THE NEW YORK TIMES SPREADS FEAR AND DESPAIR with this wonderful oddity of an article about “iconic crimes” in today’s metro section. I don’t know whether they publish this sort of thing to give publicity to the writer’s new book or to drive down housing prices, but it’s still fun to read this doozy of a closing thought over tea on a lazy Sunday afternoon:

The crimes that become iconic etch themselves into the collective consciousness because they suggest a frightening truth: that the universe does not rely on cause and effect. If that is true, there’s no possibility of control, and that thought opens an abyss of despair. People speak of “senseless” killings, but every crime makes sense to the criminal who commits it. Iconic crimes are those that are senseless to the victims, and to the public. They are a reminder that there is no way to guarantee safety. If a police officer mistakes you for someone else, you can be shot 19 times. If you go for a jog, you can be raped, beaten and left for dead. If you send your child to school, he may never come back.

And if you linger over a drink after closing time, your battered, empty body can turn up in a desolate place, under a lone streetlight, far away.

Just the thing to get you fired up for another Monday morning.

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