Monday, July 20, 2009

Punk Gang Leader Arrested, and Fight Club-Loving Teen

I was delighted to hear about the arrest of Kyle Shaw, the teen and ardent Fight Club fan accused of bombing a Starbucks not too far from me on the Upper East Side. As Fight Club teaches us, nothing’s more inspiring and noble than pointless destruction and physical punishment, without which we would have no choice but live as civilized, happy, prosperous beings — with coffee. Like a lot of people, I watched Fight Club as a trip into a Nietzschean Bizarro-land no decent person would want to inhabit, but when I saw the massive and boisterous and overwhelmingly young-male crowd that turned up at a Chuck Palahniuk reading at the Union Square Barnes & Noble first began to fear that some viewers simply saw in it the timeless allure of acting like violent complete assholes while pretending to have some sort of vague “cause.”

On a similar note, it sounds like the violent gang whose leader’s arrest is described in this article (pointed out to me by my fellow punk sympathizer Christine Caldwell Ames) and who sought to control Chicago-area punk venues probably imagined themselves to be on a crusade against “Nazis.” Once the tribal bloodletting begins, it usually becomes easy for everyone to stop reasoning and convince himself on a gut level that the other guys deserve more pummeling. With this guy and our UES bomber apparently out of commission, a troubled world gets just a bit better and the people in it able to live just a bit more like human beings, less like savage animals.

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