Dear Margo: Of Pucks and Drunks

What should I do when sport fans take it one step to far? Margo Howard’s advice

Of Pucks and Drunks

Dear Margo: I’m a huge hockey fan, probably because I adored Peter Forsberg. I used to attend games with my father, but when he died, it hurt to think of being there without him. Recently, an aunt invited me to go with her. I was pleased and offered to pay for good seats, but she insisted we sit in the nosebleed section and she would pay. Margo, I hate those seats, and not because you can’t see, but because the fans are drunken brutes. But hesitantly, I agreed.

The night of the game we sat near four college boys who drank more and more as the Avs lost. They were rowdy and crude, and they screamed a lot. Then they disappeared for a while (getting more alcohol, I assume), and a family came in and asked whether those seats were free. I told them no, and that they should keep their distance because the men sitting there were pretty drunk and belligerent. They heeded my advice and sat a few rows away. Well, sure enough, the drunks came back and noticed the family. One of the little boys was wearing a jersey from the opposing team. The college boys swore and yelled and said loudly they should throw the kid over the glass into the lower seats.

This seems to come with the cheap tickets: complementary drunk jerkwads screaming obscenities. I feel like I should have told security. Does security handle this sort of thing often, or are these just sports guys being sports guys? In Colorado, at least, it’s always like that, so maybe it’s the norm. How do you defuse such a situation? — Cringing in Colorado

Dear Cringe: First of all, hockey is anathema to me. The one time I went to see the Blackhawks, I watched for a while and blurted, “My God, they’re on skates!” It is a violent sport, so I’m not surprised the spectators are prone to getting blotto. My guess is that security does handle behavior they deem unacceptable, but, as you say, it may be the norm and therefore “acceptable.” The answer for you I would think is to stay out of the nosebleed seats. — Margo, puckishly

Wondering ‘What If?’

Dear Margo: A philosophical sociological question for you: Is it wrong of me to think our culture might improve if, when one has caused harm, we had the suicide ethic of ancient Japan? — Moose

Dear Moo: I must admit this thought has occurred to me, as well. Too many people, most often in business or government, have overstepped so egregiously to enrich themselves or to accomplish an evil goal that, on a moral scorecard, the only appropriate compensatory gesture would seem to be to check out. The reasons this will not happen, however, are 1) this was never a part of Western culture, and 2) often the miscreants have rationalized their actions so they feel neither shame nor guilt. (Hence the popularity of the “victimless crime” defense.) The old standby of “everyone does it” has also diluted any sense of accountability.

Occasionally, even now, an Asian businessman who tanks a company will take himself out. (“To fall on one’s sword” at one time was, literally, the way an Asian took responsibility for an action about which he felt guilt and remorse.) I can live without people falling on their swords as the ultimate apology, but it would be nice if people who had blundered disastrously or clearly violated trust — public or private — would offer a mea culpa and make a stab at reparation. — Margo, wistfully

* * *

Dear Margo is written by Margo Howard, Ann Landers’ daughter. All letters must be sent via the online form at Due to a high volume of e-mail, not all letters will be answered.


Every Thursday and Friday, you can find “Dear Margo” and her latest words of wisdom on wowOwow

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74 Responses so far.

  1. avatar Violet says:

    I think publishing letter two was in terrible taste. Bernie Madoff’son recently hung himself from the aftermath of his involvement in the financial scandal. No matter what awful deeds he may have done, it was a tragedy for his wifes and young child. Even joking about a custom of killing yourself is not rightin my opinion.

    • avatar Violet says:

      Oops, pardon the typos in my post.

    • avatar TheTexasMom says:

      I remember back in 1989 when Exxon Valdez spilled the oil in Alaska a congressman implied that the then Chairman/CEO of Exxon should “take care of himself” in the Japanese manner and Mr. Rawl replied, Sir, I am not Japanese.  No point in killing yourself if you take responsibility for your actions.   Besides, the comments should have been directed towards Captain Hazlewood.

      As for the frist letter, NO – bad actions by spectators, not matter where your seats are located are not acceptable and security should have been called. 

      • avatar TheTexasMom says:

        Just to clarify, I was in no way suggesting someone should kill themselves because they comminted any sort of crime; I was just relaying an antedote that stuck with me.

        In regards to LW1, all ticketholders, regardless of the price they paid for the tickets, are entitled to enjoy the game and not have the experience soiled by others.  If the rowdy group of people were drunk AT the game they would be drunk upon leaving so security should be called so they would be cut off and possiblly held until they sobered up somewhat.

        I don’t know why I ever bother to post a comment because 90% of the time my posts don’t convey what I’m thinking.

      • avatar SandEE says:

        I just wanted to say that Captain Hazelwood was not the one primarily at fault in the Exxon Valdez disaster. Exxon severely understaffed their tankers, and they ran the sea tours for much longer than advisable. That means that the crew was over worked and under-rested. Hazelwood was not on duty that night. Yes, he had had a few drinks, but again, he was not working that night and had come off of a long shift. He and the crew rarely had shore leave. In addition, Exxon chose to not improve the hulls of their tankers in yet another cost cutting measure.

        I don’t know Captain Hazelwood personally, but he is just another example of an individual paying a huge price for failures that were largely at the corporate level. So, yeah, senior management at Exxon did deserve to fall on their swords — but instead they let someone else take the full brunt of the punishment.

        • avatar Carmen Clemons says:

          Wasn’t a radar system busted and not replaced for years as well?

          • avatar TheTexasMom says:

            I personally do not know the captain either however my stepfather did as he worked for Exxon Shipping (the name at the time) for 24 years and always would complain Hazlewood as an a-hole to work with, which had little or nothing to do with anything. If am not mistaken, at the time of the incident the tanker was less than 3 years old so it probably had the best hull out there at the time.  Depending on several circumstances and route you were sailing (international versus domestic) when you were onboard ship you had the rotation on 90 on/45 off, 60/30 or 30/15 however you were not constantly working all the time.  I’m not quite sure what  was mean by mean by given no shore leaves because if you had the Baytown Texas route to Bayonne NJ  there were several stops along the way (Virginia, The Carolinas) and one could get off the ship.   If you were on the international route from Texas, California, Alaska or New York to say Italy, Spain of the continent of Africa, there not too many places to stop and take ship leave but once there you could get off the ship.   I have many trinkets from those places I have passed on to my children so I know you could.  And when the ship s anchored Long Beach, CA my stepfather would visit my mom’s family out there and he saw them more than she did. IMHO, I think the biggest mistake in all of this was, Exxon had just undergone its first workforce reduction ever and people with expertise and knowledge were gone  and also this was the first major oil spill and worst disaster ever at the time and management did not know how to respond.  The CEO did not visit Prince William Sound for weeks because he said, “I’ve been there before and I know what it looks like” = bad public relations.

    • avatar Pdr de says:

      “Bernie Madoff’son recently hung himself from the aftermath of his involvement in the financial scandal. ” Madoff’s son had no involvement in the financial scandal. He and his brother ran a separate business in the same building where their father conducted his business. They claim, and no one has been able to prove after a lengthy investigation, that they had no knowledge whatsoever of their father’s deceiving all those people. The son’s, upon finding it out, turned him into the authorities. That took great courage and strong moral values (surprising, I know, given the actions of their father who had no moral values whatsoever). After that this troubled man had no further contact whatsoever with his father and ultimately, when his mother went to visit their father and refused to walk away (until she found out about his long-term affair) , he had no further contact with her either. I felt terribly sad that he was so troubled he took his own life. He tried previously but this time he succeeded. His father destroyed a lot of lives – one investor ended his life when he lost everything. I hope Bernie Madoff lives a long time so he can come face-to-face with the hell he created in the lives of his own family, his friends and associates and strangers who trusted him. He’s beneath contempt!

      • avatar Pdr de says:

        “They claim, and no one has been able to prove after a lengthy investigation, that they had no knowledge whatsoever of their father’s deceiving all those people. ”

        I should have written, “They claim and no one has been able to prove OTHERWISE after a lengthy investigation, that they had no knowledge whatsoever of their father deceiving all those people.”

        “The son’s, upon finding it out, turned him into the authorities.”

        Should have typed “The brothers, upon finding out what their father had done, immediately turned him over to the authorities.”

        Sorry, having a bit of a scare right now regarding my mammogram – have to return to the imaging department this morning for more mammograms – hoping it’s a glitch. It’s interfering with my concentration at the moment, however.

        • avatar Obediah Fults says:

          One step at a time, Pdr de, and don’t borrow trouble; there’s enough to go around. I’ll be thinking of you this morning. Do let us know, please.

        • avatar TheTexasMom says:

          Sorry for you scare and hope all will work out fine.   I do understand as I had bad an abnormal pap just this past May but in the end it all woked itself out.

        • avatar stateoflove_N_Trust says:

           I understood your post just fine.  I hope all is well.

    • avatar Obediah Fults says:

      “Pictures are hung, people are hanged.” (A 5th Grade Language lesson that stuck in my mind like “Hens lay, people lie.”)

  2. avatar TheTexasMom says:

    Seriously in need of an edit button as I can’t type either.

  3. avatar Karen Ferguson says:

    I have this awful feeling that people so capable of remorse as to pay with their lives are also, down deep, characterized by some kind of goodness. It’s the high-level psychopaths, the stellar powerful people who are often in public positions and who believe rules apply, but only to other people, who are incapable of remorse. And they are the only ones who would be left.

    • avatar CatA says:

      I’m inclined to agree with Karen that the really heinous offenders, at least in Western society, don’t show remorse, and those are the jerks we are left with.  Hell, the captain of the Costa Concordia wouldn’t go back onto the boat and execute rescue operations for the 4,000+ people who’s lives he held responsibility for and jeopardized, or ended, with his stupid choice to cut too close to Giglio.  Haven’t heard a word of remorse out of that sonofabitch, have we?

      • avatar stateoflove_N_Trust says:

        That sounds more like cowardice to me though.  I would bet that eventually he will indicate in some way that he is remorseful, but I would not be surprised either way.

  4. avatar AnonyMiss says:

    Bravo to Margo and Wowowow for publishing letter #2 – a thought-provoking question and a thoughtful, intelligent answer.

    • avatar JCF4612 says:

      The showboating captain of the Costa Concordia who bailed out ahead of passengers when things went awry sounds like an excellent candidate. Italians — indeed folks the world over — are having no use for this lying coward.

  5. avatar Katharine Gray says:

    LW#1:  If there is a next time, seek out security.  I know hockey is a rough sport and the fans can be unruly, but security is there for a reason.   I am not a hockey fan but my husband is and he supports the Flyers.  He claims that Philadelphia fans are the most boorish in the country at any sport and even worse at Flyers’ games.  He is from Philadelphia so I will take his word for it. 

    LW#2:  I’m in favor of shunning and shaming the villians. 

  6. avatar wlaccma says:

    Right now I am thinking about the captain of the ship that is laying on its side in Italy. He “jumped ship” instead of helping people. He says he “fell” into a boat and did not go back. I wonder how guilty he feels about now.

  7. avatar Orchid64 says:

    Both the question and answer in letter two display ignorance about the reasons for modern suicides as a result of shame or failure. I can’t speak to what it was in the age of samurai, but I’ve lived in Japan for the past 23 years and even the Japanese will tell you it isn’t about “taking responsibility”. It’s about cowardice and humiliation. The men who fail and kill themselves are running away from the fallout. They leave their wives and children to face lives of hardship and debt as a result of their actions alone. They also live with the shame and disgrace brought on by the father’s actions (they are not absolved because he killed himself). Such men are weak because they’d rather run away than try to live life from that point on at a lesser level of employment or income.

    While it would be nice if all people who harmed others felt remorse, apologized, and sought to make amends, holding up the Japanese as any sort of positive example is simply a reflection of ignorance.

    • avatar martina says:

      Thank you, that is exactly what it is  – cowardice to face the consequences of your actions.  Let them live and deal with the humiliation and punishment.  Death is too easy for them.

      But, I have often wonder if when those who are comtemplating suicide (who are truly despondent and have not screwed up royally) would think of the mess and heartache they are leaving behind would still do it. 

      • avatar catydid says:

        people who are so low as to be contemplating suicide are generally not capable of thinking about the ramifications to their loved ones. they are thinking only of their own pain. i once took sleeping pills while my five year old was lying next to me…later when a social worker at the hospital asked me ‘what about the legacy you would be leaving your children?’ (which was not the right choice of words, but i understood what she was getting at) i simply stared back. i wasn’t thinking about my kids at all in that moment. i was only wanting very badly to escape my pain…

    • avatar lisakitty says:

      Excellent post.

    • avatar Koka Miri says:

      Yes, thank you for clarifying. I had the same exact thoughts.

    • avatar John Lee says:

      I think you are probably right in the general sense, that killing oneself is viewed as weak and running away from the fallout.

      However, I think there are plenty of situations where that is not the case.  If someone neglected to be a whistleblower, or chose to not stand up for others and those inactions or failures resulted in the death of innocents, then killing oneself isn’t weak or running away.

      In many cases, those who caused irreparable harm (like death or suffering for survivors) are able to escape penalties for their mistakes (say a low level Nazi war criminal or some uncaught terrorist).  How would that be “cowardice and humiliation” to kill themselves if no one knows of their crime?  But if they killed themselves due to guilt and finally recognizing remorse years later and left a suicide note, that would not be viewed as cowardly, at least in my view.

      I think the key is whether or not such a person is required to face consequences.  If they are not and they kill themselves, then it is not cowardly.  If they are about to face consequences but they kill themselves first, then it is cowardly.

    • avatar Briana Baran says:

      @Orchid64: Asking modern Japanese about ancient practices is about akin to asking extreme Right-Wing fundamentalist Christians about the Founding Fathers religious and political beliefs…they are heavily invested in revisionism. Seppuku was not just about men killing themselves out of cowardice due to humiliation, nor was it just about *men*. Men defenestrated themselves in a specific manner, and had a second to decapitate them. Women could, and did commit seppuku, by slashing their throats, and could also be afforded a second. A given person could be denied permission to commit seppuku by one’s daimyo…it wasn’t something one did because one was simply embarrassed or upset. Acts of extreme cowardice, treason, murder, rape and other social crimes could cause a person to be *ordered* to commit the act. If the crime was grave enough, ALL members of that person’s family could receive the order, from the great-grandparents to the smallest infants (with assistance) and the family would be annihilated. A woman could also request permission to commit seppuku (rather than divorce, which was perfectly acceptable in feudal Japan if her husband was abusing her) in order to shame her husband, and for a variety of other reasons, including making a political or social point, or because she was terminally ill or in chronic pain.

      If we were living by the laws and societal practices of feudal Japan, the suicide of Bernie Madoff’s son would be seen as an honorable act ultimately exonerating himself from any involvement in his father’s shameful and scandalous behavior, and also as a statement to his father that he, Bernie Madoff, ought to take similar steps rather than face life as a craven, worthless, thieving destroyer of his family’s honor, and the lives of many innocent people. The son’s family would be PROUD of him, and would be well taken care of and be provided for for life because of his honorable act.

      It is nearly impossible for most people to step outside of their own time and culture, which is why, I’m certain, there have already been so many outraged responses to L#2. For me, not so much. The feudal Japanese lived in a brutal world of tsunamis, earthquakes, fires and war in which life was very fleeting. Theirs’ was one of the most uniquely isolated cultures and societies in history. And one of the most civilized, and brutal. Ours is, in many ways, not so different, except that the “death” is sometimes virtual…although the brutality is not. It would be interesting, in my opinion, to see people actually held accountable for their crimes. Prison makes better criminals out of those incarcerated…and the recidivist rate is sickeningly high…even for white-collar crime. While we foot the bill.

      So, would I support a Bernie Madoff publicly making the two cuts? Our culture is steeped in artificial violence…so, though perhaps not *publicly* for the edification of the kiddies, but in some form or fashion, in a setting in which he would be made to know that he had lost everything…yes, I think so. I am a proponent of the Death Penalty, and not PC enough to mince words and call it “Capital Punishment”. There are some individuals who have done things that make them worthy of only one thing…elimination from the species. Yes, I’d push the button. No qualms. Why would I wait for “god” to sort them out? Prisons are over-crowded…it’s amazing who “they” will decide is reformed, has found Jesus, is no longer dangerous, etc., and let out to hang toddlers in closets, or rape teenage girls…or boys…or blow up buildings or trains or cars. I also have no problem with consequences for certain criminal acts that involve public humiliation…such as caning. I’m not certain that littering ot shouting an obscenity qualifies…but I loathe spitting, especially expectorations resulting from indulging in “dip”, snuff or “chew”, soooo… Those who think that humiliation will permanently damage the tender psyches of our spoiled youth (not to mention entitled adults) are probably the same sort who cry, “Not MY child!” when Jane or Dick decide to rob a store at gunpoint for drug Ecstasy or nose-candy funds, or harass some poor student literally to death just for daring to live. And yes, this would apply to my children too. I have one who is reaping the sad effects of his bio father’s and grandmother’s refusal to believe that he can control himself…or that he should.

      I’m sure that I’m in the minority. I’m even more certain that I’ll be called out as a reactionary, Right-Wing Moran. Nothing could be further from the truth, as I support full equal rights for all sexual orientations, including marriage, insurance, power-of-attorney and adoption, believe in full separation of church and state, especially government and public schools, full womens’ reproductive rights, including the right to Free choice vis a vis abortion, and do NOT believe that any pharmacist should have the right to deny a woman birth control. I want us out of the Middle East…and also understand why we aren’t yet…I believe in supporting Mexico by providing jobs there for the citizens, rather than in China, where the only benefits go to the corrupt government and a select few, and fining the hell out of those who hire illegally (even soccer moms) to discourage illegal immigration…not just building bigger walls and having more guns.

      But the country is going to hell, and a lot of it has to do with ignorance, and a sort of well, but we don’t DO that mentality. We cannot have our cake, and eat it too. Bernie’s just sitting in jail…fairly comfortably, I might add, by all accounts. So are a lot of highly defective epic failures at humanity. We revile him…but he lost a hell of a lot less than so many of the people who trusted him.

      Just something to think about.

      • avatar Briana Baran says:

        To clarify my post: LW2 asked about the practices of “Ancient Japan”…which would be seppuku…not the modern Japanese businessman killing himself due to failure. Modern Japan has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, from elementary school children upward, a low birthrate, and an extremely high percentage of senior citizens in its population. The suicides of modern Japan are not culturally related to those of feudal Nippon.

        It was Margo who mentioned modern Japanese businessmen committing suicide. The original question was something entirely different.

      • avatar teinatoo says:

        Briana, Thanks for another well thought out, eloquent letter.

  8. avatar Cindy Marek says:

    L #1: Next time I’d pay for the more expensive seats myself (or just for me), and definitely stay out of the rowdy section. Sometimes I’m extra glad to simply like quiet evenings at home, reading Jungian psychology. 😉

  9. avatar Barbara says:

    LW#1: If you think the experience is better in the expensive seats, pay for them. It’s not clear to me why you think it is your responsibility to look after the family that came in. You warned them about the drunks and they sat further away. Why wasn’t it the responsibility of the adults with those children to take some action? Or are you making too much of this because you were annoyed by the drunks? If they children were by themselves and being threatened by drunks, then by all means take actions to protect them. It sounds to me that you don’t like drunk hockey fans and want to make some kind of statement. The best statement would be to not buy tickets to the games, stay home and watch on TV.

    LW#2: I am shocked at the question and the answer. Suicide is not a noble gesture. It is not something to be joked about. And it certainly solves nothing. The Japanese business men who commit suicide don’t solve any problems. They leave the mess for others to fix and probably a shattered family as well.

  10. avatar Rick S says:

    lw#2 i don’t think suicide “solves” anything but understand in the moment it may cross the mind it is the only release you may see. 

    My son commited suicide almost 3 years ago.  I love him but understand he didn’t do it to hurt anyone else or make a noble gesture.

    • avatar R Scott says:

      Rick S – Very sorry for you loss.

      • avatar Rick S says:

        Thanks RScott.   
        I think part of the problem is our kids don’t have the life experience to understand that today’s insurmountable problem may not be a problem next year or not affect them as much as they thought. 

        • avatar D C says:

          Kids don’t have the capacity to understand the reality of a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

          • avatar Briana Baran says:

            @Rick S: My heart goes out to you for your loss, and for your dignity and deep love for your son that allows you to understand that he meant no harm to those he loved. Please, the following is NOT meant for you.

            @ D C: I agree with you in most cases; young people act precipitously. It’s a lack of “reck”, the same thing that makes them drive too fast, have sex without protection, and do a whole host of precarious, potentially lethal things. The brain hasn’t developed the ability to accurately perceive consequences and responsibility. My son had a female friend who hanged herself after an argument with her mother over a refused date night. Fifteen years old, lovely, excellent grades, “good Christian home”, loving parents. Were there signs? Not that anyone saw. Now she’s five years in the ground. Waste of a potentially beautiful life, gone over a lost date.

            But for some children, the problem is not fleeting, or temporary. I dropped myself into a nihilistic black hole at sixteen, when I was sexually assaulted, and my parents refused to even listen to me. My self-destructive behavior began in earnest two years later. I became promiscuous, seeking out very dangerous men (I don’t mean Bad Boys, either), and ended up an addict and alcoholic. I have been schizophrenic, clinically depressed, bi-polar and had OCD my entire life…since earliest childhood. I have attempted suicide only twice directly…but they were only attempts because I *failed*…not because they were whims, or cries for help. I wanted to be over. I’ve known a few others who made it there who came from similar situations.

            Those kids aren’t being frivolous, clueless, precipitous or begging for attention, They are seriously damaged, and they’re DONE. They…we…never want to hurt anyone…we just want/wanted to stop. I am healthy now…but I’m also 52, hard as a stone, cynical as hell, see a psychiatrist three times year, a therapist once a week, take my meds like some people pray…religiously…and am fortunate enough to have a handful of people who really do understand and love me, whom I love right back…fiercely and with all my heart, enough to live for. I was a tough, hard, angry, cynical kid too…so I survived.

            Not all kids do. I know as a parent it’s hard to know (I have two sons, my beautiful men), but if you think your child is behaving oddly, be a parent, not a friend. Even psychiatric hospitalization, and the words, “I f**kin’ hate you!” (and yes, I’ve heard them) are better than throwing dirt on a coffin.

  11. avatar R Scott says:

    LW1 – It’s a freakin’ hockey game. What did you expect? You yourself admit you hate the nose bleed seats for the very reason you experienced. There’s always other seats to move to at an Avs’ game. With the possible exception of cock fighting or professional bar fights hockey games draw the loudest, most obnoxious, vocal and violent crowds. That’s why we like hockey, sweetpea. Stay in the good seats or stay home. And further more, instead of asking Margo if security could’ve/would’ve done something why didn’t you…oh I don’t know….maybe..just a thought here…….ask security?!?

    • avatar JCF4612 says:

      Ha! Yeah … just a thought. Plus maybe security could be supplied with some etiquette
      pamphlets to distribute among the rowdy. 

    • avatar bright eyes says:

      I must be going to the wrong Hockey games 🙂 I’ve been taking my son to hockey games since he was 7 (so 6 years now) and we usually get the nosebleed tickets (they’re cheap!) and we’ve never had a problem. There have been a few times where people start yelling and screaming – but that is part of the game. As a parent, if someone started heckling my child – they would have to deal with me, so they would have shut up pretty quick. I’m surprised the parent didn’t say anything to the drunk guys.

      One time an obviously drunk guy was heckling the goalie and he kept saying things that weren’t obscene, but he kept yelling at the goalie. The people I was with were laughing at him as did everyone around us. It was funny because he kept saying something every few minutes, it could be a timeout and he would start yelling!

      At the last game we went to, a drunk college kid did the same thing, he kept yelling at the goalie, but his yells were a bit more towards obscene. And he was drunk, so he wasn’t making sense. In that case, his friends were there and told him to tone it down. It was quite funny and a lesson to my son that when you drink in excess, you tend to 1 – make a fool out of yourself in public and 2 not make sense. The funniest thing he said was, “Hey Goalie, I’m going to take your Mom out to dinner… and never call her again!”

      But that’s what I was wondering – if she was offended by the behavior, why didn’t she say something to security? If there was someone who was offending someone else or acting like that guy did – I would go tell security. Esp if I was the parent of the child. Who knows, the family could have gotten up an upgrade in their seats.

  12. avatar Rita@ Goldivas says:

    Seven of us gathered to talk about planning future programs for the group. We also started the paperwork to become a chapter of the AHA (American Humanist Association) – Yay! We’re looking for a speaker to give a talk on Humanism, and will be looking to connect with other groups around Pueblo, and possibly holding a meeting in La Junta and other areas. Looking forward to next month’s Pizza & Games.

  13. avatar R Scott says:

    LW2 – I have mixed feelings about suicide since I have never seen it as a black & white, good & bad option. Many factors play into it, however, the idea of a Madoff, Cpt Schettino and many others doing themselves in just strikes me as cowardice and easier then facing the consequences and living with their decisions. It validates that they were/are sleaze. This is not to say that they are in anyway noble for sticking around and not killing themselves but suicide in these cases does nothing to right the wrong and doesn’t solve a problem or move anything forward.  

  14. avatar Koka Miri says:

    I never go ad hominem but I will now – the second letter writer is a an idiot. Do some research.

    Secondly, the second LW – if not a troll – is fairly oblivious to human nature. The type of person who would have the ethics and morals needed to commit suicide for honor is not the type of person that actually would make society a better place by doing so. You don’t think there were villains and businessmen in ancient Japan who acted selfishly and ignored those standards? That’s a little ingenious. Human nature hasn’t changed just because old traditions went stale. The same types of people were still operating back then. “Honor” is subjective. It’s easy to idealize values without observing how they actually are applied to a “real” society, be careful of that.

    • avatar Briana Baran says:

      @Koka Miri: to quote you: “The type of person who would have the ethics and morals needed to commit suicide for honor is not the type of person that actually would make society a better place by doing so. You don’t think there were villains and businessmen in ancient Japan who acted selfishly and ignored those standards? That’s a little ingenious (sic).”

      Those who “ignored the standards” would have been handed down orders to commit seppuku. It was execution by one’s own hand, and if their crime…and self…was disgusting enough, their entire family could receive the order as well. If the individual ran, his family would still be expected to act (children in the family automatically received seconds in order to fulfill the order), and the one who ran became outcast (not necessarily ronin, that was a special class) and would receive no aid from anyone, and would be hunted down and probably tortured for his actions, or lack thereof. Whether you personally find this practice and methodology horrific is not the issue. LW2 was intelligently referring to something extremely specific, and you are simply uninformed regarding how the practice was enforced.

      Also, I do think that L#2 was “ingenious” (from Merriam Webster: adj: obsolete: referring to a person: showing or calling for intelligence, aptitude, or discernment), but I believe the word YOU wanted was “ingenuous” (Merriam Webster: adj: a : showing innocent or childlike simplicity and candidness, or: b : lacking craft or subtlety) which in no way relates to LW2 or L#2. The question was clear and concise. The lack of comprehension is on your part.

  15. avatar lisakitty says:

    LW1:  Honey, people like me go to hockey games BECAUSE the fans are so rowdy!  I don’t go often, but when I go, it’s usually with a bunch of girl friends and we have a great time along with the other party animals.  If you don’t like the atmosphere, don’t go to the game and watch at home.  In my experiences (not at your venue, though), it doesn’t matter where you sit, it’s all pretty wild.   One time at a game in Canada, I counted three arrests for disorderly conduct (one guy was nude! not pretty) on the way to the Ladies Room!  To me it’s hilarious that you would be so uptight about it, but if you really feel the college kids were out of line, call security.  


  16. avatar ToniH says:

    I’m here in Colorado in the Denver Metro & there’s been a few times where I’ve been on our LightRail train during a game. And it seems that it doesn’t matter what type of game: basketball/football/hockey/baseball – everyone’s a drunken moron when they get on the train! I get a contact high just from breathing in the fumes off their bodies! I’ve only gone to one baseball game since I’ve been here (over 10 years now, sorry, sports are not my big thing), but I can honestly believe that the crowd was a sodden mess, especially since the Avs lost (Colorado Avalanche is our hockey team for those not in the know). I’ve gone to the Pepsi Center for Monster Jam (monster truck shows) and the beer is the same price as the soda! No wonder everyone gets snookered. I make it a point to make sure I don’t drive anywhere near downtown or the Pepsi center when there’s a game – I know that the roads will be filled with drunks! And “security”.. what a joke. They’re more interested in making sure that you don’t sneak in your own bottled water than making the place secure.

    LW1 – My advice is to be gracious to your aunt & offer, since she paid this time, to get tickets the next time she’d like to go and make sure that they’re not nosebleeds! She’ll probably enjoy the game a lot more, although I can’t be certain that there won’t be drunken fools lower down, either.

    • avatar R Scott says:

      Toni – I’ve been in Denver for 40 years and really, we’re not all bad 🙂  It’s a great place to live.

  17. avatar calgal says:

    I agree with Margo’s answer to LW2, that the miscreant should apologize and make reparations, though I would like to point out that the very expression “falling on one’s sword” shows that at least in Roman times, suicide after disgrace was a Western tradition.

  18. avatar Annie H says:

    LW #1- I don’t care where your seats are when they started threatening a child (even jokingly, who knows considering they were lit brighter that a 110 year olds birthday cake) you should notify security.  I hope those kids weren’t scared listening to these guys.  You can’t defuse a situation like that but you can turn them in.  I sincerely hope that they didn’t drive afterwards.

  19. avatar Briana Baran says:

    To LW1: Hmmm…sporting event+beer+college students=rowdy. Now, make the sporting event hockey, possibly the most aggressive sport, played by the lowest intellect men in the sports’ world (with the exception of Australian Rules Football, “Footie”, which I personally take a sort of debauched delight in watching…no substitutions, play till you’re dead), with the highest violence quotient amongst the players (soccer tops this aspect in the area of fans), and what did you expect? I grew up in Chicago, and you could immediately identify all of the guys who played hockey…brain damage, broken noses, and either lacking in, or left with caved in front teeth. The serious fans just had the broken noses and brain damage.

    As for “threatening” a child, I wouldn’t personally take a youngish child to a hockey game if I were seated in the nose-bleed section, due to the imminent danger of someone using him for some nefarious purpose in a fit of drunkenly boundless enthusiasm or rage. One must use some common sense. But then, I don’t attend sports events…too much noise, too many people, lines a mile long at the “Women” (and none at the “Men”, and if I have to pee badly enough, a stall in with the fellows, door or not, is better than a sink in the girls’), and drunks. I. Loathe. Sloppy. Drunks. It isn’t entertaining when people lose all control, hit, shove, shriek (women, you sound like screaming cowbirds and hyenas when you scream at concerts, games, etc. It is awful), stagger. Become aggressive, whether their team is winning (picking on anyone wearing the opposing team’s gear viciously) or not (attacking with extreme sanction aforementioned perceived opponents). Women do it too. And then there’s the puke. No thank you. In America, nothing rivals hockey games for pure, unadulterated mayhem.

    If you are into it…go for it. LW1, this is a case of the kitchen being way too…cold…for you. Watch from home, you’ll be much happier.

    • avatar bright eyes says:

      I don’t appreciate when people drink to excess myself and I never drink if he’s with me or there is a chance that I will be driving home, but that’s beside the point.

      I have been bringing my son to hockey games since he was 7 and have never had bad encounters with drunk people. I have never felt that he was in danger from any Hockey fan. I have found that (for the most part) the Hockey family we have here in OKC is just that – a family. You see the same people at each game and you see the same families at each game, even in the nosebleed section. There are plenty of people who take their kids to games and the kids love it. I know my son does and I see younger kids enjoying themselves as well. It’s not all about drinking beer and fights. The kids get excited and cheer/yell when the team scores a goal and boo when the other team scores a goal and yes there is plenty of opportunity for the kids to get loud – Hockey is not a quiet event.

      I do agree that a lot of people get drunk and yell at events, but I don’t agree that one shouldn’t bring their kids to a game. However they should be aware of that they could end up running into drunk people and weigh the decision on their own. You also have to weigh that your child may hear language that is not appropriate, but I feel that mine could be exposed to that language every day just being in public.

      And you do have to put your trust in the people running the establishment that if someone threatens your child that they will take action to correct the situation.

      • avatar Briana Baran says:

        bright eyes: apologies…I was being somewhat sarcastic in regard to bringing a child to a hockey game, or any sporting event. In the general course of life in today’s society, a trip to the mall, or big-box store (see peopleofwalmart-dot-com) will probably expose one’s children to more “horrors” than the typical sporting event. I would say that the one thing I object to on a purely practical level is children, and by this I mean elementary school age or younger, being taken to indoor, closed-roof venue, concerts involving huge stacks of Marshall amps and any kind of metal music. You’d better have serious noise reduction ear protection on them…or you’re definitely damaging their hearing forever. Yes, I’ve seen this. Otherwise, have at it.

        As for exposing children to drunks…they’ll see them eventually unless you’re a genius whose figured out how to effectively raise a child in a bubble environment. Mine catches his at the Renaissance Festival. We do leave *before* the completely blotto crowd take to the road. Which is my biggest concern with drunks and events with a definite end time at which mass quantities of alcohol are consumed…all of the plastered people are leaving at the same time that you…and your children…are. Not a safe situation.

        However, you are in OKC…and OKC is NOT Chicago, or the Great White North. I know that the fans are a bit more rabid up there (I spent the first 25 years of my life in the Windy City. Hockey in Houston is something completely different, trust me) and I know that they’re much more prone to violence. That said, as I pointed out, I don’t like crowds, having to go to the “Men” to pee (again, I’m shameless), or excessive screaming and yelling. I haven’t been to a concert in years…it used to be that the crowd actually knew to shut the hell up during acoustic sets, or numbers that required listening. Now it’s one constant, atonal, discordant shriek from the moment the band takes the stage.

        And language? Sadly, I learned my filth before I learned to be a parent, and unlearning has been a slow process. Especially when driving. In Houston. In a tiny KIA Rio Cinco (we are green and eco-conscious…and there are only three of us and the hairballs) among vast, Leviathan-esque SUV’s and trucks that want to kill me. I am somewhat surprised that my sons’ first phrase was not “f**kin’ moron”…but #1’s was “Da!” and #2’s was “Kitty!”.

        Although, #2 was about 18 months, when we were driving along and were cut off rather abruptly, and dangerously, by a large pick-up while in daddy’s Accord, and daddy hit his horn after having to take rather extreme measures to avoid an accident. At the outraged, if wimpy, “Blat!”, #2 cheerfully exclaimed, “a**hole!”. Not my fault. Not my expression.

        So it goes.

        • avatar bright eyes says:

          I tried to reply to you that day, but something messed up and it deleted everything I had written 🙁
          Oh I was saying that yes I agree with you on concerts. I’ve had to take ear plugs, ear muffs or a scarf with my son for a few years – even to movie theaters. Loud noises bothered him when he was younger. Ear plugs stayed in the car so if we went somewhere, like a basketball game, then he would be able to grab them. I have always brought my son with me just about anywhere I go, so I get defensive when people say you shouldn’t take your kids here or there…
          But I take him places because he knows how to behave in different settings – At 7 he was going to a wine and cheese night at the Museum (no wine for him!) and people were blown away because he could hold up his end of the conversation. Now at 13 he’s going to Orchestra concerts and enjoying himself.

          And as for the drunks, we’ve run into our share, but I haven’t ever felt scared or that they’d be a problem. I feel safe taking him to Hockey & Basketball games because I feel that security should be able to handle anything that comes up. And I trust that if someone tried something, then not only would I defend my son, but others would also. And we do take our time getting back to the car so that we are not on the roads with people who have been drinking. I normally park a little ways away and there is a little time between getting out of the game and actually getting to the car. But yes, that is one thing I cannot stand – someone who will drink and drive. That is the absolute worst for me, I can’t stand it. You want to screw up your own life – go ahead. But don’t take an innocent person with you.

          I haven’t been to a concert in years – other than Orchestra music. Sadly I can’t afford the tickets. I did have a good thing going with my Dad where he would buy an extra ticket and then whoever wanted to go with him acted as his designated driver so he could drink. He gets to have fun and I get to see a good concert -win, win!

          My son said his first bad word at 3 years old. My sister cusses up a storm when she’s driving. I have 1 word that I say. That was not the word he chose to stand up and say in the middle of Kmart at 3! The worst part is – he used the word correctly! Now that he’s older, I have taught him not to say things that people say while driving – Grandma doesn’t use bad words but will yell while driving also (wonder if it’s inherited!) But I think, at his age, that he gets much more exposure from his peers than anywhere else.

          And I do have to admit that if I lived somewhere else, that I probably wouldn’t feel the way I do about things. If we had louder/ruder fans then I would probably not be as willing to take my child to see events.

  20. avatar D C says:

    I’ve only been to a couple of hockey games, and not since high school.  Houston isn’t really a hockey town.  I was at the games to play the national anthem with the band.  I’ll never forget my flute playing friend griping and moaning about being “forced” to go to a hockey game and how savage it all was.  And when the first fight on the ice broke out, she was the first one screaming “KILL HIM!!! KILL HIM!!!”  Totally out of character for her.  We didn’t keep up after high school, but I have since seen her on facebook.  She’s still seemingly a very quiet mouse of a person.  I wonder if she still goes to hockey games to let the monster inside out to play.

  21. avatar Kathy says:

    LW2 is asking if the world wouldn’t be a better place if more people killed themselves.  And Margo says she’s pondered the same thing.  I had to read it a couple of times, but I think that’s accurate.  If this is the quality of content on this site, maybe it’s time to pull the plug.  Kathy, ironically.

    • avatar John Lee says:

      I thought it was kinda neat, definitely a different type of letter.  I’m ok with it if it is a rare instance, a break from the usual crazy MIL/bridesmaid/middle life crisis man letters.

    • avatar Briana Baran says:

      @Kathy: To quote you: “LW2 is asking if the world wouldn’t be a better place if more people killed themselves.”

      This is inaccurate. The practice of seppuku in feudal Japan was not suicide as we think of it in 20th-21st century, Judeo/Christian/Muslim Western society, and neither LW2, nor Margo, were wistfully condoning people randomly committing suicide to better society. If you happen to be interested in an explanation of the the feudal Nippon practice of seppuku, see my previous post in order to gain some understanding.

      However, both Margo and the LW were asking if certain people who have committed atrocities against society and individuals that have caused enormous pain, suffering and death, should not be held more accountable for their crimes against humanity than is the current norm. Margo’s contention that this would never happen because there is no precedent in Western Society is historically inaccurate. The Bible does NOT specifically prohibit suicide, and it was not until 563 AD that it was officially condemned (because too many Christians were committing suicide to gain immediate entrance into heaven…which speaks to actually *living* as an early Christian). There was a resurgence of acceptance during the Renaissance when Church dogma became less influential for a time. The Romans only condemned suicide for soldiers seeking to avoid disgrace. Many Amerind cultures accept and condone suicide. The Greeks were divided on the issue, but it was generally accepted. The various pre-Christian Celtic religions (not just Ireland, the Celts were a culture that spanned most of Northern and much of Central Europe) accepted suicide. And, finally, the majority of the Jewish people trapped at Masada committed murder/suicide to avoid enslavement by the Romans in AD 473.

      As for Margo’s contention that so many criminals feel no shame or guilt for the abominable acts they commit, if seppuku were part of our culture…they could be *ordered* to make the two cuts. It would not be a matter of choice, not would their feelings count.

      Would the world be a better place without the Dahmers, Gacys, Madoffs, McVeighs. Mansons, Susan Smiths? Yes, I think it would. Would it be more convincing and perhaps *educational* to those who would do extreme harm if those who were apprehended and convicted did not get the privilege of becoming jailhouse lawyers, having pen-pals, selling their art, and even potential opportunities for release (despite sentences that clearly state “without parole” or of Capital Punishment) due to over-crowding, “terminal disease” (awww), or, my o my appeals by people who’d rather wait for their personal “god” to make all of the calls…to be terminated with extreme sanction in such a way as to end their lives in the furthest state of terror and helplessness?

      I think it would.

      And it’s about time we had letter, and subsequent thread, about something with teeth, that actually makes people engage their minds. Reality TV as advice column fodder gets a little bit tedious after a while.

  22. avatar Michelles11 says:

    Hockey…used to have season to tickets to the Blackhawk games back in the Old Stadium, and I don’t think I ever left without having a beer spilled on me.  Yes, they were not the best seats and a lot of rowdy and crude behavior occured but I miss it.  The new stadium is rather a bit too clean and quiet it seems.  Best to spend more for better seats.  Those young men you sat near sound like White Sox fans….  😉

    • avatar Briana Baran says:

      Definitely not Cubs fans…most of them need a shock from a defibrilator to stay alive, much less get rowdy. I’ve fallen asleep at two Cubs games.

      Kind of a sad commentary…

  23. avatar Briana Baran says:

    Well. This Margo column, as of Sunday, 1/22/2012, has generated a mere 67 comments…and the majority of these, by a slim margin, are devoted to the question of a woman’s disgust at the behavior of drunken college boys…in a hockey game’s cheap seats. O, yes, I commented on this weighty subject with a certain degree of sarcasm…and was taken to task for it.

    The much more intellectual and pertinent question was given short shrift, accompanied by a serious deficit of cultural/historical understanding as most equated the LW’s query with the notion of suicide as it is generally perceived in the Judeo/Christian/Muslim Western society (when I speak of Islam, I am not referring to fanatical extremists…I am referencing the people who live quiet, non-jihadist lives, and would no more engage in suicide bombing or acts of terror than the average Christian or Jew). I don’t know if this is due to illiteracy (it wouldn’t be the first time that most had failed to read a letter correctly before allowing moral outrage to take over), ignorance or simply a matter of refusal or inability to comprehend other cultural practices. I do, however, think that it matters.

    Margo and the WoW website were severely chastised for daring to print such a vile, amoral and disgusting letter. At least one reader threatened to leave the site permanently. Another thought that Margo and LW2 were condoning the regular practice of suicide in the general population as a way to make the world a better place.

    Debating an issue from a reactive position of complete ignorance, misunderstanding and confusion on a thread which has as its topic a thoughtful, considered question is impossible. Ranting about “suicide”, 21st century morals, teenage recklessness, those “left behind” and men and women without guilt when the ethno-cultural topic is seppuku is missing the point altogether, and ultimately useless. Seppuku, as referred to in L#2, is a form of execution that is far from painless, brutal, self-inflicted and has nothing to do with the choice of the convicted, or putting an end to pain, suffering and guilt.

    I suppose Margo will have to go back to the adulterer/evil step-whatever/abused girlfriend (oops, covered as of Friday)/lonely-gay-conflicted spouse/failing relationship of the day to generate more commentary. She tried, printing an excellent letter and giving an equally thoughtful response. Intellectualism is on the outs.

    Welcome Reality Advice.

  24. avatar John Hlavaty says:

    Texas Mom:  You wrote that you wanted to relay an “antedote”.  I know you meant “anecdote”, but your  mistype made me laugh.  Sometimes I wish we could all relay antedotes – life would be easier.  Still, humorous anecdotes may truly be the best antedote.

    • avatar TheTexasMom says:

      Don’t know what is worse, my typing or my spelling but if it brought a smile to you then……