dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,

The After-coming: a thought experiment.

I think that it's fairly safe to say that when Lynn was coming up with the whole "Make Anthony a hero" fiasco, she more or less made Howard into a stereotypical bad guy from an old-timey melodrama; looking back at what I thought was going to be her attempt to show us that gay people could be heroes too (owing to my belief that Lawrence and not wussy little Anthony was the man asking Howard how rough he liked to play), I share the astonishment many of you have that he didn't twirl his mustache, cackle like a loon and tie her to the train tracks.

That being said, it can't be denied that that sort of thinking works against the interests of the victims of sex crimes. clio_1 reminded us that portraying people like that as monsters leads to the average idiot thinking that since the accused has good qualities, he can't possibly be a rapists because "everybody" knows that they're all Always Chaotic Evil. The average idiot then turns around and slut-shanes the crap out of the victim who they believe made it up all and had it coming anyway. The end result is that the bastard skates because of either good public relations or having a victim cowed into submission.

That being said, it seems to me that Lynn would have done the world a good turning had the role of attacker and rescuer been reversed. In this scenario, we would have started out much the same way with Liz noticing someone she wouldn't have otherwise and pointing out that Lawrence's new hire Howard always seems to be around and it creeps her out. Lawrence would make some neutral comment about how it's all a coincidence because all the man knows about her is her name and doesn't seem to want to expand his knowledge; this, of course, would fail to mollify Liz and she'd complain to John about things. What we would learn later is that Howard regarded Liz not as a love interest but as a nondescript young woman with a problem that she and most of the people he worked with at the time don't seem to either notice or take seriously; what alarmed him is that where ever the young woman on the Honda motorcycle was, the book-keeper at his boss's friend's used car lot was sure to be lurking somewhere in the vicinity with a creepy looking leer on his face. He didn't know the woman but he did know from reading the news that most victims of sex offenses were attacked by someone they trusted and thought it a good idea to keep tabs on this fellow.

This would have gone on for a while until Anthony materialized out of the ether and started in with the whole "I have no home" speech; upon being shut down cold, he would then grab onto Liz like a starving octopus and started ranting like a maniac about how they're the same person. About then, Howard would yank Anthony off her and tell her to call the cops while he made sure that the little nimrod doesn't go anywhere. At the police station, he explains that he'd been actually following Anthony all that time because he noticed him giving off a creepy stalker vibe when the two of them were in the same room accompanied by creepy stalking and thought it was the right thing to do to keep something like this from escalating; while he sort of would have accepted her gratitude, doing the right thing because it was right was what motivated him.

Now, consider where they'd all be now in that timeline. First off, Howard would go melt into the world and only reappear in the Pattersons' lives at the trial before heading off to, oh, say, Fort McMurray or anywhere else a working man can write his own ticket. If he thinks of Liz at all, he'd describe her as that girl with the creepy-ass stalker boyfriend and the parents from the planet Just-don't-get-it because of their refusal to believe that their Anthony could be guilty of what twelve jurors convicted him of because he didn't look like their idea of what a rapist looked like. Liz and Paul would probably still wonder if maybe April shouldn't have been the token Patterson present at their wedding; in this world, Howard would simply be another member of a long line of people who tried and failed to acquaint her parents with objective reality. As for John and Elly, they'd be two embittered, frustrated people trying their damnedest to correct what they see as an injustice committed by a jealous hater who hates and spring their beloved, innocent Anthony...unless, of course, they were suing everyone in sight for wrongful death because someone got fed up with the sunken-chested little shit and shanked him out of sheer frustration.
Tags: amazonian catfish tinfoil hat

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