Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Fathomably Class-Free

It's either a protection against my own vanity, or a protection against my temper, to work in obscurity. Either way, I don't know if I could handle a steady diet of this sort of thing without going stark raving.

Mr. Goldberg has the skin of a rhino and the bones of Wolverine. How else can you not strike back at something like this:

"You must be the only person on earth with the correct mixture of shallowness, bloodthirstiness and pretension to assert (correctly) the value of "Groundhog Day" -- a beautiful tale of redemption -- fast on the heels of your previous post, which expressed your preference that a dubiously-convicted killer (19 at the time, and black in 1961 Louisiana) be executed rather than permitted to reform himself and contribute to the world."

I am increasingly sick of seeing age used as an excuse for this sort of thing. It was a bank robbery. How old do you need to be to know that robbing banks is not Nice? Then he killed one of his three wounded hostages, to boot. The correspondent might also note that the robber/killer in question, the recently-paroled Wilbert Rideau, expressed remorse and worked hard to rehabilitate himself - in other words, he admits that he did wrong himself, and deserved punishment.

Finally, I pause to note this quote from Jonah at the end of the allegedly-eeeeeevil post: "It speaks well of him that he feels remorse and that he got his act together. Life Magazine called him America's most rehabilitated prisoner in 1993, presumably for good reason. But, if the Supreme Court hadn't scuttled the death penalty in the 1970s he probably would have been executed for his crimes -- and, in my mind at least, deservedly so." Saying that a certain crime deserves fatal punishment is not the same as demanding that punishment, or preferring it to what actually happened, especially when Jonah said that his remorse speaks well of him.

Perhaps the only point the reader has is that Rideau was treated more harshly for his ethnicity in 1961 Louisiana. The solution there, sir, is not to let him go just because others escaped justice. It's wrong to let whites off scot free because it's wrong to let anyone off scot free.

The fun continues: "Needless to say -- as I'm sure you know it deep down --(but it feels good to say it anyway) at the end of his life Rideau will have contributed more to the health of humanity's soul than you, your wife and parents combined. By rather a lot."

Excuse me?

Jonah judged Rideau's actions as worthy of punishment, while also expressing some satisfaction and relief that Rideau himself has worked at contrition and penance. For that, this miserable wanker falsely criticized things Jonah never said and then proceeded to judge the worth of his soul! Where does he get off? That is reprehensible hypocrisy. And what in Hell does "the health of humanity's soul" mean, anyway? It's a bathetic, overwritten phrase that sounds noble without the bother of actually making any sense.

So, it's the proverbial tree in the empty woods, perhaps, but I’ve got your six, Jonah. May your Couch forever increase in comfiness.

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