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THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MOB ---- THE RECEIVING END
I wince when I see the glorification of the American mobster. There is definitely a disconnect in logic between the hard working American dream and the idolization of the parasites that would take it all away. People picking up tabs in restaurants for mob leaders, shaking their hands, asking for autographs. All of this makes me wonder if people really understand what organized crime is all about.
Movies and TV programs do much to perpetuate the myth of the perceived nobility of these scum. They are admired for bucking the system, working outside the law and generally being rebels against our mundane, working existences. In all of this the true picture is obscured. The people killed and lives destroyed all somehow sterilized to produce a palatable version of a life many are foolish enough to admire if not envy.
And then if this is not enough people tend to forget that the existence of organized crime affects our very lives in countless ways, with no person untouched. Insurance rates are higher as a direct result of their activities, drug use with all of the life destroying pitfalls is proliferated by their activities. Simply the cost of living and of doing business is higher because the criminal element exists. Still people in general do not see this or want to see it. Pet names are given to some of the most notorious ? the Teflon Don? . That was a good one used to describe the late John Gotti. People actually admired the fact he managed for an extended period of time to escape prosecution hence the moniker teflon.
Somehow the fact he used witness intimidation, murder and a host of other nasty tricks to achieve this is all but swept under the carpet. He became a hero to many. The last decade the man was free ( he went to prison in 1992 where he died 10 years later ) he never picked up a tab. He could walk into any fine dining establishment or nightclub and have his ticket picked up by complete strangers. The sad part of this is that it serves to further sterilize the man?s activities. He had become a celebrity with the catalyst for his fame entirely born of criminal activity.
How naive a mindset is this and why would people do such a thing? There are a lot of factors at play here. The admiration of someone who lives outside the law, is not raped by the taxman as you and I are and manages to defeat the authorities at every turn somehow fosters a dubious form of respect. There is also the factor of getting on the good side of a Mafia Don. His image was further polished by the fact he was considered a well mannered individual. Now there?s a laugh. Opening the doors for ladies hardly outweighs killing people to steal their businesses but still people bought into this. Even used this nuance of superficial politeness as a means of defending the individual in grass roots circles.
But here is one thing you can be certain of. Not one person buying this fabricated image have ever been on the receiving end of mob activity. Your perspective is bound to change when a goon or mob muscle is standing in front of you informing you that they want a piece of your business. And why do they want it? Greed is the only answer. Because you have built your business up through your own sweat to make it profitable. Now some low life parasite wants a chunk of your profits. He is not offering investment capitol, nor business consulting expertise, no none of this. He is simply using fear and intimidation to take away from you what is rightfully yours. Most individuals are forced to retreat or cave in and concede. There is not much choice for a stand alone business against an organization. The police can?t help much, no one can help much. You are alone against however many they choose to send against you. And this is what people ultimately admire?
I wrote a book about such an experience. The entire work is based on a true story but I felt it safer to fictionalize the account. Fictionalized for two reasons. Only 12 years have passed since we had an all out struggle with these people and true life sometimes doesn?t flow like a good book or movie should.
Due for release in 8 weeks SON OF THE TOWN CLOWN tells the other side of the story. What it is like to be on the receiving end of mob intimidation.
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