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Posted by purplemary54 on February 9, 2013

SoCal is literally consumed with the story of fugitive Christopher Dorner, who is suspected in three deaths.  (My local ABC affiliate even had their entertainment reporter out doing a story on the case the other night.)  He’s also a complete loony (anyone who feels the need to publish a manifesto naming the people they plan on killing cannot be sane).  While there may be some pieces of truth in the wrongs this man feels were done to him, nothing justifies what he’s been accused of doing.

Which got me thinking about songs about crime, from the perspective of the criminal (see here and here for a couple of the previous criminal tunes I’ve posted about).  There are some real classics in this sub-genre, but most of them present a narrator that regrets his or her particular crime; remorse is very socially acceptable, after all.  But this Dorner guy doesn’t regret his actions.  He sees himself as righteous.  He’s only doing what needs to be done to avenge the wrongs done to him and “reclaim” his name (never mind what probably murdering innocent people has done to it).  I’ve long believed that you should beware of anyone who thinks this way.  If you go around believing that everyone is out to get you, that everything bad that happens to you was caused by someone else, that any crimes you commit are necessary, then you are both delusional and dangerous.  I’ve known people like this–to a much lesser degree, of course.  Their coworkers and former friends were really just a bunch of backstabbers out to get them because they were jealous or mean.  They believe that they’re the only ones who ever do any work or think of others, when the reality is just the opposite.  Just like this song.

This is the only song I’ve ever really listened to by Chris Knight, although I guess he’s had some success on the country charts.  But it’s such a great personification of this attitude.  It’s the same kind of attitude that leads students to expect a passing grade just for showing up to class.  Or zealots to expect laws to be changed to fit their particular moral code.  Or ex-cops to go on killing sprees to avenge their firing.  “And I’ll always say that I got screwed.  I’m a brand new man with the same attitude.”


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