Cleveland, home of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Paul Newman, now has another bit of notable fact...three women, recovered after being kidnapped for ten years by three brothers...it's almost like a fractured fairy tale, except that the moral lesson may be harder to find. Wicked monsters abduct three princesses, Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight and take them to the dungeon where all sorts of unspeakables may have occurred. Were the monsters, marginalized by the villagers because of their purple heads and long tails, doing this to prove their power by grabbing the most vulnerable, or was it the need for love that drove them to such a horrid deed? And what of the town folk? Were they under a spell, a sleep of sorts that made them impervious to any hints that something might not be correct in the wooden house down the street? Has community been so broken in our culture? Even in the Frankenstein tale the people band together with torches and search until their neighbor's child is recovered. Did this village give up too quickly?
It's a tough story and a sordid business all around. Perhaps it's the Puritan nature of our culture that makes men resort to such odd releases for their sexual tensions...but with internet porn, it hardly seems necessary to go to such extremes. And can that explain the abduction of Natascha Kampusch in Austria, as well as the father who kept his daughter locked up in the same country? Perhaps it's the powerlessness that people, men, feel that makes them believe that controlling women will restore them to some mythological birthright. Whatever the reasons, their thieving of young lives is so reprehensible that understanding them is beyond most people's generosity.
But one thing came out of this debacle that is completely marvelous and that's the personality of Charles Ramsey. Mr. Ramsey, the first to hear Amanda's voice and help her escape is such an authentic American voice; his uncensored reaction to his deed sounded as if he had jumped right out of a Mark Twain novel, revealing his own humor and an honest observation of the culture. He does not live in Hollywood so when he voices his surprise that a "A little pretty white girl ran into a black man's arms, I knew something was wrong, dead giveaway, either she was homeless or she had problems, the only reason she ran into a black man," you get it and can't help but love him for sharing his truths. This may not be a fairy tale, but if it were, then Mr. Ramsey, an everyman and unlikely hero, should get a lot more air time, perhaps even a television talk show. I, for one, would love to hear him interview people from his very real and honest perspective. That indeed might constitute a happy ever after...at least for a while.
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