Remember that scene in Manchester by the Sea when Casey Affleck is arguing with Lucas Hedges and finally says “I’m gonna knock your fucking block off” and director-writer Kenneth Lonergan, playing a passerby, sarcastically says “great parenting” to Affleck and the yelling ratches up another couple of notches?
Let’s imagine another scene in which a pair of Philadelphia brothers, aged 10 and 14, voluntarily surrender to the cops over having killed a 73-year-old guy (James Lambert) who was beaten to death on 6.24.22.
Imagine that you’re aware of the whole story behind this tragedy, and you come upon the parents of these kids outside the police precinct. What would be the appropriate dialogue? Would you say “great parenting” or would you say “the poor guy was beaten to death around 3 am, for Chrissake…what kind of parents let their kids run wild at 3 am?? And what kind of parents raise kids who would even want to beat a guy to death??”
A 10 year-old kid who helps beat an old guy to death is going to turn out wrong…that’s obvious. But imagine how it feels if you’re the father or the mother of these little shits.
Friendo: “This story is a complete disaster and one the media will barely cover, for obvious reasons.”
HE: “What do you mean ‘a complete disaster’? It was a matter of neighborhood culture and whatnot, but mainly derelict parenting…poisonous, appalling, derelict parenting.”