Those of you who live in the nation’s squeaky-clean places, your Iowas and Minnesotas, with their fine schools and responsible public servants who actually live up to the name, pray tell: With what do your local papers fill their front pages, stories of kittens being rescued from trees? This was an inside story Thursday:
At 6:10 p.m., a 21-year-old man was fatally shot in the 11200 block of Craft. Police sources say it took several hours for Wayne County Medical Examiners to pick up the body, which lay in the street.
“That incensed the crowd,” a police supervisor who was at the scene told The News. “Something like that is entertainment for a lot of people; you could probably sell beer and popcorn.”
The officer described a chaotic scene: “The street lights were out, and it was dark” he said. “The body was laying in the street covered by a blanket for hours. There were 200 people out there getting crazy. We put crime scene tape up, but they crossed the tape. We got on a bullhorn to tell them to disperse; they didn’t comply.
“Finally, we had to call the (Special Response Team) and officers from across the city to keep the crowd away from the crime scene so homicide could investigate,” the officer said.
It reportedly took between 4 and 6 hours before the morgue picked up the body.
Inside the paper, and 11 paragraphs into the story! Above it were details on the 19 other shootings, two carjackings and a sexual assault that all took place in Detroit over the past weekend.
Sometimes I can’t believe this place. Oh, and in case you’re wondering what the Page One stories were, well, there was this:
In bankrupt and frequently bizarre Detroit, dying is easy. It’s proving you are dead that’s hard.
The story was about a days-long gap in getting certified copies of birth and death certificates from the city’s vital records department, in the days after the bankruptcy filing. The reason? To be official, they must be printed on a special embossed paper, and the paper vendor was demanding cash instead of selling on credit.
Well, they warned us bankruptcy would be a bumpy road. Guess they were right.
Bloggage for a long weekend? Yes, we haz it:
I was just saying the other day how “consider the source” has never been more important for news consumers, a fact that was made abundantly clear by this p.o.s. “news story” on a once-reputable local radio station’s website.
You know how people once used to believe incubi and succubi existed, demons that would enter a person’s room at night and have sex with them? And then it was all about aliens and their anal probes? An interesting take on how culture affects psychosis: Paranoid schizophrenics now hallucinate about hidden cameras and reality TV:
The first person to examine the curiously symbiotic relationship between new technologies and the symptoms of psychosis was Victor Tausk, an early disciple of Sigmund Freud. In 1919, he published a paper on a phenomenon he called ‘the influencing machine’. Tausk had noticed that it was common for patients with the recently coined diagnosis of schizophrenia to be convinced that their minds and bodies were being controlled by advanced technologies invisible to everyone but them. These ‘influencing machines’ were often elaborately conceived and predicated on the new devices that were transforming modern life. Patients reported that they were receiving messages transmitted by hidden batteries, coils and electrical apparatus; voices in their heads were relayed by advanced forms of telephone or phonograph, and visual hallucinations by the covert operation of ‘a magic lantern or cinematograph’. Tausk’s most detailed case study was of a patient named ‘Natalija A’, who believed that her thoughts were being controlled and her body manipulated by an electrical apparatus secretly operated by doctors in Berlin. The device was shaped like her own body, its stomach a velvet-lined lid that could be opened to reveal batteries corresponding to her internal organs.
Although these beliefs were wildly delusional, Tausk detected a method in their madness: a reflection of the dreams and nightmares of a rapidly evolving world. Electric dynamos were flooding Europe’s cities with power and light, their branching networks echoing the filigree structures seen in laboratory slides of the human nervous system. New discoveries such as X-rays and radio were exposing hitherto invisible worlds and mysterious powers that were daily discussed in popular science journals, extrapolated in pulp fiction magazines and claimed by spiritualists as evidence for the ‘other side’. But all this novelty was not, in Tausk’s view, creating new forms of mental illness. Rather, modern developments were providing his patients with a new language to describe their condition.
Finally, one to leave you disgusted and/or heartened: The Crusading Sisterhood of Revenge-Porn Victims.
Let’s all have a great weekend, and maybe we’ll see Deborah’s completed bathhouse before too long. When next we speak, it’ll be September! How’d that happen?