Monday, November 26, 2007

The Formative Rudy

Newsweek is out with a cover story on "the childhood forces that shaped Rudy Giuliani's moral universe."
It's an interesting read but it contains precious little new information and nothing that's the least bit surprising to anyone who's even vaguely familiar with ethnic urban life.
The only child of an Italian-American working class couple, Rudy was "smothered with love and attention (and called 'the Little Prince' by relatives)." When Rudy was growing up in the 1950s "middle-class Catholic families sent their children to parochial schools if they could." In the Catholic schools at that time corporal punishment was common. Early on, Rudy understood "the fine, blurry line between saint and sinner" and this understanding "shaped his moral code." Rudy grew up in a neighborhood -- at a time and place -- where people knew both cops and criminals and sometimes associated with both. Rudy "didn't grow up with wealth or power." But his "upbringing has also given him an appreciation for the darker elements of the soul, and the strength required to keep them in check."
The article goes on at length with these types of rather obvious statements. Six Newsweek staffers were involved in the writing of this piece and judging only by their surnames I can't say definitely that any of them are of Italian descent. So, maybe all of this is revealing to them. Maybe it's an eye-opener. Maybe they think it's news.
And then there's this: The article state's that "loyalty is not always a two-way street for Giuliani" and yet it also declares that "Giuliani's loyalty to his last police commissioner, Bernard Kerik, bordered on the blind." Well, which is it?

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