Robert (gurdonark) wrote,


I have a weakness for Scandinavian police procedural mysteries. These mysteries take the good old police procedural format--hard working officers with interesting but otherwise ordinary lives--and inject a bit of
social commentary and often bleak metaphysical musing amid the crime solving. Why do people commit horrible crimes? What effect does the social milieu have upon the propensity to crime? Does the social compact of a social democracy make a difference? Sometimes the mystery disguises a polemic, often from the left. I prefer, though, the ones in which the polemic is secondary, and the unanswered questions hover in the ether. I've always liked questions when they hover etherically and ethereally.

I read tonight of the answer to a mystery from decades ago. I had a brief run-in decades ago with someone whose behavior was needlessly belligerent. I was a young adult then, and the experience shook me. In particular, the fellow's employment was a position of public service, so that I felt that making a complaint about his belligerence was unlikely to be met with appropriate credence. The whole thing was, in hindsight, no big deal for me, really--a bit of a threat from someone inebriated, which did not turn into anything truly disturbing. But at the time it made quite an impression on me.

The years passed, and the incident is so long ago. But tonight I learned that the fellow in question had
had a very public humiliation and a very public downfall. Indeed, his downfall is in progress now. It all made the news in his home state because of a political aspect that is less interesting to tell than to
just include by way of allusion.

I think it is not a good thing to rejoice in the misfortune of another. I am surprised that I feel a twinge of satisfaction--and aware that this satisfaction is a failing on my part. This note of satisfaction tells me something about myself--but it is something that hovers, unresolved, like a mystery paperback whose spine has not held true, and pages are missing.

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