Stupid Violence
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Steve Sailer writes

Must be readers

In the spirit of our recent discussion of singers' heights:

Man shot in argument over James Brown's height

Two Atmore men exchanged gunfire Monday, injuring one of them when the friends got into an argument about how tall the recently deceased soul singer James Brown was, police said.

You hear stories like this everyday—and try not to associate with people who do things like that.

This is not necessarily race-based—it's more of a class thing. The race of the two arguers is unreported, as usual, although their ages are given as 62 and 70. James Brown was 5'6", but was known to wear lifts.

Anyhow, it reminded of this old story from Chester Himes's book, The Crazy Kill, written in 1959 by a black American who'd lived in Paris. Black NYPD detective Gravedigger Jones says

"This is Harlem," he said. "Ain't no other place like it in the world. You've got to start from scratch here, because these folks in Harlem do things for reasons nobody else in the world would think of. Listen, there were two hard working colored jokers, both with families, got to fighting in a bar over on Fifth Avenue near a hundredeighteenth Street and cut each other to death about whether Paris was in France or France was in Paris."

"That ain't nothing," Brody laughed: "Two Irishmen over in Hell's Kitchen got to arguing and shot each other to death over whether the Irish were descended from the gods or the gods descended from the Irish."

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