Thread: 1932: Art $tar
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Old 03-17-2014, 01:56 PM   #48 (permalink)
Dr Rockso
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 7
Catching up on shows and just heard this one. I'm heartbroken - not because this happened, but because I knew that inevitably this was going to happen and I knew how much it would crush Chemda when it did.

Johnny is a classic con artist and it was just a question of when (not if) he would screw her over. It was always really sad to hear Chemda constantly defend him against Keith's (rightful) suspicions about Johnny's character - eerily similar to the rationalizations of a battered wife ("You don't understand him", "he's changed, I swear", etc).

As an outsider not being subjected to Johnny's charms (con artists are always charming), I could see the red flags a mile away: Criminal record, inconsistent living arrangements, natural gift for storytelling, vague "artistic" aspirations - and most of all, a claimed disdain for money in general and the capitalist system in particular (the easiest way to convince people to part with their money is to convince them that the very concept of money itself is worthless). Once Chemda mentioned that he had been staying at their old house and that Chemda had been covering his bills for months, I knew exactly what was coming before she even finished the story. Well, not the graffiti part - but the general vandalism, unpaid debts, attempts to turn the blame around, and the stolen property (yes, Chemda - he stole the bike and sold it for cash. Some random person in New York City is riding your bike around as we speak. For the love of god, please do not continue to harbor any delusions that he actually threw it out like he claimed).

Thieves and con artists like him don't change. Ever. Maybe one in a thousand actually turns his life around and becomes a decent person, but the other 999 will just go right back to the same shit because that's all they know. Forget the standard hippie line about how criminals are "victims of circumstance". It's bullshit. Lots of people grow up in hard circumstances, and the vast majority of them do NOT become criminals. Criminals become criminals because they lack empathy and morals.

Johnny isn't done conning and stealing. Now that he's squeezed every last penny out of Chemda and exhausted her trust, he's just going to find another trusting person and do the same shit over again. People like him don't care, they don't learn, and they don't change.
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