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The Photo that Made Me Weep for Chillicothe

June 30, 2015

hand lotion tshirtI saw this photo on the front page of my local paper on Sunday. It just made me want to weep for my community, for so many reasons.

The first being, this guy woke up in the morning and knew he was headed to court for his uncle’s re-sentencing on involuntary manslaughter and felonious assault. And he decided his best attire was a t-shirt offering his semen as hand lotion for those with dry skin, and all one needed to do was pump his junk to get some. Apparently, not one of his family members suggested a different choice in attire. Now I don’t know if this guy was allowed into the courtroom, but if he was, what a shame. All courts have dress codes, as they should. It saddens me that so many people no longer have respect for the court or themselves, for that matter. I’m by no means a prude, just ask any of my friends, but there is a time and a place for such a t-shirt and it’s called the Easy Rider Rodeo. I happen to own several questionable t-shirts myself (my fave being Johnny Cash flipping the bird), but I don’t wear them in places they would be deemed offensive. People are worried that gay marriage is going to result in the moral decay of our society?! Personally, I think we should be more worried about people like this.

Secondly, not one single person who worked for this paper noticed what this t-shirt said prior to publishing the photograph. Now the paper has apologized to its readers, and I know humans make mistakes. But c’mon, don’t we hold anyone accountable anymore? This photo had to slip through the hands of more than one person before it got to the point of being published. Doesn’t anyone proofread anymore? Doesn’t anyone have any investment in what they put their name on anymore? Are we in such a hurry to put some product out there for consumption that we don’t even care about the end result of that product? Whatever happened to taking pride in your work? Prices for products keep rising while the quality of those products are declining. A few years ago, our local paper ceased being “local” and is now published in a different city. I presume those folks aren’t as concerned about how Chillicothe looks to the world. If that paper were in local hands today from start to finish, then perhaps that photo would have never seen the light of day. Unfortunately, that’s just not the way small newspapers can operate in the digital age while maintaining profitability. Sad indeed.

Lastly, tons of people shared this on social media and from what I saw most of them were hee-hawing about it. I guess I could see where some might find it to be a funny shirt, but I’m just not one of them. Maybe I’m becoming a grumpy old lady, because it just made me sad. Our little community here has been under a great deal of negative scrutiny by the national media because we’ve had a rash of missing women, most of which have turned up dead. We have a serial killer on the loose, they say, in this little “run down” town in the rust belt. I was born and raised here and have lived here most of my life. I’ve also lived in several other places in the United States and I chose to come back here to little Chillicothe. It’s a winsome little city and it happens to be a very nice place to raise a family. Sure, there’s crime here and we definitely have our fair share of hullabaloo. I haven’t done any statistical analysis, but through what I see at my work, my educated guess is that most, if not all, of our crime is fueled by the illicit drug business. I suspect our “serial killer” is heroin, but again, that’s just my personal opinion. I’m not worried about turning up dead tomorrow by a creek. I would even venture out to take a trip to the Walmarts after midnight and not worry about my well-being. I saw one article recently rate Chillicothe as being more dangerous than Cincinnati. Balderdash! This isn’t the scary town the media is painting it to be.

I guess being a vehement supporter of free speech, I should support the ability of this man to wear his stupid t-shirt anywhere he wants. It just dismays me that he chose to wear it in a setting where you would expect one to use some decorum and that it had to be documented for posterity. I can only imagine what the deceased victim’s family thought when they saw that shirt.

But what do I know; maybe decorum is just an old-fashioned idea of times gone by, which is extremely disconcerting, in my book.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Dave permalink
    June 30, 2015 8:38 pm

    Nicely put. Couldn’t agree more.

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