Variations on a theme: Depravity


Two stories of a common theme, both from The Stranger‘s regular “Last Days” column, penned by David Schmader.

Last year:

FRIDAY, JUNE 1 The week continues with the aforementioned differently abled street brawler, thanks to the eagle eyes of Hot Tipper Genevieve: “As I was meandering my way through Westlake Center toward Pacific Place for this afternoon’s SIFF screening of the documentary Crazy Love (highly recommended) [Last Days seconds that recommendation], I saw a twentysomething woman in a kiwi-green halter top and tight capri pants who’d somehow managed to pick a fight with a slightly obese middle-aged woman in a wheelchair. And I mean a real fight. The sporty young woman would swoop in mantis-like for a strike only to be fended off with a skillful hook from her stationary adversary. Truly, the disabled pugilist dominated the fight, making solid contact with every blow, causing the other woman to dance back skittishly after failing to land a single solid punch. As I watched from a distance, I reflected on the epic proportions of the Manichaean duel taking place, thinking to myself that the meek shall inherit the Earth, indeed.”

And just a couple weeks ago:

SUNDAY, MAY 18 The week ends with an extraordinary tale of “religion gone bad and valiant community spirit” from that inexhaustible forum for freakery known as King County Metro, reported by heroic Hot Tipper Oscar. “I was riding the 18 headed downtown, when out of the corner of my eye I saw some movement. When I turned to look, I saw a man repeatedly hitting a blind woman seated at the front of the bus. An older gentleman seated next to the woman jumped up and tried to intervene, but a quick punch to the head knocked him back down into his seat. Once I realized that what I was seeing was real, I rushed the assailant and grabbed him by the arms while he yelled at me to ‘keep out of this. You got no idea what’s really happening here’ and the woman cowered and covered her head. He kept screaming about ‘being filled with the power of God’ and threatening to kill me for stopping him from doing God’s work. Three other passengers helped me hold him while another rider called 911. Another passenger was assisting the assaulted woman, who’d been hit so hard she was bleeding. The police arrived and apprehended the attacker, then took all of our names. While one young lady was telling her story, I heard her say that when the assailant got on the bus he saw the blind woman and said, ‘God says all sick people must die,’ then started hitting her. [Confidential to the psychotic assailant: Blind people aren’t sick, and all people must die. Back to Oscar:] The assaulted woman was checked by paramedics and declared physically okay, except for scratches and bruising, then got a ride home from a fire marshal. Thanks to all my fellow Metro riders who pitched in and stood up for someone unable to defend herself.”

You know, when I was a kid, I got the standard lecture about how bullies are just scared and desperate and looking for someone—anyone—whose misery might compensate for whatever the bully lacks. And this makes a certain amount of sense. But attacking the blind or the wheelchair-bound seems a particularly severe escalation that, at best, only testifies to a growing sense of depravity about humanity.

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