Friday, July 3, 2009

Crime's Real Dividend

Why do we glamorize gangsters? We are about to have another round of Hollywood hype with the opening of a movie about John Dillinger starring Johnny Depp. Depp is popular and although he doesn't appeal to my demographic, many younger women do like him.
My son told me Tupac, the gangster rapper, is still selling a lot of CDs ten years after his death. Good musician or gangsta appeal? He is dead and like Elvis probably more prosperous now.

John Dillinger was a criminal. He was the FBI's most wanted and terrorized banks while on his crime sprees. There is local history of gangsters hiding out in St. Paul when the heat was on in Chicago. Certainly Chicago had a nasty reputation in the 20's and 30's when bullets flew and bad guys ruled, but that corrupt town was probably more innocent than St. Paul where the officials were bought off and many citizens were complicit. All gangsters had to do was not commit crimes in the city and pay mobbed-up cops and judges who looked the other way. Add to that, many locals socialized with these scumbags. Others gladly served these big tippers in bars and restaurants and rented them apartments and cabins. They were recognized but moved about freely. People considered prominent in society hobnobbed with them.

If you don't believe sin entices and initially looks glamorous, just examine those gangsters lives. Not many died as old men in their warm beds. In the end justice was served. Dillinger died like he lived, violently.

The paper this morning says federal officials expect a rise in bank robberies after the Depp movie comes out. One Wisconsin bank has posted a sign saying caps, hoodies, and sunglasses are not allowed. My husband wondered if they shouldn't add ski masks to that list. Can't say anyone walking around off the slopes with a ski mask on has ever been up to much good. Maybe a bank robber could pose as a Michael Jackson wannabe with aviator glasses, fedora and black silk mask and slip into a bank. Then again, more reasonable people would guess anyone in that get-up was not a normal bank customer.

No comments: