Our fatuous values watch: The fatuous values of the Times should never be overlooked.
Over the weekend, our Fatuous Values Watch continued to roll along. On Saturday, Gail Collins’ latest column bore a headline which was rather high in self-awareness:
“Sex Scandals in the Sun”
The next day, Maureen Dowd was back from France. She was back in her seat at that gangster trial in Boston:
DOWD (7/21/13): A Tender Gangster RomanceDebbie Davis was a Farrah Fawcett look-alike. The Rifleman was a psychopath!
It was a subtle distinction, for a psychopath.
“I loved her,” Stevie “The Rifleman” Flemmi said of his onetime girlfriend, Debbie Davis, a sparkling blond Farrah Fawcett look-alike, “but I was not in love with her.”
That’s fortunate, since it would have made it ever so much harder to plan the 26-year-old’s 1981 murder, look into her eyes as she was strangled in your parents’ house, strip off her clothes, yank out her teeth and then dig her grave in marshland by the Neponset River.
Deterring identification was his specialty. He was the one who pulled the teeth out of corpses. He was so meticulous at his job that his partner in the Winter Hill gang, Whitey Bulger, had his girlfriend, the dental hygienist, get Flemmi a proper set of extraction tools.
That said, we’ll take a guess that the real source of Dowd’s interest was lurking in this later paragraph:
DOWD: In return for being that most loathed thing in Irish culture, an informant, and providing information about the Mafia, Bulger got protection and tips from Connolly. That allowed him to play Jimmy Cagney, dispatching underworld enemies. He also got the signal to go on the lam.We Irish! Is Dowd drawn to the ways of the crackpot culture in which she grew up? Or is she secretly concerned that she may be a “psychopath” too?
We’ll leave that one to the historians! But at the Times, the summer sex scandals rolled along, as they seem to do every year.
We’ll guess that Mother loved Jimmy Cagney! At any rate, summer sex scandals come in handy when you’re possessed of fatuous values.
When you don't have shinola to write about. When you, like Steve Flemmi, don’t care.