Skip to comments.A Vandalized Valley By Victor Davis Hanson
Posted on 05/10/2012 1:30:00 AM PDT by dennisw
I am starting to feel as if I am living in a Vandal state, perhaps on the frontier near Carthage around a.d. 530, or in a beleaguered Rome in 455. Here are some updates from the rural area surrounding my farm, taken from about a 30-mile radius. In this take, I am not so much interested in chronicling the flotsam and jetsam as in fathoming whether there is some ideology that drives it.
Last week an ancestral rural school near the Kings River had its large bronze bell stolen. I think it dated from 1911. I have driven by it about 100 times in the 42 years since I got my first license. The bell had endured all those years. Where it is now I dont know. Does someone just cut up a beautifully crafted bell in some chop yard in rural Fresno County, without a worry about who forged it or why or why others for a century until now enjoyed its presence?
The city of Fresno is now under siege. Hundreds of street lights are out, their copper wire stripped away. In desperation, workers are now cementing the bases of all the poles as if the original steel access doors were not necessary to service the wiring. How sad the synergy! Since darkness begets crime, the thieves achieve a twofer: The more copper they steal, the easier under cover of spreading night it is to steal more. Yet do thieves themselves at home with their wives and children not sometimes appreciate light in the darkness? Do they vandalize the street lights in front of their own homes?
In a small town two miles away, the thefts now sound like something out of Edward Gibbons bleaker chapters or maybe George Millers Road Warrior, or the Hughes brothers more recent The Book of Eli. Hundreds of bronze commemorative plaques were ripped off my towns public buildings (and with them all record of our ancestors public-spiritedness). I guess that is our version of Trotskyization.
The Catholic church was just looted (again) of its bronze and silver icons. Manhole covers are missing (some of the towns own maintenance staff were arrested for this theft, no less!). The Little League clubhouse was ransacked of its equipment.
In short, all the stuff of civilization municipal buildings, education, religion, transportation, recreation seems under assault in the last year by the contemporary forces of barbarism. After several thefts of mail, I ordered a fortified, armored mailbox. I was ecstatic when I saw the fabricators Internet ad: On the video, someone with an AK-47 emptied a clip into it; the mail inside was untouched. I gleefully said to myself: Thats the one for me. And it has been so far. But I wonder: Do the thieves not like to get their own mail? Do their children not play Little League? Do they not want a priest at their funeral? Would they not like to drive their cars without worrying about holes in the street? Or is their thinking that a rich society can cover for their crimes without their crimes ever much affecting them given that most others still do not act as they do?
I know it is popular to suggest that as we reach our sixties, everything seems worse, and, like Horaces laudatores temporis acti, we damn the present in comparison to the past. Sorry, it just isnt so. In 1961, 1971, and 1981, city street lights were not systematically de-wired. And the fact that plaques and bells of a centurys pedigree were just now looted attests that they all survived the Great Depression, the punks of the 1950s, and the crime-ridden 1970s.
A couple now in their early 90s lives about three miles away from me on their small farm. I have known them for 50 years; he went to high school with my mother, and she was my Cub Scout leader. They now live alone and have recently been robbed nine, yes, nine, times. He told me he is thinking of putting a sign out at the entrance to his driveway: Go away! Nothing left! Youve already taken everything we have. Would their robbers appreciate someone else doing that to their own grandparents? Do the vandals have locks on their own doors against other vandals?
There is indeed something of the Dark Ages about all this. In the vast rural expanse between the Sierras and the Coast Ranges, and from Sacramento to Bakersfield, our rural homes are like stray sheep outside the herd, without whatever protection is offered by the density of a town. When we leave for a trip or just go into town, the predators swarm.
THIS IS JUST AN EXCERPT -— read more at http://www.nationalreview.com/blogs/print/286354
I read this before, freepers who read it will see that as Victor Davis Hanson shows us a little of where he lives, it is an intimate connection with our own lives in relation to the deterioration of America.
I read the entire article. what a depressing piece. I had no idea it was that bad in california.
yep... A repost for those who might have missed it the first time around. VDH is reporting from ground zero. First from his vandalized county, then his vandalized state of California
It is no secret that California has very literally gone to the devil.
We live in rural Indiana. There have been several home robberies lately in our vicinity. Scary stuff.
He is one of our great writers, but this time, he is writing a simple/short piece about his own California neighborhood, and recent crime.
Here in NJ they’re stealing nameplates from headstones; we are at a low I haven’t seen before in my time.
Theft of all metal items to be sold as scrap now include cemetary urns and anything they can carry off;I blame the scrap metal dealers who ask no questions.
A sort of neighbor was practically salivating looking around my place before I told him off;everything he saw looked like scrap $$$$$ to him.
I have some lead for these thieves.
I did miss it. Thankyou for posting it, Dennis. What a sad time we live in.
Not quite that bad in central PA yet, but I feel like he’s giving us a glimpse of our future. At the same time though, I keep hearing the propaganda about how the US incarcerates a larger proportion of their ‘males’ than any country in the world. I just don’t get it...
I remember reading this when it first came out..and it is well worth it again. Very sad to see what was once a golden state fall to ruin by its own hand. I hope the rest of the country wakes up before we share its’ fate.
” When the Nob Hill elites suddenly have the horde at their doorstep, maybe then it will stop. “
Why should it be up to *somebody else* to put a stop to it??
This nation has a rich history of ‘Committees of Vigilance’ to deal with lawless places in lawless times — a few vandals hanging from roadside trees has a marvellous deterrent effect...
What a nation of sheep we have become...
I had someone leave a brochure on an old car in my driveway; I called the 800 number and told them they’d be arrested if they set foot on my property again.
I think it would be a good thing. An armed society is a polite society, and the point of being armed is so that you can defend yourself and your property. As it stands, our elected government does a pretty poor job of stopping criminals - if the government decided to focus on the persecution of the productive, decent-minded folks who wish to preserve their own property rights ... then I think the government will just be clearly aligning itself with the Looters, and I think citizens will act upon that little tidbit.
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