The Triumph of Evil

I should never watch movies because I can’t watch one without it affecting me one way or another. Well, I blew it tonight, I watched Spotlight. Of course it made me think about right and wrong, not just because I’m a lapsed Catholic, but because I’m a human.

The big thing I took away from it is that when you see something happening, and you know it’s wrong, you have to speak up. Sadly, the one time I saw something, very wrong, I did not speak up and it’s far too late now.

Years ago, my first job was as a sales representative. I drove all over western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio selling thrilling products like Listerine, Listermint, Efferdent, Effergrip, Schick Razor Blades and Sinutabs. I considered myself luckier than my friend Susan, who sold Playtex tampons. That would have been tough for me, but she loved it.

She’d go into tiny grocery store offices and shamelessly give demonstrations, using a tampon and a glass of water, to elderly men, who hadn’t seen a woman, or the light of day in years. They would order cases and cases just to get her out of there.

It was a good job right out of college. I had a company car and the freedom to make my own schedule. Plus, it was a good excuse to eat out a lot because I was always on the road.


It looked just like the vent in my current bathroom, only with a face staring back at me – yuck!

One day, I was eating in a shopping plaza in little town called Leetsdale, just north of Pittsburgh. I had just finished my lunch and headed to the restroom. I was about to get down to the business of removing the appropriate clothing, when for some reason, I looked up at the vent above the toilet.

I was horrified to see an elderly man’s face looking down at me and he looked just as shocked to see me looking up at him — apparently I was the first person to ever do that. He quickly stepped back. I felt nauseated and left the restaurant immediately.

Did I tell the owner of the restaurant? No. Did I say a word to anyone? No. And to this day, I can’t figure out why. Maybe I was busy, or embarrassed or shy, but it doesn’t matter. I should have said something because it wasn’t about me, it was about all the other people who would become victims. The restaurant has been closed for decades now and I’m sure the man is dead and gone

But it still bothers me because how many women must have gone into that restroom, completely unaware that some elderly creep was watching them from upstairs? The famous saying by Edmund Burke, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men (or women) to do nothing,” is always true.

Speaking up may not be the easy thing to do, but it’s always the right thing to do. I wish I would have done it and I’m certainly glad the Boston Globe had the guts to do it.





16 thoughts on “The Triumph of Evil

  1. An acronym about certain Catholic-nuns which I once heard was spelled = S-M-A-G-S. [Sexual-Misery-And-Guilt-Spreaders]. Reading the comment [by lafriday] reminded me of that acronym; especially this line = ‘(some of the nuns were pretty scary though).’ I had my share of the ‘scary’ ones. Enough said. . .

  2. I watched Spotlight the night before the Oscars too. VERY powerful film. Thankfully, the priests I knew were pretty great guys (some of the nuns were pretty scary though). I remained silent when I was harmed, but have stood up when OTHERS were harmed. I too was shy, Fran (hard to believe of either of us now, huh?), but I also think the silence was about good ol’ Catholic shame. Even Michael Keaton’s character carried shame for not doing anything about the story when it had first come to him. I don’t know why human nature so often protects the guilty, but we do.

  3. Whew! Dodged a bullet there. Lucky for me, we didn’t know each other then, so you didn’t recognize me, plus I had my old-man mask on.

    • Oh Pervus, you cad you. Honestly Dave (I mean Pervus) , all the respectable readers of my blog must be reading this and just shaking their heads. Love you, mean it! Now try to behave.

  4. I avoid movies for a similar reason. One thing I do not avoid are things like your blog which often affect me more often and for better reasons. [I have sent a special Friend Request on your Fran-Tunno-Mills F-B Page]. More may follow on this. [The word-groups or phrases that affected me most in this blog were: 1. ‘. . not because I am a lapsed Catholic, etc.’ 2. ‘Speaking up is not always the easy thing to do, etc.’ ] I also reviewed your “Pooty” Butterfly blog & can link some of the things you said there with what was said on this Triumph of Evil blog. More on this may follow. George [Anthony] Maupin (or Tony-Maupin as my family refers to me).

    • Thank you Tony, I am so happy to hear you say that. I do hope it affects you for the better and am touched that my words make you think. That is such a compliment, you have no idea. Thanks again for taking the time to write!

  5. I love movies that “affect” me in one way or another. These kind of movies make me angry , which is better than ignorance or apathy and make me stand up for things that heretofore I may have just let slide. Movies can light a fire under you. This is how change can take place. I’m glad you watched it and I hope millions more do.

    • Thanks Diana, it’s so true. That’s why I often wonder why, with the world waiting for your message that many filmmakers spend time putting messages out there that do more harm than good. I guess it’s all a slice of life, whether we like looking at it, or not. And thanks for taking the time to write!

  6. ….Some of the most important things my Parents taught me in Life at an early age are: Defend yourself, Report anything you find Not Kosher and don’t let anyone touch your ‘pee-pee.’ That was just about all I need to carry me through. They laid a sturdy foundation for me because to date, I remain unscathed. Parents have a job to do other than feeding & clothing their children, teaching their young, The Facts of Life.

    • I love it Sugano. Your parents were right on. My parents taught me to speak up too, why I didn’t, I do not know. I actually used to be shy, so that may have had something to do with it. But shyness is a waste, I gave it up long ago. Thanks for always reading and taking the time to respond.

      • ……”Girl, you need to get yourself to a martial arts class or a Firing Range and learn to use a weapon.” (My experience since the age of 6) There’s a sense of Confidence, Fearlessness and Self Assurance in the above. I am Not a Violent person, I assure you but have never been abused, assaulted or maimed. Just my 2 Cents worth. :+)

  7. Thank you, Fran, for making us all aware of speaking up when we know something is wrong. Maybe if more people spoke up we would not have all the mass murders in descent years

  8. I don’t know what thrill a guy could get from watching some one go to the crapper. Too bad you didn’t turn the old coot in.

    From: At Frans Table To: Sent: Friday, February 26, 2016 5:01 AM Subject: [New post] The Triumph of Evil #yiv7518750970 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv7518750970 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv7518750970 a.yiv7518750970primaryactionlink:link, #yiv7518750970 a.yiv7518750970primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv7518750970 a.yiv7518750970primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv7518750970 a.yiv7518750970primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv7518750970 | Fran Tunno posted: “I should never watch movies because I can’t watch one without it affecting me one way or another. Well, I blew it tonight, I watched Spotlight. Of course it made me think about right and wrong, not just because I’m a lapsed Catholic, but because I’m a hum” | |

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