Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wild Wild West Not For Me, Pardner

I try and avoid writing posts about the U.S., but sometimes something happens which reminds me why I don't live there anymore, such as the recent death of Trayvon Martin. Who? He was an unarmed black teenager who was shot in a gated community in Florida by a member of the neighborhood watch who will probably not face any charges because he was legally in the right.

Basically, in Florida and other states, the laws governing self-defense have been rewritten. Whereas in the past, the only time you could be the aggressor and escape culpability for killing someone was in the case of home invasions, you can now "stand your ground" and shoot whomever you want based on a perceived threat. Add in laws that allow for carrying concealed weapons, and you get incidents like Trayvon Martin or the off-duty police office who shot a homeless man because his actions were supposedly overly aggressive toward said officer and his family.

I swear the U.S. is becoming a parody of a dystopian country written by a Hollywood committee that tries to combine every genre for cross-market appeal. Let's start with time travel and go back to a gilded elite and ruling class which is almost Dickensonian in their views on the poor, but add technology that is very much futuristic Star Wars mixed with Orwell with drones and all-knowing surveillance state. Throw in a little western where everyone packs heat and survival is based on who has the quickest trigger and key-stone cops. The script would almost be a surrealist comedy if it weren't so tragic.

1 comment:

  1. I am an American living in Utrecht. After seeing the name Trayvon flash across my computer screen I finally clicked on a story, then read some more, and I am so outraged. Unfortunately my time in the Netherlands is temporary or I would wish to stay here permanently.