The Tribune has a story about John Cappas, a Catholic high school graduate turned cocaine kingpin who served a long stretch in federal prison for drug dealing. At the time of his indictment, the local press gave heavy coverage to Cappas's flashy, big-spending lifestyle.
Cappas has been out of prison for a few years and he is opening a hot dog stand. He promises "free sodas" for police officers. Many of his old 'friends' are turning out to support him in his new venture. It's an interesting story worth the read, but if you really want some insight into Cappas, you should check out the website for his motivational speaking business--talk about not getting it.
Not getting it
Eric Zorn noticed that commenter reactions to an earlier post on Kennedy-Chappaquiddick news coverage appear to be determined almost entirely by partisan identification, so Zorn posed this interesting question to his readers: Aren't all such predictably partisan arguments fundamentally tedious and useless?
I'm not sure they are useless, but what is interesting to me is that hardly any of the commenters even try to address the question. Most just go right back to beating their partisan war drums.
Perhaps partisanship is detrimental to intellectual curiosity--not always, but often enough to become tedious.
How does Google complete a search beginning with the words If Ted?
A famous satirical Volkswagen advertisement was created back in a time when tragedies in the news were followed by a slew of insensitive jokes that circulated widely through American society, often within a matter of days. The seriousness of the tragedy didn't seem to matter and almost nothing was sacred. I must have heard half a dozen jokes about serial killer John Wayne Gacy in the first week after his arrest.
It was often said that these jokes originated with traders--a group known for dark humor. I don't think tragedy jokes are told much anymore. Did they end with 9-11 or did their demise come earlier?
I'm neither approving nor lamenting their demise. Just noticing and wondering.
The good-enough brain
Michael Price interviews psychologist Gary Marcus in the APA Monitor. Marcus is the author of Kluge: The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind.
The human mind has been good-enough to keep us around as a species, but as the word kluge suggests, the workings of the mind aren't always pretty.