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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Moral Compasses

Does any of the following conversation sound like something that we're likely to hear right here at home?

In television series based on crime scene investigations in a land seeming far removed from our own, a group of young people go on a spree of senseless violence before being apprehended. The following conversation takes place in the officers' locker room as they try to rationalise the events of the previous few days and the behaviour of the young perpetrators:

Catherine Willows: Pig... and the piglets... are in the pigpen.

Warrick Brown: About time. Finally some good news.

Catherine: Did you know Pig, aka Cole Tritt, was the only adult? The rest of them were under 18. One was 14.

Warrick: Are you kidding? Who raises these kids?

Catherine: They weren't all delinquents. Demetrius James was a college student...

Nick Stokes: Hanging out with the wrong crowd in the wrong town. I'm tellin' ya. A fake ID in Las Vegas is like having a free ticket on the hell train. Sex, drugs, gambling, no adult supervision, 24/7. By the time they're 21, they've done and seen it all...

Catherine: Make me slit my wrists, why don'tcha! I'm raising a teenager here!

Warrick: Aw, you're doing a great job. Lindsay's gonna turn out to be a beautiful young woman. Besides, I grew up in Vegas. I didn't turn out so bad, did I?

Nick: Yeah! That was pre-Mirage, back when you were a lil' squirt going to the casino playing the arcade games. Naw. Vegas is a different animal now.

Warrick: Yeah, those kids need to beat people up in the street to be entertained. They just need some discipline... they need... uh... a grandmother whuppin' their ass, like I had.

Nick: Yeah! (Smiles and nods) A good slap...

Sara Sidle: Y'know... it sounds like you guys are blaming everybody but these kids. I mean, you don't get a bye just because you grew up here, or your parents were on drugs. Those kids were perferctly capable of telling the difference between a wild night out and beating somebody to death.

Gil Grissom: The truth is a moral compass can only point you in the right direction. It can't make you go there. Our culture preaches that you shouldn't be ashamed of anything you do anymore. And unfortunately this city is built on the principle that there's no such thing as guilt. Do whatever you want. We won't tell. So without a conscience, there's nothing to stop you from killing someone. And evidently, you don't even have to feel bad about it.

- CSI, Season 7 Episode 4, "Fannysmackin'"

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