November 6, 2005

This just in, courtesy of CNN.com.

I quote:
"RENO, Nevada (AP) -- The mayor of Las Vegas has suggested that people who deface freeways with graffiti should have their thumbs cut off on television. 'In the old days in France, they had beheadings of people who commit heinous crimes,' Mayor Oscar Goodman said Wednesday on the TV show 'Nevada Newsmakers'. Goodman said the city has a beautiful highway landscaping project and 'these punks come along and deface it.'"

YEAH!! That's right!! Tough love, Oscar!! Oh wait... wait a second... it gets better... he goes on to say in the same interview that whippings should be brought back for children who get into trouble.

The thing I love most about America, especially American lawmakers, is their total and complete lack of ability to see their own hypocrisy. They invaded Iraq to "liberate the Iraqi people" from terrible dictators who did things like cut off people's body parts and inflict absolute justice for small crimes in the name of order and obedience, among other reasons (like "we can't find Osama" and "Bush is bored"). But now it's perfectly reasonable for Mayor Oscar Goodman to suggest, on public television, that highway graffiti artists should have their thumbs cut off on, of course, public television as a deterrent to other hooligans considering a life of "heinous crime". Like in the old days of France.

There are several things wrong with that theory.

First of all, when does America ever willingly attempt to model anything done in France, especially France circa Marie Antoinette?

Secondly, is "a beautiful highway landscaping project" not an oxymoron?

And thirdly, is defacing said quote-unquote "beautiful highway" actually a "heinous crime"? Maybe my history is fuzzy but as far as I know the period in France during which beheadings routinely happened led to a bloody revolution which resulted in all the aristocracy, INCLUDING the monarchy, being fed to their own guillotine by the fed-up French public.

There is some merit to the idea, though. I just don't think highway graffiti artists are who we necessarily want to target, MAYOR.