Thursday, May 18, 2006

Good Question

On Monday, I posted about some shootings over the previous weekend. In particular there was a story about James Guajardo and Sisavath Soukangouane who were killed at the La Vie Lounge in Stanton. I mentioned it and posted a phone number where anyone who might be paying attention could contact the police should they have any information.

Seems a friend of James' dropped by and left this comment.
I was wondering why you post these stories. I found your site while searching my deseased friend's name. Do you know these people?

It got me to wondering. Why do I post these stories?

It's a bit convoluted, I think, so bear with me.

First off, no, I don't know these people. I don't know anyone I've written about here. All my information comes from newscasts, newspapers, occasionally a piece from a radio show.

The fact that I'm a sick son of a bitch is pretty well documented. When I was a kid I wanted to work in the coroner's office. But as I got older I wanted to make more money and not get tuberculosis in an overrun morgue, so that career path kind of got shelved.

I've always been fascinated by crime. If I had more balls, I'd probably be doing long con land grabs in Louisiana right about now. Instead, I just write about it. My fiction isn't half bad, if I do say so myself, and one of these days I hope to make some real money with it.

Part of the reason I think I post these stories is because I don't know these people.

A kid gets shot outside an apartment building at 3am. Ya know, I don't really care why he was there. Maybe he's in a gang, maybe he's just got insomnia. Maybe he's got a high school crush and the only way he can steal a kiss is to meet her outside her bedroom window on a moonless night. I don't know if he's a murderer, or a thief, if his family is destitute or if he's an upper class brat with daddy's credit card and a backpack full of blow.

All I know is that he's dead. He's a complete stranger to me and I don't know if anyone is going to mourn him, or avenge him, or bring his killer to justice. Maybe I'm trying to make a difference. Maybe I'm just trying to rack up my site traffic. I really don't know.

Of course, I'm also an asshat with a soapbox and a bullhorn. I'm a rude, arrogant smart-ass with a sick sense of humor, who enjoys making inappropriate jokes about death and tragedy. Without going into too much self analysis and Meyers-Briggs profiles (I'm an ENTJ by the way, which should surprise no one who actually knows what that is), I'd say it's a defense mechanism. If I can write about it and joke about it, it's somehow less real, less tragic.

And I'd really like to see L.A. become less tragic.

3 comments:

anne frasier said...

once this kind of thing is reported on the news, it's forgotten. i think putting it all in one place and keeping it out there is a great idea -- although it probably was a bit jarring to get an email from a victim's friend.

i tend to think we are all whistling in the dark when it comes to our obsession with crime and death. (if i stare at it long enough maybe i'll be better prepared when it happens to me.)

Stephen Blackmoore said...

Something like that, yeah.

I've actually gotten a few comments from people involved. Some of them have been grandstanding, one was particularly useful in making it clear just how much of an ill informed asshat I can be.

In all, yeah, I think it's important to have this stuff out here.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Its a good thing for you to post information. The coward needed to be arrested with the others that are ok with his crime. That night it was a war zone all went blztic, shouting running and screaming.
there so many who know who it is but they have fear. I knew both James and Sai. Its a hard thing to have seen and live. God be with us all.