Friday, June 30, 2017

Papa Roach – "Last Resort" (2000)

Losing my sight
Losing my mind
Wish somebody would tell me I'm fine

I had semi-high hopes when I started watching Longmire, a neo-Western television series that aired on A&E for three seasons and then moved to Netflix for three more seasons.

Here's the trailer for the show's first season:

But I started thinking about bailing on the show after two episodes.  That’s because the plot of the second episode involved rumspringa – a Pennsylvania Dutch word that means “running around” or “jumping around” in English, and refers to the Amish practice of granting teenagers a certain amount of freedom to experience “worldly” activities before deciding whether or not to remain in their communities, get baptized, get married, and live a traditional Amish life.

(Note: I’m using “Amish” to include not only the Amish but also Mennonites and similar Anabaptist groups.)  

Thanks in large part to television shows like Breaking Amish and Amish in the City, many people think that all Amish teenagers leave home and live like “English” teenagers for a year or two – spending their days hanging out at the mall or playing video games, and spending their nights drinking to excess, getting high on drugs, and having a lot of premarital sex: 

But the extent to which Amish adolescents go off the deep end during rumspringa is greatly exaggerated by such shows.  

In fact, relatively few Amish youth choose to leave their communities and “dress English” (that is, wear non-traditional clothing) during rumspringa.  The vast majority remain under their parents’ roof until they marry.  

According to the Amish America website, “Some Amish [boys] will fit out their buggies with onboard stereo systems with large speakers” during rumspringa.  But that’s about as crazy as it gets for most Amish teenagers.  

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Law and Order is notorious for its “ripped from the headlines” plots.  Why go to the effort of thinking up a truly original plot when you can simply base an episode on a sensational real-life murder or sexual assault or other crime?

But I don’t think Law and Order ever did a rumspringa show.  (I can’t be sure because there are zillions of Law and Order episodes, and I’m far too busy to put in the time it would take to verify that.)

Longmire’s writers must truly be a lazy and unimaginative bunch if they stooped to using rumspringa as a plot device in only the show’s second episode.

The cast of "Longmire"
To make things even worse, the writers cast plausibility to the four winds by making the Amish girl who was murdered in that episode a STRIPPER.

I looked on the internet to see if I could find any actual cases of Amish girls becoming strippers during rumspringa.  All I found was this 2010 comment on a website called “The Ultimate Strip Club List”:

there is a girl i know who wants to become a stripper and i am pretty sure it would destroy her life.  How do i know this? well, you see, the thing is that she is omish [sic].  I'm fairly certain that omish people would be against stripping, but she is determined to go the bright lights, big city.  she has said she is tired of the butter churn and wants to hold a stripper pole now.  seriously, what do i tell her?  i really fear for her safety because she is so naive.  any suggestions?  thanks.

(Amish, “omish” . . . whatever.)

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I didn’t give up on Longmire immediately after the silly rumspringa episode.  But I don’t think I’m going to make it to the end of season one, despite the fact that Sheriff Longmire has a hot blonde deputy:

The biggest problem I have with Longmire is that virtually every episode of the show – which is set in Wyoming – involves one or more murders.

In 2015, there were only 16 homicides in the entire state of Wyoming.  (Most years, that number is even lower.)

Wyoming has 23 counties, so that means the typical Wyoming county sees less than one homicide annually.

But in the first season of Longmire, there were 13 homicides in fictional Absaroka County– almost a year’s worth for the entire state.    

Apparently, that wasn’t good enough for the network’s executives, so the writers picked up the homicide pace in the first episode of season two, which featured an escaped serial killer who took out a cook, two FBI agents, two firefighters, and two other escaped convicts before being taken out by Sheriff Longmire.

When you watch one episode a day like I usually do, it’s hard to swallow so many murders in so little time.  (I can suspend my disbelief as well as the next guy, but enough is enough.)

Of course, while Absaroka County is a pretty dangerous place to live, it’s not nearly as deadly as tiny Cabot Cove, Maine, which was the site of some 274 TV murders between 1984 and 1996.

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When Sheriff Longmire learned that the murdered Amish girl had been stripping while she was on rumspringa, he visited the nearest strip club to see what he could find out about her.  

2 or 3 lines is featuring Papa Roach’s “Last Resort” today because it was the song that was playing in that strip joint when Longmire walked in.  (He acted all wide-eyed and innocent, like he wasn't a regular consumer of lap dances there.)

Papa Roach, which was formed in 1993, released its ninth studio album last month.  “Last Resort” was the group’s first and most successful single, peaking at #1 on the Billboard “Modern Rock Tracks” chart in 2000. 

Here’s “Last Resort”:

Click below to order the song from Amazon:

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