Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Buzzkill.

In comments to Marko's post about pedal pubs, Joat linked to an interesting news story:
Almost the instant they stopped at a red light, a crowd of "25 to 40 young African Americans" suddenly materialized and surrounded the pub, as Ranney told police later. The teenagers jumped up on the bar, shaking the whole contraption and screaming indecipherably. Ranney says a couple of the kids tried to grab purses from an overhead storage compartment...
Here's some ofay suburban types looking for a leisurely, if somewhat boozy, tour around their fair city, and instead they get a pedal pub trip through downtown Minneapolis as envisioned by Joseph Conrad, and it's not like they were pedaling through the 'hood, either: Nicolette Mall is right in the commercial heart of downtown, analogous to Circle Centre here in Hoosieropolis.

Look, folks, the whole "social contract/rule of law" thing is based on good citizens receiving a modicum of protection from stuff like this in exchange for not driving the wrong way down the freeway while snorting fat lines of coke off the dashboard and shooting anybody who gives them the finger for it. If you can't deliver the former, where's the margin in refraining from the latter?

30 comments:

SGB said...

You had me at ofay.

Anonymous said...

I brought my snubbie last time I rose this, through the grittier but ironically safer NE Mpls neighborhoods (a bar on every corner), and I'll surely have it if and when I do this again. I imagine if you did contact headshots of one or two of these a-holes, the rest would probably run off down the block like jackals scared off of a carcass.

I don't like to go to downtown Mpls anyhow, except for ballgames. Get in, get out before dark, avoid the crowds. It's not that scary, there's just so many a-holes in one area.

Matt
St Paul

perlhaqr said...

So these tours need two sober people. One to drive, and one to ride, well, shotgun.

Or they need to send a bunch of Marines on the tour.

"Stand by to repel boarders!"

Anonymous said...

Must be a hell of a big teleporter to make 40 people suddenly materialized.

Gerry

perlhaqr said...

Gerry: Enh. Crowded downtown sidewalks could probably disgorge a shockingly large group if they were suddenly surrounding one's car.

Pakkinpoppa said...

And now I have that scene from "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" in mind, if you're going to snort coke off the dashboard, I'd say have a lawyer and don't let him try it with the top down.

Pakkinpoppa said...

This pedalpub idea does have the lack of possibility of a bouncer, and you're kind of exposed to the open air. I think I'll pass, or perhaps take the security job.

Brad K. said...

"shooting anybody who gives them the finger for it."

Reminds me of Nancy Springer's short story, "Oops!", I think it was in Chicks in Chain Mail, edited by Esther Friesner. A timid (and slow driving) elementary teacher was harassed on the LA freeways . . until her guardian angel began lopping off the protruding digit of every driver that gave her the finger.

Just saying.

Matt G said...

The Social Contract originally permitted people to defend themselves. It's been twisted and mishapen into something that I don't recognize much, anymore.

Still, I try to pull from my side, to keep my end kinda straight.

Panamared said...

Might be time to strengthen the castle doctrine to include public transportation.

Brian J. said...

The worst bit of it is the comments on the story, half of which are urban hipster dweebies chiding the suburban people for being threatened by The Big City.

Schmucks like that like to feel brave that they live in an environment where that sort of thing happens to other people. But if it happens to them, it's a tragedy of a scale never before seen on this planet.

fast richard said...

It's been a long time since I've spent any time in downtown Mpls. It was an incident in one of the bad neighborhoods of Minneapolis that led to my first handgun. I hadn't heard about this incident, but my nephew was recently beaten and robbed by home invaders in another of the bad neighborhoods. Sounds like downtown town is becoming just another bad neighborhood.

By the way, it's Nicollet with the accent on the first sylable, not the female name Nicollette.

Bubblehead Les. said...

They really said "African-American Youths" in the paper? Sigh! You know, if this Country would just elect an African -American President, then this kind of senseless violence displayed as a Cry for Help due to those Racist Policies caused by generations of Racism perpetrated by the White Establishment would be swept away under the .... huh? They DID elect an African- American President? And he has an African -American Attorney General? Oh. Well then.

Then it must be Bush's Fault.

rickn8or said...

"Stand by to repel boarders!"

Oh, I'd pay money to see THAT.

DirtCrashr said...

I went there once back in 1981, all I remember is they had a lot of strip-clubs.

Stretch said...

I've no doubt the yoots were Somali refugees. Minneapolis has had a huge problem with the State Department supplied gangs since the late 90s.

docjim505 said...

Matt G - The Social Contract originally permitted people to defend themselves. It's been twisted and mishapen into something that I don't recognize much, anymore.

Yep. I fear that, IF one of the patrons had done anything beyond calling 911, he would be under the jail about now. "Dodge City! Vigilante justice! Lynch mobs! BLOOD RUNNING IN THE STREETS!!!"

So, just lie still and let the crooks do what they like. If you want to try to remember what they look like to tell the police later (assuming you survive), that'd be helpful.

Blackwing1 said...

All it takes is one "teen" to be offended by someone with the audacity to put their hand on their own wallet to try to prevent it from being taken, and it goes from assault to assault-and-battery, to assault-with-intent-to-do-bodily-harm, to assault-with-intent-to-kill. These "teens" have no way of knowing who on that pedal-pub might have a hidden physical problem that means what would otherwise be a simple assault is, for that person, an attempt-to-kill.

I've got a plate and four bolts in my neck. You can't tell just by looking at me. Somebody punches me in the right (wrong) spot, I might end up dead or with a severed spinal cord. Having a large "teen" simply threaten me with a physical assault is life-threatening. I sure as heck can't run away, and have no way to use a lesser force to stop the attack. The "four easily popped balloons" of self-defense are satisfied:
- Reluctant participant
- No lesser force will stop the attack
- In immediate danger of death or grave bodily injury
- No reasonable retreat

I live in this f#$@ed-up city, and I hope like heck I never run into something like this. I'd be so scared for my life that I'd probably empty the magazine into the first idiot to credibly threaten me. And that would essentially end MY life too, since I'd no longer be a victim of a crime, but something much, much worse. Somebody who demonstrated he didn't need the state to protect his rights.

Of course, if I'm on a pedal-pub I'm going to be drinking, which means I'm not carrying. So I guess I'll just give it a pass, and drink at home. It's cheaper, too, not to mention safer.

Anonymous said...

The far left favors chaos. -- Lyle

Matthew said...

A narrowly averted bar-jacking.

Anonymous said...

>Must be a hell of a big teleporter to make 40 people suddenly materialized.

Unfortunately, it seems that "wilding" has gone out of fashion as a phrase, so poor Niven gets his lingo mangled.

-SM

Joseph said...

What if someone dropped a banana peel in just the right place?

Justthisguy said...

One would think that silly SWPL people would have more sense than to obtrusively insert themselves into a "Vibrant Community.""

But then, I have noticed that folks who define themselves mainly as bicyclists aren't real swift at getting along with the other humans. I mean, some of them are _my_ age, and still wear Spandex in public.

Robert Langham said...

Canaries dead at every hand.

Tam said...

Justthisguy,

"Revitalized" downtown urban shopping/dining districts are not the 'hood. They are as whitebread as any suburban mall.

Yrro said...

It's amazing how quickly we revert to roving packs of the animals in the absence of a civilizing upbringing.

Kristopher said...

Little dumbasses.

Rule of law protect them from us ... not the other way around.

They can break it down at their peril.

Justthisguy said...

Oh, yeah, Tam. I know. I used to live in Little Five Points. Those yuppies and hipsters can be pretty annoying, too.

Grayson said...

@ rickn8or...

"Stand by to repel boarders!"

If I get intoxicated enough, I'd pay money to DO that. :}

Wraith said...

...in exchange for not driving the wrong way down the freeway while snorting fat lines of coke off the dashboard and shooting anybody who gives them the finger for it.

What, you mean we can't do that any more? ;)

All joking aside, this is one of the many reasons I left the MSP and moved to Arizona. It sucks much less here.