RE: RARA-AVIS: Lone Wolf

From: Todd Mason (
Date: 21 Jul 2003

From: Ivan Van Laningham [mailto:] Juri Nummelin wrote:
> Bill C:
> > My idea is that American readers tend to like the idea that
> > a single individual can often succeed where the bureacuracy
> > (as represented in detective stories by the police) can't.
> > Maybe that's where I go "wrong". As a European (and even more as a
> North-European) I tend to think that bureacracy - i.e. police and other
> authorities - are the ones who should be called to help, not some
> individual.
As an American, I tend to think this is the funniest thing anyone's said on this list in weeks.

--The fantasy of many here in the US is that private bureaucracy is somehow nobler or more efficient than a "public" one. Despite all evidence that the Iron Laws (kudos to Alexis Gilliland and his colleagues in tracing them) persist in all human affairs. And the fantasy, as Bill notes, that One Clean Stroke by someone who does what's needed is usually an effective solution, as opposed to usually the advent of yet more problems in need of solution. Again, a constant in human affairs. TM

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