Write enough and eventually you're going to churn out something dumb; we certainly have on more than one occasion. But today was kinda special, as it appeared there was a competition to write the most Archie Bunker-channeling, anecdotal/imaginary evidence-based, we're-going-to-hell-in-a-handbasket column:
Picking up where emeritus P-I metro columnist Robert Jamieson left off, Danny Westneat tells the tale of a guy named Chris Caudill, who moved to Seattle only to become the victim of a string of unrelated, unsolved, and pretty awful felonies. The moral: Seattle just doesn't give enough of a shit about its apparent rampant lawlessness. So, Westneat notes in closing, Caudill is moving back to Detroit:
"It's extremely bizarre here," [Caudill] said. "I had never seen a drug deal before I moved to Seattle. Here you can sit in nice restaurants and watch drug deals go down right outside the windows."
He's heard all the stats about Seattle's low crime rate. The shiny numbers obscure a raggedness that he says goes oddly accepted here. Even by police.
Is the beef that this stuff goes on in Seattle, or just that our poor aren't sufficiently ghettoized to make it invisible to the wealthy? And where in Detroit was this dude who's never seen a drug deal living? Our guesses: under a rock, or in some well-to-do suburb that's not Detroit at all.
But at least Westneat notes that policing areas like Belltown isn't so simple. And Caudill's string of unbelievably bad luck warrants telling, which is more than we can say for...
The gist: the imbecile with the unbelievable-even-for-cinema good luck is an example to the rest of us because he was simple and didn't expect much, and our problem is that we've moved beyond subsistence farming and can't perform large-scale agriculture or build non-code-compliant hovels within our city limits. "We can't raise our food like Forrest Gump might have."