WILD, WILD, WEST - 10.25.2022
October 25, 2022
Good Tuesday morning.
Welcome to RUPP'S NOTES/FBI SPECIAL AGENT HARTMANN SERIES post for October 25, 2022. I'm novelist Richard V. Rupp, writing from Burbank, California.
"Americans have been obsessed with murderers since the days of public executions in Puritan times. We started consuming crime as pop culture in the early 1800s when the penny press realized that murder sells newspapers," says Adam Golub, professor of American studies at California State University, Fullerton.
The professor goes on to say, "True crime is one way that we try to make sense of transgression in society. How we tell these stories and how depict the criminal's motivation reflects our desire to believe that there's reason and order in the world rather than chaos and evil. So, we search for explanations that may not really be there. We desperately need to believe that there is a human explanation for monstrosity. Otherwise, it's terrifying — what are we really dealing with out there?"
During the '20s, '30s, & '40s, Americans loved "Pulp Fiction" with crime stories from the likes of Raymond Chandler and Erle Stanley Gardner. Their characters were hard-boiled private detectives, an entirely American invention. The many writers of this era produced more than 500 titles a month. Americans love a good murder mystery and have always had a fascination for guns.
The United States has the highest gun ownership rate (1.205 per person), almost double that of the Falkland Islands, the second country on the list. This compares with Canada (.0347 per person) and Finland (.0324 per person). Last Friday, regulations went into place in Canada banning all sales, purchases, and transfers of handguns within the country.
Unfortunately, our Wild, Wild, West attitude toward guns extended to the movie set of RUST, where Alec Baldwin shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins a year ago. The story behind the RUST shooting reflects America's love of guns (crew members used them for target practice), lack of education, and a prevalent attitude of not following rules. Since that shooting, attempts by the movie industry trade unions, including my sons, have failed to establish tighter controls over the use of guns on movie sets. This reflects Americans' current attitudes toward guns.
An article in the October issue of the CTC SENTINEL published by the COMBATING TERRORISM CENTER AT WEST POINT indicates, "Violence in America has risen to alarmingly high levels … This high level of violence is dangerous to our society. It is dividing our people into armed camps … jeopardizing our most precious institutions … poisoning the spirit of trust and cooperation essential to their functioning … corroding the central political processes of our democratic society … substituting force and fear for argument and accommodation. . . . Right-wing extremists in the United States have easy access to powerful firearms. Extremists of all persuasions have far easier access to firearms, including assault rifles, in the United States than they do in Europe and other Western countries."
Here in the USA, the wealthiest country in the world, people are more likely to die than Europeans. The main reasons are guns, drugs, and cars. The USA has significantly more gun and overdose deaths than any other rich country and a higher death rate from car accidents. Gun violence, Opioid use, and vehicle accidents are at epidemic levels. The increase in fatalities discriminates, as more men are dying than women, and more Hispanics and Blacks than white and Asians. Our failure to educate our populace contributes to our high death and crime rates.
According to the JUSTICE POLICY INSTITUTE, "Overall, individuals incarcerated in U.S. prisons and jails report significantly lower levels of educational attainment than do those in the general population. The CRIMINAL JUSTICE RESEARCH CENTER indicates, "States with higher levels of educational attainment have crime rates lower than the national average. . . .States with higher college enrollment rates experience lower violent crime rates than states with lower college enrollment rates."
In my upcoming novel SKYWARD, FBI Special Agent Dick Hartmann and his 11th Hartmann family generation counterpart Chief Cognizant Agent Adam Hartmann, who works for the Cognizanizance Bureau, get involved in what crime may look like in the future. My story takes into consideration what I have written above.
First, how did I come up with the "Cognizanizance Bureau?" Dick Hartmann comes up with the name when he realizes that the crimes he faces at the Bowman Moon Colony are nothing like what he was used to on Earth.
Hartmann and his wife, FBI Special Agent Coleen Ryan, are exceptions in the Colony, which is made up of an ethnically-blended group of STEM Educated American Millenials and Gen Z's with MBAs and Ph.D.'s. whose lives are motivated to expand humanity into the Universe.
Not only are the two FBI agents dealing with a highly educated team-oriented group, but that group, for safety reasons they have agreed to comply with, is monitored continuously by SKY, the master computer. It tracks their location and vital signs. Additionally, there are CCTV cameras located in the passageways and public areas. You can't have sex without SKY knowing about it. But that's not a big problem for this Colony made up of mostly "friends with benefits." They have decided that the concept of marriage was a religious/financial concept too binding on them. Monetary wealth is not a motivation for crime as meals and living space are provided equally for everyone. The invisible wall of space keeps guns and drugs away from the Colony. But of course, the STEM group knows how to invent some exciting cocktails in their science labs. Success is not measured by wealth but rather by attribution for creativity.
Our Earthly trained FBI Agents find the significant problems they face are potential crimes coming from mental breakdowns, jealousy, and egotism. So they and their prebots (personal robots) seek clews from SKY about mental health problems, jealousy problems, and expanded egos that may manifest into crimes. Their principal solution to such human problems is stern warnings. If that doesn't work, ship the problem back to Earth, keeping the Bowman Colony free of violent crime. Interesting way for FBI agents to enter retirement.
Am I dreaming in developing this utopia? Yes. But wouldn't it be nice if my dreams came true?
By now, you know I love words. I listed ten or twelve words to use as a name for my Moon crime bureau. Then I checked each out in my 3 ½ inch thick/8.6 pound 1996 WEBSTER'S NEW UNIVERSAL UNABRIDGED DICTIONARY. This is from the definition of "cognizance – 1. Awareness, realization, or knowledge; notice; perception. 2. Law. A. judicial notice as taken by a court in dealing with a cause.. b. the right of taking jurisdiction, as possed by a court, c. acknowledgment; admission, as a plea admitting the fact alleged in the declaration. 3. The range or scope of knowledge, observation."
I think "Cognizanizance Bureau" is perfect. I will admit that 14 letters are a little long, but nobody has to write in the Bowman Colony or on Space Cruiseships. Everything is digital.
Check out my novels on my website at www.richardvrupp.com.
Until next week.
Richard V. Rupp, Author
Website – www.richardvrupp.com
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright©2022 by Richard V. Rupp