January 28, 2023

Shakespeare’s Blanket of the Dark

The Lying Man- Meijer Gardens, at peace without   a security blanket

The Lying Man- Meijer Gardens, at peace in the light

The neurocriminologists calculate that one percent of the world’s population can be classified as psychopaths. Seven billion people means the seventy million criminals, terrorists, and mass killers among us will feel no remorse for the pain inflicted on their victims. Their number will increase without change to the deadly mix of genetics and environment. Genetics are the explosives. The trigger is in the environment. After the Boston bombing, the two brothers supposedly wanted to go on to New York where its 35,000 police and “Ring of Steel” camera system offered a first line of defense. The last line of defense is more Shakespeare than Homeland Security, more dark theater than 24/7 cable. The equipment of the modern law enforcement, the high tech security blanket, is beaten and the knife in the drawer, a Shakespearean instrument, becomes it. Shakespeare never exhausted his ammunition when writing about the dark soul of the human race. Macbeth can out run the modern killer. There are nearly half a million names in the FBI’s database and if the neurocriminologists are correct, the watch list will add many more names from underneath the blanket of the dark. Millions of applicants to choose from, excluding misspellings and fat fingered mistakes.

Come, thick night,
And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell,
That my keen knife see not the wound it makes,
Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark
To cry “Hold, hold!”

Investigators sift through the landfills and human sewage with the ghost of Shakespeare hovering over their shoulders. The criminal’s grandiosity comes to an end with the FBI searching for evidence in the trash. How they start is often how they finish. A new report lists the most violent neighborhoods in America. The neighborhood ranked tenth most violent is in Saginaw where I stopped to get a picture of the abandoned manufacturing plant. The three most violent neighborhoods are in Detroit and a fourth from Detroit is seventh. A Flint neighborhood makes it into the top twenty. Detroit journalist Charlie LeDuff went to the most violent neighborhood and saw the same story lines found in Saginaw- abandonment, grievances, churches, liquor stores, and from all of this the criminal habits that makes heaven weep and the FBI staffed at full employment.

Shakespeare’s Macbeth has been translated into every living language. Understand Detroit or any city on the crime lists and you comprehend better than most violence all over the world. The FBI and Russia’s intelligence service, the FSB, stake out the mosque in Dagestan where the oldest brother visited nine months before detonating his bombs in Boston. Dagestan is the most violent place in Russia. Its most “notable” people achieved notoriety through either violence or sports. The Boston Marathon has its history in the Battle of Marathon and Phidippides’ run to Sparta.

Shakespeare’s blanket of the dark is a metaphor for the comfort of illusions that soothes the painful truth.

“A man with nothing left to lose is a very dangerous man and his energy/anger can be focused toward a common/righteous goal.”- Timothy McVeigh

McVeigh watched the final gun battle and flames of Waco from a farmhouse in Decker, Michigan. He had left his home in New York without love and without a mission in life. He drove for thousands of miles in his clunker and finally found his mission among the Michigan militias. He had a tribe that wanted him.

“Americans were shocked to learn that the prime suspects in the Oklahoma City bombing were not foreign terrorists but men from the nation’s heartland. The plot was not hatched in Beirut or Baghdad but possibly in the backwoods of northeast Michigan by a paramilitary cell that investigators allege McVeigh formed with accused conspirator Terry Lynn Nichols and Nichols’s brother James.”- Washington Post, July 2, 1995

Those backwoods of northeast Michigan become very dark at night. The only lights are from the stars on a clear night. It’s cold and lonely at night in the winter and warm and lonely at night in the summer. Michigan has a lot of lighthouses and the most rugged is in that northeast corner, sending its light far out in the dark, cold water warning ships of the rocks in their path. I think about Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bombing, Michigan militias, when I drive out there. It’s where McVeigh found his blanket of the dark. Violence in rural areas doesn’t get the attention of a Detroit. The neighbors are too scattered into the dark to receive a ranking. But it’s there with the stockpile of weapons.

“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts”

Only when everyone is dead will the curtain come down on Shakespeare.


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