Large Cities

I’ve started rereading all of the Travis McGee books by John D. MacDonald. Besides being a hero McGee is quite the philosopher.

New York is where it is going to begin, I think. You can see it coming. The insect experts have learned how it works with locusts. Until locust population reaches a certain density, they all act like any grasshoppers. When the critical point is reached, they turn savage and swarm, and try to eat the world. We’re nearing a critical point. One day soon two strangers will bump into each other at high noon in the middle of New York. But this time they won’t snarl and go on. They will stop and stare and then leap at each others’ throats in a dreadful silence. The infection will spread outward from that point. Old ladies will crack skulls with their deadly handbags. Cars will plunge down the crowded sidewalks. Drivers will be torn out of their cars and stomped. It will spread to all of the huge cities of the world, and by dawn ot the next day there will be a horrid silence of sprawled bodies and tumbled vehicles, gutted buildings and a few wisps of smoke. And through the silence will prowl a few, a very few of the most powerful ones, ragged and bloody, slowly tracking each other down. – Travis McGee from Nightmare in Pink

This was written way back in 1964.

The thing with locusts is the same with rats. If you put them in close quarters they go insane. Many of them turn queer.

That’s what we are seeing in our large cities. The people are going insane. They are electing idiots like Lori Lightweight, Bill DeBlasio, Ted Wheeler, Jacob Frey, and other big city mayors who are destroying their cities.

They’re electing people like the city council of Minneapolis who want to disband the police department.

WTF is wrong with these people? They’re insane. So are the people who elect them. That’s the only thing that makes sense.

The people of Cook County are about to reelect Kim Foxx who is releasing criminals without charging them. That’s insanity.

Here’s another insane idea. No bail. Why? Because it discriminates against poor people. So let’s let a violent crook out of jail without posting bail because he’s poor? Insanity.

Here’s another insane idea. Don’t go after shoplifters if they steal less than $1000. So now the looters know that as long as they steal less than $1000 they’re OK.

I wonder what MacDonald would have Travis McGee say about the current insanity going on in this country?

18 comments on “Large Cities

  1. The only alternative to Lightfoot (known locally as ‘Groot’ (you could Bing the image, but then you can’t ever unsee it, so be warned) ) was considered far worse, so she won in a 75 – 25% landslide in the Democratic primary. I don’t think the Repubs even bothered to run anybody against her in the general election; complete waste of time & money.

    And Kim Foxx? She actually ran her campaign on “I grew up in the projects, so I can emphasize with lawbreakers’ and the idiots in Crook County got exactly what they voted for. Good & Hard.

  2. John D McDonald? I will really have look him up. This guy is a prophet. People turning insane is the only thing that makes any sense, and explains why people are acting the way they are right now. Especially in big cities and even in overpopulated states like California. The biggest thing for us to do is to survive this madness until it passes. It’s all about survival right now.

  3. Uh, a question Mr. Wilson. Does that thousand buck limit apply to regular prices, or should one wait to riot for the big sale days so the slashed prices allow me to get a greater volume of loot?
    Askin’ for a friend.

    • I have a book “Sieg Heil” by Stefan Lorant, a history of Germany from Bismarck to Hitler. Mr. Lorant escaped Nazi Germany in 1933 to the US, and has written many history books. In that book, he wrote up “Night of the Long Knives” as Hitler taking out Ernst Roehm when the Brownshirts became too independently powerful from Hitler, whether or not that is the truth.

  4. You may recall in earlier conversations we’ve had over snifters of Delamain Vesper that I draw an analogy between the “megalopolis” and cancerous tumors. Not only does the “tumor” grow to displace healthy localized organ function, but “cells” that escape local dysfunction help the cancer metastasize in otherwise healthy locations of the body of our culture. Remember the Oregonian plea: “Don’t Californicate Oregon”? And there you have it!

    • And, Yes! Population density with its attendant layers of separation from the realities of survival (growing and harvesting crops, transporting goods, dealing with nature in general) are at the core of the insanity.

  5. The Travis McGee quote is disturbingly prescient. So also is Robert Heinlein’s ‘Friday’. I have it in electronic format, so text searching is easy. The relevant passage, if anyone cares to search, is “what are the marks of a sick culture?” This is “I will fear no evil” in a less dark form, and worth the purchase price. Or I can copy the relevant text, your choice.
    As always, stay safe, stay away from crowds.

    • Yes! re the Heinlein quote.
      I first read Friday back in 1984, and within 10 or 15 years was thinking “this is it, then” about how rude and worthless modern culture seemed to have gotten.
      “Culture” of the 90s was the little leagues compared to today’s crazy culture. How low can it go?

  6. I loved all of John D. McDonalds books. They kept me sane in the Navy. My biggest regret was never writing to him to tell him how much I enjoyed his books. It was like losing a friend when he died.

  7. Travis McGee I believe was one of the archetypes that Robert B. Parker used to created his thesis on the American (male) Hero which he use in his Spenser and Jesse Stone books. At any rate I find there is more thoughtful observation in MacDonald’s work than many critics seemed to want to admit.

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