I often wonder at what age the male mind starts functioning in a rational manner (some women say never).
The NYT has an article on a young song writer who thought it would be hilarious
· To sing an innocuous children’s song to a grade school class
· Video their response
· Go home and on his computer change the song to an obscene song
· Show the kids as if they were reacting to his singing obscene lyrics and making obscene gestures
· Post it on You Tube
Mr. Emory, 21, an aspiring singer and songwriter, became a household name here last month when he edited a video to make it appear that elementary school children in a local classroom were listening to him sing a song with graphic sexual lyrics. He then showed the video in a nightclub and posted it on YouTube.
His friends thought it was a scream. The police are taking a different view of the matter. He was arrested for child pornography and is facing twenty years and a lifetime on the child abuse register.
He is an idiot; but if all young male idiots were put in prison the world would rapidly empty out.
The conflict of young men and the clergy in France was a major contributor to anticlericalism. From the draft of my revised book:
Specifically masculine anticlericalism predates the Revolution. First of all was the battle of the village curé, as the agent of the Counter-Reformation and as the representative of the forces of decency and order, against the young unattached males, who, in France as elsewhere and always, were difficult to keep under control and to civilize. Philip Hoffman recounts this 1777 incident in the diocese of Lyon: a youth, Jean Marie Bonnefond, snitched a few cherries for the curé’s orchard. This was the last straw for the curé. The young men had been trampling his wheat and stealing his fruit. “Worse, Bonnefond was one of a number of youths who gathered each Sunday in front of the church to play the flute and pound on wine barrels.” On the day of the theft, the curé had asked them to stop because he was hearing confession, but the youths refused. The curé took a stick, pursued Bonnefond, and gave him a thrashing. The boy filed charges against the curé, who counterfiled charges, because Bonnefond and his friends “danced and sang defamatory songs in front of the curé’s house.” In villages the youths would leave doing mass; the priests would lock the doors; the youths would break them open. The curés also tried to put a stop to cruel sports at saints’ festivals — such a tying a goose up by its neck and then whacking it until it was decapitated — and tried to stop the male use of gang rape as a means to control the girls of the village. One has sympathy for the clergy.
Village louts were not the only ones to express their masculine dislike of the church. Even among the aristocracy, contempt shown the Church could have catastrophic consequences. Jean François Lefevre, chevalier de La Barre, was about nineteen years old when he was accused of blasphemy and sacrilege. He had sung blasphemous and bawdy songs, had refused to take off his hat for a religious procession and had (possibly) vandalized a crucifix. For this he was tried in a secular court and condemned. The judgment declared on July 1, 1766 he
will have the tongue cut out and will then be taken in the said tumbrel to the public marketplace of this city to have his head cut off on a scaffold; his body and his head will then be thrown on a pyre to be destroyed, burnt, reduced to ashes and these thrown to the wind. We order that before the execution of the said Lefebvre de La Barre the ordinary and the extraordinary question will be applied to have from his mouth the truth of several facts of the trial and revelation about his accomplices.
The Church had asked for a pardon for de La Barre, who was a victim of local intrigues. Voltaire was both horrified by an execution for adolescent folly and terrified, because when de La Barre’s room had been searched, in addition to some pornography, a copy of Voltaire’s Dictionaire Philosophique had been found, and the philosophes were being blamed for de La Barre’s conduct.The trial and execution did not endear either the philosophes or young men to the French union of state and church.