There are all kinds of folk in this world, most of them them at least reasonably pleasant to be with, or, at least, no more than mildly annoying.
Unfortunately, there are some who are not pleasant to be with.
Sometimes their darker aspects are kept hidden, expressed only to themselves, or in private with other, like-minded souls.
Sometimes, though, the dark aspects can be revealed, especially when alcohol is involved.
A friend of mine, someone I have known vaguely for a while, but only relatively recently have I known her well enough to "promote" her from acquaintance to friend, was in her cups this week, and was upset about it. She was, in fact, extremely drunk, because she had trusted somebody else, somebody who is nominally a very responsible person, to pour her drinks. The drinks being mixes, and she being trusting, she was at the edge of conciousness in only a couple of hours.
It was, I will admit, funny at first, because I was stone-cold sober when we met that night, and she was rolling giddy. Then I realised, a little later in the evening, that she was in distress.
She had realised, through the ethanol-induced fug, that she was drunker than she had intended to be, and not under as much self-control as she wished.
She was upset and annoyed at herself for getting herself in such a state.
Here's the thing, though. The actual perpetrator here was the one who poured her drinks, who deliberately got her drunker than she wanted, because it would be funny to see her drunk.
To me, this is disrespectful, and even misanthropic. He had made her a victim.
Worse, though, was the fact that she had been a similar victim a week or so before.
Another man, one she thought was a friend, also got her drunk, and himself, and then tried to take advantage. Forcibly.
Fortunately she was able to fight him off, and other people there, better friends than he deserves, took him away.
That man is a criminal. I wish I knew who he was, but my friend, out of a wish to avoid further trouble, will not tell the police what he did.
As I write here, I am torn. I know, and you, dear reader, also know, that this man should pay for his crime. But my loyalty to my friend's wishes prevents me giving more details so that he may be identified, because I do not wish that she be identified as well.
I would post dates, times, locations if I could.
Names and addresses, if I had them.
I am not a violent man, but I wish violence upon this person. Unfortunately, I am no great specimen of athleticism, so I could not dole out anything like what he deserves, and would suffer worse myself.
Instead, I must be vague.
Somewhere, out there in the East of England, is a man who thinks that a woman must give up her virtue simply because a friend was willing to.
A man who treats women as entertainment, not as people.
A man willing to commit rape (for that is what he attempted) to satisfy himself.
A man who tries to blame the woman for "making him" force himself upon her by refusing to give herself willingly.
I remind my friend; you are not to blame. You did not invite this. You are a victim, the fault is not yours.
I doubt that you, dear reader, know this man at all, or the victim, but, if you know of one like him, I am placing you under an obligation, a geas, to watch him. Monitor him. To warn others of his nature.
And as soon as he steps out of line, deal with him.
If you are as civilised as most of us pretend to be, then deal with him through legal channels.
If your reaction is as visceral as mine was when I first heard, then do as you see fit.
But don't kill him. Don't beat him to the point where punishment falls on you rather than him.
Hold him up. Publicly shame him.
Show the world his true nature.
In fact, maybe it's time we brought back the stocks.