Snakes on a train – Philadelphia-style

City of Brotherly Love? – not quite. Op-ed.

Jack Engelhard ,

Liberty Bell, Philadelphia, City of Brotherly Love
Liberty Bell, Philadelphia, City of Brotherly Love

City of Brotherly Love? – not quite.

According to reports, help came from nowhere, until it was too late. A woman was being raped on a Philadelphia commuter train and fellow passengers did nothing.

Correction: Yes. They did something. They used their smartphones to take videos. That is all they did. Only later, after the assault, a transit officer called police.

But the damage was done, to the woman, the town, the country, the mayor, Jim Kenney, the president, Joe Biden.

The story made headlines and continues to disgust and dismay.

We should not be surprised when a single incident, just one, but so brutish, captures our attention.

What more can you expect from a generation for whom nothing is real, and life is a “virtual” experience?
Where are we headed? Can we look ourselves in the mirror, truly, and recognize ourselves as heirs to Judeo/Christian values?

Rather, expect apathy, when police officers are maligned for their service, and calls persist to have law enforcement defunded altogether. Expect lawlessness when bloody riots are termed peaceful protests. Mix all that with open borders, persons we don’t know flooding in with the consent of the government, and watch us go slouching towards Sodom and Gomorrah.

Count on no neighborly mercies when Critical Race Theory is being campaigned in the schools to foster hatred between the races.

When historical monuments are toppled and historical books are withdrawn from the curriculum, be prepared for a generation of know-nothing, do-nothing heretics.

People will say…come on, so far as apathy, it’s no worse today than it ever was.

Partly true. It happened in 1964 when Kitty Genovese, a 28-year-old bar manager, was assaulted outside her apartment building in Queens, New York. The story goes that 38 neighbors or bystanders saw it but did nothing. The newspapers picked it up, sensationally, as symptomatic of a town, and country, turned abrasive, callous and pitiless.

Later came the fact-checking that placed the number of do-nothing onlookers at fewer than 38. But in fact, a woman was murderously attacked in the open and people did nothing.

The uproar turned national and psychological.

They called it the “Bystander Effect,” which proposed that the greater the number of bystanders, the less likely anyone of them will intervene.

Soon after, Good Samaritan laws were passed in New York State and elsewhere, this, to encourage people to help victims without fear of litigation.

The Genovese incident, it is believed, motived the creation of the 911 emergency system.

Two weeks ago in Philadelphia, short of physical intervention, 911 would have been the number to call.

Somehow, those dunces on the train considered themselves men and women of action through the act of snapping videos of a rape in progress.

Next step for them would be getting the “likes” on social media.

What more can you expect from a generation for whom nothing is real, and life is a “virtual” experience?

Actual real-life events mystify them and force them to scurry to their tech devices. Maddeningly self-absorbed, they freeze and go blank when faced with real-time decisions.

Books about life not so much, but movies about life they know, through cartoons.

Their fathers and mothers were the heroes of United Airlines Flight 93, September 11, 2001…when it was do or die against Islamist hijackers…and they did, and they died.

Their grandfathers stormed the beaches and took no videos or selfies.

Combat Photographers like Joe Rosenthal, who snapped the iconic Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima, were of a different breed.

Those were images of triumph, pride and patriotism.

Nothing like that in Philly.

New York-based bestselling American novelist Jack Engelhard writes regularly for Arutz Sheva.

He wrote the worldwide book-to-movie bestseller “Indecent Proposal,” the authoritative newsroom epic, “The Bathsheba Deadline,” followed by his coming-of-age classics, “The Girls of Cincinnati,” and, the Holocaust-to-Montreal memoir, “Escape from Mount Moriah.” For that and his 1960s epic “The Days of the Bitter End,” contemporaries have hailed him “The last Hemingway, a writer without peer, and the conscience of us all.” Website:

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