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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Big Apples and Oranges

Alicublog links to an interesting harangue over a sad, brutal street crime. Apparently the lack of prompt, forceful action by adjacent citizens indicates a resurgence in the sort of indifferent behavior made notorious in the Kitty Genovese case.

What's interesting about this particular tirade is how quickly it devolves into some blanket indictment of New York mores. There is a strange cognitive dissonance with these people -- on the one hand, they are always the first to 9/11 their way through every argument, to excuse every incident of malfeasance, corruption, torture, indiscriminate bloodshed, what have you. Literally everything is excusable under the 9/11 banner. They Will Not Forget, nor will they ever stop humping your leg over it.

But conversely, though they still (and always) fetishize the day and the event, they long ago kicked the actual city to the curb. Now that Count Chocula Mrs. Doubtfire Giuliani has hit the rubber-chicken circuit, the city he left behind has returned to being the source and sum of all their projected fears and misplaced anxieties. Even though it seems that the vast statistical preponderance of lurid crimes tend to come out of the vaunted heartland, some of the denizens of Bobo's world wish to impute the disparity onto a city with a larger population than many states, which is just asinine.

Yes, it sucks that some crazy bastard walked up and stabbed an old woman in the face, and yes it sucks that no one apparently did much to help her initially. But giving everyone a concealed handgun, while it might have resolved that problem, would more likely create a host of others.

Spending a significant part of my childhood in the grubby underbelly of Los Angeles schooled me pretty well to what people are capable of when they're packed together like rats in a cage. But living in the sticks is not a bowl of perky tits either. I can afford (just barely) to get by, but only because I drive 1½ hours each day for a living wage.

It's not news that most of small-town America has been sucked into the low-wage sweaty scrotum of Wal-Mart, and that just as the peculiarities of city life can attract certain "undesirable" elements, so can the low cost of living in the boonies. Gang activity rolls through small towns, as do crank cooks, dope dealers, and other assorted vermin. All underpinned by anti-growth codgers who figure that their government-subsidized family ranches are their stake, and everyone else is on their own, with many business opportunities voted out from sheer intransigence.

And then you have characters like this holy diver (sorry, but it was there for the taking), self-indulgent closet-cases turning up in the strangest of places -- cruising for head in a public restroom, drunkenly offering to blow a cop at a car wash, or in this instance, a Friend of Falwell accidentally asphyxiating himself while wearing two wet-suits.

With a dildo in his ass. With a condom on the dildo. No, really.

This sort of thing actually would make more sense in the stereotypically decadent urban milieu; the fact that such weirdness and awfulness seems to occur in places of less population density and greater proclaimed moral density (heh-indeedy) ought to be food for thought, for careful eaters.

So maybe our indignant provincials should consider plucking the condom-covered dildo out of their own eye before scrawling incoherent tirades indicting millions of their fellow citizens for the reprehensible actions of a few statistical outliers. Of course, that's difficult to put in their usual cap-strewn style, but one always hopes, even when one knows better than to hope too much.

1 comment:

r@d@r said...

So maybe our indignant provincials should consider plucking the condom-covered dildo out of their own eye

LOL of the day - comedy gold