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View Diary: Is Christopher Dorner "The Spook Who Sat by the Door?" (241 comments)

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  •  apparently white culture (7+ / 0-)

    can create myths around Frank and Jesse James, Billy the Kid,  Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, all murderers, all pretty bad if judged by their crimes, but over time, through dime novels, fictionalized biographies or the movies,  heroes.

    It is an interesting question, how and why we make criminals into heroes.  Because they really aren't hero material.  Maybe it is a measure of our discontent with current authority.  

    As you mentioned and linked to in 'social banditry' comment, it is not just a phenomenon of American culture, but has its roots in many cultures.  Maybe it has its roots in humanity itself.  Criminals, rebels without causes outside their own greed or need for revenge on persons or society for whatever shaped them, that we turn into vessels for our own needs and desires to strike out against situations we can't control but which damage us and our faith in ourselves, our society, our government,etc.   Nevertheless, if we strip them back down, take our projections out of the history of their lives, I think they ultimately do come down to damaged, violent people who we shouldn't admire, whom we wouldn't want to know in our lives, and who are fighting noble battles indirectly on our behalf.  All heroes have clay feet because they are human.

    •  I think you're glossing over some things (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dogs are fuzzy

      First, I think you're confusing notorieity with hero status.  There have been many criminals who are notorious and have found their way into books, movies, etc., but not as heroes.  People are interested in what makes people tick, including "bad guys" but that doesn't mean people view them as heroes.  

      Second, to the extent that there is a certain mystique to criminals - like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid - it's often based on the fact that their crimes were not murder (not sure that either of them were murderers, for example).  "Robbing from the rich" has had allure for centuries and it's certainly not an American creation.  Moreover, the folks you mentioned were all popularized in a press eager to sell papers and create sensational stories.  While that's still true to some extent, it's not the latter half of the 19th century any longer.  Treatment in the media today is likely to portray the Bonnie and Clydes, Al Capones and the like for what they were.

      Third, I don't think many people have ever idolized someone who kills randomly, as Dorner has allegedly done.  Anyone who acts purely to right some personal wrong isn't particularly sympathetic to start with, but when they start killing innocents, they're likely headed for notoriety but not hero status.

      •  it is a lot more like the late 1900's (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT

        economically and politically than most would want to acknowledge.

        Butch Cassidy claimed to have never killed a man, and he might not have, but he and his gang weren't above carrying guns to threaten people. beat up people they robbed or stealing from banks, which weren't insured institutions in those days, but if the money was gone, real people didn't have their savings,  and robbing ordinary people on the road.

        And maybe it is more a southern thing, but Frank and Jesse James, over time, have been treated well in many legends, songs, etc.

        Dorner didn't kill 'randomly' as I understood it, but chose victims who had done nothing to him, but who were chosen for relationships to those he felt were responsible and that he was visiting retribution for the family he lost etc., by taking the same from them.

        The other officer shot was more random in that he was shot after Dorner was fleeing a failed attempt at someone else's house who was part of his 'revenge' killing.

        But I can see how to the families of those who lost members to officer involved shootings of people who probably didn't deserve to die, persons beaten in custody, etc., people harrassed and arrested just for their color, etc.,  someone taking it to the people who supported that system, that allowed racism and brutality to continue, could be turned into a champion of the people have been victims for more years than I care to count.  It really isn't all that far from Robin Hood in this day and age when all we hear is 'Second Amendment rights'.  Which is why no civilized society can afford to encourage racism, social and economic inequality of epic proportions, to disenfranchise and demean significant portions of the population.   It breeds anger and discontent.  It threatens everyone, perpetrator and victim alike.   How did the English see the rag tag militias that stood against them in colonial America?  Freedom fighters or criminals?  How do we see them with the benefit of hindsight?

        •  That is unmitigated BS (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FiredUpInCA

          Anyone who would view Dorner as a "champion of the people" is a pretty sick individual themselves.  

          Based on what we know, Dorner is concerned with himself only.  To put him on par with American colonists - absolute rubbish.  Anyone who would even suggest it - well, I don't think this conversation is worth pursuing.

          •  And yet we live in a country where (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            poco, jfromga, awesumtenor

            an sniper who kills more than two hundred people can write a book and become a hero.

            I don't see anyone else out there vying for the title "Champion of the People" right now, and that's the problem.

          •  OK, so people hate and fear the LAPD (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FiredUpInCA

            There's an online comic about a mercenary company one of whose mottos is
            "Rule 29. The enemy of my enemy is my enemy's enemy. No more. No less."

            The enemy of your enemy is not your friend, Dorner is not anyone's friend, and the people I've seen quoted from Twitter have completely missed both points.

            Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

            by Dogs are fuzzy on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 05:53:46 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I asked anyone (0+ / 0-)

            to think of the colonists from the point of view of England,  the colonists were committing treason.  The Founding Fathers recognized it.  They even wrote their own manifesto, we call it the Declaration of Independence, but that followed the bloodshed (and civil disobedience that included running Crown personnel out of town after tar and feathering and destruction of private property) by quite a while.

            I am amazed that people can't stand in the other guy's shoes and try to see what the other person sees.

            Dorner will always be a murderer, a man who broke some of the most universal rules of society, and he might well be crazy.    But if, in reopening the investigation,  it is shown that he was right, that changes happen in policing, that better management and training, and a non-tolerance for police brutality takes hold, I can well imagine that many people will minimize the murders  aspect of the story over time.  

            •  Here's what amazes me (0+ / 0-)

              That anyone could compare a guy who specifically says that he's going to kill people because he wants to restore his name - a purely personal goal that he thinks justifies murder of innocent people - and American revolutionaries.  Any change to the LAPD that might come from this incident doesn't matter to Dorner according to his own words.

              If you truly and honestly can't see the vast difference between them and think that "well, maybe those murders will be minimized someday," there is nothing further to be said other than to note the similarity of your theory with the looniest loons of Free Republic.

              •  I am not a loon (0+ / 0-)

                but I do know how much history distorts what really happens in many cases.   People are constantly suprised when heroes weren't very heroic, and bad guys really were freedom fighters.

                I am not saying that will happen, just that it is possible.  Plus plenty of revisionist historians, some famous ones, say the founding fathers were just a group of rich guys wanting more of the pie, and they started a war to exploit people, kept slaves, etc. to feather their own nests.

                •  So, what's the chance of that? (0+ / 0-)

                  Seriously; this is the problem that I have.  Either Dorner killed three innocent people in his quest to clear his name or he didn't kill them and it's just the most interesting coincidence since about ever that he targeted these people and someone else just happened to have killed them.

                  Either way, I don't see how any sane person equates Dorner with American colonists and all you and a few others have offered is some theory that the gloss of history will provide a justification or he'll become some kind of sick cult hero.  Well, what justification was there for killing Ms. Quan and her fiance?  "Can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs?"  

                  •  you keep want to make it personal (0+ / 0-)

                    no one here said they would personally make Mr. Dorner their hero.   It was an abstract discussion about mythologies that build up around certain people,  how they do become cult heroes even after doing evil things, how some disenfranchised subcultures view things differently than the main culture.

                    If the US colonists had lost, they would have been traitors justly hanged by the Crown in the history books.  

                    No one says Mr. Dorner has any personal traits that justify his being or becoming an icon in history where all his sharp edges and worst motives are hidden, rubbed out of the books.   But some of us, maybe those of us who have had some exposure to questioning how 'mainstream' history gets written and rewritten, realize that odd things happen with enough time, a few inaccurate biographies or sensationalized and fictionlized accounts are accepted as serious academic work,  and suddenly, contemporaries couldn't recognize someone in the myth.   And sometimes societies create these myths, champions, out of people who are not deserving.

                    I am perfectly ok with Mr. Dorner being caught, tried and punished.  I am perfectly happy if he becomes some odd little footnote or is never noted in a history book.   He didn't set out to help the world when he started his murder spree, once upon a time, he might have meant to do good, but that's not where he ended up.  But could history ignore some of that middle that was just wrong and bad, yes, it could.

                    At this site, it wouldn't be hard to find people who understand that the cowboys were not always good guys even if that is what most movies portrayed for decades, but out in the larger population, how much of Hollywood's mythos has replaced reality?

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