Friday links! Naked villainy edition


One of the most depressing features of the modern world is the difficulty in identifying villains. Awful scumbags are out there, obviously, but they tend to be “controversial” rather than openly evil. Deteriorating certainty in both morals and reportage has made any given villain debatable. Where once we might say with confidence that Glenn Beck was a fat liar who cried to get attention, now we can only disagree with him. Personally, I miss the old certainty. It may have cost us a few witches, but to definitively call other people villains is a satisfying atavism, like eating chicken with your hands. Today is Friday, and we still have a few unequivocal villains left. Won’t you point the finger with me?

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Department of Irony?: “Kindness in America” hitchhiker shot himself

Ray Dolin

Lots of facts have changed since we last talked about hitchhiker/shooting victim Ray Dolin. Dolin’s memoir is called “Kindness In America,” not “The Kindness of America.” The man accused of shooting him is named Lloyd Christopher Danielson, not Charles Lloyd Danielson. And Danielson is not accused of that anymore, because Ray Dolin has admitted to shooting himself. That’s good news for Danielson, although Roosevelt County is still keeping him in jail on a separate charge of driving while intoxicated. Danielson was drunk when they arrested him for a murder he didn’t commit, so that charge stands under Montana’s strict Screw You, We’re Cops statute.

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On the kindness of America

A rig in the Bakken oil shale formation of North Dakota

If you live in Montana or even know someone from here via Facebook, you have probably heard about Ray Dolin. The 39 year-old West Virginia man was hitchhiking in eastern Montana when he was shot by a passing motorist, apparently for no reason. The motorist was Charles Lloyd Danielson III, drunk on his way to work the oil fields of Williston. Danielson was apprehended a few hours later, and Dolin was picked up by another passer-by and taken to Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital. He had been writing a memoir titled “The Kindness of America.”

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