From the desk of CBS Seattle some weeks ago:
What began as a man’s attempt to discipline his child turned into a sordid case of abuse when police say a Washington man forced his 16-year-old daughter to don Renaissance armor and engage in a wooden sword battle for two hours.
Man, parents are getting creative these days. None of that traditional spanking or yelling — no, parents are getting straight up medieval. And I think we can all agree that medieval punishment was way more interesting. Wooden sword battle? I’m sorry, but they could have made it a lot simpler and reworded the opening sentence:
What began as a man’s attempt to discipline his child turned into an awesome afternoon when police say a Washington man forced his 16-year-old daughter to have way too much fun for two hours.
Yep, good clean Renaissance fun. But seriously, isn’t this just forced recreation? Which I admit could be unpleasant if you don’t like jousting or Elizabethan paraphernalia, but even then — there are worse fates. And isn’t this preferable to a straightforward beating? At least this way you have a weapon and a shot at winning. Also, this daughter is 16. I think she’s old enough to either run away from home or pull a Heath Ledger and dominate at this sport.
Freemon Everett Seay, 38, and his daughter were fighting on Oct. 16 over her recent attempt to run away from home, an action he wanted to punish her for, Sgt. Ken Clark of the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office told CBS Seattle.
Oh. I see. I should probably read the entirety of these articles before I begin the commentary. So apparently she’s already attempted to run away from home. I’m not sure how one attempts to run away from home — assuming you’re not caught in the act, then you’ve clearly returned home by choice — but at this point, I shouldn’t erase it, right? I mean, I put in the effort. I toiled. To erase it now would just be wasteful. And I’m not going to dishonor my art. Not for you. Not for anybody.
“He started with switches off a tree. In Washington state, it’s all about reasonable action … (and) you can (legally) give a kid a spanking,” he said. “But this goes beyond discipline, and into the realm of abuse.”
See, that’s where I would have written, “But this goes beyond discipline, and into the realm of fun.” Spanking = ouch. Jousting = yay!
Before beginning the fight, Seay put on armor and brandished a weapon, which he repeatedly used on the child.
OK, not cool. Not cool. Once again, I should read the entirety of the article before writing away. I swear that up to this point, I had this image of an overly-dramatic family playing a good old-fashioned round of father-daughter cavalry as a way to repair their broken relationship. Sport’s the way, you know. I pictured a daughter too bratty to appreciate this gift her father has given her. I pictured a father desperately trying to share his love for antiquity with his bitter, culturally illiterate offspring who hates Friday night family dinners at Medieval Times. I did not realize there was actual violence going on. But again, I’m not going to erase it. This is my art.
Authorities say he forced his daughter to duel with him from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m.
Yeah, this was clearly not in the name of fun. There’s nothing more sinister than the phrase “from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m.” Only a few things happen between those hours, and Renaissance games are not one of them. Even an enthusiast would wait till dawn for a round of jousting.
So the lesson is, read articles before you blog about them, before you end up sounding like you endorse Renaissance-style child abuse when really you just love Shakespeare and have a talent crush on Shannyn Sossamon who in addition to being an awesome actress was the femme fatale in that jousting movie with Heath Ledger and also Paul Bettany who is a terrific actor and in far too few movies and is married to Jennifer Connelly in one of the only marriages I don’t hate. The other lesson is to not to think of jousting as nostalgic child abuse.