Middle-aged lush, down on luck, takes out bright-futured youth.
At sentencing, friends and family of deceased wear Justice-for-Victim t-shirts. Sad symbolism, no? (The cold, impersonal state should punish. T-shirts trivialize.)
After the hearing, Assistant County Attorney Brian Lutes admitted he had a hard time maintaining his composure while the impact statements were delivered.Odd that the emotions of legal professionals are deemed newsworthy--and that when noted they're so damn predictable. 'Twould be cool if the Strib writer found an unmoved observer, a person complaining of the ceremony's emotional inadequacy--or of its prepackaged air.
Eulogistic license can be exceeded: The deceased 'did more good in a single day than most people do in an entire lifetime...'
Since tragedy, they have done much MADDish stuff. It is suggested we come to appreciate their voluntarism, as expressive of good citizenship.
"This isn't about him or about us. It's about justice," she said. "It's all just so sad and senseless."It is the senselessness that prevents one from adopting the community-wide ideological frame that's being proposed. The voluntarism, t-shirts and StarTribune article hint at a sensefulness that never quite gets delivered.
Triteness: "Nothing prepares you to pick out a casket for your child..."
Such articles include a subliminal component of collective revenge, in which we throw stones at the guilty man's mental well-being. We adopt a brutal black-and-white moralistic perspective. Demonizing the drunk is assumed central to the journalist's assignment; no attack on the perpetrator's essential crookedness requires any skepticism:
"I don't believe he's sorry," he said. "He may be sorry he lost a foot. He may be sorry he will be spending time in jail and not be able to drink."The hard-boiled cliché assumes people are especially mystically knowledgeable, having been touched by random violent death--and therefore must be pressed to inform us of some heretofore doubted religious truth: 'The teen's dad believes Lifto is headed for hell.'
It would be nice were a jaundiced observer occasionally found, saying
It was senseless; the guilty dude is a sad case, this social problem requires ongoing vigilance--but drunk driving represents a fairly small portion of easily-preventable death, globally. This particular random occurrence should not privilege any specific magical belief-set.