February 8th, 2016

lj idol f&r

Green Room - Week 8 - Day 7

I was going to talk about Gloria Steineim, but instead I'm going to talk about Michael Skupin.

Because the changes to feminism over the years and how those generations are clashing is an interesting subject, but not one where I really have any true background as anything other than an outsider in that particular fight.

Mike Skupin though - that's Survivor related. That hits where I live.

If you don't know who Mike Skupin is off the top of your head, but you have *any* idea what the US version of the television show Survivor is, you know him as the guy from the second season (Australian Outback) as "that guy who fell in the fire".

The pictures of the skin coming off his hands was pretty iconic, as was the story of how they healed. He used his story as a platform for his Christian faith and at one point his home state of Michigan was considering him as a candidate to run for state office as a Republican.

He eventually came back for a season (Philippines).

A year or so ago, there were allegations that his "Pay It Forward" investment group was a Ponzi scheme. When confronted by a reporter he uttered the phrase "Do your research", which I took and made into a popular meme within the Survivor fan community. You're welcome Survivor fan community.

The report happened and then we really didn't hear anything else about it - until Friday.

On Friday he was arrested and not only charged with the Ponzi scheme, but with 6 counts of possession of child pornography.

That last bit was a shock that is still rippling through the fan community.

It seems to have polarized people into two camps: the "of course he did it" and the "let the legal process play out". (Well, OK, there are also the "he's innocent!" folks, but I'm trying to ignore them for the moment. :)

You could plug in any popular/semi-popular figure who has ever been arrested into this scenario. There are going to be people who believe everything, those who believe nothing is true and those in the middle waiting for more information. (Information that they may never actually have, given the nature of court cases)

There is, of course, the "always believe the victim". But I think there are dangers in that as well. Maybe it should be "the tie goes to the runner" situation. Of course, I'm sure there are some who would say that isn't supportive enough. (and honestly, for me, it's about what the situation actually is - and the nature of the crime)

In this particular case, I'm not 100% sure that Skupin is guilty of running a Ponzi scheme. There's a lot of technical boxes that need to be checked in order to meet that definition. Does he cross them all? Not enough information has come out to make me think he definitely has, although enough has been raised that I think it's likely.

The possession of child porn? Yeah, that happened. Why? Because no one was trying to "get him" on that charge. The seized his computers to look for something to help convict him of the Ponzi charges. The child porn was as much of a surprise to them as it was the general fan base.

I've seen people who are saying the police "planted those images" on his computer. But that goes against Occam. Why create such an outlandish, and explosive, charge out of thin air? It doesn't make him any more likely to be convicted of running a Ponzi scheme... it just adds more, and completely unrelated, charges.

I know that's not going to stop people from saying "he's innocent!!" any more than it's going to stop people from automatically jumping to "they are guilty!: the next time there is someone else in the news.

But I think that stepping back and looking at these things helps - as does realizing there is a chance that whatever you end up coming up with could be wrong. (But not too much, otherwise you become someone without any strong opinions - and who wants to live in that world?)


Not sure I've really said anything other than informed people that Mike Skupin is a pervert... so I'll actually say something useful:

The deadline to get your votes in is TONIGHT!

That's something where you should have some strong feelings - so let's hear them!!
lj idol f&r

Results - Week 8

Last week was brutal, and this week continues that trend, with some unexpected results.

Close votes and unexpected results - that's what Friends and Rivals is made of!

In this case, 1 vote separated staying and going, and about .75 between the teams! That's damn close.

We are losing:

Team Late to the Party's idekmybffjill
Team Norbert's ellakite

From the Rivals, it was


and a tie between aresrising05 and tijuanagringo which will send them into a Tie-Breaker head-to-head Death Match next week!

There will be another chance to get into the competition coming up relatively soon, so I hope everyone sticks around and plays the Home Game until that window opens up - and then goes full speed into the fray to fight for their second chance!