Brown's provocative historiography, well-documented, connects the dots from the rugged individualism of gunfighter James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok to geekish "subway vigilante" Bernard Goetz
to the courts and law enforcement agencies that support no duty to retreat.
It is not immediately known why Slotnick, best known for representing subway shooter Bernard Goetz
in the famed 1984 subway shooting, took on this case.
For an extreme example think Bernard Goetz
, who shot four teenagers who were trying to mug him on a New York subway in 1984.
Not only was there John Wayne but also Buford Pusser, not only Charles Bronson but also Bernard Goetz
, not only Natural Born Killers but also Columbine.
The right kind of impetus, argues Gladwell in a chapter about Bernard Goetz
(the most explicitly political section of the book) is often a subtle stimulus that influences how people feel and so directs how they act.
Byron's piece, "Bernard Goetz
, James Ramseur, and Me" is particularly striking, with powerful playing from all the members of the group.
Among the remaining complexities is one which he confronts but misunderstands in his alarmingly-titled Chapter 7: "Syndromes and Political Theory: The Twilight of Considered Judgment and Citizenship"--the widespread acceptance of the self-defense standard which permitted Bernard Goetz
to be found not guilty of murder charges.
Even a fairly interesting-but-complex story, such as the indictment of Clark Clifford, cannot be sustained with boring video of Clifford walking past reporters saying "No comment." However, when the newsmaker has done something pretty outrageous, the viewers' blood is sufficiently worked up that just seeing Woody Allen or Bernard Goetz
whisking past reporters is enough to support the story.
But the "me-too" mimicry, if it takes pot shots at political correctness, also opens for scrutiny a deeper, darker vein into the living theater of '90s American Gothic in which the ghosts of such infamous do-it-yourselfers as Joe McCarthy and Wilhelm Reich make cameo appearances alongside Bernard Goetz
and countless others who had a vision that failed and, who, in the process of their induction into the annals of infamy, got more than a little wacky.