As the story of the so-called "Nanny From Hell" continues to unfold, it becomes clearer and clearer that America is a nation of cringing dupes and shameless predators, and that most of the predators are also dupes. The coverage, very much including this site's own coverage, has been dedicated to the peculiar notion that the villain in the story is Diane Stretton, the so-called "nanny" who has been refusing to leave the house of her employers.

Take a moment to look at the bigger metaphoric or metaphysical picture. What is Hell, anyway, that we are supposed to believe Diane Stretton has come from it? Hell is the place where sinners get the torment they deserve.

So it goes for the Bracamonte family of Upland, California. The Bracamontes decided they needed a live-in servant to help care for their children, but they did not want to pay wages for that labor. Through some combination of greed, stupidity, and self-regard, they believed that in lieu of paying for the work, they could simply give the person they hired meals and a place in their house to sleep.

Now, to their shock, the Bracamontes have discovered that the person who initially agreed to work on their exploitative and illegal terms is unreasonable. They are so upset that they have gone to the press with this problem: that the person they unlawfully brought into their home, as an unpaid servant, now will neither work as their servant nor leave their house.

What a terrible problem for the Bracamonte family to have. Now they say they are afraid in their own home, because this person they were ripping off—this marginal and allegedly disturbed person they thought should be caring for their children—won't go away.

Good for Stretton. How sadly fallen is this country when crooks like the Bracamontes can put themselves forth as sympathetic figures? Why, because they own a house? Because they "created" a "job"? The Nanny From Hell is an avatar of our collective future, the symbol of a nation that screws people remorselessly and pretends it's business as usual. What do we expect will happen, after "entitlement reform" and "pension restructuring," when everyone whose benefits have been looted reaches retirement age? There will be desperate and unyielding old people lurking in every closet of the house. And we will all deserve it.

[Illustration by Jim Cooke]