Lee Ann Womack's self-proclaimed best friends at the Kessler.

Ask John Neely Bryan: You People Call That Mob Justice?

The real crime has hitherto gone unnoticed.

John Neely Bryan, Our Founder
John Neely Bryan, Our Founder
Photography by Matthew Shelley

Lords and ladies, wildlings and free folk, knights and squires, bannermen and serving wenches alike, it has become necessary that I break from responding to your incessant onslaught of interrogatories to address a matter of the utmost cultural significance.

It cannot be allowed to pass without my own assiduous commentary, for it exemplifies the fraying stitch-work that binds disparate elements of this, the greatest city God and I have ever given the history of the world. I am speaking, of course, of the remarkable videographic evidence presented to the audience of this very D Magazine web log not two full days ago.

The clip concerns two gentleladies of the hinterlands who deigned to set foot at a popular-music concert in the heart of Hord’s Ridge. So overcome were they by the musical reverie that they could not help but speak their souls’ every intention aloud and were therefore asked to exit the theatrical venue lest they further upstage the performance of that evening’s traveling minstrel.

A number of readers have been moved to share their own words upon the matter, but I am troubled that few (if any) have taken note of possibly the most disturbing aspect of the entire episode. Take a gander at the footage, and it’s impossible not to be disgusted by what you see. Namely, how does Jeffrey Liles — a self-professed “artistic director,” a man who willingly fashioned his own human hair into some manner of post-modern sculpture — not know to turn his camera-phone sideways when recording video?

I, and other right-thinking folks like myself, would be moved to far greater levels of sympathy to his cause were we not forced to watch it all unfold with artificial blinders placed upon our view due to Mr. Liles’ inability to appreciate the fact that today’s standard screens for visual presentations properly mimic the human eyes’ natural field of vision, which is significantly wider than it is tall. The use of portrait orientation for recorded representations of time’s irreversible march is a plague of the 21st century, unbecoming a civilization of our own’s stature. It is an embarrassment.

Furthermore, you dandies call that a public shaming? Tape a couple of drunk women spouting nonsense for a few minutes, throw it up onto the information super-cliché and call it a day? That’s all you’ve got?

Where was the tar? Where were the feathers? Come to think of it, where was the mob? Call me old-fashioned, but I like to hold an offender in my own hands — looking at him on a screen just isn’t the same. You miss the physical, visceral joys of marching a fellow to the stocks in the public square and throwing pies at him. Speaking of which, where were the pitchforks? Mr. Liles and the other staff of the Kessler seriously believed they could shoo away these inebriated women with nothing more than the harsh light of an electronic doo-dad? Things would have gone quite differently in my day, let me tell you what.

What’s that? You can’t fathom resorting to manual labor in your violence? You’re far more comfortable casting aspersions upon others via a series of tubes, to ridicule their bodies and their fashion sense, justified in heaping your own measure upon the pile of scorn because of their several minutes of drunken idiocy? Especially when you can do so anonymously, employing assorted aliases?

It’s fair game to point out just how wholly ignorant these women appear to be of much of what constitutes the greatness of Dallas, but to go beyond that — that’s more cold-blooded than the stuff we used to pull.

Keeping it 100,

 

John-Neely-Bryan-signature
John Neely Bryan is the founder of the city of Dallas and an expert on all matters. Email him for advice, to have a dispute adjudicated, or to seek his wisdom on any of a myriad of topics, at [email protected].

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