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Ermm... uh...

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#1
Cousin Ricky

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I was dying to say this, but the comments section under this video just doesn't seem like the right place.



Who names their kid “Lolita”?

 
(Also not appropriate for this video are the comments referring to Annie. Annie is the Wednesday kid, and she's by far the most popular, but her fan club seems a bit out of control. There will be some psychotic breakdowns when she moves on.)


Edited by Cousin Ricky, 05 October 2015 - 08:58 AM.

“Facts seem to roll off a Christian like water off a duck.” —Great Ape

“How much can you actually doubt something and still maintain that you believe it?” —Josh K, “Alpha and Omega”

“You don’t understand. My crisis of faith is over.

#2
Ungodly

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If she survives high school she should be OK after that.

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#3
Great Ape

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1. Lolita was the nickname of one of the principal characters in Vladimir Nabokov's novel Lolita. Lolita's actual name was Dolores, with whom the narrator, Humbert Humbert, develops a sexual obsession. Lola (diminutive: Lolita) is a common hypocorism for Dolores in some Spanish-speaking countries.

2. Nevertheless, "Lolita" and "loli" has come to be used as a general reference to a seductive or sexually attractive young girl.

Wikipedia lists it as a related term for nubile.

I believe today, especially on the internet, Lolita is associated more with definition number 2. Perhaps her parents were unaware of this when they named her.

                                          


#4
Storybook

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Ouch! That fall Annie took on the balance beam looked painful.

#5
Cousin Ricky

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Ouch! That fall Annie took on the balance beam looked painful.


But did you see the follow-up video where she got right back up and finished her routine? What a trooper!
“Facts seem to roll off a Christian like water off a duck.” —Great Ape

“How much can you actually doubt something and still maintain that you believe it?” —Josh K, “Alpha and Omega”

“You don’t understand. My crisis of faith is over.

#6
Storybook

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But did you see the follow-up video where she got right back up and finished her routine? What a trooper!


No, I missed that! Wow, she is amazing.

#7
Cousin Ricky

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There’s been an interesting development. Over the past couple of months, all the comments to Lolita’s videos have been moderated. This is not the case with most videos on the SAK channel. I don’t know if it’s a coincidence, but the moderation started two weeks after one of her videos was flagged as spam and removed an hour after it was posted.

No one seems to know what could be construed as inappropriate in that video. (I never saw it myself, as it was taken down after it showed up on my list, but before I clicked on it.) Perhaps nothing at all, as YouTube has (as we know from experience) a guilty-until-proven-innocent policy.

My guess is that they’re having trouble with idiots who see the word “Lolita,” assume the worst, and knee-jerk a response without thinking first. Or perhaps they’re just screening out references to Nabokov—probably a good idea.

I wonder how baby Hashtag will make it through life.

Edited by Cousin Ricky, 02 January 2013 - 05:21 PM.

“Facts seem to roll off a Christian like water off a duck.” —Great Ape

“How much can you actually doubt something and still maintain that you believe it?” —Josh K, “Alpha and Omega”

“You don’t understand. My crisis of faith is over.

#8
Ungodly

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I wonder how baby Hashtag will make it through life.


Perhaps 18 years from now this child will sue her parents? The poor child will suffer in school.

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#9
Cousin Ricky

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(Also not appropriate for this video are the comments referring to Annie. Annie is the Wednesday kid, and she's by far the most popular, but her fan club seems a bit out of control. There will be some psychotic breakdowns when she moves on.)

 
The HuffPost article about the Tennessee county commissioner had a side link to an article about the death of 13 year old Caleb LeBlanc (a.k.a. Caleb Logan Bratayley). Caleb was Annie's brother.


“Facts seem to roll off a Christian like water off a duck.” —Great Ape

“How much can you actually doubt something and still maintain that you believe it?” —Josh K, “Alpha and Omega”

“You don’t understand. My crisis of faith is over.

#10
Ungodly

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13 year old children are rarely said to have died of natural causes.  It's an emotionally volatile age, I hope the child did not harm himself.


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#11
Cousin Ricky

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Initial reports were that it was heart failure (which suggests to me an undiagnosed heart condition, as he was active in sports, and no one expected this). Someone mentioned that he was agitated about a storm that was passing through the area, but I don't know that person's connection to the family. A later report says that the cause is not yet determined. The family, quite understandably, is not saying much.

 

The idea that a 13 year old can drop dead out of the blue is really scary.


“Facts seem to roll off a Christian like water off a duck.” —Great Ape

“How much can you actually doubt something and still maintain that you believe it?” —Josh K, “Alpha and Omega”

“You don’t understand. My crisis of faith is over.

#12
Ungodly

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Initial reports were that it was heart failure (which suggests to me an undiagnosed heart condition, as he was active in sports, and no one expected this). Someone mentioned that he was agitated about a storm that was passing through the area, but I don't know that person's connection to the family. A later report says that the cause is not yet determined. The family, quite understandably, is not saying much.

 

The idea that a 13 year old can drop dead out of the blue is really scary.

 

We seem to hear of this sudden heart attack death among young people after or during athletic activities a few times every year.  My very deepest sympathy to the family, that is such a bright, hopeful age in a kids life, they must be devastated.


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#13
Cousin Ricky

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Someone mentioned that he was agitated about a storm that was passing through the area, but I don't know that person's connection to the family.

 

I'm going to tentatively discount the storm theory. According to the rumor mill, the storm in question was Hurricane Joachín, which was over the Bahamas at the time, and by then they were already predicting that it would miss the USA entirely.


“Facts seem to roll off a Christian like water off a duck.” —Great Ape

“How much can you actually doubt something and still maintain that you believe it?” —Josh K, “Alpha and Omega”

“You don’t understand. My crisis of faith is over.

#14
Cousin Ricky

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The autopsy results have come back, and the cause of death was cardiomyopathy.  There is a family history of this defect, but the kids were all tested in the past, and the tests were all negative.

On the belief front, I have watched a few more of their videos, and they definitely subscribe to one of the many Christian brands of delusion with the standard Heaven option included—although that is not obvious from their videos. It is also clear that the many YouTube comments that Caleb is looking down on them from heaven does not creep them out. Nevertheless, while they repeatedly profess that Caleb is still with them, they behave as if they know that he’s just fucking dead. I.e., like most Christians, they are perfectly normal humans.

I have not watched the memorial service (I don’t even know if it’s archived), but that might reveal more information about their particular brand of Christianity.

The recent videos have deliberately focused on the happier moments in the family, but every so often, you can spot the loss in their faces. The 7 year old seems to be handling it well; Annie (11), not so much.


“Facts seem to roll off a Christian like water off a duck.” —Great Ape

“How much can you actually doubt something and still maintain that you believe it?” —Josh K, “Alpha and Omega”

“You don’t understand. My crisis of faith is over.

#15
Cousin Ricky

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Two things are certain:

  1. There are sickos in this world.
  2. The world isn’t as sick as the people who look for sickos think it is.

First, the sicko.

In mid-August, the SevenAwesomeKids videos abruptly stopped posting. After several days of no new videos and no word from the channel, their website, or the kids themselves why not, I looked at the other channels affiliated with SAK (collectively known as the SAKs channels). None of them were posting either. General Web searches revealed no news.

Eventually, someone commented to the last posted video that the owner of the channels is in jail. For harassing 3 of the teenage girls on one of the other SAKs channels. Shit. Why can’t we have nice things?

And now the fishing expedition.

Upon hearing about the arrest, I had new search terms to work with. Skeptic as I am, I had to investigate. And what I found was ugly. The SAKs channels kept turning up on lists of pedophile channels on YouTube. One person who had it in for the channels said that the owner was using the channels as a vehicle for a pedophile ring. He cited some dark themes, such as the number of videos shot in the kids’ bedrooms, one particular video where the kid was duct taped to her bed (BDSM!), and even that “SAKs” sounded like “sex.” He even alleged that the perp had encouraged the girls to wear skimpy clothing. Personally, I’ve noticed that nearly all the kids on the SAKs channels are girls.

One thing that has amazed me about the Internet is how many people can see pictures or videos of kids, and immediately think “pedophiles!” Kids happen to spend a lot of time in their bedrooms. (Duh!) The duct tape video? I’d seen it, and there were absolutely no sexual connotations in the video. “SAKs”? You gotta be kidding me. I guess we’ll have to ban kids from saxophone lessons.

As for the skimpy clothing, I had figured that some of the kids hadn’t been fully indoctrinated into the prudery that adults frantically impose on them. Quite charming, if you ask me. But if it’s not the kids’ own initiative, but an adult pressuring them, well, that is just creepy and unacceptable. But not only was this guy short on evidence, I personally see no consistent pattern of skimpy dress on the channels! Some girls wore short pants some of the time, and oddly enough, they only did so when it was hot outside. There was also a pattern with the swimsuits: they only wore them when they went swimming. And to me, the death knell for this claim is the parents. What parent wouldn’t immediately pull the child and call law enforcement the moment they got wind of this? The channels would have been shut down years ago. As it is, there is no word about the perp’s 6 employees being arrested.

 

I think someone has posted an entire screed based on confirmation bias.

As for why nearly all the kids are girls: in the early years of the channels, the auditions were public, and approximately 98% of the applicants were girls. I looked at the boys’ auditions, and frankly, most of them were terrible. No conspiracy here.

I can see how pedophiles might rub themselves off on these videos. After all, kiddie porn doesn’t exactly show up in Google searches, and some pedophiles might not want to go through the trouble of ferreting out the real stuff only to put themselves at legal risk. But hypothetical pedophiles getting off on innocent kids’ videos in the privacy of their own homes does not constitute a civil emergency.

The worst scandal here actually has nothing to do with the SAKs owner: questions have been raised about The Google collecting information about kids watching the videos. Meh, just the typical age-old corporate sleaze. Hank Green has a channel geared towards children, and no one calls child exploitation over that channel. The allegations against the SAKs owner are horrendous, and if they are true, he should rot in jail for a long time after his fair trial. But I see nothing nefarious about the channels themselves.

Regrettably, though, for the millions of children who enjoyed the channels, it seems this chapter in life is closed.
 


“Facts seem to roll off a Christian like water off a duck.” —Great Ape

“How much can you actually doubt something and still maintain that you believe it?” —Josh K, “Alpha and Omega”

“You don’t understand. My crisis of faith is over.

#16
Ungodly

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You did a great job investigating this. 


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#17
Cousin Ricky

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Man behind popular tween YouTube channel busted for molesting a minor (New York Post)

 

YouTube has demonetized the videos, but has not deleted the channels. I hope the videos stay up, as they were enjoyed by many people, the vast majority of them not child molesters.

 

I still wonder how one would make videos appeal to pedophiles without setting off alarm bells among the millions of children and their parents who watch the videos. Mr. Rylett is certainly a creep, and that could certainly affect his judgment in directing the videos, but does that mean there was a conspiracy to openly distribute to a secret audience child porn that isn’t even porn? How would that work? And where is this “darker audience”?


“Facts seem to roll off a Christian like water off a duck.” —Great Ape

“How much can you actually doubt something and still maintain that you believe it?” —Josh K, “Alpha and Omega”

“You don’t understand. My crisis of faith is over.


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