Pears & Plasma Screen TVs
Watching coverage of hurricane aftermath, one of the things I've noticed in particular is the ridiculous amount of looting going on. One can justify stealing bottled water and other necessities (not that there's any to be had), but big screen TVs and DVD players? Come on, people, it's not like you even have electricity at this point, not to mention a dry place to set your ill-gotten gains. I was immediately reminded of the passage of Confessions where Augustine talks about stealing merely for the sake of stealing. There's gotta be a connection here:
"Near our vineyard there was a pear tree, though the fruit was not particularily attractive either in color or taste. I and some other wretched youths conceived the idea of shaking the pears off this tree and carrying them away. We set out late at night (having, as we usually did in our depraved way, gone on playing in the streets till that hour) and stole all the fruit that we could carry. And this was not to feed ourselves; we may have tasted a few, but then we threw the rest to the pigs. Our real pleasure was simply in doing something that was not allowed."
St. Augustine, Confessions
Chapter 2, book 4