In yesterday’s blog about ‘The Affair of the Lone Banana’, I skipped over a joke that I’ve come to find rather troubling. I’ll attempt to explain my view here, and you’re entitled to yours, but this is my blog and I’m in charge.
During the second act of the episode, Bloodnok expresses that it is so dark that he can’t read his copy of The Awful Disclosures of Maria Monk. A few episodes previously, in ‘The Lost Gold Mine (of Charlotte)’, he requests to be left to die in the desert with this book.
I always assumed this was a piece of mild erotica that demonstrated Bloodnok’s nature as a dirty scoundrel, but upon investigation it turns out to be far more sinister.
The Awful Disclosures of Maria Monk is a book originally published in 1836 describing horrific sexual abuse in Canadian convents. I’m not going to go into detail here but the text is available via Public Domain Review.
The book caused a sensation but has since been dismissed as an anti-Catholic hoax. I wonder whether it should be seen in a different light following the revelations about Canadian residential schools for native children.
In any case, the contents of such a book – hoax or not – aren’t a subject for comedy, at least not in such light-hearted, throwaway references like these. Others may disagree, but this is my blog.
In short, a rare but upsetting misstep by Spike. Nobody’s perfect.