The Scarlet Letter Reports Announcement


New original programming, featuring Amanda Knox and more, to premiere on Facebook Watch

Three new weekly series to premiere in the coming months on Facebook

December 13, 2017 (Brooklyn, NY) – VICE Media, the world’s leading global youth media brand, and Facebook today announced three original multiscreen series that will premiere on Facebook Watch, the new platform for shows on Facebook.  The new series, The Scarlet Letter Reports, Breaking & Entertaining and The Hangover Show, are scheduled to premiere on Facebook in the coming months, and will air weekly.

The Scarlet Letter Reports, hosted by Amanda Knox, is a five episode unscripted series exploring the gendered nature of public shaming. Knox will sit down with Amber Rose, Daisy Coleman and more to discuss the deeply personal journey of being sexualized, scrutinized, and demonized by the media –– and how they’ve rebuilt their lives after their most personal details have been made public.

“While on trial for a murder I didn’t commit, my prosecutor painted me as a sex-crazed femme fatale with magical powers to control men,” said Amanda Knox, host of The Scarlet Letter Reports. “The tabloids loved that story. So did the public. So did the jury. I lost years of my life to prison because of two-dimensional and misogynist stereotypes. In The Scarlet Letter Reports, I’m hoping to re-humanize others who have been similarly shamed and vilified, and elevate the standard for how we think and talk about public women.”

Breaking & Entertaining is a five episode unscripted series in which a person nominates his or her household, unbeknownst to his or her roommate, to throw a VICE-furnished party that trashes the home.  The next morning, a cleanup crew arrives, kicks out the roommate to get to work, and surprises the roommate upon return with a completely renovated, refurnished home.  A combination roommate intervention, party chronicle and home renovation, Breaking & Entertaining will shock the participants and viewers.

The Hangover Show is a five episode unscripted series in which butcher and cook Cara Nicoletti invites her chef and comedian friends over after a big night out, then makes them her favorite hangover foods while also offering viewers tips on how to combat hangovers.

This mobile, digital and OTT partnership with Facebook is the latest in VICE’s ongoing effort to provide premium original content on whatever screen young people are watching.  VICE’s effort to maximize viewership has resulted in recent partnerships that will bring its award-winning, multiplatform programming across lifestyle, culture, news, sports, food and more, to over 80 territories by Q1 2018.

Facebook Watch is a new platform on Facebook that is available on mobile, desktop, laptop and on television apps.


VICE is the world’s leading youth media brand. Launched in 1994, VICE is on pace to bring its award-winning programming to over 80 territories worldwide by Q1 2018 across mobile, digital, and linear platforms. VICE operates an expanding international network of digital channels; a television and feature film production studio; an Emmy-nominated international television network, VICELAND; an Emmy-nominated weekly newsmagazine show on HBO; a nightly news series on HBO; an in-house creative services agencies and branded studio; a magazine; and a record label.

VICE’s award-winning programming has been recognized by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Peabody Awards, Sundance Film Festival, PEN Center, Cannes Lions, Frontline Club, Knight Foundation, American Society of Magazine Editors, LA Press Club, James Beard awards, and Webby Awards, among others.


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114 Responses to The Scarlet Letter Reports Announcement

  1. Brianne says:

    Hello Amanda…This will probably be the only time I comment about the case, because I’m sure you’re more than ready to move on from it. I learned about your story through the Netflix documentary and then did a lot of research on my own (which included listening to the Real Crime Profile podcast’s deep dive in the case…I will definitely be recommending that one, because the very intelligent and experienced hosts do not even entertain for a SECOND that anyone was involved in the crime other than Rudy Guede).

    I’m incredibly sorry for what you went through, and I think you’re an amazing person for wanting to help make a difference in the lives of others. I don’t know how in the world you could come away from what you’ve experienced without feeling cynical and even vengeful, but I wish you all the best. I’ll definitely be watching your series.

    And I hope some day Mignini gets what he deserves.

  2. Tom Zupancic says:

    Amanda, I like the new Home page on your blog.

    Obviously, empathy is a grind.

    But I agree, the importance of empathy when rehumanizing those who have been unfairly villainized is important, (and hard to do).

    So, I hope you and Chris have a great time at Empathy Grind.

  3. Albert R. Calleros says:


    Anaheim, CA, USA

  4. Katy says:

    I’m glad to see that Alan Dershowitz’s friends are finally figuring out what an irrational, reactionary creep he is. I’ve never forgiven him for the way he went after you in defiance of all the facts, and it’s good to see that he seems to have lost any credibility he once had.

    • Tom Mininger says:

      As a supposed civil libertarian, Mr. Dershowitz should have found Amanda’s plight a dream case for attacking unchecked state power and misconduct. I can’t help wonder if he was hired to counter the growing US media awareness that Amanda was innocent.

    • Tom Zupancic says:

      Huh? What? Alan Dershowitz shunned out on Martha’s Vineyard? And it hurt his feelings? Ow!!!

      But wait a minute. How could such a thing ever happen?

      After all, it’s not like the offensive stuff he is doing that people don’t like is totally fabricated by yellow journalism or anything. It’s actually more like he is now experiencing what he has been callously inflicting on others.

      Perhaps he will begin to get a clue, but I doubt it. He is too full of himself. He is so smart, his is brain is so full, he can’t learn anything more.

  5. justme says:

    Just curious, it has been more than 2 years. Is there any movement on the ECHR case?

  6. Tom Mininger says:

    I never knew much about David Marriott who passed away last month. To me he was just the guy that Amanda supporters were accused of being paid by, for years on internet comment sections. I was touched by this article:

    It is a daunting challenge to inject truth into a repetitive false narrative and secure a foothold for it. Mr. Marriott had the skill, determination and decency to accomplish it. It is a skill that will always be needed. I salute him.

  7. Tom Zupancic says:

    American author Ernest Hemmingway once said, ‘a writer should write only about what he truly knows’.

    Fortunately for me I am not a writer. Actually, I’m a scientist. We write about things we don’t truly know all the time… on purpose actually, since scientists don’t ‘truly know’ anything.

    So after seeing the Scarlet Letter Reports I wondered about this.

    It would appear that there is some fundamental flaw in our culture/our society/our most fundamental human interactions. And nobody wants to admit it. Nobody wants to accept it. Amanda wrote about it.

    Hemmingway would have to agree that Amanda wrote about what she truly knows.

    • Tom Zupancic says:

      I can only add that Hemmingway would like to read what Just a Parent might write; that guy truly knows.

      • juste-un-navet says:

        There’s a saying about sitting in cheap seats. Are you the poster Just a Parent? Now try to argue this. The more that you do the more you will validate this reckless assertion I’ve made. And my ability stems from your invitation.

        I am not the poster Just a Parent. Are you? Well if you weren’t before, you are now.

  8. Tom Zupancic says:

    Amanda, confronting and challenging long standing antagonisms toward women… deeply embedded, ignorant attitudes that diminish and demean women…

    That took some serious gumption!

    Maybe… people can learn. Maybe… people can understand things that they didn’t appreciate before. Realities that shape how we perceive each other… how we treat each other.

    Let’s hope.

  9. Mark Saha says:

    Amanda … just to say congratulations for your remarkable Scarlet Letter Reports. Saw the final episode this morning and it left me wanting more. A comment you made on KIRO is worth repeating:

    “What I learned from the Scarlet Letter Reports is that it’s not difficult to humanize someone. You just have to be in the room with them and let them be a human in front you. What takes work is dissecting a person and stripping them of their humanity.”

    Your work is important and I look forward to seeing more …

  10. Tom Mininger says:

    I think a question people should ask after watching your Brett Rossi episode is: Do people who pay for sex or watch porn have any right to shame sex industry workers? (OMG, all the bachelor parties!)

    It reminds me of what you said in your Kiro Nights interview about Nick Pisa (Daily Mail) after he admitted the case against you was nonsense and complained that it wasn’t his responsibility to fact check what the prosecution was feeding him. When asked how he could write that crap, he responded with, Well, how could you read it? Like you said, he did have a point.

    I happened upon a comment I wrote 5 years ago that started, “Amanda is a writer, not a speaker…” Times have changed. Congratulations on your hard work. You bring a compassionate perspective to topics in an age of violent judgmental communication.

  11. justme says:

    I finally had a chance to see The Scarlet Letter Reports and it is excellent! The conversations are truly something. You have a real talent for narration. I’d say it’s one of the strengths of the format. I’m looking forward to your next series.

  12. Tom Zupancic says:

    Amanda’s unique and creative approach is now out there. … it has been, actually, for two weeks now.

  13. Tom Mininger says:

    Your first 2 SLR episodes are very interesting. I’m sorry you had to make a speech at Sea-Tac upon your arrival home while engulfed with sensory overload. Know that it was greatly appreciated.

    Combat veterans can only discuss somethings with each other. Somethings only fellow exonerees can relate to on a visceral level. I think it’s wonderful that you formed this kind of bond with other vilified women. I hope you had private time together to share your feelings and strategy. Fresh perspectives emerge when fate unites disparate lives.

    Although you’re focused on women, this topic always reminds me of the monstrous online attacks against the McCann couple. Witch-hunts are as old as the human race, but your case and the McCann’s marked a historic milestone as traditional mob mentality transitioned from physical space onto virtual space. Pitchforks and torches transitioned to laptops and smart phones. 24/7 mob access from anywhere in the world with internet access. Even greater anonymity than being just another face in a physical crowd.

    Looking forward to the next episodes.

  14. Maggie says:

    Hi Amanda,
    I just watched you on Meghan Kelly and Hillary Clinton kept coming to my mind. Whenever I have asked someone why they don’t like her they can’t really give any concrete reasons. I truly believe that the negative feelings toward her have been created by the media starting back when she was wife of the Arkansas Governor and they did such a good job with the negative press that it became part of main stream culture and has been handed down to following generations. A very interesting study on this is the PBS special entitled “The Choice 2016” which shows that at every turn she was ahead of the times. Well, that was all I wanted to say. Good luck with your new show and all your future endeavors.

    • jerry pdx says:

      There’s a very good reason to not like Hillary, when she was Secretary of State she ordered the carpet bombing of Libya which destroyed the infrastructure of the country, causing untold deaths and a human crisis still ongoing today. Then she tried to paint herself as the “diversity” candidate by “welcoming” Libyan refugees to the US, without of course, acknowledging she (and her boss Obama) were the ones responsible for them being refugees in the first place.

      • Tom Zupancic says:

        There would appear to be a clear Scarlet Letter Reports connection here.

        So, to add some detail for the sake of context; the 2011 bombing of Libya was a NATO operation. It was based on a United Nations resolution to protect civilians and address ‘crimes against humanity’ being committed against civilians by Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi (that go back multiple years). Military actions involved naval actions by American and British forces as well as aerial bombing performed by the French Air Force, the Royal Air Force, and the Royal Canadian Air Force. A coalition of 19 nations supported the military intervention. It is not clear how an American Secretary of State was powerful enough to be single handedly be responsible for such a multinational action… It is also not clear to what extent to which the fact that the American Secretary of State during these complex international events was a woman factors in to the subsequent evaluation of the consequences of the multinational military assault… while American military leaders, and President of the United States are never mentioned…

        In terms of ‘untold deaths and human suffering crisis still ongoing today’, a relevant comparison would be the American invasion of Iraq ordered by American President George W. Bush.

        It might also be worth noting that historically, disruption of existing social order, can have unpredictable and chaotic results, even when the existing social order is intrinsically unjust. Consider, for example, Mahatma Gandhi, and the violent and bloody consequence of his campaign for Indian independence that has been estimated to have displaced 15 million people and resulted in the deaths of more than 1 million.

        • jerry pdx says:

          It’s interesting how the scandal of Hillary’s email’s focused on her use of a non secured server rather than the actual content. The content is quite interesting:
          The world financial structure is divvied up into a pie dominated by the US petrodollar, which occupies about 60% of the pie, and conducts almost all transactions relating to the purchase and sales of oil, with the Yen, Euro, Ruble and various other denominations making up the remaining 40%
          The Western banks will not allow that balance to be upset and nations that threaten the hegemony of the petrodollar will be dealt with militarily, that lesson has been forcibly imprinted on the consciousness of the leaders of the world by the US and it’s allies. That’s why the US is in Afghanistan, it’s to block China from building a pipeline and getting enough oil to create a “Petro Yen” to challenge the US dollar. That’s why Russia was there for a while and why they don’t complain about the US being there, they don’t want China to gain access to oil either. The quote in the article questions whether the Sec. of State (and also refers to the fact she’s a woman…sexist non sequitur?) has the power to “order” a multinational bombing campaign. I will say that there is machinery in place, poised to take action when the financial apple cart is threatened, the players in that system is a network of politicians, generals and other political leaders that are ready to obey when the orders go out when the people at the top points of the pinnacle of power, like Hillary or Obama, press the buttons, then the war machine goes into action.

          This is why it’s disturbing when people get into this “I hate Trump activism”, as if he is the devil personified, yet were silent when Obama was in office. Yes, Trump is many of those things people say he is and I personally despise him, but I also despised Hillary and Obama for their crimes. Obama presided over one of the greatest wealth transfers from the poor and middle class in history through Obamacare, which benefited the pharma industrial complex while also conducting US military interventions or interference in Libya and the Ukraine. Now Trump cuts an enormous tax break for the wealthy and continues to rattle sabers at the rest of the world. They serve their purpose to the wealthy elites, globalists and multi national banks at the expense of the poor and middle classes, that’s what President’s do. All of them.

  15. Caroline says:

    Hi Amanda, I read somewhere that you are planning to write another book. Is this true? When do you think it will be released?

    I know many have made comments about you going back to Italy, and i think this is a wonderful idea. You need closure and deserve to live your life the way you want to live it. Other peoples opinion about you should not determine when of if you do decide to return to italy. One thing that i repeatedly witness is peoples belief that they have a right to determine how you live your life (e.g. social media, public speaking or simply having a normal life), some think that you should disappear and should never talk about your experience, but for me this is a strong reason why you need to return to italy. No one has the right to lecture you, slut-shame or make you feel insignificant. You are the mistress of your fate and the captain of your soul 🙂

    Thank you for being such a strong, brave, kind, thoughtful and resilient woman!! you inspire so many people xxx

  16. Tom Zupancic says:

    That was just a dream, just a dream, just a dream…dream

    Fact is I lost my religion a long time ago. Still, one can wonder

    The lengths that I will go to…?

    I’ve said too much … or maybe
    I haven’t said enough …or maybe

    I’ve said too much


    What if all these fantasies
    Come flailing around…

    That was just a dream
    I’ve said too much

    I haven’t said enough…

    Consider this, consider this

    I don’t know if I can do it


    I think I thought I saw you try

    But that was just a dream… try, cry
    why try …

    why try?


    • Tom Zupancic says:

      Why try?…

      Faith’s Song in Cymraeg…

      But I gave my heart whole I did
      I gave my heart
      And although it’s lost
      It is still beating
      And I gave my whole soul I did
      I gave my soul
      And although I’m broken
      I am still breathing…

      • Tom Zupancic says:

        Amy Wadge Faith’s song

        Gave you all that you needed
        You cut but I’m bleeding
        And all of my strength that I gave to you

        I loved completely
        You lose then you leave me
        And all of my hope
        I left with you too

        But I gave my heart whole I did
        I gave my heart
        And although it’s lost
        It is still beating
        And I gave my whole soul I did
        I gave my soul
        And although I’m broken
        I am still breathing

        I will sleep through the moments
        All the moments you’ve stolen
        All for my love
        I’ll learn the truth

        That I gave my heart whole I did
        I gave my heart
        And although it’s lost
        It is still beating
        And I gave my whole soul I did
        I gave my soul
        And although I’m broken
        I am still breathing

  17. Tom Mininger says:

    I read your article:

    Those who advocate for the wrongly convicted are continually exposed to police and prosecutors behaving badly. It’s important to step back and acknowledge all the good ones, and appreciate them when they own up to their mistakes. And to remember that bad doesn’t just come from bad apples. I’ll go out on a limb and claim bad usually comes from good people with tunnel vision, cognitive bias and power. The road to hell…

    Here is an article from another ex-FBI agent, John Douglas, calling for crime labs independent from law enforcement.
    When you read about one crime lab scandal after another across our country, keep in mind that the bogus results reported in these stories never aided the defense.

    The Houston Forensic Science Center has me feeling optimistic. Instead of just complaining that crime labs around the world work for police and prosecutors, we can point to this crime lab as a model for independence. Their crime scene team are not police employees. Their lab analysts are not only blind to which case a sample is from, but also blind to whether it is from a crime scene at all, because control samples are also pumped into the pipeline. (Although the analysts are good at IDing the fakes. It’s an ongoing challenge to keep them blind with authentic looking samples.) When multiple tests are performed on a sample, analysts are blind to the previous results. Test results are posted online so that defense attorneys are not dependent on prosecutors obeying rules of discovery.

    Advocates spend stressful years or decades trying to free an innocent person with no guarantee of success. The biggest obstacle in these cases are stubborn prosecutors. It’s another testament to the power of DAs in our system that when a Conviction Integrity Unit is established and the DA is really open-minded (CIU is not just a fashion accessory) the floodgates open and exonerations pour out. Dallas, Brooklyn and Houston have real CIUs. I’m optimistic that the new Philadelphia DA will transform his city’s CIU into a real one.

    Thank you Amanda for this interlude of optimism.

    • Tom Zupancic says:

      Faith in humanity. Making the world a better place.

      I’m sure Oma would agree with you Amanda.

      Do it.

  18. Tom Mininger says:

    Wow. What an open and honest discussion about sexuality by Molly Ringwald. imo the dichotomy between John Hughes’ sensitivity and his chauvinism is an extreme example of what lurks inside all of us.

  19. Tom Zupancic says:

    The blog… the blog I post on… waiting, wondering…

    Reality… existence… what is reality? really… Blog posts?

    but sometimes the discussion thread… is so… so something. So absent?

    I feel like Henri…

    • Tom Mininger says:

      The action at the moment is over on Amanda’s Instagram. Not a great venue for discussion and debate though. Just quick points. I’m always abandoning my posts before I hit Enter, thinking, nah it’s too long for here.

      I approached Instagram with the same contempt as I did Twitter. But darn, there are some good photographers out there.

      • Tom Zupancic says:

        Tom Mininger,

        Thanks for the info. Just btw is this Instagram thing safe? (eg. is it actually controlled by the Russians or something?) Heck, I am just now coming to grips with Facebook…

        Sartre didn’t have to deal with any of this…

        • Tom Zupancic says:

          How the heck is somebody supposed to deal with profundity?


          • Tom Zupancic says:

            Trivialize… “make (something) seem less important, significant, or complex than it really is.”

    • juste-un-navet says:

      Je sens la mélancolie d’Henri. Réalités exposées comme faux à maintes reprises. Quid-pro-quo abusé et taquiné par des puissances supérieures. Mais au milieu des conflits, il est temps pour une belle musique d’entendre et d’apprécier. C’est la musique qui peut rebondir sur nos cœurs qui sera toujours réelle pour ceux qui choisissent d’écouter avec leurs oreilles au lieu des autres méthodes. C’est la musique qui ne peut être truquée ni une réflexion mélancolique que Knox aurait voulu choisir pour apprendre la langue de la France plus que l’autre qu’elle a fait.

      Frank Sinatra – Quelque part au-delà de la mer.

    • Stephane G says:

      Thankfully, Henri speeches and books come with English subtitles. I can hardly understand his French… Il est tout de même fâcheux pour un esprit que l’on sait si brillant de ne pas parvenir à exprimer toute la profondeur de ses sentiments.

      I confess I also miss Amanda’s columns or my weekly dose of discussion on this blog and sadly can’t imagine a proper debate using any of these new medias such as Instagram or FB. I’m afraid Cambridge Analytica and the like will have to wait, and I guess I’ll simply enjoy these new pictures as they come. Thank you Tom Mininger for reminding us of this Instagram page I had already forgotten about.

    • Tom Mininger says:

      There is precious little in this universe that can challenge the existential influence of Henri, but perhaps:

  20. Alberto (R. Calleros) says:

    Me alegro tanto que has estado celebrando el tercer aniversario de tu lucha exitosa para la exoneración completa. Te deseo lo mejor en todos tus esfuerzos futuros. ¡FELIZ PASCUA!
    (I am so happy that you have been celebrating the third anniversary of your successful fight for complete exoneration. I wish you the best in all your future endeavors. HAPPY EASTER!)

    Alberto (R. Calleros)
    Anaheim, CA, USA

  21. Patrizio Pesce says:

    I love you, dear Amanda!

  22. just-a-zucchini says:

    The media shaming of people during the trial is something out of control, newspapers and magazines of the past have nothing on the internet’s ability to create a false-personality today.

    Like the Perugia Italy case, that will forever be “the first”, that showed many of us the belly of this beast aka the global impact the internet holds.

    Interesting subject though on slander and false accusations against people.
    The scales, imo, tilt for the internet being a positive form because in the past only highly connected people would be able to edit the few main newspapers or tv news reports. The internet offers a voice for more common people, an outlet to get the truth out that didn’t exist before.

    For better or worse, the internet media, forums, blogs during trials and personal attacks are here to stay it seems…that… and potato chip bags that are 90% air and 10% chips. why is it this way? I have no answers.

    • just-a-spectator says:

      I’m confident I could find an answer to add or reasonably augment your statement in about 5 cathartic minutes. While I wait for those minutes to arrive and contemplate a solution or at least a worthy narrative, I thought I’d just add a reminder that when Republicans control the executive branch potatoe is spelled with an e. For this and other policy initiatives I offer this short guide while we wait to be herded. Or not. The internet hasn’t yet found it’s way past my newer firewall called thin air.

  23. Tom Mininger says:

    Kimberly Long reminds me of you. Another young woman the authorities fixated on because she found the body instead of analyzing the evidence first. What many don’t understand is how messy a bloody crime scene is. If Kimberly had killed Ozzy, there would be blood transfer evidence against her. It’s like Guede did not just leave bloody prints, blood was also found in his apartment.
    In the context of a bloody crime scene, absence of blood transfer evidence is evidence of absence.

    There is DNA on a cigarette butt placing an unknown suspect at Ozzy’s crime scene that the prosecution doesn’t care about. There is strong evidence that time of death was before Kimberly arrived home.

    A judge reversed Kimberly’s conviction last year and she finally tasted freedom. But a vindictive prosecution will not give up. This decision was reversed and now Kimberly is under threat of returning to prison. There is a movement petitioning California Governor Jerry to end this judicial travesty by granting Kimberly clemency.

    We all engage in confirmation bias. It is the human condition. But the power we grant prosecutors over our lives is especially dangerous.

  24. Tom Zupancic says:

    “In The Scarlet Letter Reports, I’m hoping to re-humanize others who have been similarly shamed and vilified, and elevate the standard for how we think and talk about public women.”

    Given recent tweets by Donald Trump; Jennie Willoughby should be heard, “Jennie Willoughby: ‘President Trump Will Not Diminish My Truth’ “

    Domestic abuse is not okay.

    • Tom Zupancic says:

      Colbie Holderness also needs to be heard.

      “Rob Porter is my ex-husband. Here’s what you should know about abuse.” (Colbie Holderness was the first wife of former White House staff secretary Rob Porter.)

      • Tom Zupancic says:

        Regarding John Kelly, is domestic abuse okay? Is John Kelly actually qualified to say? Is there (has there been) sexual abuse/misconduct in America’s military forces? Has the US military condoned sexual assault, in particular such actions by high level officers? The answer appears to be that sexual abuse has historically been widespread and common in the American military, and has been systematically ignored. John Kelly is a product of this system.

        “Surprised John Kelly would overlook abuse? The military that bred him is rife with it.”

        So when John Kelly asserts that he admires someone accused of abusive behavior it would appear that he is revealing essentially who he is and what his values are. Fair enough. Got it. He has been here before.

        • Tom Zupancic says:

          Apparently John Kelly has now apologized… “John Kelly Apologizes For Assuming Everyone Would Ignore Abuse Allegations Like They Do In Military”

          • just-a-spectator says:

            HA. HA. Funny.

            The Onion is an American digital media company and news satire organization that publishes articles on international, national, and local news. Based in Chicago, the company originated as a weekly print publication on August 29, 1988 in Madison, Wisconsin. In the spring of 1996, The Onion began publishing online. In 2007, the organization began publishing satirical news audio and video online, as the Onion News Network.

            * ** * *. * *.

          • Tom Zupancic says:


            Who knew! … Yeah right. Ha Ha funny. But it isn’t funny; this ‘tradition’ of tolerating and condoning abuse. (see

            Although the perp here “ultimately pleaded guilty to sending inappropriate and (s)exual messages to a female corporal”… “In all, four active-duty and retired general officers testified for Tomko as character witnesses, including retired Gen. John Kelly, former commander of U.S. Southern Command and now White House chief of staff.”

            Go figure.

          • Tom Zupancic says:

            Clearly, the issues Amanda seeks to address in the Scarlet Letter Reports are deeply embedded in the culture of America.

          • Tom Zupancic says:

            What about the victims of abuse? Why have they been ignored? Why have the victims of abuse been attacked as liars? Apparently because this approach, historically, works.

          • just-a-spectator says:

            I hope this answers all your questions.


          • Tom Zupancic says:


            Alas, I have many questions… but if answers are to be found in music what about that famous fiddler, Alison Krauss.

            I lit my love and watched it burn
            Asking nothing in return
            Except the lessons I will learn
            By holding crazy faith

            I’ve been touched by that bright fire
            Down to the root of my desire
            While the smoke it rises higher
            holding crazy faith…


            Ah… the dusky angel voice of Alison Krauss…

          • Tom Zupancic says:

            I especially appreciate the absolutist reality of commenting on Amanda’s blog where a click, like so many actions taken in life, is irreversible. Still, rather than Alison Krauss and Yo Yo Ma (although that session was amazing), I actually intended to link “Crazy Faith”.

          • just-a-spectator says:

            I rewatched that banjo lesson and still find a self centered humor in the context and ambiguity. I’m just old enough to get away with stuff like that. Just old enough to claim I had a stroke or an early onset of dementia. But OK, more to your point. Woman abuse; I’m against it. Next question?

            Per interest a more coherent explanation of this foolery I’ve done centered on the classic Shave and A Haircut riff, which is known as a call and response in music. Shave and A Haircut is comprised of a 5-note call (question, agitation, tension) with a 2-note response (answer, relaxation, release).

            This short scene from Roger Rabbit articulates the shave and a haircut riff well, as no toon can resist responding to it’s call.

            Here’s an example of very extended call with only the last 2 notes releasing. Rag No. 18 “The Coney Island Rag” by David Chesky. The New York Rags (Chesky, 2012).

            Tabloid (cough) journalism, tabloid politics, tabloid religion, tabloid employment or whatever can follow this same way of breathing life into ideas but in the end it’s superficial. Call and response, or tension and release is like a Morse Code trick in our brains that demands a response irregardless of whether the call was sensible, accurate or inspires knowledge. It’s abused more and more as some indication of the truth when actually it’s just something autonomous where the human ear meets the human brain that can be used for kicks or abused.

            The Shave And A Haircut riff in percussion has been addressed as tension and release and i.m.o. there is no finer example of this as the climatic end of The Who’s ‘Won’t Be Fooled Again’. One of the most influential songs of my life for sure and is a worthy read of the lyrics, even though the older I get the more it apparent it becomes that there was an err in the title. But without that adventure of interest in the way the percussion was presented I wouldn’t have taken the effort to investigate the lyrics which were equal to the task.

            So there is a context and thoughts drift to a memoir I bought in 2013 and never opened called Waiting To Be Heard. ** * * *. I have a fairly good idea what’s in that book through a more unique study involving a really high number of serious hours of study, most of it spent weeding through the call and response mechanisms to get to some really simple stuff that hasn’t yet been answered.

            It has not escaped my attention span that it’s not a question. So… meep-meep as a few of us concentrate to learn something from some very stupid people. And that’s not aimed at Knox. She is brave enough to question whether she is smart enough of herself. So I.m.o. I’m sorry dear but you are intelligent. Life will be harder for you. Get use to it. And by the by mistakes don’t count as long as you wonder about them. After all why should you be immune to the old shave and a haircut routine unlike anybody else?

            That said I see your Alison Krauss and raise you an Amber Rubarth.

  25. Mark Saha says:

    Frontline’s “The Confessions” (PBS 2010)

    “Eight men charged. Five confessions. But only one DNA match. Why would four innocent men confess to a brutal crime they didn’t commit?”

    Compelling viewing, and any who haven’t seen this can watch it free here [requires Adobe Flash]. Similarities to Knox case are striking; a young woman is raped and murdered in her bedroom and forensic evidence indicates only one assailant. The sailor living down the hall breaks under interrogation and confesses, but his DNA doesn’t match. Rather than admit the mistake, investigators assume he must have had an accomplice, and get him to finger one. The second sailor also cracks and confesses, but his DNA doesn’t match either, and he is compelled to finger yet another accomplice who … etc.

    The real killer was a serial rapist not in the Navy. When arrested for an unrelated assault, he has nothing to lose and decently informs investigators that all eight accused sailors are innocent. “They didn’t want to hear it,” he says. The four convicted sailors were eventually pardoned but not acquitted; although free, their status as convicted murderers is unchanged, and investigators (unrepentant) are spared the embarrassment of admitting a mistake.

    • Tom Mininger says:

      An excellent analysis of an egregious miscarriage of justice. Thank you.

      Amid all the haters, trolls, and punishment crusaders against the exonerated, there are thoughtful citizens with the genuine question: “Why would someone incriminate themselves and others in a crime they didn’t commit?” I respectfully ask them to learn more about the psychological (and sometimes physical) violence of interrogation methods.

      When an interrogation is conducted with the presumption of guilt, the goal is to break the target, not accept repeated proclamations of innocence. Threats. promises, legal lies and, perhaps worst of all, suggestions on a disoriented mind are employed to attain that goal. Trusting innocents are the most vulnerable to these tactics.

      Here’s a good 9 minute introduction to the topic:

      • just-a-spectator says:

        Concerning the considering of wrongful interrogations all someone needs to consider is what happens on sleazy used car lots everyday. The bag of tricks is basically the same stuff. I’d ask somebody skilled at this to explain it, but frakly I wouldn’t trust anything they had to say.

        It is very human to expect perfection from every interrogated or accused. And if they are flawed to cannibalize those flaws as indication of something sinister.

        This is the brunt of it. Why is the accused expected to be perfect?

  26. Mark Saha says:

    Student life at Roanoke College …

    “When we aren’t being lazy, we like to do typical Roanoke College things like go to Mill Mountain and check out different events on campus like basketball games and the Amanda Knox speech,” says Hodge.

  27. Tom Mininger says:

    You did an excellent job with your Dublin TV interview. It was both inspiring and gut wrenching. It broke my heart to hear again about the predatory prison official. It’s my understanding that Argiro was charged with rape and extortion involving other prisoners. I assume you were high profile enough to be spared the worst from him, as if what you endured wasn’t bad enough.

    Corrupt Perugia police,
    a prosecutor with a history of bizarre group crime theories, repeated crime lab perjury, predatory prison official… No parent wants their kid at the mercy of corrupt authority figures, whether it is 6000 miles from home, or just down the street.

    I also recommend Jason Flom’s podcast where Amanda and fellow exonerees describe Christmas season behind bars. I loved the part about the little girl in prison, with her Mom, who never talked. Then one day you heard her singing the song you sang at the holiday season show.

    • Tom Mininger says:

      Dublin TV interview. Amanda is introduced at about the 44:10 mark:

      • just-a-spectator says:

        The whole show was good and the interview with Amanda was a nice change from the slam damn her type of thing. There be gentlemen in Ireland. It’s regrettable that they leave issues of their show up on the web for only an month or so.

        Oddly because of this appearance I have acquired a mysterious interest in old Irish rebel songs.

    • Tom Zupancic says:

      Thank you Tom Mininger for posting this link to Amanda’s interview on the Ray D’Arcy show. Her courage in standing up to injustice remains to be recognized. Here she explains how what was done to her is so typical of intrinsic flaws in so called ‘justice systems’.

      As she explains (she presumed), “What mattered was the truth” thus she assumed (the whole point of the courtroom was to boil down all of this crazy information… until all you get is the truth).

      Instead she found that ‘the courtroom is a battleground of story telling’… where the most compelling story, and not necessarily the most truthful one wins.

      Amanda articulates, “I didn’t realize that the world was so unfair.”

      The take home message being that this concept of ‘justice’, that people like to believe, does not actually exist in our world.

      Rather, innocent and vulnerable people are systematically victimized. People need to realize this.

  28. just a parent says:


    Congratulations on your reception at Roanoke College! I see in the local newspaper’s on-line edition they had to move the event to a larger venue and still turned away over two hundred. I’m truly sorry for those who could not get in, but certainly pleased for you.

    Sadly, I cannot avoid also seeing the tabloid headlines that you are `paid to talk about Meredith’s murder.’ I must be careful here, I know, for you will not let post what I really think of these people, even as you labor to patch your life back together after they smeared you and bankrupted your family from no more motivation than filthy lucre, so I will just say my belief that their soullessness has no bottom, which is a declaration I am not prepared to make even of Rudy Guede.

    All that aside, how did you like the Shenandoah? I wonder did you feel there the texture of your country’s founding ideals at the southern pole of its beating heart, for truly between the Shenandoah and Boston has been first imagined and then contended in this land nearly every noble aspect we would assign ourselves. And what of the history, did you sense it? John Brown’s fuse-lighting at Harper’s Ferry. J.E.B. Stuart’s cavalry thundering up the valley to press the capitol and draw the Yankees back from Lee before Richmond. Whitaker Chambers secluded away at his Pipe Creek Farm near Winchester to write in perhaps the most momentous book of the 20th century that “each of us hangs always upon the cross of himself.” Ernest King in quiet respite from towering responsibility.

    It is a serenely beautiful place, especially in autumn lace along the Blue Ridge, where to trek its shimmering maze of maples and hickories clad all-too-briefly gold-green can make one feel he has entered another dimension. Surely at this stage of life there isn’t much better than early morning coffee and something to write from an overlooking Blue Ridge cabin with a porch swing, except maybe an evening beer in the same setting with Jesse Stuart’s poetry.

    But most of all in this stormy era the Shenandoah makes me think of the great Hollywood Director/Producer/Writer Frank Capra, whose entire life was a love letter to this nation. Why Capra? Well, because barely more than a half-hour east of Roanoke College, on the road to Charlottesville, is the little town of Bedford, which in the first hours of June 6, 1944, had nineteen of its thirty-five National Guardsmen sons perish in the first assault wave on Omaha Beach, with another half-dozen lost in the days following. This is why Congress selected Bedford for the National D-Day Memorial, and I cannot but believe it also is the reason Capra gave the name “Bedford Falls” to the setting of his 1946 reverential classic “It’s A Wonderful Life,” with its lead role performed by a real-life former squadron commander of the Eighth Air Force.

    This fellow Capra is worth contemplating. With a lineage precisely of the sort our Cadet Bone Spurs so disdains, it’s pretty likely his dim prospects at birth in Sicily had not much improved by the time his destitute parents left for America five years later. Barely European, and Catholic to boot, it’s easy to imagine them in 1902 as much like the 50,000 or so we now allow into this country each year under the diversity immigrant program, only in those days the destitute came in far greater numbers. Anyway, after passing through Ellis Island the family continued to Southern California, where the unskilled father picked fruit to support the family and young Frank undertook the sort of dreaming ascent that can scarcely occur without quality public education, finishing high school and then working his way through Cal Tech to a degree in Chemical Engineering.

    How Capra transitioned into movies I do not know, or care. It doesn’t matter. What does matter is what his father said to him of a torch held high above the land they were about to enter. “Look! Look at that! That’s the greatest light since the star of Bethlehem! That’s the light of freedom! Remember that. Freedom.”

    Has anyone noticed that no such fidelity is ever heard from the ideology now at the helm of our government? This nativistic cabal’s rise to power is terror’s greatest achievement, for unlike the mass-murdering Nihilists these so-called “nationalists” can seriously disrupt our absorption of those self-selecting intrepid souls across the world who would nourish our freedom. These two vile impulses need one another – each vitally serves the other’s recruitment and distractions – while their reciprocating hatred is of the same sort as was between the Nazis and Communists, rooted in competition to the same dark ends.

    Mr. Schumer has not yet comprehended the stakes. He sees only hostages needing rescue and would concede walls to gain their release. Perhaps if he would read Adolph Eichmann’s instruction of Werner Beck about the seduction of principle in Herman Wouk’s War and Remembrance he might realize the demanded walls, both literal and statutory, are more to shrivel our spirit than harden our frontiers.

    The Resistance must have no part in this abandoning a core ideal at the insistence of a president nearly ten million votes shy of a majority. Almost nothing could worse betray America’s self-image, or demoralize its self-confidence, or succor its fascists. Let immigration stand front and center for decision by the people in November, and as for the hostages in the meantime, if Mr. Mendacious dares to actually move against them we should obstruct him in every way possible short of violence. We know how; Gandhi and Bonhoeffer, Harriet Tubman and M.L. King, have shown us.

    Keep up the good work, lady!

    • Tom Zupancic says:

      Just a Parent

      For a long time I have been posting and reading nothing. Now I read your post, and it cheers me.

    • Tom Mininger says:

      Given the American identity, immigration policy has ebbed and flowed as an important topic for 400 years and will continue to do so far into the future. The vetting of visitors has rightly been treated as a priority since 9/11/2001. Demagogues bringing their toxic fearmongering and scapegoating into the debate to “shrivel our spirit” is nothing new. I hope we work past it as we have done before.

      • just a parent says:


        I hope so as well, and while I do realize xenophobia and nativism are not new to this country, my first thought on reading your post was `400 years?’ Then scanning the index of my Sandburg on Lincoln for “know nothings” I came across this of the great man in 1854: “. . . when Know-Nothings called on him he was reported as saying the red man in breechclout and with tomahawk was the true native American. `We pushed them from their homes, and now turn on others not fortunate enough to come over so early as we or our forefathers.'” So okay, 400 years; you and our 16th president are right of course, and I’m ashamed to have never thought of it that way.

        Then on the next page I located the passage I was really looking for, also from 1854: “Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring `all men are created equal.’ We now practically read it `all men are created equal, except negroes.’ When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read `all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and catholics.’ When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty – to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.”

        In harness of that hypocrisy we persisted with 100 years of injustice even after slaughtering over 600,000 of one another. God forbid we ever let anyone put us under that yoke again.

        All this for me sums to a devotion I think maybe you share. Memorial Day. Or for me actually the Friday preceding. Every year on that day after work I drive to a small town in north Mississippi to put out flags where VA stones in an old cemetery mark my father and three of his four younger brothers, the fourth still living. Upon three of those stones are engraved Navy wings, one with two stars as well, and every year as I brush them clean of pecan litter and measure exactly twelve inches centered distance to plant the flags I cannot but remember the torments occasionally manifest in men who too young have seen things unendurable to remember but impossible to forget. Then after pulling weeds from the perimeter of that final homestead last year I took a seat on the tailgate and opened my phone for the time, 7:04.

        My thoughts turned to another serviceman, a brand new 2nd Lieutenant in Maryland who a few days before had lost his life to a drunk racist for the sin of being black and manly, which caused me to contemplate the first Commander-in-Chief of black soldiers and then to deliberate whether his political party, conceived from a conviction that liberty is not a birthright of white men only, might perish by its abandonment of that faith, or would that party’s myriad tactics to selectively obstruct and negate the franchise, aided by a perverted application of technology, rather extinguish liberty itself. Next crashed over me a notion that precisely that disenfranchisement might have been what inspired the ongoing endeavor by an alien state to wreck this nation’s confidence in its elections, which I no sooner dismissed than grasped the bigger truth that there is no real difference between these depredations. However variable the motivation for these attacks, and whatever their source, the injury they inflict on the trust a free people must have in their vital institutions has equivalent lethality, and if we do not expose and repel them we may expect more such provocations.

        I stayed the night at that little town and went on to Oxford the next morning, where at The Grove after Square Books I selected an oak to lounge under and plot my tour of old haunts. It was the day before graduation, I think, and though not particularly hot it was smothering almost to the point of suffocation, so I soon gave it up and headed home after briefly paying my respects at Rowan Oak. En route I heard on the radio about the Portland murders, one victim a 23-year Army veteran, and was assailed with an awful intuition. As soon as I got in the house I went to the internet and sure enough, in the exact moments I was tending those graves Sergeant Best and young Meche were perishing at the hands of yet another drunk bigot. Why must these punks so often be intoxicated; do they hope it will give them an excuse, or is a bottle the only place they can find courage? Always they are liquored-up, or they gang-up, or they ambush, or they back-shoot, or their target is weak or hobbled by an imperative to shield another. Truly cowardice must be no less organic to bigotry than hate. Reckon how many dozens of drunk bigots it takes to equal one Vernon Dahmer, or Medgar Evers, or Michael Schwerner?

        And then, not many weeks later, Charlottesville.

        America today is at once enormously benefited and gravely threatened by its ethnic and religious diversity, for even as a large portion of the world’s most aspirational spirits identify this nation as the place where they can gain their dreams notwithstanding complexion or faith, their presence and success feeds the narrative of those in this country who reject the notion of America as a nation founded on an idea and seek power by resort to tribal antipathy. Not for them is fidelity to human dignity and freedom, but rather a cleaving into which time and again across the globe has been sown history’s ugliest landscapes. Such bounders always have been among us, I agree, but never before have they been at the helm of our nation, succored by a powerful foe. We are in perilous waters without a chart.

    • just-a-spectator-only says:

      … as well as be guarded to exaggerations, even if those are from people that are extraordinarily likeable. People who step up to the plate and value the truth.

      Trump, 62,984,825 (official count)
      Clinton, 65,853,516 (official count)
      difference, 2,868,691 (official difference)

      claimed difference, 10,000,000
      exaggeration of difference, 349%

      “Official 2016 Presidential General Election Results” (PDF). Federal Election Commission. January 30, 2017. Retrieved March 13, 2017.

      (It’s science.)
      So were you trying to give Clinton votes she didn’t earn, or were you trying to take votes away from the guy who did? Explain that and then let’s talk about America. I fear that math will need to be part of that discussion.

      • just a parent says:


        A total of 136,669,237 votes were cast in the 2016 presidential race, with the winner receiving 62,984,825 of them, just as you cite. That’s a majority deficit of 10,699,588 votes, three-quarters of which, after subtracting out Clinton’s 2,868,691 vote advantage, went to Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson or Green candidate Jill Stein, both of whose views on immigration were at least as moderate as Clinton’s. Indeed, I seem to remember Johnson saying something to the effect that his main notion of border control was a speed limit on the eighteen-wheelers trading back-and-forth over the Rio Grande, which, to be sure, is not a view I share. Hence, what you call an “exaggeration” is in fact an under-calculation of 760,586 votes, which on review I realize occurred because I did not inquire into the category called “other.” Believe it or not those names (Donald Duck, Sheldon Cooper?) actually exceeded the total vote for such serious write-ins as Bernie Sanders and my choice John Kasich by more than a factor of six.

        So I return to my point. Let’s have this fight in the American way – a full and open debate, then vote – with no tolerance for making hostage of innocent people, as that is a tactic of our enemies by which they no doubt would love for us to subvert ourselves.

      • Tom Zupancic says:

        Huh? what does this have to do with understanding intrinsic societal antagonism towards women…?

      • just-a-drummer says:

        I am still waiting to be heard. Why did you amplify your advisories numbers? Under the guise of basic expectation of basic civility? I’m safe ground so step up and I’ll impugn your point and have your back all at the same time. Why did you do that when your primary point was so pristine?

        Let’s talk.

      • Tom Zupancic says:

        Apparently Mao Zedong once proclaimed that ‘Women hold up half the sky’. The comment by just-a-spectator-only made me wonder. Given all of the complex motivations here, is it possible the fraction of the sky held up by women has been misrepresented?

    • just-a-spectator-only says:

      I’m calling bullshit on your 10-million number. Effectively you embellished the math of your point, which contains much of my point and I do not approve of that tactic.

      President Trump is rightfully in the White house because of a 3-million difference. And it is reckless to suggest that the effective difference of 3-mil, or even 10-mil is some indication that he is more of a minority leader then he actually is or that any non-Trump voter can be called “the resistance”.

      You used a tactic that is more appropriately used by the side your against. Unfortunately it works and at least at this juncture since we are on the same side I would prefer to be one of the good guys.

      In your haste you forgot about 190,000,000 somebodies who didn’t vote for Trump either. If I’m going to have a discussion about America I’m not going to forget about them. That’s the other guys job. In fact it’s them who are front and center in my thoughts.

      If I were to start that discussion it’s no bigger then a tweet.

      Back in 80’s this nation decided amongst a tone that once again found the liberals were a scourge upon Americana. And as a direct result the Capraesque vision of Pottersville, USA became a good idea. And now here we are. A nation trending towards a system of lords and renters.

      • just a parent says:

        Actually Trump is in the White House, rightfully or no, because of a total 82,256 vote difference in his favor spread over three states in the Rust Belt.

        • just-a-spectator says:

          Yes I can accept those numbers and yes that was basically a tie. And yes to the point you avoided that it was a tie brought about by a 2.8 million difference in the popular vote that you called 10-million for any public consumption that might have been drawn here to read it because of the name above every blog post has Amanda Knox on it.

          Do you concur?

  29. Tom Zupancic says:

    As the date for publishing The Scarlet Letter Reports approaches I was thinking about how long standing paradigms were being challenged. I was also thinking about generational change, wondering if perhaps there was any continuity… a discernible trend… some logic… or not.

    Clearly, it is not clear.

    In any event at least some representatives from multiple generations would agree that it is important to speak out even if we don’t necessarily agree on what the issues are that we speak out about.

    So, allow me to post this link from a young person born in 2006. She has an amazing voice.

    Amanda, people like you and Jadyn Rylee will create the future.

    • Tom Zupancic says:

      Just one more. Off thread… or maybe not, Stairway to Heaven cover by Jadyn Rylee

    • Tom Zupancic says:

      Okay, just one more, and this time I mean it (probably). But no discussion of public shaming based on gender ought to occur without appreciating the broader context that gender bias plays in popular culture and perception. A specific example… the paradigm holds that only a ‘guy’ can be an effective rock drummer. No woman, let alone some ‘girl’, could possible play the drums at an elite level. (give us a break, right?)

      Brace yourselves… let me introduce you to Sina (she did the percussion on Jadyn Rylee’s Stairway to Heaven) Check it out for yourself:

      Could gender bias possibly be an ingrained cultural reality that leads lots of people to draw illogical/irrational conclusions?

      • Tom Mininger says:

        Caroline “Chick with Stick” Corr broke the male drummer stereotype for me.

      • just-a-drummer says:

        There some kismet happening here. I too have been aware of the Sina-drums YouTube channel.

        Here’s another young artist Sina and her dad have worked with from California named Avonlea, who just blows me away with her talent.

        “Something” by The Beatles ~ Cover by Avonlea & Sina

        “Kylie Jenner” Original Song by Avonlea, a production made on a shoestring family and friends effort.

        * * * * *

        The Sina-drums channel on YouTube came to my attention when I was looking for a free drumless tracks for some classic AC/DC and found this by Sina. It’s a drum cover of AC/DC’s Whole Lotta Rosie.

        Obviously Sina is as cute as a button and even though it may not sound like it, the drums on this are 100% her. And she nailed the livin crap out of this cover from technical standpoints that really would only be apparent to another drummer. In short she plays loose and fat, and the result is tight. She let’s the sticks be sticks. She has an understanding of communing with the sticks, instead of squeezing the life out of them. If you happen to watch this pay attention to her grip and that right pinky finger and the left thumb, as well as where those sticks go on the follow through and how she augments those follow through. It’s intentional technique. She’s got an understanding of the dynamics.

        Karen Carpenter was not a singer who could drum. First and foremost Carpenter was a drummer who could sing, This is undisputed by anybody who knows anything about drumming. She was a virtuoso talent on the drums. A reality for Carpenter was that for marketing purposes it was thought to be best that she sing front and center because “girls don’t play the drums”.

        My favorite part of this sina-drums cover of Whole Lotta Rosie happens at the end at 5:24 when she glimmers a bit of expression on her face. The slight look that says she knew she nailed it. She wouldn’t need somebody like me to confirm it. That glimmer that said she achieved her own expectations. I could watch those few seconds over and over again. From time to time I’m sure I’ve probably done the same thing.

        Sina knows what she’s doing and drummers don’t play like that unless they love it. It’s really something to catch a respective moment like that, when something like that happens. It’s earned and it’s real. And yes girls can play the drums. Sina’s not a girl who can play the drums. She’s a drummer who happens to be a girl.

        • Tom Zupancic says:


          You nailed it!

          • Tom Zupancic says:

            Regarding Sina:

            (actually I went to Marburg, one time… I climbed a hill to some castle there; but did not meet Sina… actually this was before she was born…)

            so much for ships passing in the night

          • just-a-spectator says:

            You nailed it. “It’s complicated.” Probably the single most understated truth about what happened to Knox and what so many of us are recovering from still. Including you.

            Being a big picture thinker can really suck.

  30. Hey, How are you doing these days? Haven’t seen a post for awhile. Hope your new year brings a great year of creative production and collaboration. I’m working on my writing, a several book series, on Vashon. Ever want to meet to write together and share my “Book of Twelve” and “Book of Tangents and Chords” with you and hear about your experiences first hand? My life has been crazy intense over the last year (2017) traveling all over the American West [Identity Quest] #AWIQ … 2018 has been calmer renting on a nice land near Quartermaster Bay working on art, design, and screenplay ideas. Wish I could share the incredible and relevant stories that occur around me with you…

  31. Jack Friend says:

    I am happy that you continue to champion the cause of those wrongly accused. It is so needed and important from one who has been there.

    The explosion of media coverage and mere diversity of it today makes it very difficult for many to receive a fair trial, especially in the court of public opinion. Criminal justice systems and prisons around the world are full of poor people who are not able to fight the charges against them due to lack of economic resources.

    It is easy to hate and dehumanize the other, a stranger we do not know. Many use these high profile cases to justify and minimize their own problems, at least I am not like that person. Camus’ The Stranger deals with this most artfully. Meursault was not on trial for murder but for dangerous ideas and behaving in a way that was outside so called societal norms of expected behavior. Was Amanda Knox really on trial for murder or behaving in a way some did not like or refuse to understand? Was she on trial for the splits, inappropriate laughing, daring to be caught on camera kissing?

    I don’t know Amanda Knox any more today than before I even heard her name. However, I refuse to believe what I hear in the news media about anybody. I chose to read between the lines of what I read about her and other persons who are convicted or accused of crimes. I observed the actions of family, friends who moved to Italy, etc. and it gave me a different perception of what was being presented. These were people with first-hand experience. Moreover, as a man I never believed the narrative of the helpless man so enamored with a young woman he knew for 5 days that he would risk his own freedom to murder for her and then refuse to incriminate her for years. Looking past the stereotypes I was able to see a daughter, granddaughter, sister, cousin, friend, someone who was a person.

    Once we buy into the stereotype presented by a prosecutor, law enforcement, media, etc. it is much easier for the constitutional rights of the accused to be violated. Once one person is robbed of those rights, it can jeopardize us all and make us all less free. It is not a just society where Casey Anthony has to live in hiding for she was found not guilty in a trial by her peers.

    It is ironic the news media that loves to champion the woman’s march, Me Too movement, etc. was so complicit in airing the very biased views of Amanda Knox and many other females accused of crimes without any question whether what was being presented to them was an accurate picture of the accused. They do so to sell and while the constitutional protections of a free press enables them to do so, the solution lies not in censorship but in each reader taking the time to question whether what they are reading is true, of course, easier said than done. Many prefer the easy route of simply believing all that is printed or spoken by the media.

    My support for Amanda and other falsely accused persons has always contained a selfish motive. I have my own daughters who I want to have full protection in the event they are in the wrong place at the wrong time and a prosecutor takes a dislike to how they behave in a certain situation. That is why I support Amanda, The Innocence Project, etc. I want my daughters to be as protected as possible against wrongful accusations.

    Having daughters makes the current national conversation on issues pertaining to women equally important to me. I did not raise my daughters to inherently view themselves in any way as lesser than men nor to view their sexuality differently than a man views his. Sadly at times outside messages can hamper your efforts as a parent. As men we should treat the women we encounter in the same manner we desire other men to treat our wives, daughters, mothers, etc.

    Prayers to all those who are innocent and in prison today.

  32. just-a-spectator-only says:

    The works of Dr. Tracy Vaillancourt of the University of Ottawa crossed my path on the subject of bullying. As a leading researcher and expert in the area of bullying and victimization of children with a particular focus on social neuroscience, it is the neuroscience of bullying that got my attention. I’m sure there are probably others in this line of study, but this is the one I know of and identify with the research.
    The implications are huge. Even though Dr. Vaillancourt’s focus is on children there are implications of that study that spreads across whole spectrum’s of business, employment, politics, religion and justice. Not to mention the unreasonable stigmatization of women who find themselves volunteered into the public eye. Or the women who volunteer themselves by choice or simply because of a lack of viable options. Many actresses and entertainers have famously found that they volunteered to be bullied on a highly unexpected magnitude. But this does not explain why some women make better target’s then others, or in my case men. Perhaps there is an x-factor to this where there is some effect of bully type casting at work that I don’t yet fully understand.
    This was presented to the Halton Catholic District School in Canada so there is an appropriate proselytism at the beginning. Vaillancourt starts at 5:00 and her presentation is about an hour long. I don’t believe I’m off subject.
    Some observations from this presentation;
    * Bullies enjoy higher standards of emotional health, social standing and financial success. This indicates a socio-economic reinforcement of bullying behavours.
    * Highly skilled bullies have a higher resilience and possibly even a natural blindness to being bullied themselves. It’s the blindness that worries me most.
    * Males tend to bully directly and females tend to bully indirectly.
    * Female type bullying traits are more injurious, so as a male this is a terrifying thought but explains much.
    * There may be an underlying genetic coding where bullying can alter DNA markers in the receptor. This research stops short of indicating that as a trait preexisting. This one I suspected to be true before you were born.

    • Tom Zupancic says:


      Fascinating post. How to understand purposeful antagonistic behavior? In particular, how to understand why our society appears to reward such behavior. (In the case of public shaming our society appears to actually savor it.)

      Empathy is perhaps the antithesis of bullying… or maybe not. Or rather are these traits independent? Are such behaviors treated differently in different cultures? Or is what we observe here a fundamental reality of being human?

      Clearly, there is a lot to discuss.

  33. Tom Mininger says:

    Hey Amanda, Kirstin “Blaise” Lobato was just exonerated! Perhaps you will interview her one day.

  34. Tom Zupancic says:

    Ironically, Vice Media, the conduit for Amanda’s “Scarlet Letter Reports” is now potentially one more example of the problem: “At Vice cutting edge media and allegations of sexual harassment”.

    The implication appears to be that the problem of sexual harassment is quite ubiquitous (like duh, some might say).

    So how does that affect credibility? How does that affect what people think about what the authors at Vice Media communicate?

  35. Tom Zupancic says:

    Seattle and Iceland. Do they anything in common? … creative, insightful women perhaps?

    Bjork waded out a while back…

    She gave her contemporary version of an antique poem that nobody could ever figure out, “I will wade out” by ee cummings.

    Nothing is ever more complicated than stuff like trying to decide what some artist meant. Not like trying to understand how people behave; or why we treat each other the way we do.

    Everybody has that figured out. Obviously. Of course, we are sure we are right. Everyone’s personal understanding of human behavior is quite clear. So, what could an artist’s perspective possibly add?

    one has to wonder.

  36. james says:

    Congratulations on the upcoming series and a Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  37. Stefan C. Limbrunner says:

    Congratulations! I will definitely be looking forward to it and am delighted that this highly relevant and important topic receives the public treatment and attention that is so long overdue. It urgently needs adressing and you unwillingly became an expert on it. I commend your courage to put yourself into the spotlight for it.

  38. justme says:

    Congratulations on the new platform. Each day you refuse to be silenced and each day you choose how to speak shows a strength far beyond your years.

  39. Tom Zupancic says:

    The Scarlet Letter Reports, “an exploration of the gendered nature of public shaming” is both timely and important.

    The classic/traditional disclaimers will invariably be delivered in response… as the victims speak. Well established biases will be defended to support the various offenders, etc.

    So, can/will a transformational dialog ever be created? Can what people are like be understood? Can the way people behave ever change? Can a new generation make an impact?

  40. an innocent bystander says:

    I will watch with loving interest. But no way am I ever going to get a Facebook data mining account.

    I was going to add the quote “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken” widely and almost unanimously attributed to Oscar Wilde in a response to a crying child who said “I’m nothing like anybody.”

    But me being me had to double check it’s authenticity. After an hour of checking it seems that there is no evidence to suggest that this is a true attribution to Oscar Wilde. It appears that the best attribution to a person is to somebody named Gilbert Perreira from some obscure usenet thread from September of 2000. Well who in the hell is Gilbert Perreira?

    But just prior to this it also appeared in a newspaper circular for a chain of home improvement stores in the Midwest called Menards around the same time, an ad as in the like of those tea companies (that I like) that print quotes on the box to make the tea seem more like an experience rather then just good tea thoughtfully packaged in a box.

    The quotes from the bottom of the newspaper circular:

    “People who do things that count, never stop to count them.”
    “Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.”
    “Try not to become a person of success but rather a person of value.”

    But I like the sentiment anyway so this seems reasonable accurate.

    “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken” (September 2000. Menard’s Home Improvement Stores, “dedicated to service and quality”)

  41. Tom Mininger says:

    I hope it will be available on whatever screen older people are watching.

    • Amanda says:

      Alas, The Scarlet Letter Reports is limited to the web. You’ll be able to see it on Facebook Watch and

      • Tom Mininger says:

        We’ll have to help some of our octogenarian and beyond fellow citizens watch it online. Although not as many as you might think. I know one who played Bridge online right up until her passing.

  42. Tom Zupancic says:

    Fascinating and intriguing. The times they are indeed a changin’. In attempting to place contemporary reality and how people actually communicate now into some accepted historical context we obviously have to consider Marshal McLuhan – “the medium is the message” guy … did he actually get anything right? (As an aside, I would offer, in McLuhan’s defense, that Sigmund Freud has also faced similar questions.) How does our understanding of ourselves progress? (does it?)

    That said, fascinating and intriguing.

    We shall see.

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