By Alan Bean
The debate over the Ethan Couch case isn’t over. It’s all about the sixteen year-old who killed four people with his Ford F-350 truck while driving with a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit. The prosecution was asking for twenty years, but Judge Jean Boyd gave the kid ten years of probation with the understanding that he would receive treatment at a posh California rehab center at the cost of $450,000/year. During the sentencing hearing, defense counsel argued that Couch was a victim of “affluenza”.
James McAuley, a Harvard senior currently studying as a Marshall scholar at Oxford, sees the self-absorbed, amoral Couch as a symptom of white-flight myopia. McAuley is in his mid-twenties, but he has thought long and hard about the spirituality of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. (The New York Times published his insightful piece on Dallas circa 1963 last month.) Here’s the heart of his argument: (more…)