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.


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.