- Four Kinds of Hackers: Mobsters, Taunters and More - ABC News
- Alleged mobsters guilty in vast Net, phone fraud
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Especially in the latter case--being based on a real person--we see an individual taking a stand against a system with arbitrary rules, fighting for the success of his business, and taking care of his own people sorta. In contrast, we see them fighting against large bureaucratic machines, organizations without personal ties and human agendas. It's not hard to see that the human despots in gangster narratives are more sympathetic than the abstract almost-forces-of-nature they're competing against. I really, really love gangster stories. Some of my favorite movies and tv shows are about gangsters.
It's interesting to think about why. One of the things that really motivates me in these stories is the morality play aspect of it. First, the core characters tend to be very honorable people, deeply committed to family, friends, and community.
But they find themselves in situations where their honor is in conflict with itself, and they are forced to choose or clever their way out of the choice. Second, the bad guys get what's coming to them, in spectacular ways. I'm currently rewatching Sons of Anarchy, a really beautiful show. I'm on Season 3 now, and already anticipating the finale spoiler alert. In a fantastic double murder, Opie gets to kill Stahl, the ATF agent whose lies led to his wife getting murdered by his own club.
And Chibs gets to kill an incredibly powerful IRA gangster who stole his wife and daughter. It's so satisfying, to see these awful people get the punishment they so richly deserve. In a world where justice is so rare and so corrupted, to get to see villains in black and white and getting the fate they deserve is blessed relief for us.
It's a true escape from reality. I think it also comes from how they can act on urges directly. People are sometimes frustrated by their lives, and a mobster seems like it is a glamorous life where you can shoot anyone you don't like. To add to that psychopathic characters who can speak their mind without consequence like Sherlock etc are also admired quite a bit.
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I am of course talking here about romanticism in movies and literature, and not real life ones. You can always tell who actually lived around mobsters vs.
Four Kinds of Hackers: Mobsters, Taunters and More - ABC News
Admiration comes from those who have only heard stories. You're kidding right? Some are just afraid, but many youngsters grow up idealizing these individuals for their success and power. I take it you have actually lived in one of these neighborhoods and not that you're summizing this from something you've read our watched on TV. Fear is quite different from admiration. It's like living under a dictatorship or in Soviet Russia.
Fear and silence doesn't mean admiration or willing complicity. John Gotti was widely "loved" by the same community he terrorized. There are countless examples of this throughout history. I've read that part of Al Capone and other Prohibition-era mobsters success was due to their offering protection from corrupt police forces. This seems prescient as time goes on. I haven't lived in the times of Al Capone, but I have lived in a country where Al Capone-like stuff was still happening at the time, and I can confirm this.
Local organized crime leaders had no more disdain for law than most policemen, prosecutors, judges or politicians. However, due to the nature of their activity, they had to maintain a reputation of honesty and reliability. People feared them, but they were generally true to their word. If you paid the protection tax, your shop was protected. Of course, the tax could be raised without any advance notice, but more astute negotiators generally managed to delay enforcement by a few weeks.
But your shop was fine. Policemen, on the other hand, did nothing of that sort. Even when not actively assisting the crooks, there was no proactive protection of any kind. The police could only step in after your shop was devastated for the first time -- and even then, the usual process was that you'd file a complaint and, after the legally-required 30 days, the local police would send you a short letter saying they couldn't do anything due to lack of evidence.
Assuming, that is, that the post office didn't lose the letter. Law enforcement agents were seen as very unreliable partners: sometimes they'd help civilians, sometimes they'd just stay out of it, and oftentimes they'd blatantly and obviously take the side of the mobster who was paying them to look the other way. The crooks, on the other hand, were seen as reliable. Yes, they were ruthless, but you could generally count on their help, if you were willing to pay the price.
Alleged mobsters guilty in vast Net, phone fraud
We talk about police, shopkeepers, mobsters, politicians as if they're separate factions in society. In the city I stayed in, there was one suburb where every house was part of the same family with the same last name. There must have been to members, who knows. Inside one family there were policemen, shopkeepers, maids, factory owners, factory workers, businessmen, and family members with connections to mobsters I couldn't pin down the mobsters and politicians among them exactly.
In this country family is life.
All members of the family generally love and respect everyone else in the same family. Their family ties are a lot strong than ties they make at their "work". The first thing we did when I arrived to stay with the family was to meet the mobster of the city so as to protect me from everyone else.
One of the mobster's primary function was to act as a middleman for paying "fees" to the right politician to get bureaucratic matters resolved efficiently. In a way, they are lobbyists the common people can afford. The family ties cut across economic, social, and political boundaries. The fact that mobsters thrive there means they are part of the stable equilibrium. It wouldn't be possible to say "Let's get rid of the mobsters" - that's like saying "Let's get rid of the lobbyists from the US. Politicians are good at politics, and often have little technical knowledge of the world outside their workplace.
That's why they rely on lobbyists and mobsters to tell them what to do. Often, the law does not describe the entirety of the world. If you look at history, it's pretty clear this is the normal state of humanity. I, too, absorbed a bit of the sneering disdain for patriotism that a lot of us did as children, but I've since come to understand that it is actually a serious advance in human affairs. Seeing only when it sometimes causes excess is missing the forest for the webworm infestation.
I'm reading a book on Utopias by Lewis Mumford and he explains that most of the utopias always tried to make sure children weren't too attached to their families. Family can prevent people from pursuing their goals or the skills that they're very good at. The most obvious is example is geography where you can't move to another country. I think Orwell's was also about a utopia trying to make sure children weren't too attached to their families. You miss the part where mobsters don't only make their money from illegal but moral activities.
There is plenty of theft and creating the problems they charge money for protection from. Reliable, maybe, but still oppressive. It's interesting how those two types of things often go together. Obviously there are a lot of governance issues there and the stable equilibrium is a local maxima in utility I can see how any substantial improvement can only come at the risk of instability and destruction of quality of life first.
I did feel very happy there, but probably because I was a guest and they treat guests very well. I think the psychological distance only partially explains the reversal in public sentiment from scorn to adoration. Obesity was never a serious problem in the communities I have lived in. The U. S's obesity epidemic is an abstract concept to me as I have never experienced it first-hand , and yet I don't have any nostalgia for it. It's a unique sort of power that can only be obtained illegally, and at some great moral expense. This Faustian device makes for intriguing plots.
Who else can have a mountain of cocaine?