1. Brian's First Mugging

    brian on 2004.05.11
    at 02:22 am

    Basically it went down like so. I was walking around the Lechmere Canal, about half way from the mall to the train. I saw two black teens, probably no older than 15 loitering in the darkest section of the wide brick walkway. The walk way isn't terribly dark, honestly. I wasn't too far behind some other woman, but there was apparently no one behind me.

    They started towards my walking trajectory. One faster than the other, as to get on either side of my path. My instincts at that point sounded the alarm. That's not right. My liberal side kicked in "Don't stop walking because they're black. They're dressed cleanly, although very urban, that doesn't mean they're going to do anything. Lots of people mindlessly walk into people's path."

    At this point they were on either side of me.

    "Yo. Give me your wallet"

    "Hey now, come on. Stop it." I say as I try to push by.

    "No, man, wallet, give it up." He restates. It feels more like they're just going to try to bully me. I don't see any weapons. Maybe I can just walk through them.

    "Knock it off." At this point I'm paraphrasing everything, cause I don't remember the words, just the motions and images.

    "Give it up, man. I'm serious." At this point, I see the glimmering blade of a buck-style pocket knife, about three inches in length being held into my gut with light pressure. "Give me your wallet."

    "Alright, alright. There's no need for any of this. Can I just give you the cash, keep my license and stuff?" I attempt to reason with teenage assailants with a knife.

    "Yeah, yeah." Go figure.

    I whip out the cash and hand it over.

    "What else you got in there?" Referencing my bag. Shit, I think.

    "Nothing, I don't have anything else." I try to say as exasperated and pathetic as possible.

    One guy reaches in and see my phone, pulls it from the bag.

    "Oh, come on." I say. "Give that back, what do you want that for."

    "He's going to call the cops if we give it back." One says to the other.

    "Why bother?" I reason. "They'll never catch you anyway. I'm not going to call them. No point."

    "OK, give it to him." The fat one with the knife, the ring leader, says. Skinny one gives it back. Go figure.

    "What else you got?"


    "OK, don't be calling the cops now."

    I get out of there promptly. Honestly surprised. Not so bad for being "violated." Is this the feeling of violation? Why did they do this? They didn't look like typical thieves. They were dressed cleanly. They probably wore those clothes to school. They weren't thorough, and almost polite. I must have been lucky with a couple of rookies. Their whole life of crime ahead of them. They were probably a little scared, too. But as the street would teach, they hid it well. You never show weakness.

    I walk quickly to the train, and get on with little delay. I didn't call the cops, rather back to the store so they could alert mall security. I wasn't concerned too much with the police, as I was with preventing this from happening again that night to someone else. Security could do that. Their presence alone deters. People, attention deters. But, the cops would likely not catch them, unless they were really stupid and hung around there.

    When I got home, there was a message from the store that the police responded to their call instead of Mall Security. The cops usually have a presence in the mall. They want me to call them directly a file a report, because despite my description has passed along by the store, they can't file a report with anything less than a first hand description. I haven't called yet. I'm debating as to whether its even worth it.

    Mugging seems like such a nice word. Armed robbery with a deadly weapon is pretty fearsome. It turns out that this is one of the most common offenses in this area of Cambridge, in fact the biggest other than vandalism. But the analysis doesn't make me feel any better, because I and some many others have to walk that path twice daily.

    What an odd last month: get an awesome new job, treat yourself to a cool new bike for commuting. Have a great time in California training for two weeks, come back, next day find out my Grandfather has unexpectedly passed away. Work my first few days at the fun new job until driving 600+ miles in two days for the services. Hurt your back in at the service carrying stuff. Come back to work, can't ride the new bike thanks to the back injury, enjoy another few days of work, and then get mugged on the way to the backup transportation. Whenever you get a high point, there's life looking to knock you back down.

    Posted in: Recent Events

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  2. More redundant movie links

    jake on 2004.05.10
    at 03:53 pm

    Cory posted two articles from Strange Horizons. It is a web based magazine where they run user submitted stories. They have compiled lists of overly used plot lines. Stories We See Too Often and Horror Stories We See Too Often

    The only problem I have with the lists is in the horror list, under "Serial killer or vampire stalks and slays victim(s)." we find "d. The serial killer was abused as a child." This is based in reality, so a fiction piece about a serial killer would more often than not revolve around chile abuse. It is not always one of the causes, but it does occur regularly. I did a paper in college where I pointed out links of a handful of higher profile serial killers and their history of being abused. Here's Henry Lee Lucas,

    When little Henry sliced an eye while playing with a knife with his brother, his bootlegging, prostitute mother -- Viola Lucas -- left his gashed orb unattended for days until it eventually withered and had to be removed by a doctor. Once mom beat him so severely with a piece of wood that he lay in a semi-conscious state for three days before Viola's boyfriend decide to take him to a local hospital. Another time, she cruelly decided to send Hank to school in a dress and with his hair curled.

    There is some question as to whether Lucas actually committed the numerous murders he confessed to, but let's just say he wasn't very well adjusted either way. Unless the writer wants to stray from reality, abuse makes sense.

    Posted in: Movies

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  3. Interesting movies lost in limbo

    jake on 2004.05.10
    at 03:15 pm

    Kuro5hin has an interesting post about screenplays that were never made. Sometimes, when pondering the repetitiveness of Hollywood, I wonder how many movies are never made that have at least somewhat original plots.

    I thought the premise of Avatar was pretty good. Though as I sifted through it the original story had a few too many clichés. Like, man thrown into weird environment decides to stay behind because he find purpose and love in new environment. But overall I enjoyed it, and I wouldn't mind seeing some computer generated animals...

    The slinger's neck snaps forward, and its long, pointed head detaches, flying through the woods as a self-guiding venomous glider... a smart-dart. The hexapede senses the dart and bolts, bounding in evasive zigzags. The dart tracks it unerringly through the trees and buries itself in its flank. The hexapede staggers. It stands, its muscles spasming, then falls over. The dart starts emitting a series of high-pitched squeals, which allow the body to home in on it blindly. The neck bends down, and is rejoined to the dart. Josh catches a glimpse of hair-like tendrils lacing together... some kind of neural interface. Then the slinger starts to rip the hexapede part.

    Posted in: Movies

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