Monday, July 25, 2011

Day 205 of 362

Hey... The temperatures have cooled. Now it's only in the low 80s... Ummm, wow... That's kind of disturbing when I find 80-degree temperatures cool.

There's 40K on the agenda for today, so that means I get to leave early and let Loquacious take over the store. I'll go home and hang with the kids, and generally have a (hopefully) relaxing time of it.

I've been banging my head against the wall trying to figure out what to do with my games. One game, I've done a reset meeting on already, and it's helped the story, but it hasn't helped the attendance issue I'm having. The other game, needs a reset meeting, but only after this current story arc is done. It's just about there, but we're having some other issues with it in terms of real life jumping in the way.

I've got a couple of other issues bouncing through my skull, and I'm not certain I want to blog about them yet. The original thoughts started out on a sociological tangent (my minor in college) and in short order morphed into something a touch more personal, and then headed off into another related social tangent.

Screw it, it's on my mind so I'll do it now...

I was looking at the local crime reports and read where a 63-year old cab driver was assaulted by a non-paying customer not too far from where we live. I was thinking about it and realized there were two types of people who would do something like that. One type doesn't WANT to pay, the other type CAN'T pay. Either way, they got into the cab KNOWING that they had no intention of paying, and used violence to get their way.

While I was pondering this, I looked out the window and saw two young, African-American men walking down the sidewalk, and my first thought was "Do either of those guys look like someone who would beat a cab driver"? Then I caught myself and realized how wrong of a thought that was. Those two guys were just walking down the street not bothering anyone, and here I was pigeonholing into the "cab driver assaulter" section of my mind.

I then realized that I had no basis on which to even form that thought. There were no suspects and the local crime report was just a couple of lines on a website with no details. The perpetrator could have been of ANY race, be it African-American, Caucasian, Latino, Asian, Polynesian, or some mix of any or all of those. I felt more than a bit ashamed of myself.

Then, for some reason, I recalled an incident I witnessed that happened about 13 years ago. I was managing at a fast food place in the area and we were closing up for the night. One of the employees came back to the office to tell me something bad was happening outside our doors. I went up and looked through the window to see one young man beating the holy hell out of another young man. I called 911 and reported it. Police were there damn quick (it was a higher crime area) and took control of the situation. One thing I noticed about it all was that both the victim and criminal were both Asian.

This lead me back to a thought that I have known for a while, but had momentarily forgotten. Violence is universal. It isn't just an American thing... it's a world thing. As humans, we're all capable of it. Hell, even Ghandi and Mother Theresa could swing a fist or shoot a gun if the notion struck them. They just had the self-restraint not to do it, and they are better people for it.

I wish I could end my thoughts there, because that ending looks rather profound, but my brain doesn't always work that way. There's more...

Once I hit upon the "violence is universal" thing, I began to think about the many people who say "violence is never an option". They're wrong... violence is ALWAYS an option... Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, it should be the LAST option, but every now and then, someone needs to be smacked to bring them back into line with what should be the social norm...

Over the last fifty years or so, we as a society have neutered ourselves as we keep pulling back on what's acceptable punishment for those perpetrate injustice upon others. More and more, society wants something that seems more "humane" and less final... Therein lies a slippery slope. There should be consequences for actions. More and more, those consequences are far less than what some actions deserve, and that creates an atmosphere of negligible deterrence. Eventually, we WILL reach the point where our laws only disempower the lawful, and provide no deterrent for beating down a cab driver...

Just some thoughts...

-- GopherDave


  1. A hearty Here Here, Dave!!
    One of the best posts I have read this year.
    You are speaking a truth, a sad one, but a truth none the less.

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  3. Blast . . . I can't edit, only delete.

    Ah well.

    To elaborate a bit more on what I originally wrote, one of the things that was inspirational, and spot on, about the Captain America movie was that Steve is someone that eminently embodies the point that Dave made above . . . i.e. 99% of the time violence should be the last resort, but sometimes it's what needs to happen.

    I loved the discourse between Doctor Erskine and Steve Rogers about why he wanted to serve in the armed forces. He didn't want to kill Nazis, he just didn't like bullies.

  4. Red Skull: "What makes you so special?"

    Captain America: "Nothing. I'm just a kid from Brooklyn..."

    That right there is how it should be. Instead, we have wrought a culture of entitlement that's spoiling our children, and our society, as a whole.

    Instead, our kids expect more and more things to be handed to them as opposed to them working for it.

  5. @GD: I sure hope not. I'm working my butt off to make sure our kids know they don't just "get stuff"- that hard work is involved in life.