A Clockwork Orange 2018

In February 2017 a 15-year-old boy who can’t be identified because he is under-age (we’ll call him “Alex”), who was living at the Elk Island Child and Youth Ranch east of Lamont, brutally attacked and beat 63-year-old worker Heather Vanderzee to within an inch of her life.

“Alex” and his caregiver Vanderzee knew each other and reportedly had a good relationship when “Alex” went in for a hug. Instead he put her in a choke-hold, tossed her to the floor, and began stomping on her face and head. At the sight of her blood “Alex” admitted that he began giggling.

Vanderzee was eventually released from hospital with permanent brain damage and ongoing facial injuries including 92 titanium screws holding her facial bones together.

Last week “Alex” was acquitted of attempted murder and given 24 months, including credit for 13 months already served. He will now serve three more months, then eight supervised in the community. His under-age associate in crime (we’ll call him a “Droog”), received 303 days for robbery but never admitted hurting Vanderzee.

A psychological report filed in court, said “Alex” would not benefit from mental health therapy as he can not properly process information. Court heard the vicious teen has “organic brain issues” and functions at the level of a seven-year-old, therefore he would not benefit from counselling.

But lawyers agreed that in only three months, when “Alex” is back in society, the now 17-year-old will be a risk to re-offend.

This whole “horrorshow” reminds me of the book A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, and the movie by Stanley Kubrick, in which the main character (Alex) commits a number of violent acts before he eventually murders someone and is given 14 years in prison as a minor.

In the storyline of A Clockwork Orange, after a brief two years of good behaviour Alex was deemed a perfect candidate for the Ludovico Technique, an experimental treatment designed to eliminate criminal impulses.

In the book/movie the main character is forced to watch violent images while being injected with nausia-inducing drugs. Eventually Alex loses his choice to be violent and begins disassociating with violent thoughts. Now becoming ill at the thought of violence, Alex is cast from prison back into the cruel world which begins retaliating and the perpetrator becomes the victim.

At the end of the movie, the youth is treated to reverse the effects of the Ludovico Technique, and he is sent back into the world again as his “ultra-violent” self.

The disappointing conclusion of A Clockwork Orange is that attempts to rehabilitate the violent youth ultimately failed. The encouraging part is that at least society endeavored to do so.

Obviously a work of fiction.
Kerry Anderson