Friday, December 29, 2006

The friday night ROCKet scientist and the cops

I'm standing in my yard and I overhear a cop questioning some young punk at a house across the lake. The cops is laying into him pretty good over something. Can't hear too clearly what its about for a while, and I can't see them there's a fence in the way. Then I hear the cop very clearly holler:

Son, what possessed you to think you could pick up that rock and throw it at this guys car when there were two officers sitting here watching you?

Situations like this happen all the time of course. They never go reported in any of the media, and the perpetrators escape largely unscathed with maybe, in an extreme case, a trip to family court and a wet noodle lashing from a judge.

Kids these days seem very prideful. Hiding these minor offenses under the cloak of relative anonymity is not doing them any favors. It lets them keep their faux-pride intact when what it really needs is a righteous smackdown followed by some genuine contrition and a change in future behavior.

200 years ago this would have been handled with the stocks and some baskets of rotten fruit/vegetables. No amount of phony unwarranted pride survives the wet smack of rotten tomatoes and squash upon the body and the jeers of the crowd. The effects of same are likely to be "life lessons" of a caliber some family court judge can't possibly match. The sting and smack of the tomato is something one remembers for quite a while.

Just saying...

2 comments:

ASX said...

And if they do it again?

Hang 'em!

We don't make rope for nuthin'.

Francis W. Porretto said...

The inversion of responsibilities for juvenile misdeeds -- once they went to the parents' account; today they're the "fault of society" -- gives rise to this sort of nihilism as naturally as darkness yields to the dawn.

You didn't mention the offender's age; I'm assuming him to be under 18. At that age, whatever damage or infamy he does should cause legal hazard -- civil, criminal, or both -- to his parents. That would give them a strong interest in civilizing him. Today, of course, that's not often the case.