No individual state in the union has a monopoly on the weird and grotesque — hell, as Floridians, we see more than our share up close and personal — but lately Texas is distinguishing itself. Even while they’re shoving transvaginal ultrasound devices into unwilling citizens, this sort of thing goes on:
[The Rev.] Rick Bartlett of Bastrop was charged with animal cruelty in January after joggers found Moody the cat clinging to life at the bottom of a 40-foot drop under a bridge… Later that day, Moody died from injuries suffered when he fell from the bridge.
Bartlett reportedly told cops that he’d left Moody — whom he thought was a feral cat — in a cage in the back of his truck and forgot about him for three days before bringing him to authorities. Bartlett allegedly told the animal control officer that he would bring Moody back to his neighbors.
The pads on the cat’s paws had been ripped off as he tried to escape his cage over his three-day imprisonment, the lawsuit charges. — Huffington Post
What is it about pussy that drives clergymen bat-shit crazy?
Moody’s former owners have filed a civil suit against Bartlett, who serves as pastor of Bastrop Christian Church. Whatever. Pardon my bloodlust, but the only punishment that fits the crime involves physical pain as well as public disgrace. So once again, we have before us a perfect rationale for the return of the whipping post in the public square.
Public floggings used to be very popular, especially in Jolly Olde England, vagrants, prostitutes, thieves, and just about anybody who pissed off a local judge or influential citizen could be trotted to the pillory or stocks for a few dozen strokes, much to the delight of the general population. I am certain the sport would be no less popular today.
In fact, in the proper hands it could generate revenue. Under the auspices of the courts, contractors would purchase licenses from to present judicial sessions, and sell tickets, souvenirs, and refreshments. Imagine colorful brochures and interactive web sites (sponsorship opportunities abound), even trading cards featuring different floggers and reciting their performance records. Imagine festive Friday evening sessions in the park or a theater, with live music, food trucks, arts and crafts vendors, etc.
Obviously prisons aren’t working very well, and keeping the system afloat costs big money. As a society, our penal system costs more than public education (which isn’t working well, either, but flogging probably isn’t the best approach. Well, maybe it is. That’s another post entirely). Meanwhile, pick up the paper every and you’ll encounter another candidate for corporal punishment. Start with texting drivers.
One limitation: absolutely no mimes. In fact, mimes are among the first candidates for flogging. But they’d have to stay painted. And gagged.