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T he bourgeois sensibility only escapes bankruptcy by being valueless at the outset. . . sham from beginning to end. July 26th, the News & Observer provides a brilliant case in point. On pages 3B and 4B, we find two stories of death. We'll call them the 3B story and the 4B story.

3B Headline (14 point font):
Raleigh Man struck by train, killed

Sixteen lines are therein devoted to the demise of a "48 year old transient," enough to satisfy the pesky obligation to report a corpse found on the tracks.

4B headline (48 bold points high):
Dogs killing leaves owner heartbroken

Herein a 22-column-inch paean on the violent death of Zooie...a German shorthaired pointer. The pullout that preceeds the byline is written in the same font as the dead man's headline: "An armed robber's violence toward an animal in Durham has prompted a Raleigh woman to offer a reward to help capture the man."

Follow along, if you will:
3B: "A transient was killed when a train struck him in South Raleigh, police said Friday."
4B: "Choking back tears, Lucy Hochman remembers virtually everything about her 5-year-old German shorthaired pointer, Zooie-her scent, her bubbling energy, her penchant for snuggling.

'She was the center of my life,' Hochman said. 'She held me together.'"
3B: "Jerry Credle, 48, died instantly early Thursday on the tracks near Eby Drive, off Garner Road."
4B: "It's the closest thing to comfort for Hochman, 27, who watched in horror Thursday night as a fleeing robber shot and killed Zooie outside her home on Gattis Street."

"The man, who police said had just held up the Evans Mini Mart at 1200 Chapel Hill St., kept running. Police were still investigating the robbery and shooting, but had not made any arrests by Friday evening."
3B: "Credle may have been intoxicated when the train hit him, police Lt. J. H. Johnson said."
4B: "'I was weeding my driveway with my dog,' Hochman said. 'He ran by, my dog stood up and he shot her in the head. ...Violence has a great deal to do with people not being able to see living things as valuable.'"
3B: "The conductor saw the homeless man's body lying near the tracks."
4B: "For Hochman, who had raised and cared for Zooie since she was a puppy, the helplessness she felt in her dog's final moments hurt the most."

"'I didn't know my dog was dead,' Hochman said, a cigarette trembling in her hand. 'The thing that kills me is that when I got up to her, she wasn't dead yet. She looked happy to see me, wagged her tail, and died. She thought I could stop the rain if I wanted to.'"
3B: "Investigators have not found anyone who saw the train strike Credle, Johnson said."
4B: "News of the killing elicited both sympathy and outrage from many area residents."

"A story on Zooie's death in Friday's News & Observer compelled a Raleigh woman to offer $100 toward a reward for information on the dog's killer."
3B: "Credle had been living in that area, south of the Beltline."
4B: "'It was just so senseless,' said the woman, who wants to offer the reward anonymously. 'I have never read the paper before and just wept.'"

"She contacted Durham CrimeStoppers on Friday morning to make arrangements to provide the reward money, but she hadn't heard from the police by the end of the day. She hopes others will contribute to the reward."

"'My heart goes out to the owner,' she said."
3B: "Like other Raleigh transients, he likely used the tracks as foot paths to get around town, Johnson said."
4B: "For now, Hochman is left with photographs of Zooie and the memories that accompany them-as well as a mixture of frustration and anger from Zooie's death."
3B: "It was not known where Credle originally was from."
4B: "'This was a girl and her dog-20 times a day, the thought in my head was, 'Gosh, you're great,' Hochman said. 'People get really high on the fact that they're human. Sometimes they have to get back down to earth and have a little humanity.'"


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