic
Demonstrators at a #SaveTheChildren rally in Keene, New Hampshire, on September 19, 2020. | Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images You Wrong About’s Sarah Marshall explains why debunking #SaveTheChildren and human trafficking statistics is so difficult. For many supporters of the #SaveTheChildren movement, face masks are part of the problem. Rather than saving lives by slowing the spread of Covid-19, proponents argue, letting your child wear a mask makes it harder for them to cry for help, which they will need to do, because there are evil people, right now, coming to kidnap them. “Save the Children,” like so many other moral panics, sounds like such a plainly obvious force of good, that to question it feels like you are marching under the banner of “Fuck the Children.” What do you say, for instance, to someone who believes that there are 800,000 children being trafficked every year, and that the government does nothing to stop it? Yet it’s still important to question their claims, because “Save the Children” is part of a new, more palatable branch of the alt-right conspiracy theory of QAnon, and its misleading name is part of why its traction with women and mothers has skyrocketed. “Save the Children” is less of an organization than a hashtag-able rallying cry, a call to action to investigate what many believe is a national emergency. Mom influencers, who until recently were known mostly for sharing cute photos of their kids at pumpkin patches, have been crucial to its spread, sharing aesthetically pleasing infographics of human trafficking statistics and scary stories of attempted kidnappings. View this post on Instagram A post shared by a s h l e y h o u s t o n (@ashleyjoyhouston) on Jul 14, 2020 at 1:19pm PDT While the bedrock of QAnon — the theory that an anonymous Trump insider is sending coded warning signs about a forthcoming “awakening” that will culminate in the mass imprisonment of Democratic public figures — might sound a bit kooky to an average Facebook user, Save the Children “has succeeded in mainstreaming the QAnon movement by representing its most sanitized aspects, pushing its more unsavory facets to the back burner,” explains EJ Dickson in Rolling Stone. The problem is that these hundreds of thousands of supposedly missing children are a product of unreliable statistics and misleading anecdotes on social media. These memes and posts are popping up all over Facebook, pointing to what QAnon supporters believe is an elite child sex trafficking ring comprised of Democratic politicians and celebrities. That there is no elegant way to fact-check the concerns of Save the Children without sounding dismissive of human suffering is part of why it is so difficult to talk about, and why people who attempt to do so are often targeted as enablers or complicit in pedophilia. There is some sort of clarity to be found, however, within the moral panics of the past. Over the course of quarantine, I’ve become a fan of the popular podcast You’re Wrong About, in which journalists Sarah Marshall and Michael Hobbes delve into misremembered historical events and figures, including the frenzies over Stranger Danger and the Satanic Panic (wherein dozens of daycare workers were falsely accused of using children in Satanic rituals) in the 1980s and ’90s, as well as episodes on why so many statistics about human trafficking and sex offenders are inherently misleading. In other words, they’re professional debunkers. I called Sarah, who’s currently working on a book about the Satanic Panic, to chat about what Save the Children gets wrong and why a fight against mostly imaginary predators has captivated so many seemingly well-intentioned people — particularly as a pandemic unfolds before our eyes. We talked about why people feel the need to protect against an invented threat while a botched government response to the coronavirus has left hundreds of thousands dead, and about how a metaphor about rat milk can help us understand why it’s so difficult to have these conversations. View this post on Instagram A post shared by #informedmothers (@informedmothers) on Aug 19, 2020 at 3:04pm PDT As you’re working on this book about the Satanic Panic, are you seeing any notable similarities or differences between that moment in the ’80s and ’90s and right now? Oh, yeah, it’s totally the same. It’s driven by genuinely concerned and terrified parents who are feeling insecurity for the welfare of their children for extremely good reasons. This is a terrible time to be a parent in America. If you’re asked to send your child to school, then you’re potentially signing the death sentence of your child or of the people in your child’s family and community that they’re going to transmit potentially a deadly disease to. The amount of abuse that the American government has perpetrated on its citizens is just amazing, especially in the past few years. Trump is so interesting as a president because he has the behaviors of an abusive father figure in so many ways. Even if you believe in him and feel like he’s carrying out policies that you want, he’s still lying to you. People must be feeling the effects of that, to some extent, even if they’re among his supporters. So I feel like this QAnon panic is so interesting to me because it really began as an elaborate fanfiction to explain how Trump was doing a good job and then it evolved into this. I’ve seen so many memes on Instagram about how “the real problem” is the pedophiles, not the pandemic. One idea that you tend to come back to on the podcast is that moral panics often claim that we as a society are not paying enough attention to “the children.” Do you see that as a Trojan horse to get other extreme theories into public consciousness? I do. One of the really dynamic ways we can see that functioning, which I’ve seen on Twitter and stuff, is the automatic argument ender that you have by being like, “Well, 800,000 children disappear every year. So how can you dismiss that? Don’t you care?” It’s very interesting, because it’s like me saying to you, “One out of every 10 American schools is serving its children rat milk instead of cow milk. How dare you say there’s not a milk problem in this country?” And you’re like, “Well, I’m saying that I doubt the rat milk studies. I’m saying this is fake rat milk data that’s been making its way around social media, because it’s so shocking when you see it. But it turns out to be an unreliably reported version of an unreliable data point and an unreliable study whose conductor has disavowed it since publication.” I would think it was horrible if a ton of American children were being fed rat milk, but it turns out that it happens very, very, very rarely. Maybe at one school every year. This metaphor is falling apart, but when one sort of unwell cafeteria lady is like, “Time for rat milk,” it’s not a systemic problem. You’re just in this impossible bind, because even if the statistics have any truth to them, they’re misleadingly stated and no longer relevant, but the person who’s citing them is so attached to the figure of the children. They’ve already bonded with this idea of 800,000 children who are trafficked each year, or whatever it is — all these incredibly high numbers that have generally no basis in reality, or a very slight basis in reality. If it feels true to you, as though it has happened in the way you see in movies, and then someone tells you, “Actually, it’s more like roughly 115 children a year in America are kidnapped under classic Stranger Danger circumstances,” that is horrifying to the person who has come to believe in that statistic. That would be like someone saying to me, “You know, actually, only 115 people in America have died of coronavirus,” because the fact that coronavirus is dangerous and that people should be taking precautions against it has become a central fact of my life. I would find that upsetting, perhaps in a similar way to the way people find it upsetting when you question the statistics that they’re citing. Your episode on human trafficking was so informative, but at the same time frustrating in the sense that there’s no one easy and elegant way to debunk these statistics. But can you give an overall picture of why human trafficking statistics are almost always wrong? Every so often, there’s a study that guesstimates or offers a statistic on child abuse that has some basis in fact, but it’s based on, for example, a survey that goes to like, 100 girls. Then based on that, they’ll say the percentage of these girls that experienced something that we define as sexual abuse was 40 percent, so 40 percent of girls have been sexually abused in their life. That’s not a good study. It’s data of some kind, but it’s not the most useful kind of data. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Little Miss Patriot (@the.little.miss.patriot) on Sep 9, 2020 at 8:27am PDT There have been cases similar to this, where you have a small sample size and some kind of upsetting percentage comes out of it and then that makes headlines and circulates around. People don’t know the circumstances of the study, they just know the percentage. It indicates a real problem in the world, but then it gets inflated into this idea of a crisis. We have these numbers that, if we looked at them, would indicate the complexity of the real problems that generate them. But we instead, I think, choose to selectively interpret them to support the idea of this very dangerous world where children just need to be rescued from monsters, rather than have their daily lives improved in a way that involves listening to them. You don’t have to listen to someone when you’re “rescuing” them. The Satanic Panic ended up causing real material harm to so many adults who were accused of doing horrible things they never did. With human trafficking, the laws we put in place often end up hurting immigrants and sex workers. Who do you think QAnon and Save the Children will end up really harming (besides the people who have literally already been killed by proponents)? I think it will be children, because I think that increased paranoia about children often manifests in ways that don’t involve listening to the child or trying to understand what your children’s needs are. Right now, I think a lot of kids would like to avoid contracting or spreading coronavirus. But if their parents subscribed to a horror story where wearing a mask means they’re going to be abducted, then they’re not going to be able to do that. I’m sure there have been many children in America who have spread a virus to elderly family members, or to people with compromised health to whom it proved deadly, or to people who were completely healthy and died anyway. This is what happens with this virus. We know the Satanic Panic was, in many cases, harmful to the children that it was attempting to help. They have to figure out what to do with memories that they underwent therapy to “retrieve,” in a way that made these memories feel as real as any of the things that they knew with a greater degree of clarity had happened to them. If you retell a story over and over, it turns into a real-feeling event, especially if you’re a young child being led by an adult who’s highly invested in you producing a specific story for them. I think that the children, once again, are going to be the primary victim here. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Kate Oseen (@katejoseen) on Sep 9, 2020 at 1:44pm PDT What do you do in your own life when you’re in a social situation and someone says something that they believe to be true, but you know they’re going in a potentially harmful direction? The “Wayfair is selling children in $10,000 cupboards” thing comes to mind. I’m a pretty non-confrontational person, and I think one of the things that draws me to journalism is that the best interview skill you can have is just to not interrupt someone and to just go, “Hmm,” and they’ll just keep talking, potentially forever, and get deeper and deeper into what they believe. When I’m talking to someone who espouses a belief in something that is confusing to me, I often feel like I want to know more. I’ll say things like, “Does this part make sense to you? How does this work?” to gently kick the tires of the logic. There is probably a self-protective strategy to put your journalist hat on and be like, “Say more about that!” But I am curious. I can never guess at the reasons that people have for believing what they do. Help keep Vox free for all Millions turn to Vox each month to understand what’s happening in the news, from the coronavirus crisis to a racial reckoning to what is, quite possibly, the most consequential presidential election of our lifetimes. Our mission has never been more vital than it is in this moment: to empower you through understanding. But our distinctive brand of explanatory journalism takes resources. Even when the economy and the news advertising market recovers, your support will be a critical part of sustaining our resource-intensive work. If you have already contributed, thank you. If you haven’t, please consider helping everyone make sense of an increasingly chaotic world: Contribute today from as little as $3.
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Killing millions from behind their desks
Dan Gretton offers a cautionary tale of bureaucratic slaughter past and present.
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