In The Godfather, Mario Puzo wrote "A lawyer with a briefcase could steal more than 100 men with guns." Perhaps he's right.
In an article on ESPN.com, it was reported that gunmen broke into a meeting in Paris of elected officials, seeking -- demanding, actually -- tickets to the Arsenal-Barcelona soccer match to take place Wednesday, May 17th. Aside from the inane stupidity of this particular act, there is some reason behind it. Apparently, there are 80,000 seats for the game, but demand is so high for tickets that street prices for the tickets have exceeded $2500 per; since politicians -- especially the Mayor of Paris -- get free tickets, the gunmen opted to steal the freebies given to the mayor and his staff. Once these nimrods broke into the meeting and realized that the mayor was not present (and there were no tickets lying around waiting to be taken by soccer hooligans taking it one step further) the gunmen escaped, leaving behind a group of bewildered -- but unhurt -- politicans. Apparently none of the politicans, with guns aimed at them, opted to suggest these nimrods watch the game on television.
I remember reading the liner notes to Sting's "Nothing Like The Sun" album; specifically, his notes regarding a track entitled "An Englishman In New York." The song, he suggested, was a nod to Quentin Crisp, an Englishman who had been an author for a number of years and showed a manner of grace and style in an otherwise New York society. Sting -- or Crisp himself -- lamented the fact that crime had become petty, that no one ever did anything criminal with a sense of flair or with any daring. He bemoaned the base, vulgar nature of modern criminals and suggested that he would glad to be deported just to commit and act of crime that didn't injure or harm anyone and left his observers saying "wow."
Needless to say, after reading the above-linked ESPN article, I think I finally understand what Crisp meant.
That, and it reminds me that there will be 80,000 insane, foaming-at-the-mouth rabid soccer fans in one place tomorrow.
Let's pray the stadium implodes before they all manage to escape.