Sunday, August 5, 2012

A Pot of Dark Roast, the Internet, and Some Spare Time

Number of worker deaths due to homicide in multiple-fatality incidents...

Some have expressed concern that the death toll in workplace mass murder incidents is on the rise.  I offer the following for your consideration and analysis.  If anyone has the missing numbers (2007, 2000-2003) or more granular detail (1995-1999) please let me know.

2010, 17% of 401 deaths in multiple-fatality incidents = 68 due to homicide

2009, 23% of 355 fatalities = 82 homicides

2007 multiple-fatality incidents not charted by the BLS


2000-2003 multiple-fatality incidents not charted by the BLS

1995-1999, 19% of 2,949 = 575* (or ~115 per year over five years)  

*"The category includes 173 multiple-homicide incidents claiming 535 workers’ lives, plus 34 murder-suicides claiming an additional 40 workers’ lives beyond the assailants who committed suicide in these incidents.”

UPDATE: Here's another article on the same topic by James Allen Fox at his Crime & Punishment blog - No increase in mass shootings.

I Must Be Severely Out of Sync

But the "best movie of 2012" leaves me cold...

Beasts of the Southern Wild is regarded by the Sundance crowd and many, many others, even Roger Ebert, as some as some sort of masterpiece.  It certainly has its clever, quirky moments and visually striking scenes. At its center is a charming and spirited performance by five year old Quvenzhan√© Wallis , who plays Hushpuppy, the protagonist through whose eyes we view life in The Bathtub, a dysfunctional community of raw characters living in a rude collection of shacks somewhere in the bayou outside The Levee.

In order to create this masterwork director Benh Zeitlin and co-writer Luci Alibar expose  Hushpuppy and other children of The Bathtub (and the actors who played them) to all manner of jeopardy, ignorance, poverty, parental neglect, eating off the floor, beer-swilling, rum-chugging, child abandonment, meals of dog food, burning houses, verbal abuse, family violence, a hurricane, storm surge, forced evacuation, life in an emergency shelter, rotting carcasses, splattered blood, a brothel, and a herd of pigs made up as giant, carnivorous (?!!) aurochs.  I suppose it must be some sort of high-minded allegory, but I’m not feeling it.  As Hushpuppy tells the audience in a quieter moment,

Sometimes you can break something so bad, that it can't get put back together.