Brian McLane

Media and Social Commentary

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March 19th, 2012 · No Comments · Social Commentary

Just my last post was about Brooklyn 11223, Jersey Shore and Mob Wives and the low brow baseless behavior those shows promote. Shame on the networks like Oxygen and MTV (both of which I never watch and never will) for contributing to the diet of death.

It just keeps coming, and going. One story after the next about an engagement party or a baseball game that ended in murder. Sometimes it freaks me out that there’s a lot of news centering around the epidemic of assault and violence but not enough people speaking out and solutions being offered.

People are quick to whip out their cell phone cameras and record parking lot violence, gang assaults and cat fights but the cops and the courts seem able to do very little to stop the violence.

We’re not talking about drug dealing, illegal fighting or even boozed up parties on college campuses. The other night there was a news report on Nightline about all the birthday parties held in Chucky Cheese Restaurants resulting in brutal assaults, many of which are caught on video.

Back in 2007 Sean Bell was gunned down by cops at his bachelor party. Not long after a San Francisco Giants fan was beaten to death in the parking lot by two L.A. Dodgers fans.

About a year ago there was a major news story about a graduation party that took a horrible turn when a father and son headed back to their car before going into the restaurant to retrieve some gifts they’d left behind. They’d discovered that the gifts were missing which lead to a fight with the parking lot attendants and which ended in the son’s being stabbed to death. The father was charged with starting the fight and that family will never be the same.

Flash forward to a few weeks ago and some kid was beaten to death at a party after getting engaged in Indianapolis and now two days ago Antonio Lacertosa and his friends got into an altercation with restaurant employees at Espana Restaurant in Staten Island over something that sure wasn’t worth dying for.

It’s all inexplicable and what is common to all these incidents is that the mothers, fathers and girlfriends, brothers, sisters, friends and kids will be forever without their loved ones. How does this senseless violence continue to happen? Liquor is one thing. Some people are just bad drunks and get violent. Another thing is that people can’t back down and don’t think about all the horrible ramifications should tensions escalate. They see all this confrontation happening on television and thing that the way to behave is to duke it out. But the cameras aren’t high definition, there is no script girl or security. Just some grainy surveillance video or a cell phone video.

My mom once told me a story about a pair of teens in a car who couldn’t seem to get around a car with two middle aged gentlemen and an elderly woman in the backseat. Once they did they gave the finger to these two guys, who turned out to be really large, very Italian, and whom chased the pair through Manhattan until the latter duo flagged down a cop who could barely keep these guys at bay. Point is you never know who the other guy is or what he has inside his coat.

So on the eve of a celebration is it worth it to take it to the next level? Certainly not for Anthony because, he ran into a reputed Albanian gangster who comes from the world of the blood feud. A man who’s been exposed to violence in the first person his whole life and who wouldn’t flinch at running at a group of burly drunk guys. You would think it would happen. But it did.

Watch this news story about Chucky Cheese. Senseless, and horrific.

Party Violence

Click for Nightline Story on Party Violence

And so people will read this blog post (200 or 300) and then some more people will be assaulted or killed. All the while they just go about their lives assuming that this kind of thing would NEVER happen to them. That’s what I’m here to suggest. It’s happening. Maybe it’s the economy, people stressing out or a raybeam from space. But at the very least you should be aware, and someone afraid if not at least prepared for when all of a sudden something like this breaks out around you. And god forbid, you can’t bring your kids back if it does and they’re in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Will Oxygen Network and MTV admit their culpability in contributing to this diet of senseless violence. No. The worst part of all this is that places where one should feel safest, a baseball game, a children’s birthday party or an engagement dinner are in this day and age apparently not so.

And there is many an ass who will read this post and have the view that fighting is fun, that they love to fight, that one has to “represent”, not be a punk, test themselves and so on.

Not for the Lacertosa family it isn’t.

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