I used to be a Chicago Cubs fan. Even today, the red C on the royal blue field cloth stirs in my heart an optimism and excitement for the baseball season, Ron Santo and Ernie Banks and Billy Williams dedicated their careers to a single team: The Cubbies. But last year the real world interfered with my sentimentality. I saw a special on ESPN about the Steve Bartman episode. It showed footage of how the Chicago fans treated the young man who interfered with a foul ball in a playoff game costing the Cubs an out that might have made the difference in the Cubs advancing to the World Series for the first time in 50 years.
The TV special showed fans cursing and throwing beer onto Bartman, dowsing him and all his clothing as he sat fearfully stoic in his seat, hidden beneath his dripping baseball cap. They treated him so disdainfully that the ugly side of crowds of humans was manifested so that I did not want to have anything in common with these people, and still so today. Similar scenes of rioting and criminal activity seem much more common in the big cities. So yes, I agree, that cities produce ferocious men “because they produce corrupt men.”
Hugo’s humanitarian slant excuses the crime saying that 4 out of 5 crimes are attributed to starvation; something that is clearly not true today in the USA. But there are still excuses of economic or social or racial “injustice.” I suppose there will always be an excuse that will feed the appetite of the restless souls in the big city. The corruption can only be kept at bay by parents teaching responsibility and compassion and servanthood instead of entitlement.
Always a reason to put off a charitable act. Always a reason to post-pone the sacrifice. Always a reason to assume a debt and burden tomorrow. Always a reason not to pray right now. Always a reason not to work diligently on the mundane in this moment. Always a reason, no matter how unreasonable, to indulge in an entitled moment.