Finding Damo

The story of a man, his job, two cats and the meaning of success.

Archive for the tag “murder”

Get out of Jail Free

Get out of jail card from Monopoly
What if these were real?

My wife and I were going through a number of random topics – our viewpoints on things are either very similar or almost completely opposite, so this can be a fun pastime – and came across the following hypothetical:

If you couldn’t be convicted of any one type of crime, what criminal charge would you like to be immune to?

It required some thought. You don’t want to waste your immunity on something stupid. Likewise, you don’t want to waste it on something you would never do.

Here are some of the things you can get done for, vaguely ordered from less naughty to quite naughty indeed:

  • Jaywalking
  • Treason
  • Taking drugs
  • Traffic violations (speeding, parking)
  • Pirating videos/downloading TV shows.
  • Shoplifting/stealing
  • Tax evasion
  • Vigilantism
  • Spying
  • Assault
  • Pirating (parrots, wooden legs)
  • Terrorism
  • Murder
  • Poaching
  • Assassination

I’ve left off things that I wouldn’t even consider. And probably a lot of things that I would consider, but I didn’t think of.

Then we started thinking about why we would need immunity from them. Is it because it’s something we’re likely to do on a regular basis? Or because the punishment is so severe that we don’t want to face it?

I mean, the punishment (as a middle-aged white guy) for taking drugs, jaywalking and shoplifting aren’t so bad that they warrant immunity from being charge for them. Same with speeding and parking fines. But if you were constantly speeding, or taking speed, it might be worth it for the savings.

On the other hand, in today’s political climate, it might be worth being immune to prosecution over acts of treason, terrorism and assassination. We’re only a bad decision away from being labelled treasonous or a terrorist. And I’d hate to be blamed for moving that piano using a dodgy crane just as the PM was walking underneath. It was an accident I swear! Same as last week with the piranhas! The punishments for the big things might make that choice worth it.

You know, if you planned on doing it more than once…

…Or blogging about it.

Maybe choosing something that you might do accidentally. It’s easy to stuff up a tax return, or walk out of a shop carrying that bag of oranges. Or dressing up like a bat and protecting the citizens of Melbourne from criminals.

me as batman

I meant speeding. It’s easy to accidentally speed. Dressing up like a bat is quite difficult, especially with a bit of a pot belly.

Some people might suggest that putting murder and assault on the list might be considered a little bit evil. But here’s where the idea of being immune to prosecution for a crime starts to sound a bit more tempting:

Sometimes you REALLY want to kill someone, but it is considered illegal in this country (and most other countries). And fair enough too. I don’t want murder to be made legal. I just want it to be something that I personally can get away with. It wouldn’t even be considered legal, just something that I get away with.

Hear me out. I don’t want to go around randomly killing people. But if someone killed a family member and got away with it, I have a few friends who would help me bury the body.

I honestly don’t know whether I could kill someone. Probably not. Maybe I should just stick with vigilantism.

I rock a cape.

Advertisements

Lock ’em up.

Before I begin I need to reiterate to any new Damo Finders that I very rarely do research before I rant. This blog does not contain scholarly rigour and I freely admit that pretty much anything I write here could be completely untrue.

You have been warned.

teenager in prisonOnce again, I’ve returned from coaching a debating evening filled with the half-formed thoughts of Year 9 students. This time, they were asked to argue “That children should not be incarcerated”. From what I could gather, they were arguing that children (legally, those under the age of 18) should not be held in detention, put in prison, taken to juvie, or the like. It was a challenging topic, especially for our side, who were trying to convince the audience that even a murderer would benefit more from a kind word and some therapy than a stint in the pokie.

Their arguments were that children’s minds are not fully formed before the age of 18 and that they cannot distinguish between right and wrong, and therefore cannot be held accountable for their actions and should not be punished for them. That placing children into institutions puts them in contact with other criminal types, increasing the risk that they will become hardened criminals through association.

The negative team’s best argument was that if the Victorian Police are willing to give a 12 year old a gun license, they must be pretty damn sure that the child knows the difference between right and wrong. They also felt that the greater good of society needed to be taken into account and that a murdering child needed to be removed from society for the good of society.

Good arguments. What do I think?

It is completely possible for a child to be a psychopath. A child doesn’t turn eighteen and then lose the ability to empathise with others. As far as I know, psychopaths are born, not made. There are children that are, if not evil, then at least completely amoral. They either can’t tell the difference between right and wrong, or they know and don’t believe that such distinctions apply to them.

If a child kills or assaults someone, not through an accident or loss of control, but through careful planning and forethought, that child can’t be allowed to continue to exist in society. Who knows? Maybe they can be “cured” or “rehabilitated” through intensive therapy. Maybe not. But until they are judged fit to coexist in society, they are requested to leave the pool. Play time’s over.

James BulgerThose are the extreme cases. Remember James Bulger? Jon Venables and Robert

Thompson – both ten – stole the two year old from a shopping centre. They walked him around town, beat him and kicked him, and then killed him and left him on the train tracks.

Did you know they moved them to Australia? Gave them new identities and gave them to us.

One of the important concepts highlighted in this case is that of “Doli incapax”. Legally there is a stage that a child can be held responsible for their actions. That they understand the concepts of right and wrong, and that death is a permanent state. Back in the early nineties, once it had been judged that the boys understood that death was permanent, they could be tried as adults. I’m pretty sure that’s no longer the case.

Either way, the argument is for or against putting children into detention. I say yes, for murderers and insane evil little Chucky clones (ever see The Good Son?) but no to those who commit crimes against property.

Sticking a child in detention that has been done for shoplifting or similar is like creating a master class for junior thieves. You can find out all sorts of nifty tricks when you hang out with other people with a similar mind frame.

“I’ll swap you some breaking and entering skills for some tips on pickpocketing.”

More to the point, incarceration creates an institutionalised child. It’s not a natural society. The pecking order is similar to prison. The concepts of helping out a fellow inmate or being kind are beaten or terrified out of the child and they learn that being stronger than the next person is the way to be. How is that going to help them in the real world?

Some would say it’s a perfect lesson. I say it’s the top of a slippery slope to hell.

I deal with teenagers every day. Only once in a blue moon do I have to deal with a child around whom I am genuinely uneasy. There is good in almost every child. But there is always the exception to the rule.

I’ve seen a student who was the most surly, angry boy in the school smile with genuine appreciation when I told him his work was good. I can’t say that his attitude changed that much, but his mother told me during parent/teacher interviews that he really liked my class and talked about it a lot at home.

lord of the fliesChildhood in general is like Lord of the Flies. The power plays and shifting alliances are complex and endless. Teenagers are in constant fear of being embarrassed, of breaking an unwritten rule, of being ostracised or excluded. The rules are many and you often only find out you’ve broken one after it’s too late. And everything is done under the shadow of the authority figures in their lives.

We can only be the best role models we can be. We can listen and give advice. We can point them in the right direction and hope that something sticks. And we can fire up their imaginations so that they have more productive ways to exhaust their energies.

But if they’re out there killing people, then hell yeah, lock ’em up.

Rant over. Lighter topics next week.

Rupert, Roger and Roderick

Rupert sang Yellow by Coldplay while slitting Roderick’s brassiere. Yesterday Regina saved Rupert when skies were falling on Roderick. Roderick drugged himself to death by show tunes while bleeding profusely on roger fainting. Sunsets faded into nothingness causing death and destruction to Roger. Tomorrow Regina helped herself to death by poison for herself to suicide assisted death for herself. Resurrecting Rebecca proved impossible however vampires drank Rupert’s life force transforming Roger into Captain Corpse. Captain Corpse disintegrated slowly killing Rupert and festooning Roderick with intestines.

– Dromana trip – 2012.

Road Trip

Road Trip

Before the days of smart-phones, this is what we used to do when we were bored. Rupert, Roger and Roderick were names we took from Life of Brian. We were on a long car trip, or sitting around a campfire, or drunk and bored somewhere and needed something to do and decided to play theatre sports. We told a story, with each person saying a word to make a sentence. And then one of the characters died in a most horrible way. And we laughed. And did it again, this time trying to kill the character. And then again, with each person trying to save their own character and kill off the others.

I was hunting through my old files of random nonsense and found the first ever story, the precursor to Roger, Rupert and Roderick. Here it is:

On a bright summer’s morning the hotdog vendor went north to the hotdog vending laboratory where he inspected hotdogs for sale rapidly in succession. Suddenly out from a bun leaped (leapt?) several mottley yeast particles intent on bloating everything? No! Suddenly out of the bun popped the many faces. Each face ate another bit menacingly of the hotdog vendor.
Seriously though folks,  the moral sucks because there is never time on many faces tick-tocking away to bother eating hotdog vendor.

                        The End?

                           No!

        Consequently, stories like Goldilocks stink because the moral never equates correctly with statistics much in practice but only when [insert budgie’s name here] tells the story. Not often does [insert budgie’s name here] tell stories however hotdogs do. Nothing.

        Mary was sheepishly eating sheep relish and using a forklift to eat daintily. Barry thought Mary should watch herself because without cutlery she might injure him less rapidly. Mary is unconcerned mostly because she doesn’t conserve barries in Australia. When Mary spat the sheep bit she targeted Barry but missiles of destruction work wonders with Barry’s defensive corset. Retaliation was not mandatory however Barry did. Death came yesterday with great pecs of bone and nicely scythed through sheep to provide food for beasts like Mary with alien nuclear capabilities. Barry was angry because Death missed his breakfast on toast, so went under Mary for some beast bits to dye. Instead Barry walked right into hours of plastic
sheep work. Unfortunately Mary dyed the group  of Barry’s sheep dips metallic so committing herself.

– First ever game, October, 1998.

By now we had a game, and so we had to come up with some rules. And thus was born the most exciting game of Rupert, Roger and Roderick. At this stage, it was Rupert, Rufus and Roderick:

Rodgering Rupert, Rufus and Roderick

Roderick killed Rufus almost but fortunately Rufus killed Rupert
nearly totally acting badly. Rupert loves Rufus but killed himself. Rupert
decomposed compost but for now. Rupert resurrected 80’s music after tea
reviving Rupert almost. Roderick suicided unsuccessfully but was bruised by
Rufus who revived Roderick lovingly to throw himself nicely, painfully and
safely onto spikes living in memory escaping life.

As you might guess, it was, of necessity, a three-person game. The first time we added a fourth (we named her Regina) the game went as such:

Regina: Regina

Rupert: Died

Roger: Full stop.

(shocked laughter filled the car)

Regina: Well, that didn’t work!

So we added some more rules.

OK. Rules.

Basics:

Rupert

Rupert

Roger

Roger

Roderick

Roderick

Regina

Regina

Each person takes a name. Traditionally those names are Roger, Rupert and Roderick (with Regina if we need a fourth). You need to keep your character alive and kill the others. However, if you die, that’s not necessarily the end of you. Characters have been resurrected in the past. Often at the expense of someone else.

Grammar:

We had high hopes for grammar and sentence structure when we started this game. Now we just say “if we can’t follow the sentence, we’ll challenge you and it’s up to you to make the sentence work out.” The sentence should work as a sentence. But we’re not going to fire a mailbox up your bottom (Death of Rupert at one stage) if you don’t get it perfect.

Punctuation that ends a sentence or that changes the meaning of a sentence counts as a word. The phrase “full stop” has been the knell of death for many a poor R-named hero or heroine. We also allow the addition of ‘s to a word. Hence “Roderick slashed Rupert’s sneakers”. Finally, the person who says the word is not always the person who spells the word. So, almost once a game we get:

Roger: Rupert
Roderick: dies
Rupert: wool. See what I did there? Change the spelling you tosser!

Roderick dyed his Rufus green. Roderick slashed Rupert’s sneakers causing Rufus’ safe death. Roderick prospered almost committing Rupert. However when Roderick fell four stories fatally it happened that he died.

Cause of Death

We really ramped it up when we decided that people should really die of something. So we added the necessity of weapons:

Scissors didn’t bother saving Rupert from washing powder poisson distribution (this was Dave’s save. a bit dodgy but hey!) but caused Roderick massive lifespan loss. Rufus swallowed nothing but lettuce insecticide fatally kissing Rupert unsuccessfully. However rabbits of great happiness and humour napalmed Rupert almost. Rufuses everywhere donated killer bees. Roderick laughed as chainsaws didn’t stop ever killing Rufus lookalikes but Rufus came undone. Grabbing missiles stealthily Rupert suicided unsuccessfully and aimed them at Rufus. Not aware of the impending destruction, Rufus smelled Roderick’s immortality fading as Rupert destroyed Roderick momentarily distracting himself. Let knives fall. They pierced? Yes but missed Rufus mother, murdering Rufus.

I’m getting the feeling that this is how They Might Be Giants write a lot of their songs.

Once we had the “cause of death” clause, it was safe to put in a fourth person. Thus, Regina was born!

End of Game

When everyone but one person is definitively dead, the game ends. They might be able to be saved in the next sentence, but if they’re dead in this sentence, that’s it. And majority rules. If you think you’re still alive, but can’t argue your case strongly enough, tough, you’re pushing up daisies.

rabid weasel

Worst. Death. Ever.

Rupert, Roger and Roderick is not a game for the faint-of-heart. It’s not a game for the overly argumentative or people unwilling to back down. It is best to enjoy the carnage, embrace the death of your character and try your hardest to take revenge on your murderer. And it doesn’t have to be Rupert, Roger and Roderick (as evidenced by the loss of poor Rufus in the great name shuffle of 2002). You can use your own names, or anyone else’s names. But we find that there is more laughter at “Rupert was stripped to the bones by rabid weasels” than at “Damian was stripped to the bones by rabid weasels”. Well, by me, anyway.

I don’t know how you’re all doing, getting checkout servers to laugh. But we’re done with that now. Make ’em laugh in your own time. New challenge: Get two or three friends. Play Rupert, Roger and Roderick. Write down your game and post it in the comments section. Let me know what worked and what didn’t.

Oh. For the sake of fairness: Dave has a rule that he keeps trying to add in, where you can add “ing” or “ed” to the end of the last player’s word as your go. I feel that it takes away from the simplistic purity of an already devilishly complicated game. However, feel free to give it a shot.

I’m pretty sure there’s an App in this somewhere. If only I could program.

One fine morning when Rufus stabbed Rupert non-fatally complications set Roderick crying with joy because he died. Roderick smells vile but not alive even though he lived shortly. Rupert! Dead finally survived not.

“Oh what a tragedy!” said Bob about Rupert. Even though Chucky died in theory and practise, their genius will prevail when medical tricorders revitalise the tomato and then something exploded.
Chucky, decomposing rapidly decided to forsake Bob after Rupert plunged sinks on Rufuses everywhere. Consequently Chucky posessed Rufus! As Rufus stripped, Chucky’s spirit ate bananas in Hell!
The Armageddon soundtrack sucked and so Bob died.
Chucky disintegrated taking everybody or nobody. Everybody wasn’t crying over Bob’s reincarnation myth. ARMAGEDDON! Nobody liked anybody. Rupert lives not.

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: