Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Thing About This Casey Dean Moore Thing

We Nebraskans like to think that we're all badass like Texas is.  We're true salt-of the earth John Wayne types too, damnit.  We're real Americans imbued with the courage to get our hands bloody and punish evil like real men, just like the cool kids at Red America High who go out for football and get all the girls. 

 But the real truth is that once you strip us down we're the same soft-hearted Yankees that we ritualistically mock, bitelessly and by rote because we don't really mean it.  Because we are Midwesterners, and those of us who didn't come off the boat, who were already American, came here from the East not to escape the east but to expand it, to fill the landscape with the same styles of trees, gardens, and wood frame houses that you'll find in Iowa and Illinois and Indiana and Albany New York.   There's a reason we joined the Big Ten, after all.  Well, yes, money.  But symbolic and essential reasons as well. Chicago is our capital. We are tied to the city and the modern world.  Let those Huns down south try to escape it.

True, there is still more than enough country in us to make us feel like we're supposed to value sternness  and toughness over all other things.  That's why our current relationship with the death penalty is going to remain in it's current state of black-comedy stasis for a long time probably.   We're certainly keeping it on the books, and woe to any limp-wristed politician who suggests we should take it off the books and thinks he can still win.  But at the same time we don't truly, in our heart of hearts, honestly want to kill broken, helpless, sorry ass old cons who have been effectively dead for a long time now.   There will continue to be one or two condemned men in every generation who, depending on how they see it, who are either lucky or unlucky enough to actually get the ax, for the other ninety percent the death penalty in Nebraska will simply be a life sentence with some dramatic flair attached to it.   

And that's fine by me, I'm an out of the closet effete elitist eastern idiot, after all.  It's dishonest.  It's grotesque.  But I have my priorities.  I can live with this.   

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