Thursday, December 06, 2007

Another day in the life

I noticed that there was another mass murder event out in conservative christian paradise. A recent high school dropout got kicked out of his house, lost his job at McDonald's and took the only all-American path to fame open to him. The old murder spree at the mall. How prescient was Dawn of the Dead? Pretty prescient, huh?

On an entirely different note, I'll share another Brooklyn story. Yesterday my eight year old son and I were mildly surprised when a shirtless youth ran by us, torso covered with blood and yelling a challenge at another kid to take that knife out and stab him again (motherfucker). That was different, said John Bob. Yep. I said. That was different.

Although we'd never seen anything exactly like that before, Brooklyn being Brooklyn, it didn't seem that out of the ordinary. Still, I was going to tell the next cop I saw, but strangely enough, I didn't see any cops. No matter. The street was very crowded. I'm sure there were at least three cops in that block. John Bob and I got on the train and didn't comment on it again, not even at the dinner table.

You know, others have noted that violent ghetto youth don't walk into shopping malls or schools and gun down as many people as they can. That kind of mass murder is a conservative christian thing. The ghetto kids just kill each other.

Why? Who knows? Not me, but I'll speculate anyway and suggest part of the phenomenon is related to role models. The ghetto kids look around the city and see people who lead lifestyles they want to emulate. Their role models may be rappers, actors, sports stars, comedians, music executives, firemen, cops, pimps or drug dealers, but they all make good money, have nice rides, get laid whenever they want to and party in style. I'm not saying these aspirations are necessarily good, but city kids see them as attainable. They have a realistic hope of achieving some sort of fame without gunning down mall folk.

The poor christians in the sticks, however, look out over the suburban lawns and see a bunch of constipated hypocrites telling them to do as they say, not as they do, while feeling terrible guilt about what they do, and doing it anyway, and with a distinct lack of style. The only people these kids want to emulate are on the tv. They'd rather die than turn out like their dad, the insurance salesman next door, or the preacher down the block. The people they see living stylish lives on tv are far away. The red state kids see no hope of getting there. Not in this life anyway. Not without murder. Mass murder.

If only both groups could realize that they can have it all. Sex, drugs, rock & roll, a modicum of fame and a happy, life free from violence. It's really not that difficult, is it? All you need is a little education and understanding. Unfortunately, Republican talking points, the wisdom of the ganstas, and Jesus talking through the mouths of hucksters, hypocrites, and madmen have the opposite effect.