When Bernie Madoff swanned into court yesterday in a little Kevlar number, we weren't exactly surprised. The financier's $50 billion Ponzi scheme wiped out numerous old people, businesses, and charities, and there are bound to be a few crazies who might want to exact a little vigilante justice to earn the heart of Kevin Bacon. Madoff's already reportedly received a few threats. But we are surprised, and creeped out by, the violent tone that seems to be cropping up in the discourse of non-crazies. Such as this choice quip New York securities lawyer Howard Sirota gave to Bloomberg today: "I'd love to put a hatchet in Bernie Madoff’s head, and I know there are other Jews who feel that way."
Also, the Cityfile folks have made a Madoff-shaped target, "if you happen to be a gun enthusiast," for um, practice; and this morning's Post also carried a nice big picture of trader Clark Landis's sign, which he held in front of Madoff's apartment building yesterday, urging him to "Do the right thing: Jump!"
Before we all get carried away here, let us remind everyone that stuff like this is not only unfunny and barbaric, it's actually stupid. Jumping is not the right thing for Madoff to do: He needs to be alive, or else how will the Feds extract whatever investor money he has stashed around the globe? Anyway, all told, wouldn't it be better if, in the end, he was left to wander along the dusty African plains, clad in sagging adult diapers, like Mobutu after he was exiled from the Congo? Let's just refocus our anger on that scenario, okay? Use the Secret. Put it out into the Universe. There. That's better.