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Gladiatorial Television

Who Needs Lions vs. Christians When There’s the News?

When you have ten million people in a large, spread-out county like Los Angeles, you get to watch a lot of gladiatorial events on the evening news. Most of these are car chases, whenever some chicken-necked loser decides to steal a car and lead the police on a freeway chase. In almost all cases, the perpetrators are spread-eagled on the tarmac while being cuffed by a legion of angry police on their best behavior.

Today, there was a special event. An allegedly homeless man wearing an LA Dodgers hat and no shirt caused a ruckus in the 2000 Block of Brighton Avenue in San Gabriel. Around 1:30 in the afternoon, his girlfriend or acquaintance reported him to the police. The Sheriff’s Department showed up in force. When the man in question began firing at the police, the SWAT team was called in. But that was only the beginning. He set fire to two houses, continued shooting at the police, throwing lit firecrackers at them (?!), and running back and forth from house to car and boat and back again.

Houses Burning in San Gabriel

Of course, the fire department was unable to save the first house that was set afire, because the gunman kept threatening the first responders for upwards of five hours. Eventually, someone decided that enough was enough. First they hit the suspect with a rubber bullet, then they filled his hiding place with tear gas, then moved in and killed him proper using the real stuff.

In the meantime, they had to close down both lanes of the nearby San Bernardino Freeway (I-10) because the house was right up against the freeway, and the gunman kept firing in all directions. Tens of thousands of motorists trying to get home after work were affected.

If this is the kind of entertainment you crave, come to Los Angeles. But if you’re a chicken-necked loser or a shirtless bum, go elsewhere. Like Texas.