Magazine October 31, 2011, Issue

A Hankie for the Hangman

Protesting the scheduled execution of death-row inmate Troy Davis in Atlanta, Ga., September 21, 2011 (John Amis/Reuters)

I  have seen the enemy and, as usual, it’s us.

When the Supreme Court refused to intervene in the Troy Davis execution, the lethal injection that had been scheduled for a few hours earlier was administered. Suddenly he was dead and just as suddenly the air went out of the assembled edgy protesters and the grim troops in full riot gear that had been brought in. The atmosphere changed so fast you could almost hear the pop and hiss of an enormous cultural balloon that had been resolutely pricked, leaving nothing but rubbery bits and pieces of anticlimax floating down over

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A bunch of obnoxious, freakish-looking people made a spectacle of themselves in downtown New York. You don’t say.

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