Prime Time Crime

(Prime Time Crime exclusive Aug 28, 2014)

“Common sense is so uncommon nowadays it should be considered a superpower” - T- shirt slogan 

By Mauro Azzano

We are deluged with stupidity in our everyday lives. From bad drivers to inane regulations to incompetent staff, be they slipshod mechanics or fast-food employees.

It’s gotten to the point that when I encounter a competent one in any job, I always commend them on their work ethic, as it has become so rare nowadays. Political correctness, likewise, has swung so far to one end of the pendulum that it defies logic. 

A number of years ago, I learned that the penguins in a small island off the coast of Australia, where I once lived, had been renamed. They used to be called ‘fairy penguins’ for over a century, but the local gay community took umbrage at that name, so now they are called ‘little penguins’. 

I am not making this up.  

In an act of fancy, and poking fun at the name, the local dwarf and midget society complained, and suggested they should be called ‘vertically challenged penguins’. 

Again, I could not possibly make this stuff up. 



While this is a silly and ultimately innocuous example, a much more serious example of just such thinking is playing itself out in a St. Louis Missouri suburb. 

A young man (not a ‘teenager’, as the press says) who we know has casually and forcefully robbed liquor stores, was stopped by a six-year veteran of the police force, an officer with an unblemished record. 

These facts so far are unchallenged by all sides. The young man was jaywalking, and after cautioning him for doing so, the officer noticed the stolen cigars in the young man’s hands.

At this point, one can only conjecture what happened, but the outcome is that this young man, six feet four inches tall, who on camera roughed up a store clerk, was shot dead.

Disturbing as this was, for all concerned, it is far more disturbing that this was an excuse for a lawless mob to loot stores and destroy property.

Were there ongoing tensions between the police and the citizens of Ferguson? Undoubtedly.

Could the situation have been resolved differently? Who knows. None of us was there.

Was Michael Brown a known offender, a petty criminal? Probably.

Could this expand into far more than it already has? Other cities- New York, Houston, and more, have seen demonstrations and threats of violence as a result of this.

It seems that the perception of an injustice against this young man is justification for violent action, calls for revenge against the officer involved, and threats against the population in general, but calls for calm, even from the family of the young man himself, go unheard.

Common sense and restraint have gone out the window in this case. Common sense would tell us to wait until all the facts are in before making a judgment.  Common sense would tell us that the way to convince the world that Michael Brown was innocent is not by trashing and looting downtown Ferguson.

In 1914, a member of the Austrian royal family, one who was widely seen as the embarrassing uncle nobody talks about, was shot by a disgruntled Bosnian teenager.

The death of Archduke Franz Ferdinand plunged the world into four years of war. Let’s hope that the Michael Brown case does not mushroom to much more than it ought to be.



Prime Time Crime

Contributing 2014