Editorials for Tuesday — August 12, 2003

• Ice action

• Have a hoot

Ice action

The legislative informational meeting held Monday night in the Council Chambers drew out many interesting statistics about Kaua‘i’s ice problem and the negative effect it is having on our society.

Many speakers asked for a build up in treatment programs, and the creation of drug treatment houses for both youth and adult drug abusers.

Perhaps the most eye-opening comments came from Kaua‘i Prosecutor Mike Soong, who told the legislators of bills they passed that are hamstringing law enforcement officials in Hawai‘i.

Soong said the low end of the drug crime spectrum was being attacked by county police departments in Hawai‘i, while the high end was being fought by federal officials. He said due to limits on wire taps – with Hawai‘i one of only two states with such laws – and other law enforcement tools, the main drug dealers on Kaua‘i are getting away with moving drugs in the island.

A legislator commented that they had heard similar testimony from a Honolulu City & County Prosecutor.

The county police forces of Hawai‘i need to be unshackled by the legislator. Along with drug treatment, law enforcement needs to be beefed up.

Have a hoot

A passle of people did something totally silly in the University City Loop one recent night.

Hooray for them. Hooray for silliness. St. Louis could use a little more nonsense.

Dozens of young people wandered into the Vintage Vinyl record store at precisely 8:16 p.m. All of them browsed through the same bargain bin for 10 minutes. Then someone shouted, “I found it!” and they all filed out, leaving clerks and customers scratching their heads.

The “mobbing” fad has hit St. Louis. A crowd of people, most of them strangers, meet over the Internet. They arrange to show up at a certain place and do something harmless but bizarre. The idea is to leave bystanders bemused, bewildered and wondering, “What the heck was that all about?”

In Berlin, a mob met on a crowded street, all pulled out their cell phones and yelled, “yes! yes!” then started clapping. In New York, about 100 people met in the rug department of Macy’s department store. They told the clerk that they all lived in a commune and were looking for a “love rug.”

Looked at another way, mobbing is nothing new in St. Louis. We mob Busch Stadium 81 times a year. We eat hot dogs, yell, clap, do the wave and watch a bunch of grown men knock a little ball around. A visitor from Mars would think we are all pretty silly. We’re silly and happy.

Mobbing follows a tradition of random absurdity, stretching back to phone booth stuffing in the 1940s and the street “happenings” of the 1960s. Every generation needs to throw a little wackiness into the humdrum. A good laugh and a good cheer make the knocks of life go by easily. As long as it’s harmless and good-humored, mob away.


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